Exciting Updates To Most-Overlooked Travel Card!

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Cards
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Rewards cards have been put to the test during the pandemic, given how much consumer behavior has changed. In this post I wanted to focus on a card that has not only maintained its value, but that I’d argue has actually become even more lucrative.

Amex Gold Card: more valuable than ever before

The American Express® Gold Card offers an excellent welcome bonus for new cardmembers, has bonus categories that will prove valuable to all kinds of consumers, and has benefits that could in and of themselves outweigh the annual fee.

This card has just undergone a significant change for the better — the Amex Gold Card now offers a $120 Uber Cash on Gold benefit. In the process the Amex Gold Card is eliminating the $100 annual airline fee credit. Not only is the Uber Cash benefit potentially worth more, it’s also easier to use, so I’d consider this to be a very nice improvement to the card.

Let me share what makes the $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees) Amex Gold Card so worthwhile, and why you should seriously consider it.

Earn a welcome bonus of 60K points

The Amex Gold Card offers a phenomenal bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 within six months. That’s a reasonable spending requirement to earn the bonus, especially when you consider that you have six months to do so.

Personally I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents, so those points are worth over $1,000 to me. How do I come up with that valuation? Amex has over 20 airline and hotel transfer partners, where you can get outsized value for travel redemptions, whether you’re looking to travel soon or down the road.

Personally I prefer redeeming Amex points for flights — from short haul domestic travel within the US, to business class to Tahiti, to first class to Dubai, there are so many options.

Earn 4x points at restaurants & supermarkets

Credit card bonus categories have improved significantly in recent years. It used to be that some cards offered 2x points in select categories, but cards have only gotten better from there.

The Amex Gold Card offers bonuses on purchases that are popular with anyone who likes to eat (and who doesn’t like to eat?). The Amex Gold Card offers:

  • 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants, which includes takeout and delivery (like Uber Eats)
  • 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year

This is absolutely incredible, and eclipses most other cards out there. Based on my valuation of points, I value the return of 4x points at ~6.8%. While bonuses on purchases like travel and gyms have become less popular during these times, we all still have to eat, whether that’s going to a restaurant for (hopefully) outdoor dining, or shopping at a supermarket.

I can’t overstate how generous and well-rounded those bonus categories are. Earning that many points for dining and supermarket purchases is unrivaled. Otherwise if you wanted to maximize points with both restaurants and supermarkets you might have to get two cards, while here you get both bonus categories with just one card.

New: $120 Uber Cash on Gold benefit

New as of early 2021, the Amex Gold Card is offering up to $120 in Uber Cash annually. How does this work?

  • You receive $10 in Uber Cash each calendar month directly to your Uber account
  • This can be used towards US Uber rides or US Uber Eats orders, and you can use it across one or multiple transactions
  • To take advantage of this, you’ll have to add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account, and then you can easily apply the credit through the app each month

New: 12 months of Uber Eats Pass

The Amex Gold Card has a new limited time offer that can get you a complimentary Uber Eats Pass (Uber Eats Pass terms apply):

  • Offer valid through 12/31/2021 on U.S. subscription
  • Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at then-current monthly rate
  • This is valid for up to 12 months
  • With an Uber Eats Pass, get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders over $15 at eligible restaurants; taxes and service fees apply, and don’t count toward minimum order
  • This is a value of up to $119 per year (based on the typical $9.99 monthly cost)
  • You must enroll by December 31, 2021

Personally I recently made the switch from Postmates to Uber Eats, and have a strong preference for Uber Eats now. I find the interface to be much easier to use, and have found deliveries to be consistently fast.

What’s cool here is that you can stack the savings from the monthly Uber benefit with the Uber Eats Pass to save even more.

$120 Dining Credit

The Amex Gold Card offers a $120 annual benefit towards dining. How does this work

  • You receive up to $10 in statement credits each calendar month
  • This benefit is valid for purchases made with the Gold Card in the US with Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations

New: Amex Gold Card gets new rose gold option

Back when the refreshed Amex Gold Card was first introduced, there was a brief period where you could get the Gold Card in rose gold. Admittedly this doesn’t change the value proposition of the card, but I also know that this is something that made a lot of people very excited.

It used to be that metal cards stood out, though nowadays there are quite a few of those. I do have to say that a rose gold card most definitely does stand out.

You can now choose a rose gold Amex Gold Card once again — it has the same great benefits, it just looks different.

Crunching the numbers on the Amex Gold Card

It goes without saying that there’s no “one size fits all” card strategy out there. However, among premium rewards cards, I think the Amex Gold Card is as close to that as it gets. Everyone has to eat, and the Amex Gold Card rewards that generously, whether you like to dine at restaurants, shop at supermarkets, or both.

Amex Membership Rewards points are extremely valuable, and earning 4x points on restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year) is a return that’s not offered by any other card.

Admittedly the card does have a $250 annual fee, which might be a deterrent to some. However, that fee is almost entirely offset by the $240 in annual benefits you can get, between the $10 monthly dining benefit and the $10 monthly Uber Cash benefit:

  • The monthly Uber Cash benefit is useful whether you’re booking a rideshare or ordering food via Uber Eats (where you even get a complimentary year of Uber Eats Pass)
  • The $10 dining benefit can be used in a variety of ways; personally I think it’s easiest to max out with Grubhub, but there are so many other ways to take advantage of that, from participating Shake Shack locations to Seamless

Personally this is a card where I think the perks more or less offset the annual fee, and then the 4x points in two popular categories is the icing on the cake. For anyone who spends a decent amount on food, this really supercharges your points earning potential.

Bottom line

The Amex Gold Card is an incredibly well-rounded card for those who spend a fair amount on food, whether at restaurants or supermarkets. There’s not a single other card offering such a generous return in both of those categories.

On top of that the card offers up to $120 in annual Uber Cash, up to $120 in annual dining credits, and a complimentary 12 month Uber Eats Pass, which is worth up to $119. Add in the great welcome bonus, and there’s simply no reason not to add this card to your wallet.

If you want to learn more about the Amex Gold Card or apply, follow this link.

Apply Now

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees).

  1. @Lucky can those who already have a rose gold card request a replacement rose gold card? From cleaning it off during the pandemic my card has damage, but I’ve been unwilling to replace it with a regular gold.

  2. Typical cc shill article. 12x 10 bucks for Uber is completely useless to the bulk of people. At least the $100 airline credit could be withdrawn in one amount. This card carriers a $250 AF, it’s junk!

  3. For those of us who already have the card, can you confirm that we’ll still be able to use our $100 airline credit this year?

  4. Given the competition out here and Amex’s continued commitment to erecting barriers to utilizing card benefits it’s no wonder this card is overlooked…..

    If Amex wants to rely on breakage they can also rely on me taking my business elsewhere.

  5. @Stefan Agree….this card is over-hyped by the bloggers. The under-hyped Amex Everyday Preferred is better, IMO. 4.5X at supermarkets and 1.5X everywhere else for only $95 AF (assuming you make 30 transactions per month). For dining, use another card like Citi Prestige or a Chase card.

  6. Stefan – agreed. I see Uber credits as a zero-sum game. I wouldn’t have spent $30 having a single sandwich delivered, but now it’s $20 after tip… so it’s still a terribly-expensive sandwich.

    The AF was my reason not to renew this card anyways. Amex wants to minimize benefits while enjoying the optics of a lucrative card. I bailed on gold and plat… I still have green, but as soon as I use or transfer my MRs, I’m probably out.

  7. While I applaud Amex’s efforts, keeping track of the monthly benefits has become exhausting. The one advantage here is you can stack the Uber Eats benefit with other Gold cards or a Plat. For example my wife and I each have a Gold and I also have a Plat. Each are linked to my Uber account and we received $35 in Uber Cash this month that can be used for a single order. That makes it a bit easier to manage.

  8. I think it’s overlooked mainly by you. It has been the most important card for those that want to earn Membership Rewards for a couple of years now

  9. I don’t really get all the hate… You get $110 Uber credits, $120 Grubhub credits, $100 airline fee credit, an Uber Eats Pass, and 4X back on dining and groceries for a $250 fee… Seems like a no brainer. Maybe I just use UberEats and Grubhub more than most, but it’s the perfect dining card. Also, to reduce fees, you can just pick up Grubhub and UberEats.

  10. we all know for a fact those $240 credit isn’t worth $240 cash. Costco often sell Uber credit at 20% off, and the dining credit is super restrictive (Cheesecake Factory for 12 months?). The fact you don’t account for those in your analysis and simply said “that fee is almost entirely offset by the $240 in annual benefits you can get” is very mis-leading and while I understand the blog needs to make money, this really undermines the trust of readers in your recommendations in the long run. I like your articles and hope your business to be successful. However, being transparent and honest should be the way to go.

  11. It may be worth noting for those who also have the Platinum card that the Uber credit from both cards are pooled in your Uber account, yielding $25/month. Arguably, the combined credit carries greater impact and is a little easier to use.

  12. @Anthony I think it was clearly worth it in 2021, especially if you can maximize that $100 airline credit. Moving forward, I’m not sure the monthly Uber/GrubHub credits are worth it. They’re a pain to track, overvalued and I’d prefer not to order takeout consistently. I can get 3x dining and groceries on any number of other cards, and would have to spend 10k or more in those categories to offset the Gold’s AF. For those holding only a couple of cards that utilize the benefits, it’s a great card. For others, it may be more trouble than it’s worth.

  13. @Mango Man – you only get 3X on the first 6K in grocery spend with Everyday Preferred. I am a single male and I can break that every year, so anyone with a family is better off with the gold card to get it on the first 25K. Of course, neither does you any good if you shop at Costco, WalMart or Sam’s Club so larger families should look at the dedicated cards for those stores.

    @sherman, You can’t find a place to spend $10 on Grubhub or Seamless once a month? I don’t ever even use the delivery service, I just use it to stack deals within the app for pickup that I would have bought anyway. As long as these companies (UberEats/Postmates, GrubHub/Seamless, Doordash/Caviar) are blowing through VC cash to gain market share you can basically get carryout anywhere for free with some combination of Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, Amex Hilton/Marriott cards and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  14. @AlanD

    YMMV but I’ve had to replace both my wife and my cards which are rose gold over the past year or so and Amex sent me the replacement in rose gold for both even though it was well after the signup time for the rose gold had ended.

  15. The new changes will most likely make the card worthless. As I am based in midwest, I don’t have a choice but to own a car. When we travel, we rent. So the $120 Uber credit is worthless. We don’t get food delivered either and don’t eat at those places. Will be downgrading this year. I’ll have to find an alternative for supermarket and dining points.

  16. I don’t get the hate for this card. I have the rose gold from signing up last time they offered it.

    In 2020 I used the monthly dining credit to order from Boxed (like Costco that delivers to your house), hit the airline fee credit reimbursement (unhappy this is going away in 2022 forcing me to consider making a change after this year), and picked up a couple other AmEx deals during the year. In total I netted $290 in credits for a $250 fee, this doesn’t count the almost 100k points I racked up, even during a year with very little restaurant dining. I calculated that I had a net return on the card of 4.3% which I’m happy with. I expect to do better than this in 2021 with the addition of the Uber credits even though I’ve long been a Lyft person for ride-share I’ll take a ride a month to use the credit.

  17. Hey Lucky, do you know if the 4x points for restaurants works overseas? I’m currently in Sydney and about to finish quarantine. We have the card and with zero local cases, restaurants are open here, so we want to make sure we’re getting all the points available! Thanks!

  18. @andrew most places have a pickup option, that way you don’t have to pay all of those annoying fees. That way, you’re just using Uber Eats as the medium to order through the restaurant with a $10 credit…way better use of your money. I do the same for the GrubHub credit.

  19. If you’ve had the gold card in the past (like 2+ years ago) and you cancelled it, are you eligible to get the sign up bonus again? I didn’t see it called out in the Amex T&C’s.

  20. To each his/her own but this card is gold to me.
    With 3 growing boys to feed, we spend way more than $6K per year on groceries and dining, so this card is better than the Everyday Preferred. You can also buy GCs (Amazon, Target, etc) at groceries stores to maximize your earning.
    The Uber Eats credit is more useful to me. Again, 3 growing boys and sometimes these services are life savers. I always struggled to use up the airline credit in past years so I was happy to see it gone.

  21. There are ways to promote a credit card while still being unbiased in the review. Most of these blogger sites that receive referral compensation are guilty of of not providing a dispassionate recommendation. There is outsized value in this card that may make it a great fit for a lot of people and depending on usage can very easily erase the annual fee, and thereafter start earning points at a level over and above most other options. As a particular callout, the Citi Presige card earns 5X on dining, so is better than this card for that category, but it’s not apples to apples, the CIti Prestige has an annual fee that is almost double, doesn’t offer the same on grocery, and regurdless of potential point value, it may be easier or better to focus on a single currency, So if your otherwise invested in CIti Thank You points then if might make sense to focus earnings there rather than maximizing across multiple point currencies. Or if you are a big spender then distributing to maximize value across currencies does make sense, etc.
    There are some simple overall tradeoffs to consider, that rarely are explored in these articles, just spotlights on the best case scenario. That said, for my own specific senario this is a great card and top of wallet for dining and grocery even before these changes, and with these changes it is even more valuable to me, I always struggled to use the airline fee refund being it had so many restrictions. The Uber and dining (which I typically use for GrubHub) is far easier for me to use. I do pick up with both Uber and GrubHub and so the fees everyone complains about don’t apply. Shoot, I say do the same with the Platinum card! Ditch the Airline fee credit and give me more Uber credits!

  22. I easily use all the credits. I was going to get rid of this card but then did the math and found I still come out ahead even with the AF. Problem I have with everyday preferred is that I don’t like having to worry about making all my transactions per month to trigger the bonus points. I earn more points using other cards with a lot of my daily expenses, so dont want to take a point loss on a transaction just to make a monthly transaction count. I have a lot of dining spend. Sometimes there is an offer on the gold card that you get an extra point when using grubhub making it 5x dining on takeout. Card works well for me and have had it for a few years.

  23. Am I the only luddite who can’t get either the Uber Eats Pass promo or $10 monthly credit to show up in the app after loading my Gold Card?

  24. Just FYI, I was targeted (and approved this morning) for a sign-up bonus of 75,000k on this card. I’ve never had an Amex Gold or Platinum before, and I have not yet been targeted for a 100k or 125k sign up bonus for the Platinum.

  25. AMEX has offered more for me via AMEX offers alone than Chase or Citi have provided in total during the pandemic…not to mention countless other free money perks from the Plat. 4x on groceries is solid and combined with the Plat pooling $ for Uber is great. As a city slicker a great card for me and I felt a lot more AMEX love the past 12 months than from the other major CC players.

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