American Express Gold Card In 2017, the Platinum Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) got some enticing upgrades, which we wrote about in detail. Now, it’s the American Express Gold Card’s turn for a makeover. Starting today, both new and existing cardholders will begin earning 4X points at U.S. restaurants as well as 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000/year in purchases), plus they can take advantage of a host of travel benefits and more. To learn more about what these added perks entail, which of the American Express Gold Card’s existing perks will stick around and whether all of this makes the card stand up to others like it, keep reading.

What does the American Express Gold Card offer?

Perks for foodies galore

This card has carried a reputation as a solid mid-tier travel rewards card for quite some time, but these new features are aimed directly at the hearts of foodies. To start, the American Express Gold Card now earns uncapped 4X points at U.S. restaurants and 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000/year in supermarket purchases). Plus, cardholders are given a $120 dining credit, up to $10 per month, when they use their card to pay when ordering in or dining out at participating partners, including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack. These benefits apply to current and new cardholders. If you’re still on the fence about this card, don’t wait too long. Those who apply by Jan. 9, 2019 will be able to choose between the standard gold card design and a limited-edition rose gold version of the card, as well as earn 20% back at restaurants as a statement credit within the first 3 months (up to $100 back). That bonus is on top of the 25,000-point intro bonus offered to new cardholders who spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within their first 3 months. This card earns Membership Rewards points, which American Express allows customers to exchange for travel, entertainment, dining or merchandise.

Plenty of travel and shopping benefits

Many of the long-loved perks and benefits of the American Express Gold Card aren’t going away, so travel junkies can breathe a sigh of relief. The card still earns 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines and 1X points on other purchases (on top of the 4X-point opportunities noted above). While the extra earnings on gas are going away, plenty of other travel-related perks remain. These include a $100 airline fee credit to cover the cost of incidental fees (e.g., checking baggage) at one airline every year, a plethora of bonuses when you book a stay with The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel for at least 2 nights like a $75 hotel credit to spend on eligible dining, spa and resort activities and room upgrades upon arrival (when available). The card also has no foreign transaction fees, a must for any overseas traveler. Benefits like a 24/7 Global Assist hotline, premium roadside assistance, baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance will ensure you travel with confidence when your card is in your wallet. Other benefits of being a cardholder include purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty and much more.

Some considerations to make before you apply

First, we should note that the American Express Gold Card is not a traditional credit card; it is a charge card, which typically does not allow cardholders to carry a balance from month to month and instead requires full payment every month. That said, this card does offer cardholders “payment flexibility,” allowing eligible purchases over $100 to be carried as a balance with interest (like a traditional credit card). Probably the biggest consideration for would-be applicants, as well as long-term cardholders, to think about is the annual fee. It’s a hefty $250, up from the card’s previous $195 annual fee. That can be a tough pill to swallow for many people, so it’s important to take some time to decide whether or not the American Express Gold Card’s features and benefits outweigh the cost.

American Express Gold CardIf you just can’t get over the annual fee, a comparable option without no annual fee is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, which earns cardholders an uncapped 3 points per $1 spent on dining out, travel, gas and popular streaming services (e.g., Hulu, Netflix, Spotify and Pandora). The travel category is fairly broad with this card, including the standards like airlines and hotels as well as some more unusual travel-related purchases like rideshares, transit, tolls, parking meters and parking garages. Plus, the 30,000-point intro bonus is worth a whopping $300 in cash back and can be attained by spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Other benefits that make this card worth your while include no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, mobile phone protection (up to $600 per claim, 2 claims per year against covered theft or damage when you pay your bill with your card) and a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with an introductory 3% balance transfer fee for 12 months, then it’s 5%).

The bottom line

Ultimately, these new upgrades take the American Express Gold Card to another level. It’s hard to beat 4X points on dining and supermarkets alongside 3X points on travel, and all of the extra perks and credits don’t hurt either. Between the standard and limited-time intro bonus, all of the credits offered to cardholders and the earning potential, we think the $250 annual fee could be worth it to those who are dedicated travel and food connoisseurs. Don’t agree? Check out our extended rewards card reviews to find the perfect pick to fit your lifestyle.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.