Not All Amex “Gold” Cards Are Equal — Here’s What You Need To Know

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With the recent introduction of the American Express® Gold Card (which was formerly known as the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card), I’ve received quite a few questions about whether authorized users on The Platinum Card® from American Express receive this improved earning rate as well.

Let me explain where this confusion/question comes from, and of course answer the question.

The Amex Platinum Card has great benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express has lots of great perks that more than justify the $550 annual fee for me. Among other things, the card offers:

I primarily like The Platinum Card® from American Express for the Amex Centurion Lounge access, Delta SkyClub access, and 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines.


Access Amex Centurion Lounges with the Amex Platinum Card

The way I view it, the $200 annual airline fee credit, $200 annual Uber credit, and $100 annual Saks credit help greatly offset the annual fee, making my real cost for lounge access next to nothing.

The two authorized user options on the Amex Platinum Card

This is where the confusion starts. If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express you have two options for adding authorized users.

The first option is to add up to three Platinum authorized users for a total of $175. I consider this to be an exceptional value, since the authorized users get Amex Centurion Lounge access, Delta SkyClub access, a Priority Pass membership, and more. Getting the most comprehensive lounge access perk offered by any credit card for under $60 per person per year is an excellent value, in my opinion.

But there’s another option that American Express added not too long ago. You can now add up to 99 authorized users on the Platinum Card, though the authorized users will get a Gold Card rather than the Platinum Card.

This is a great low cost option if you’re looking to add authorized users who can spend on your account without actually having them get the benefits.

What rewards do authorized user Gold Cards get?

So this gets at the question I’ve been asked several times, which is along the lines of:

“Could I just add Gold Card authorized users on the Platinum Card, and they’d start earning the amazing 4x points at U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets that the new Amex Gold Card offers?”

Unfortunately not.

If you get a Gold Card from being an authorized user on The Platinum Card® from American Express, you earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines and through amextravel.com, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. The return on spend exactly matches that of the Platinum Card.

You’d have to directly have the American Express® Gold Card, or be an authorized user on the Amex Gold Card, to earn 4x points on U.S. dining and 4x points on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 of spend per calendar year).

So even though both cards have the title of “Gold Card,” the benefits are different based on how you get the card.

Bottom line

If you apply for the American Express® Gold Card you earn the incredible return of up to 4x points. You can add authorized users, and they’d earn the same return on spend.

However, if you add Gold Card authorized users to The Platinum Card® from American Express, those cardmembers would still earn points based on the Platinum Card rewards structure, and not based on the Gold Card rewards structure.

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Comments

  1. So in a previous post you said you had 3 million Marriott points 1) how didn’t you get them all 2) it would be interesting if you did a post of how many points you have 3) mabay you could also do a post of how many points you bring in a typical year

  2. Lucky,

    “you earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines and through amextravel.com, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. The return on spend exactly matches that of the Platinum Card.”

    This is not always the case. I purchased Azerbaijan Airlines tickets on Expedia and Priceline with my personal Platinum Amex, both coded as airfare purchases and earned 5x.

  3. Let me rewrite this entire article for you:

    “Could I just add Gold Card authorized users on the Platinum Card, and they’d start earning the amazing 4x points at U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets that the new Amex Gold Card offers?”
    Unfortunately not.
    —-

    And that’s it, there’s absolutely no other information here!

  4. Gold cards from the AMEX Platinum should each get their own Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, do they not?

  5. Unless this changed, I was reimbursed for Global Entry on the gold card authorized users from my platinum card a year or two back.

  6. Both Platinum and Gold AUs get their own GE/TSA 100$ credit.
    Personal experience on my platinum’s Gold AU already having the fees credited within 3 days.

  7. @lucky
    https://www.doctorofcredit.com/everything-wanted-know-authorized-user-cards-american-express-platinum/

    I’ve given the free card to my dad this year can confirm you get global entry credit and 5x on flights with booking with an airline.

    Did this change recently?

    per the link

    Gold Authorized Users
    Gold authorized users don’t get the same benefits. They do get the following though:

    Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ (yes, each individual authorized user [up to 99 total] get their own credit. Yes, I’ve confirmed this)
    Card earns at same rates as primary cardholder:
    5x points per $1 spent on purchases made with airlines or with American Express Travel
    5x points per $1 spent on hotel bookings made directly from the American Express travel website
    1x points on all other purchases

  8. Sooooo… Thanks, I understand this…

    But logically, it sounds like an authorized user added to a Platinum card should get a Platinum card and not a Gold card… Might be a little less confusion.

  9. @ MikeL — The paid authorized users do get Platinum cards ($175 for up to three). But you also have the option to add 99 free authorized users — the latter just get the faux-Gold cards.

  10. Lucky

    You can also add that Amex Gold customers that have the “Senior Gold Card” whichc has a reduced yearly fee do not get the new 4x benefits.

  11. Lucky, authorized user cards (Platinum and Gold) both get their own GE credit. Check the terms again (you need to attempt to add additional members to your Platinum card to see the terms) and you’ll see this explicitly written.

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