If you’ve been thinking to apply for the American Express Gold Card, now might be a great time.
What is the American Express Gold Card 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 a $100 hotel credit.
|American Express® Gold Card|
Why use it?
If you spend the majority of your money on travel, restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases, the American Express Gold Card is one of the most rewarding options.
Estimated earnings in first year ($1,325 monthly spend)
Recent changes to the American Express Gold Card
This is the first time the card offers 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|
|Oct. 17, 2019|
|Jan. 9, 2019|
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.
Note, this offer is 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 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 60,000 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 option||Point value (cents)||Value of 60,000-point bonus|
|Membership Rewards portal airfare||1||$600|
|Other Membership Rewards portal travel rewards (hotels, vacations, cruises)||0.7||$420|
|Gift cards/vouchers||Up to 1 (sometimes lower)||$600|
|Shopping partner (Amazon, Best Buy, Boxed, Grubhub, Newegg, Rite Aid, Seamless, Staples)||0.7||$420|
|AmEx Express Checkout||0.7||$420|
|Transfer to Plenti||1||$600|
|Ticketmaster & AXS tickets||0.5||$300|
|Charity donation||1 (up to 500,000 points, 0.5 after)||$600|
|Excise tax offset fee (for transfer to travel partner)||0.5||$300|
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 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 60,000-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 $1,416 out of your welcome bonus by transferring your points.
|Transfer ratio||Point value (including transfer ratio & excise fee)||Value of 60,000-point bonus|
Should you apply for the American Express Gold Card 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 points is the largest bonus the card has offered so far, and six months is plenty of time to meet the spending requirement.