Have you just been approved for the American Express Gold Card? It’s time to do these three things.
A standout in the world of rewards cards that charge annual fees, the American Express® Gold Card all but pays for itself. Thanks to its generous rewards and statement credit benefits, it’s easy to get a ton of value from this popular card.
However, there are a few steps we recommend taking to ensure you’re maximizing the card’s potential from the get-go. Here’s what you should do when you get the Amex Gold.
Plan out earning a welcome bonusA welcome bonus is arguably the best opportunity to snag a large number of points on a card. Currently, the Amex Gold is offering 60,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $4,000 in the first six months with the card. When redeemed for airfare on amextravel.com or flight upgrades, the offer is worth $600. (You might be able to earn even more if you get a special offer through a tool like CardMatch.)
You don’t want to miss out on such an opportunity, so it’s essential to make sure you know how you’re going to meet the spend requirement. Since the Amex Gold only requires you to spend $4,000 in six months, it should be doable. But if you’re juggling multiple cards, your spending is likely to spread among them. It may be a good idea to focus most of it on the new card to ensure you earn the bonus.
Sign up for statement credits
Dining and Uber Cash credits offered on the Amex Gold are quite attractive card benefits. If you take full advantage of them, you’ll get an annual value of up to $240. At that point, you’ve nearly earned back the $250 annual fee in statement credits.
To start receiving dining credits, you’ll need to enroll in your online account – check “benefits” in your Amex app or on the website. After that, you’ll get up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you use your card at participating dining partners, including Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, The Cheesecake Factory, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations.
Similarly, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking advantage of up to $10 in monthly Uber Cash you can use on U.S. rides or Uber Eats. Add your Amex Gold to the Uber app as a payment method, and Amex will automatically add credits to your account every month.
Note that the issuer currently offers an excellent limited-time promotion: Through December 2021, you can enroll for a complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership for up to 12 months. This will give you free delivery and discounts on eligible restaurant purchases of $15 or more (taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum). Typically, Uber Eats Pass costs $9.99 per month, so it’s almost another $120 in value if you count that in. Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at the then-current monthly rate.
Strategize your spending
The American Express Gold has a great rewards rate. The 4 points per dollar you get at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point) and on restaurants can quickly get you closer to lucrative travel redemptions – especially if you choose to transfer your Membership Rewards points to one of the issuer’s travel partners.
All you need to do is make it a habit to use your Amex Gold on the right kinds of purchases. For instance, if you go grocery shopping or order food delivery (from a service like Instacart), it’s time to use your Amex Gold. Eating out or ordering in? Make sure to pay with your Amex Gold.
Note that whether you get extra rewards for your purchase depends on the merchant category code of the business you’re purchasing from. For instance, a coffee shop may be coded as a restaurant, so you’ll receive 4 points per dollar on your purchase. At the same time, a different coffee shop might not be coded as a restaurant, so you’ll only get 1 point per dollar. When you start using the card, check how transactions at the places you frequent are coded in your Amex app or online to ensure you’re using the right card every time you spend money.
The Amex Gold also offers 3 points per dollar on flights booked on amextravel.com. If the Amex Gold is your only card that earns travel rewards, this could be an excellent option to use for these purchases.
However, there are travel credit cards that can earn you more and offer more flexibility. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card also earns 3 points per dollar on travel, but Chase’s travel category includes just about any travel purchase, from airfare to lodging to parking lot fees. Not to mention, you get a $300 annual travel credit.
The American Express Gold Card isn’t just a beautiful card that you can get in gold or rose gold. It’s also a premium card that easily justifies its cost by offering outstanding rewards and attractive benefits.
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your new Amex Gold, know which spending you’re going to put on the card and fully take advantage of annual statement credits. Finally, we recommend regularly checking for limited-time offers and promotions to bring your card’s value even higher.