Is the Amex Gold worth the annual fee?

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The American Express® Gold Card gets a lot of attention for its aesthetic, topping our list of the prettiest cards available. It’s also heralded as a foodie’s perfect card for its dining-related bonus-earning categories and statement credits.

At first glance, the Amex Gold’s $250 (see rates and fees) annual fee can feel steep. However, this card comes with some impressive bonus categories, credits and insurance perks that make the fee well worth paying for many.

Here’s what you need to know to determine if this card is worth its weight in gold for you.

Welcome bonus

Currently, the Amex Gold is offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first six months of cardmembership. This bonus is worth $1,200, according to TPG valuations.

THE POINTS GUY

You should also check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for an even higher offer. These offers are subject to change at any time.

This welcome bonus adds a lot to the card’s first-year value since you can get excellent value from your points by transferring them to one of American Express’s travel partners. The welcome bonus won’t be enough to justify keeping the card year after year, but it’s a great kick-start to your Membership Rewards stash.

Related: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

Earning points

Whether you’re dining out or cooking at home, you’ll earn some serious rewards on your food purchases with this card since it earns 4 points per dollar at restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar).

TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each, making this an effective 8% return on dining and supermarket spending.

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AMERICAN EXPRESS

You’ll also earn 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly through the airline or the Amex travel portal. You’ll get a better return on flights through some other cards, but this is a decent bonus if you don’t have another card that earns more.

Related: When you should (and shouldn’t) use your Amex Gold

Statement credits

In addition to its foodie earning structure, this card comes with two different types of valuable credits you can use for ordering in.

First, you’ll get up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you use your Amex Gold to pay at participating dining partners, including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment through the Amex website is required.

UBER

You’ll also get up to $10 in Uber cash monthly, which you can use for Uber Eats or Uber rides in the U.S. Add your Amex Gold as a payment method in the Uber app to receive this benefit. The credit is then deposited into your account as Uber Cash each month. Enrollment is required.

If you can take full advantage of these credits, you’ll get $240 in credits annually. This leaves your effective annual fee for your Amex Gold at just $10 — an incredibly small price to pay for the rewards you’ll rack up with this card.

Related: What to do when you get your Amex Gold

Other benefits

The Amex Gold’s impressive earning structure and statement credits aren’t the only ways to get value from it. This card also has a handful of benefits that can make your travel life easier.

When you use your card to book a stay of two nights or more through Amex’s The Hotel Collection, you’ll get a $100 on-site credit for qualifying activities. The qualifying activities depend on the property but could include perks like spa treatments or dining.

You’ll also be covered if something goes awry in your travels because this card comes with lost baggage insurance*, trip delay insurance** and rental car insurance*** when you use it to pay for your travel expenses.

GRADYREESE/GETTY IMAGES

In addition to these travel benefits, you’ll also get purchase protection and an extended warranty for purchases made with this card. Terms and conditions apply.*

Hopefully, you won’t need to take advantage of any of the protections included with your Amex Gold, but you’ll have valuable peace of mind knowing you’re covered if something goes wrong.

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

**Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

***Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Related: 4 of our favorite under the radar Amex Gold benefits

Bottom line

The Amex Gold’s $250 annual fee more than pays for itself if you can take advantage of all the benefits this card offers. Of course, if you never dine out or travel, you’ll need to calculate what you’ll earn on the Amex Gold to decide if it’s worth adding to your wallet. If your lifestyle includes a decent amount of dining out, ordering in and cooking at home, you’re almost certain to get enough value from this card to easily justify its annual fee.

For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Gold.

Apply here for the American Express® Gold Card with a 60,000-point welcome bonus, though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’ve been selected for an even higher welcome offer.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.



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