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