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The preeminent in the world of premium cards that charge an annual fee, the American Express® Gold Card almost pays for itself. Thanks to its generous rewards and credit benefits, it’s easy to get tons of benefits from this popular choice.
However, there are a few steps we recommend taking to maximize the card’s potential from the get-go. Here’s what you should do when you get Amex Gold.
Plan your welcome bonus
The welcome bonus is perhaps the best opportunity to get a large number of points on the card. Amex Gold is currently offering 60,000 membership bonus points if you spend $4,000 within the first six months of opening an account. When redeemed for airline tickets at amextravel.com or upgraded, the offer is worth $600. (You might be able to earn even more if you get a special offer with a tool like CardMatch.)
You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, so it’s important to make sure you know how you’re going to meet spending requirements. Since Amex Gold requires you to spend just $4,000 in six months, this should be doable. But if you’re juggling multiple cards, your costs are likely to be spread across them. It might be a good idea to focus most of it on the new card to ensure you earn the bonus.
Register for loans
Amex Gold meals and Uber Cash credits are pretty compelling perks. If you take full advantage of them, you will receive up to $240 in annual income. At this point, you’ve almost paid back your $250 annual fee in the form of a statement.
To start earning lunch credits, you need to sign up for your online account – look for “perks” in your Amex app or website. After that, you’ll earn up to $10 in monthly credits when you use the card at participating partner restaurants, including Grubhub, Goldbelly, Wine.com, The Cheesecake Factory, Milk Bar, and participating Shake Shack locations.
Likewise, you need to make sure you get up to $10 of Uber Cash each month, which you can use to travel across the US or Uber Eats. Add your gold card to the Uber app as a payment method and Amex will automatically add credits to your account every month.
Plan your expenses
American Express Gold offers great bonuses. The 4 points per dollar you earn at US supermarkets (on purchases up to $25,000 a year, then 1 point) and restaurants can get you close to rewarding travel fast, especially if you choose to convert your Membership Rewards points into one of the issuer’s travel partners.
All you have to do is make it a habit to use Amex Gold for the right purchases. For example, if you’re grocery shopping or ordering food delivery in the US (from a service like Instacart), it’s time to use Amex Gold. Eat out or order? Be sure to pay with your Amex Gold.
Please note that earning additional purchase rewards depends on the category code of the seller of the company you are buying from. For example, a coffee shop might be coded as a restaurant, so you’ll earn 4 points for every dollar you purchase. But the other coffee shop might not be coded as a restaurant, so you’ll only get 1 point per dollar. When you start using your card, check how transactions are coded in the places you frequent, on the Amex app or online, to make sure you’re using the correct card every time you spend money.
You will also earn 3 points per dollar on flights booked through amextravel.com. If Amex Gold is your only card that earns travel rewards, this could be a great option for those purchases.
However, there are travel credit cards that can bring you more and offer more flexibility. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card also earns 3 points for every dollar spent on travel, but the Chase travel category includes just about any travel purchase, from airfare to lodging to parking fees. Plus, you get $300 annual travel credit.
The American Express Gold Card is not just a pretty card that you can get in gold or rose gold. It is also a premium card that easily justifies its cost by offering outstanding rewards and attractive benefits.
To get the most out of your new Amex Gold, find out what purchases you intend to pay with your card and take full advantage of your annual statement credits. Finally, we recommend checking back for limited-time offers and promotions regularly to further increase the value of your card.