Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express has the look you would expect from an exclusive American Express charge card. But although at first glance it may look like a cut-down version of The Platinum Card® from American Express, the truth is that this is a completely different kind of credit card in many ways.
While it does offer a number of exclusive travel and lifestyle benefits, the real power of this card lies in its rewards earning potential. If you are wondering how this card compares to other premium rewards credit cards out there, and whether it is worth the annual fee, then read on.
In this review, we list the pros and cons of Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and compare it to similar cards so that you can get a clear picture of what this card really offers.
Things We Like About Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
You receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. This can be achieved if you spend around $680 a month. 25,000 points can be redeemed for up to $250 in gift cards.
No interest. Since this is a charge card, you need to pay in full every month, thus there is no need to pay any interest.
Get $100 Airline Fee Credit. You can get up to $100 a year for baggage fees and more with your selected airline. This also includes extras like airport lounge day-passes, checked bags, in-flight refreshments, flight-change fees and more. You cannot use this credit towards the actual cost of your ticket.
Earn 3 Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines when you pay with your card. Make sure to book directly with passenger airlines in order to earn these 3 points per dollar. Earn 2 Membership Rewards® points on every $1 spent at US restaurants, US gas stations and US supermarkets. Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every $1 when making other eligible purchases. With the American Express Gold Card, you only earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
Redeem your points for a wide variety of rewards with the Membership Rewards® program from over 500 leading brands ranging from gift cards, merchandise to entertainment and travel. You can even transfer your points to a selection of frequent traveler programs, mostly at a 1:1 conversion rate.
You can also redeem points for Plenti® points, which are used by a number of major retailers (Macy's, Mobil, Nationwide, Rite Aid, AT&T, Exxon). If you prefer to redeem for airfare, you can use Pay with Points at American Express Travel. The Membership Rewards® program also lets you redeem points towards the cost of purchases you make with your Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and even use points to pay right at the cash register at some partner merchants (McDonalds for one) or checkout (Amazon.com, Uber, Airbnb and more).
Get a $75 hotel credit plus a room upgrade. If available with The Hotel Collection (americanexpress.com/hc) you can get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges as well as a room upgrade upon your arrival. Terms apply.
You won't accumulate debt or have to pay high interest rates and fees because since this is a charge card, you will have to pay off the balance in full each month.
Purchase Protection. This plan may protect you against accidental damage or the theft of eligible purchases.
Extended warranty. American Express may extend the original U.S. warranty of the items you purchase that have 5 years or less of warranty by up to one year.
No foreign transaction fees. This card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $195. So you can enjoy your first year of Card Membership without paying for it.
Return Protection. Change your mind about your purchase but can't return it because it was a final sale or the store is giving you a hard time? No worries! If you try to return an eligible item purchased in the U.S. within 90 days from the date of purchase and the store won't take it back, the purchase price may be refunded by American Express, up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling, up to $1,000 annually per card account.
It has a Baggage Insurance Plan which covers carry-on and checked baggage when you travel by plane, train, ship or bus and reimbursing you for qualifying claims of lost, stolen, or damaged baggage.
Terms and limitations apply.
Our Least Favorite Things About Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
$195 annual fee after the first year. This annual fee might work well for card members who spend at least $30k in a calendar year and who fly frequently since you get more points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines compared to the American Express® Gold Card.
If you have a low credit score you might not qualify for this charge card. Since this is a charge card whereby the balance must be paid in full each month, only people with an excellent credit score will be eligible to get this card.
How Other Cards Compare With Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is another premium rewards card. To start off you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in you first 3 months from the time your account is opened ($625 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®). That's a much higher bonus than Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers, but also requires higher spending. You earn 5,000 bonus points after adding the first authorized user to your card account, and making 1 or more purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. You earn 2X points per $1 on travel and dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 of other purchases charged to this card. By comparison, using Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express you earn 3X points per $1 for flights you book directly with airlines, 2X points per $1 at US gas stations, US restaurants and US supermarkets, and 1X point per $1 on other purchases (terms and limitations apply). In our opinion, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express will be more rewarding for average spenders because it rewards you for purchases you make everyday, as well as some travel spending. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you 1:1 transfer points to leading frequent travel programs at full value (1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points), but Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express cardholders enjoy a similar transfer benefit for their Membership Rewards® Points. The partner frequent travel programs are different for both cards, and if you expect to transfer points in the future, you should make sure your frequent travel programs are partners. You can find out more about this here. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card scores with a number of useful benefits, including primary auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay reimbursement, and travel accident insurance. Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, for its part, impresses with the airline and hotel credits it gives you, although the travel insurance coverage doesn't quite match what you get with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. If you travel a lot, then this card can be very rewarding. However, if things like gas and groceries make up a large part of your budget, and you prefer booking your flights directly with airlines, then Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express will probably be more rewarding. However, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a lower annual fee (introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95) compared to Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195).
The Platinum Card® from American Express stands, as its name implies, a good head taller than Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Unlike Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, which is primarily a rewards card with some useful travel benefits, this charge card is all about lifestyle. If you travel a lot, you will probably love perks like the $200 airline fee credit every year (towards baggage fees and more at 1 airline you choose), a statement credit every 5 years towards your successful application for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓® ($85), Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status, Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, complimentary membership in premium car rental programs, complimentary access to over 850 airport lounges (The Centurion® lounge network, complimentary Priority Pass™ Select when you enroll, Delta Sky Club®, Airspace Lounges) and complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi access from Boingo when you enroll in the American Express Preferred Plan. Earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. You also get some of the most comprehensive travel insurance available through a US payment card, including travel accident insurance, a baggage insurance plan and Premium Roadside Assistance at no extra cost up to 4 times per calendar year (towing up to 10 miles, winching, jump starts, flat tire change when you have a workable spare, lockout service when key is in vehicle, delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel). Besides these travel perks, you also get access to the Platinum Card® Concierge service, specially curated By Invitation Only® experiences and events, preferred seating at many sporting and cultural events, and preferred access to many popular restaurants. You also get special privileges and discounts on cruises, and benefits at hotels (more about that here). If you take full advantage of the lifestyle benefits, then this card is definitely worth the $450 annual fee. However, if your main goal is earning rewards, you may actually come off better with Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express because it lets you earn bonus rewards on more of your spending.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express lets you earn rewards for purchases which you probably already make, and at a fast rate. It also gives you useful travel benefits.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is both a powerful rewards card and a useful travel card. It is a fantastic card to use if you want to earn rewards on everyday expenses like gas, groceries and restaurant dining. At the same time, it reserves its highest points-earning rate for flights booked directly with airlines. Because Membership Rewards® Points can be transferred to a number of partner frequent travel programs at a 1:1 transfer rate, you may actually get a better deal using this card to earn points, and then transferring them to your frequent travel program compared to using the airline or hotel credit card (most of those don't have high earning rates). The fact that you can redeem your points directly towards covering the cost of purchases charged to the card makes it almost as flexible as a cash back credit card.
But it isn't only the solid Membership Rewards® program that makes this card a winner. The complimentary travel insurance, annual airline fee credit of up to $100 for incidental fees with 1 airline, and the $75 hotel credit towards incidental fees when you stay 2 nights or more at participating properties with American Express Travel can add up to save you a lot more than what you spend on the annual fee.
If you want just one card which rewards you and lets you enjoy nice travel perks, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a good choice.
Katrina Gutierrez is a writer at GET.com. Email: email@example.com.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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nice review reading after I just spoke with AMEX about getting out of PR Gold in lieu of no annual fee card. Was just told that the bonus after spending 30k will be no longer associated with the card come jan 1! This is what sold me in the first place! Doesn't appear to be such a good deal anymore.
October 21 2014 at 17:53