Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
The Premier Rewards Gold card is one of the best charge cards offered by American Express. The card offers members lucrative earning opportunities as well as some solid benefits. The Premier Rewards Gold card earns Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to an array of airline and hotel partners, as well as redeemed for merchant gift cards, statement credits and airfare through American Express Travel.
Amex reward points are worth one cent each when redeemed for travel with the Pay with Points feature via Amex Travel or when redeemed for statement credits. However, transferring Membership Rewards points to travel partners presents much better redemption options.
The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points and a few bonus categories that present cardholders with great earning potential on everyday purchases. The Premier Rewards Gold card is a great choice for a frequent traveler who values flexible rewards.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers and the value of the AMEX Membership Rewards® points you earn.
The Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express offers new cardholders a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending 2,000 in the first three months of opening an account. The bonus is worth $250 when redeemed through the Amex travel portal, but there’s the potential to get a lot more value if you convert your American Express points to airline miles.
Additionally, the card comes with an annual $100 airline fee credit that can be used toward airline incidental charges, such as checked bags, taxes on award tickets and in-flight meals and entertainment. To use the credit, cardholders must select one airline and use their card to cover the fees.
Cardholders who stay two consecutive nights at participating Hotel Collection properties receive a credit of $75 per room (up to $225 on three rooms per stay) toward on-site dining, spa and resort activities. There’s no cap on the number of stays per year. If you stay at hotels frequently, this benefit can be rather lucrative.
What You Get
- Earn 25,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Annual $100 airline fee credit
American Express rewards points do not expire as long as the card is open and the account is in good standing. However, if you close the account for any reason, the points will disappear. Cardholders can keep their flexible points by holding at least one active card in the Membership Rewards program, such as the EveryDay Preferred card or the Platinum card. If you don’t have any other cards with Amex or would rather not open any new cards, you can transfer you Membership Rewards points to one of the American Express partner programs.
What is the value of the Membership Rewards® Points?
American Express points transfer to a variety of airline and hotel partners, including Aeromexico Club Premier, Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Alitalia MilleMiglia, All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, El Al Israel Airlines Frequent Flyer Club, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, Iberia Plus, JetBlue True Blue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Virgin America Elevate, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors, Starwood Preferred Guest and Plenti. Most point transfers are 1-to-1, but there are a few exceptions.
It is also possible to redeem Membership Rewards points at a rate of one cent each toward travel on any airline when using the Pay with Points feature on American Express Travel. Flights that are booked with Amex points through the travel portal are eligible to accrue both redeemable and elite qualifying miles.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
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The Best Ways to Redeem Membership Points
The best way to redeem Membership Rewards points is by transferring them to airline partners. Some of the best options include Air Canada for Star Alliance award space, Air France KLM and Delta Air Lines for SkyTeam award space, and British Airways for oneworld award space.
Some programs are zone-based, some are revenue-based and others are distance-based. Each program has its pros and cons, so it’s best to become familiar with these frequent-flyer programs’ award charts and locate their sweet spots. Successful redemptions are all about trying various options, so having multiple transfer options certainly helps.
Austin–New YorkEconomy class
Miles price15,000points+$29 fee
Chicago–Los AngelesEconomy class
Miles price24,700points+$0 fee
Miles price18,600points+$0 fee
Miles price51,500points+$251 fee
Los Angeles–ParisEconomy class
Miles price49,750points+$300 fee
Miles price49,750points+$360 fee
Miles price80,000points+$20 fee
Miles price52,900points+$0 fee
Miles price50,000points+$13 fee
Miles price88,000points+$503 fee
Los Angeles–Tel AvivBusiness class
Miles price104,000points+$395 fee
Miles price88,000points+$654 fee
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays3 partners3 part.
Membership Rewards points transfer to Choice Privilege at a 1 to 1 ratio, to Hilton Honors at a ratio of 1 to 1.5, and to SPG at a ratio of 1,000 to 333, but the options don’t present the best value for Amex points.
Card members can choose to redeem Membership Rewards points as cash back in the form of a credit applied to their monthly bill, but as with gift cards, this won’t present the best value.
Car Rental4 partners4 part.
While you cannot transfer points to car rental loyalty programs, you can use points to book rental cars through Amex’s travel portal.
Gift Cards64 partners64 part.
The Membership Rewards Program partners with 64 merchants, and your points can be redeemed toward merchant gift cards. However, a redemption rate of one cent per point is as high as it gets with some merchants offering an even lower value. Save your points and use them toward something else.
The Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express earns three points per dollar spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines, two points per dollar at restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, and one point for everything else. Card members also can earn double points with Amex Travel and for Uber rides after linking their Amex card with the ridesharing app.
There’s no doubt that the earning potential here definitely outshines some of the similar travel rewards cards on the market. Amex doesn’t set any caps on the points that can be earned with this card, so it gives members a chance to maximize their earnings to the fullest.
Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually24,000points$434in dollar value
- Amex Travel
- Uber Rides
- All Other Purchases
To earn triple Amex points, cardholders must book their airfare directly with airlines. Flights purchased via online travel agencies, such as Orbitz or Expedia, do not qualify for the bonus.
Restaurants, including fast food joints, bars and fine dining establishments, gas stations and supermarkets located in the U.S. all qualify for double points. However, the same establishments located in countries outside of the U.S. are not eligible for double points, so unfortunately globetrotters are out of luck. The same logic applies to Uber rides—only U.S. rides earn 2X points. Additionally, airfare, prepaid hotels rooms, cruises and vacation packages booked through Amex Travel qualify for the point multiplier.
Free Checked Bag
First and second checked bags are free for cardholders
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You will never pay an additional fee to use your card for purchases outside of the U.S.
Airline Fee Credit
Get an annual $100 fee credit that can cover bag fees, in-flight purchases, change fees and more with one airline of your choice.
The Hotel Collection
Get a $75 credit for activities if you book two consecutive nights at participating hotels through Amex Travel.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
The Premier Rewards Gold card charges an annual fee of $195 , which is waived for the first year. Membership Rewards points are valued at about 1.81 cents each. Assuming none of the spending earns a bonus, you’ll have to spend $ 10,774 on the card after the first year to cover the fee. That’s less than $1,000 a month. Earning bonus points makes it easier to break even after the first year. Depending on the worth you assign to your Membership Rewards points, your personal valuations may vary.
The waived annual fee for the first year allows members who are new to the Membership Rewards program to figure out how airline transfers work and what value can be achieved by redeeming American Express points. The annual $100 airline fee credit helps offset the annual fee, and the point multipliers earn this card a slot in your wallet.
- Late Payment Fee:
- Up to $38
- Annual Fee:
- $0 for the first year, then $195
- Foreign Transaction Fee:
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Foreign Transaction Fees-$0
Rewards Earned First Year$987
Foreign Transaction Fees-$0
Rewards Earned Second Year$339
Top 5 Benefits of the Premier Rewards Gold Card From American Express
The Premier Rewards Gold card is one of the most rewarding travel cards on the market. Here are the card’s top five benefits:
- Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points for airfare booked directly with airlines, dining out, fuel and snacks at gas stations, groceries at supermarkets and Uber rides — and there’s no cap on the number of points you can earn. Points will add up quickly, and so will your trips!
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: The airline fee credit can be used toward checked bags, seat upgrades, taxes on award flights and onboard meals and entertainment. It’s even possible to buy gift cards from some airlines for later use. The credit applies automatically whenever an eligible charge is made.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Although not the biggest sign-up bonus we’ve seen for an Amex card, 25,000 Membership Rewards points are enough to book a round-trip domestic flight. If travel is not in your plans at the moment, the points are worth at least $250 in statement credits.
- The Hotel Collection: Cardholders earn 2X Membership Rewards points on stays at Hotel Collection properties booked via American Express Travel. Book two or more consecutive nights and receive a $75 credit per room that can be spent on dining, spa and resort activities. You can also get free room upgrades, based on availability at check-in.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: Foreign transaction fees apply to purchases made outside of the United States. Foreign transaction fees can be as high as three percent per transaction, and carrying a card that waives those can save international travelers quite a bit of cash.
Should You Get the Premier Rewards Gold Card From American Express?
If you’re in the market for a travel rewards cards with fantastic earning potential, the Premier Rewards Gold card is it. In fact, no other Membership Rewards card offers such significant reward rates. Additionally, you can earn 25,000 points for spending $2,000 in the first three months.
The points can be transferred to partners or used as cash through the Amex travel center, which offers a choice for purchasing a ticket with points when award seats aren’t available. Flexibility in both earning and redeeming is one of the strongest features of this card.
The Premier Rewards Gold card is a great option for both entry-level and intermediate travelers who dabble in travel hacking. The card will earn lots of rewards for someone who buys airfare, shops at grocery stores, likes to go out to eat from time to time and pays off their bills every month.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Both cards are part of the Membership Rewards program and earn the same flexible currency. You might have noticed a significant difference in the annual fees: $195 for the Premier Rewards Gold card vs. $550 for the Platinum card. The difference, of course, is in the sign-up bonus, but more importantly in the benefits.
The Platinum card offers a higher airline credit of $200 , another $200 in Uber credits, lounge access, Global Entry Enrollment reimbursement and more. The Platinum card is a premium rewards card designed for a frequent traveler who prefers luxury travel. The Premier Rewards Gold card makes for a better option for someone who values rewards but perhaps not high-end benefits or luxury.
- The nice thing about the Premier Rewards Gold card is that it charges no additional fees for authorized users. Primary cardholder can add up to five authorized users to the account absolutely free. Additional cards after five are $35 each. Adding a spouse or a close relative to the account will increase your rewards accumulation for no extra cost. Of course, make sure you trust all the authorized users not to rack up charges without telling you.
- The Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express is a charge card. That means that all charges have to be paid off in full every month, which is both a pro and a con of the card. Not having a set credit limit with a charge card offers flexibility for your spending. Eligible charge card members could be invited to enroll in the Pay Over Time option too, which allows them to carry balance on purchases that are $100 or more, just like a regular credit card. Interest rates are calculated based on creditworthiness, but we do not recommend carrying a balance because doing so can quickly erase all rewards you earn.
American Express presents consumers with many options when it comes to rewards cards. For example, the Green card, the EveryDay Preferred card and the Gold card all earn Membership Rewards. Let's take a look at their differences.
Other Membership Rewards cards
|American Express® Green Card||Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card||American Express® Gold Card|
|0 points||25,000 points||15,000 points||0 points|
|$0 first year, then $95||$0 for the first year, then $195||$95||$0 first year $160 after that|
APR On Purchases
|13.99% to 23.99% Variable±|
Second Year Value
The Green card sometimes offers a sign-up bonus as high as 25,000 points, though it typically doesn’t come with any bonus. It has the fewest bonus categories for purchases of any of these cards and сharges an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year). The poor rewards rate and a high fee make this card a dud, even if you can get the promotional sign-up bonus.
Amex EveryDay Preferred also charges an annual fee of $95, but it offers a few bonus-earning opportunities. The card earns 3X points at supermarkets and 2X at gas stations. Additionally, making at least 30 transactions in a billing period earns a 50 percent multiplier on all points accumulated that month. The EveryDay Preferred card is a solid choice for someone who grocery shops frequently and commutes to work by car.
The Amex Gold card is fairly similar to the Premier Rewards Gold card, yet offers fewer bonus categories and no sign-up bonus. For an extra $30 per year, the Premier Rewards Gold Card and its great earning potential make for a much better option between the two.
Compare Premier Rewards Gold Card to Other Cards
The Premier Rewards Gold credit card is a great rewards card for someone spending a lot in certain categories, but there are other options as well. All the cards below earn travel rewards and offer alternative redemption opportunities.
The Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card is a hotel rewards credit card. Starpoints earned with this card can be redeemed toward hotel rooms at Starwood and Marriott properties, as well as for flights when transferred to about 30 airline partners. The SPG card earns the most flexible currency on the market and is perfect for someone who’s looking for a lot of redemption options.
The Citi ThankYou Premier card is part of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program. ThankYou points can be transferred to airline partners or redeemed for air travel through the ThankYou travel center. The rewards structure is pretty similar to Membership Rewards, but the transfer partners are different. It is a great card for someone looking to diversify their rewards portfolio.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard earns fixed rewards. Every dollar spent on the credit card equals two points, which can be redeemed toward any travel purchase at a rate of one cent each. It’s a rather simple proposition. Additionally, every redemption you make earns a five percent point rebate toward a future redemption. This card is great for purchasing travel that cannot be covered with points in other programs, such as train tickets, ferry tickets and even amusement park tickets.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Excellent credit score
Pay with pointsYes
Loyalty ProgramMembership Rewards®
Flights TypeDomestic and International
AllianceStar Alliance, SkyTeam, OneWorld
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with the Amex card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Minimum Grace Period:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- The length of your warranty can be matched for up to one additional year when you use your American Express card for purchases that come with an original U.S. manufacturer's warranty of five years or less. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.
- Purchase Protection:
- Protects eligible purchases if they are accidentally damaged, stolen or lost. Covers up to 90 days and $10,000 per occurrence, for a total of $50,000 per calendar year.
- Return Protection:
- If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days and the merchant won't take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price of up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Cash Advance Fee:
- See Terms and Conditions
Security and Protections
American Express provides its members with all the security features a cardholder would expect. The Amex Gold card comes with a variety of features, such as account alerts, banking on the go, chip technology and access to FICO scores, that help protect customers against fraudulent transactions and identity theft.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal and when your bill’s due.
- Banking On The Go:
- Track your account with the mobile app.
- Emi Chip Technology
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Reports
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history.
American Express cards are compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication) payment options, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. More and more stores, both physical locations and online, let customers pay via mobile wallet apps, which are quick and simple to use. Simply tap and go.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Being an American Express cardholder always means extra travel benefits. Below are some perks of holding the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card that can save you in a pinch.
American Express Travel Benefits
- Car Rental Loss And Damage Insurance:
- The benefit provides secondary coverage of rental vehicles and offers a collision damage and theft waiver when the cardholder uses the card to pay for the rental and declines the waiver offered by the rental company. Coverage kicks in after your primary insurance has exhausted its allowance. The plan covers the cost to fix or replace the car, pays $5,000 of medical expenses per person and up to $200,000 for loss of life.
- Baggage Insurance Plan:
- Card members receive secondary coverage for their checked and carry-on luggage. It’s possible to get a reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger for a lost bag when the entire fare is purchased with the Premier Rewards Gold card or Membership Rewards points.
- Roadside Assistance:
- Premium roadside assistance covers cardholders up to four times per year when they're in their car and need towing (up to 10 miles), winching, lockout service, a battery jump, a flat tire changed or fuel delivery (up to 2 gallons). Coverage is available in the United States, District of Columbia, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- The benefit covers unexpected events, bodily injuries and loss of life when using a common carrier to travel. To be covered, card members must purchase the entire fare with their Premier Rewards Gold card or Membership Rewards points. The plan pays up to $250,000 for loss of one hand, one foot or sight in one eye, and up to $500,000 for loss of both hands, feet, eyes or life.