To help you decide that, I've done a detailed review of the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card, which in my opinion, is a good choice of card in the U.S. for frequent flyers, and I will tell you if I think this card is better than the Gold Card for $35 more in annual fee.
Things We Like About This Card
Earn 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 incidental fees with your selected airline. Incidental fees include 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 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. If you prefer to redeem for airfare, you can use Pay with Points at American Express Travel.
With The Hotel Collection you receive up to a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges and room upgrade at check-in(when available) when you book a stay of a minimum of two consecutive nights for new bookings made with participating providers. You get $1 worth of hotel credit for each eligible dollar spent on purchases from the hotel (and charged to this card), up to a maximum of $75 hotel credit. This credit can be used towards any extra hotel charges, excluding taxes, gratuities, fees and the cost of your room.
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.
Return Protection. Got a change of mind with your purchase, and 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.
Baggage Insurance Plan covering carry-on and checked baggage when traveling 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 This Card
$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.
If you prefer a more exclusive card that also rewards you when you make purchases, the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is one of my favorites. This is one of the cards that offers more than 1 point per dollar. In our opinion, this is a better rewards card than the American Express Gold Card even though you have to pay $35 more in annual fees ($0 intro annual fee for the first year, $195 after that).
Here's an example why: Let's say you spend at least $30,000 in a calendar year on the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card, with 50% of the amount spent on gas and groceries (2 points for every $1), and the rest on 'everyday' purchases (1 point for every $1). That would earn you a total of 45,000 points (you'll get even more points if you use your card to pay for air tickets booked directly with airlines). Add to that the 25,000 bonus points you can earn after spending $2,000 during the first three months, and you have 70,000 points, which are more than enough to redeem for an Economy Class round-trip air ticket to Europe on SWISS airline. That means you could get a round-trip air ticket from the U.S. to Europe! 75,000 points could also be redeemed for other air tickets, or up to $750 in gift cards, or other merchandise.
If we use the same example of spending on the Gold Card, you would only get a total of 30,000 points, which is insufficient to redeem for a round-trip air ticket from the U.S. to Europe, although you could use it to redeem for domestic air tickets or other types of rewards. Terms and restrictions apply.
So for the same amount of spending, the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is a much better rewards card to get for a mere $35 more. Since this is a charge card from American Express, it won't let you get into debt as the balance must be paid in full by the due date every month. Apply online now and you will get a response within minutes.