If you’ve been thinking to apply for the American Express® Gold Card, now might be a great time.
The American Express® Gold Card comes with some of the best rewards available on food purchases, offering 4 points per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases annually, then 1 point), 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. New cardholders also have an opportunity to snag a generous welcome bonus: American Express is now offering 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first six months.
Small business owners have a great option too: The American Express® Business Gold Card is as rewarding as its consumer counterpart, but with an earning rate more targeted to business spending. Cardholders earn 4 points per dollar on the two categories where their business spends the most each billing cycle (on up to $150,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point per dollar) and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. And Membership Rewards lovers can snag an even more generous limited time bonus – 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months. Plus, you can earn up to $300 in statement credits for eligible U.S. advertising and shipping purchases.
What are the American Express Gold Cards worth in the first year?
The American Express Gold Card can provide a lot of value, offering generous rewards rates and annual credits travelers and foodies will appreciate, including a $100 activity credit on vacations over $3,000, a $120 dining credit and up to $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 per month). The Business Gold Card, on the other hand is packed with benefits that make it easier to manage your business spending.
|Introductory bonus||60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 6 months|
Recent changes to the American Express Gold Card
This is the first time the Amex Gold card has offered such a generous welcome bonus. In the past, Amex Gold only offered up to 35,000 points, unless you received an elevated targeted offer – for instance, via CardMatch™.
Now you can earn 25,000 more for spending the same amount as in the previous offer, and you have twice the time to meet the spending requirement.
American Express Gold Card recent changes
|Oct. 15, 2020|
Recent changes to the American Express Business Gold Card
The Business Gold Card is also offering a bonus much higher than it traditionally does, though the spend threshold is more difficult to reach.
American Express Business Gold Card recent changes
|Feb. 11, 2021|
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 on the American Express Gold Card. The same goes for the Business version of the card – if you’ve ever earned a welcome bonus on the same product, you won’t be eligible for the new offer.
Note, these offers are currently being promoted on sites like CreditCards.com, but you might see a different bonus if you apply via the Amex site.
Best ways to use your American Express Gold Card introductory bonus
One of the great things about American Express points is 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 up to 70,000 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 Cards
|Redemption option||Point value (cents)|
|Airfare on amextravel.com||1|
|Upgrade flight with points||1|
|Gift cards||Up to 1|
|Charitable donations through JustGiving||0.7|
|Other amextravel.com purchases||0.7|
|Shopping partner purchases (Best Buy, Grubhub, Walmart and more)||0.7|
|Excise tax offset fee (for transfer to domestic travel partners)||0.5|
Transfer options with the American Express Gold Cards
Along with the redemption options listed above, the American Express Gold Card allows cardholders to transfer their points to one of 22 travel partners.
When you transfer your points to a domestic airline partner, 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 up to 70,000-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.
|Transfer ratio||Point value (including transfer ratio & excise fee)|
Should you apply for the American Express Gold Cards now?
If you’re a food lover and looking for a credit card to reward you for eating out and buying groceries, the Gold Card from Amex can be an excellent choice, and now is a great time to apply. The new 60,000-point offer is the largest bonus the card has offered so far, and six months is plenty of time to meet the $4,000 spending requirement.
As for the Business Gold Card, the $10,000 spend requirement in three months might be more difficult to meet, but you’ll be rewarded with an equally generous 70,000 points – more than the card has ever offered.