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Earn 35,000 bonus points with American Express® Gold Card

Summary

See why transferring Membership Rewards points might get you more out of your intro offer.

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Last year, American Express announced several new updates for the Premier Rewards Gold Card, making it a competitive offering for foodies. The card relaunched under a new name as the American Express® Gold Card and came with new four points per dollar reward categories at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets.

The updated card now offers some of the best rewards available on food purchases, and it comes with a 35,000 bonus point introductory offer (if you spend $2,000 in the first three months).

What is the American Express Gold Card worth in the first year?

With the update, American Express Gold Card revamped its rewards categories with particular regards to food lovers. This lets cardholders get even more value out of their rewards in the places they spend the most money, like supermarkets and restaurants.

Unfortunately, the upgraded rewards and welcome offer are accompanied by a slightly higher annual fee. Check out the chart below to see what you can get out of the Gold Card in the first year.

American Express® Gold Card
American Express Gold CardRewards rate

  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases annually)
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
  • Terms apply
Introductory bonus

  • 35,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months

Why use it?
If you spend the majority of your money on travel, restaurant and supermarket purchases, the American Express Gold Card is one of the most rewarding options.Read review
Annual fee

$250

Estimated earnings in first year ($4,000 monthly spend)

$1,151

Recent changes to the American Express Gold Card

After the initial relaunch and permanent changes to the card name and rewards categories, the American Express Gold Card added a limited time offer to welcome bonus. Unfortunately, the additions expired on Jan. 9, 2019. However, the slight boost in the bonus amount makes the new offer competitive.

American Express Gold Card Recent Changes

Jan. 9, 2019
  • 35,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months
Oct. 4, 2018
  • 25,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months
  • For cardholders who apply by Jan. 9, 2019: 20% back as a statement credit on U.S. restaurant purchases for first 3 months (up to $100)
Previous 

  • 25,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months

 

Prior to the card relaunch, the introductory offer on the Gold Card didn’t see many changes. Even though there has recently been a limited time bonus, it is unclear whether similar offers will take place in the future.

Who is eligible for the introductory offer?

American Express is pretty strict on who can qualify for a welcome bonus. If you currently or have ever owned an American Express Gold Card or American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card, you don’t qualify for the offer.

Best ways to use your American Express Gold Card introductory bonus

One of the great things about American Express points are the wide variety of redemptions options available, from statement credits or gift cards to airline tickets. Your points value can shift depending on what you redeem them for, so we’ve put together a chart to show you just how your 35,000 point bonus stacks up with each option. As you’ll see, you can get the most out of your rewards by booking airfare through the Membership Rewards portal.

Redemption options for American Express Gold Card

Redemption optionPoint value (cents)Value of 25,000-point bonus
Membership Rewards portal airfare1$350
Other Membership Rewards portal travel rewards (hotels, vacations, cruises)0.7$245
Expedia travel0.7$245
Uber/NYC taxi1$350
Gift cards/vouchersUp to 1 (sometimes lower)$350
Shopping partner (Amazon, Best Buy, Boxed, Grubhub, Newegg, Rite Aid, Seamless, Staples)0.7$245
AmEx Express Checkout0.7$245
Shopping portal0.5$175
Transfer to Plenti1$350
Ticketmaster & AXS tickets0.5$175
Statement credit0.6$210
Charity donation1 (up to 500,000 points, 0.5 after)$350
Excise tax offset fee (for transfer to travel partner)0.5$175

Transfer options with the American Express Gold Card

Along with the redemption options listed above, the American Express Gold Card allows cardholders to transfer their points to one of 19 travel partners.

When you transfer your points to one of these partners, you’ll be charged an excise tax offset fee of 0.06 cents per point. You have the option to pay it either as a charge on your monthly bill or with points. But as you can see from the redemption chart, you’ll lose half your point value if you choose to use Membership Rewards points to cover the fee, so it is in your best interest to pay it outright.

When done strategically, transferring your American Express rewards points allows you to extract even more value out of your 35,000 point introductory bonus. Every American Express point is worth 1 cent, but several of the partner airlines’ points are valued a bit higher. Also, while most of the partner airlines have a 1:1 point transfer ratio, there are a few variations.

As you’ll see on the chart below, you can get an average value up to $780 out of your welcome bonus by transferring your points.

Transfer ratioPoint value (including transfer ratio & excise fee)Value of 35,000-point bonus
British Airways Executive Club1:12.23$780
Singapore KrisFlyer1:12.16$756
Iberia Plus1:11.64$574
Aeromexico1:1.61.5$539
Aeroplan1:11.44$506
ANA1:11.42$497
Delta SkyMiles1:11.29$452
Hawaiian Airlines1:11.27$444
JetBlue1.25:11.12$392
Emirates Skywards1:11.04$364
Alitalia MilleMiglia1:10.94$329
Asia Miles1:10.94$329
Choice Privileges1:10.94$329
Etihad Guest1:10.94$329
Flying Blue1:10.94$329
Hilton Honors1:20.82$287
Starwood Preferred Guest3:10.74$259
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:10.74$259
El Al Israel Airlines20:1(0.01)($3.5)

Should you apply for the American Express Gold Card now?

The American Express Gold Card introductory offer doesn’t change very often, so if you are looking for a card that earns great rewards on food purchases, now is still a good time to sign up. Even though there is not a limited time welcome bonus, flexible redemption options mean the 35,000 point bonus still has great value.

See relatedEnhanced American Express® Gold Card offers a 4-point bonus for foodies, Earn 75K bonus points with The Business Platinum Card from American Express, American Express Gold Card vs. American Express Green card

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