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Spoiler alert! Big changes have come to the American Express Premier Rewards Gold credit card. Besides stronger benefits, there is also a name change – the American Express® Gold Card. This new card is especially advantageous for foodies as it earns valuable Membership Rewards Points. Let’s break down the changes and explore what’s new.
What to Expect from the American Express Gold Card
American Express first announced the changes to Premier Rewards Gold owners. Here is a sample of the latest benefits.
$120 Dining Credit
Each month, American Express will issue a $10 dining credit. Over 12 months, that’s a $120 credit. This is similar to the Amex Platinum Uber credit. Platinum cardholders get $15 each month a $20 bonus in December to apply towards Uber rides.
This dining credit is easy to use. Since most restaurant meals cost at least $10, the credit can be used in a single purchase. As of publication, the credit can be used at these restaurants (enrollment required):
- Cheesecake Factory
- Shake Shack
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Going with can be the easiest option, especially, if you want food delivered to your front door. GrubHub allows you to pick from a variety of options and will even deliver to your hotel too!
4x Purchase Rewards on U.S. Restaurants and U.S. Supermarkets
Speaking of food, the American Express® Gold Card earns 4 points per $1 on U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
You will only earn up to 4x points on the first $25,000 in combined spending each year — a high spending limit. After hitting the $25,000 limit, you will only earn 1x points on remaining purchases. Unless you’re ing an army, it probably won’t be an issue.
What Card Benefits Stayed the Same From the PRG?
You will continue to enjoy these card benefits in their current form.
$100 Airline Fee Credit
Each year, you get a $100 airline fee credit. This credit reimburses your checked bag fees and in-flight purchases. It’s valid for one airline of your choice.
3x Rewards Points on Airfare Purchases
You will also continue to earn 3 Membership Rewards® points per $1 on plane ticket purchases. You must purchase these tickets directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com. Booking any flight from a third-party booking site only earns 1 point per $1 spent.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
You won’t pay a foreign transaction fee with the American Express® Gold Card. However, you won’t get bonus points on any non-U.S. dining or grocery purchases.
Are the New Changes Good?
Overall, these new changes make the American Express® Gold Card a solid credit card. It’s best competitor is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The two largest differences between the two cards are the bonus point categories and the 1:1 transfer partners.
You Can Earn More Points with the Amex Gold
Now that you can earn 3x points on plane trips and 4x points on food, the Gold is better for these purchases. Although the Gold doesn’t earn double points on non-air travel purchases like the Sapphire Preferred, the 3x and 4x bonus can help you earn more points still.
Membership Rewards has more 1:1 Airline Transfer Partners
The most valuable redemption option for your Amex Membership Rewards points is award flights. Each point is worth one cent each when you book a flight on AmexTravel.
But, your points are almost always worth more when you transfer them to one of the 17 airline transfer partners. In almost every case, your points transfer on a 1:1 basis.
Some of the best transfer partners include:
- Hawaiian Airlines
American Express just added Aer Lingus, so now you can transfer your points to all three Avios airlines.
Here are two solid alternatives to the American Express Gold Card.
Platinum Card from American Express
Reason to Get: 5x points on Plane Tickets and Hotels
For luxury air travel perks and 5x air travel rewards, go with the Platinum Card from American Express. You enjoy a $200 airline fee credit. Plus, you get free Global Entry and airport lounge membership too.
You can also get 5x on hotel nights booked on AmexTravel.com too.
One cool thing about any credit card that earns Membership Rewards points is that you can transfer them to the air or hotel travel partners. You will want to apply for one of these two Amex Membership Rewards cards instead.
Blue Cash Preferred
Reason to Get: Up to 6% Cash Back on U.S. grocery purchases and 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
For your first $6,000 in grocery purchases each year, use the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. Why? You get 6% back. After that, you earn 1% on all remaining grocery purchases. At this point, you can use the Premier Rewards Gold to get 4% back.
Another reason to own the Blue Cash Preferred is to get an unlimited 3% back at U.S. gas stations. With the upcoming changes, the PRG only gets 1 point per $1 spent. Although you may prefer to earn Membership Rewards for the 1:1 transfers, the 3% back essentially values your points at 3 cents each.
The American Express® Gold Card is great for earning those valuable Membership Rewards Points. This is especially applicable if you often eat at restaurants or spend more on quality grocery purchases.
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