Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – Review


Rating: 4.1

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressLearn More

Published or updated: August 11, 2016

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Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is an exclusive charge card with a $195 annual fee (waived the first year) and no preset spending limit. As a charge card, Premier Rewards Gold doesn’t incur regular interest charges. However, you’re required to pay your balance in full each month and may be subject to account closure if you fail to do so for more than 2 consecutive months. Keep in mind that this card is reserved for people with truly excellent credit, and thus isn’t appropriate for first-timers or those with any serious fiscal blemishes.

Premier Rewards Gold has a generous rewards program built around travel and everyday expenses, and is comparable to other American Express rewards cards, both charge and credit, including Platinum (charge), Blue Cash Everyday (credit), Blue Cash Preferred (credit), EveryDay (credit), and EveryDay Preferred (credit). It’s also comparable to credit cards issued by other companies, including Citi Prestige, Marriott Rewards Premier, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card, and Diners Club Elite.

Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus: When you spend at least $2,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you get 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points. That’s worth $250 or more depending on how you redeem.
  • Rewards and Redemption: This card earns 3 points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly through airlines, but not third-party booking websites such as Kayak and Expedia. It earns 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. No spending categories come with spending or earning limits. Keep in mind that American Express doesn’t consider warehouse clubs such as Costco or big-box discounters such as Walmart to be grocery stores. Also, restaurants contained within hotels usually aren’t considered restaurants (they’re marked as hotels). You can redeem your accumulated rewards, starting at a minimum of 1,000 points, for a variety of purchases and cash equivalents available at American Express’s Membership Rewards portal: travel, general merchandise, Uber and taxi rides, gift cards, restaurant meals, statement credits, and more. Points are worth $0.005 to $0.01 apiece, depending on how they’re redeemed. Gift cards and travel (both $0.01 per point) tend to offer the best value, particularly compared with statement credits ($0.006 per point) and general merchandise (as low as ($0.005 per point).
  • Airline Fee Credit: You’re entitled to up to $100 per year in statement credits to offset fees charged by one airline of your choice. American Express defines “fees” as any non-airfare charges, including checked bag fees, change fees, food and beverage costs, and airport lounge passes. The credits are automatically applied to the statements on which they appear.
  • Complimentary Hotel Room Upgrades and Credits: When you book a hotel stay of at least 2 nights with your Premier Rewards Gold Card, you get a complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability) and $75 hotel credit. You can use the hotel credit at any time during your stay for dining and incidentals, such as spa treatments and resort services.
  • Additional Travel Benefits: Premier Rewards Gold comes with a host of other travel benefits, including baggage insurance up to $1,250 per bag and $10,000 per trip; 24/7 global assistance for cardmembers traveling more than 100 miles from home; 24/7 concierge service for help with reservations or itinerary planning; and car rental insurance covering loss and damage.
  • Shopping Benefits: Premier Rewards Gold’s shopping benefits include extended warranty protection (12 months) on items with original warranties of 5 years or less, purchase protection for stolen or damaged items for 90 days from purchase date, and return protection for rejected returns (up to $300 per item) for 90 days after purchase.
  • Entertainment Benefits: Premier Rewards Gold offers a slew of entertainment benefits, including pre-sale ticketing, exclusive (cardholder-only) events such as Broadway shows and concerts, and complimentary preferred seating (front row, orchestra level, lounge section, and so on) for select sporting events and musical performances.
  • Important Fees: The annual fee of $195 is waived in the first year, and there is no foreign transaction fee. Returned payments cost $37 each, and late payments, defined as any unpaid balance older than 2 months, cost the greater of $37 or 2.99% of the late amount. Balance transfers and cash advances aren’t allowed.
  • Credit Required: This card requires excellent credit. Any significant credit blemishes are likely to disqualify your application.


  1. Flexible Redemption Options. Premier Rewards Gold accrues Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed for virtually anything: travel, general merchandise, local transportation, gift cards, statement credits, and more. Plus, redemptions start at just 1,000 points, a $5 to $10 value. These are big selling points relative to many hotel and airline rewards cards, which generally require at least 5,000 (and sometimes 10,000 or more) points for redemption, and typically permit redemptions only with specific hotel or airline brands.
  2. Solid Sign-up Bonus. Premier Rewards Gold has a great sign-up bonus: 25,000 points, worth up to $250, when you spend $2,000 or more within 3 months. By contrast, AmEx EveryDay Preferred’s ($95 annual fee) sign-up bonus is worth no more than $150.
  3. No Foreign Transaction Fees. This card has no foreign transaction fees, which is a nice perk for frequent overseas travelers. By comparison, Citi ThankYou Preferred has a 3% foreign transaction fee. U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa Signature has a 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee, depending on denomination, while AmEx EveryDay Preferred‘s foreign transaction fee is always 2.7%.
  4. No Preset Spending Limits. Premier Rewards Gold never comes with preset spending limits, although American Express reserves the right to limit future spending based on purchasing and payment patterns. Many competing rewards cards, including otherwise generous options like Citi ThankYou Premier, do impose spending limits (generally $5,000 and up).
  5. Great Travel Benefits. Premier Rewards Gold has a great travel benefits lineup: $100 annual airline fee credit, free hotel room upgrades when available, 24/7 global assist, and baggage insurance worth more than $1,000 per bag. Many other cards aren’t so generous: Citi ThankYou Premier offers baggage insurance and 24/7 assistance, but no room upgrades or airline fee credits.


  1. High Annual Fee. Premier Rewards Gold comes with a $195 annual fee. That’s significantly higher than many other rewards cards, including Citi ThankYou Preferred ($0) and Citi ThankYou Premier ($95). If you don’t take full advantage of Premier Rewards Gold’s value-added benefits, such as hotel room upgrades and airline credits, you’re better off with a less expensive card.
  2. Requires Near-Flawless Credit. Although American Express doesn’t divulge the precise credit score minimum needed for approval, nor does it discuss other screening criteria in detail, it makes no secret of the fact that Premier Rewards Gold is for people with excellent credit. If you have any noteworthy blemishes on your credit report, you should not expect to be approved for this card. Rewards credit cards geared toward less-experienced card users, such as Capital One VentureOne, are better fits for applicants with average to good credit, while mid-tier rewards cards such as Citi ThankYou Preferred are better for applicants with very good credit.
  3. Low Redemption Value for Statement Credits. Premier Rewards Gold’s statement credit redemption option values earned points at $0.006 apiece. If you redeem 10,000 points for a statement credit, you get $60. That’s a low redemption rate for this category. By comparison, Capital One Venture, a general-purpose travel rewards credit card with a $59 annual fee, values points at $0.01 apiece.
  4. Can’t Carry a Monthly Balance for More Than 2 Billing Cycles. As a charge card, Premier Rewards Gold requires you to pay your balance in full each month. If you carry a balance for more than 2 consecutive billing cycles, you risk account closure and the forfeiture of any accumulated rewards. If you want the flexibility to carry a balance from month to month, opt for a rewards credit card such as Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Platinum.

Final Word

Charge cards, such as the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, aren’t free of drawbacks. Notably, they require payment in full each month. They typically keep cardholders on very short leashes too – just 2 consecutive months of partial payment can lead to account closure.

On the other hand, with no preset spending limit, there’s no limit on how many Membership Rewards points you can earn with your Premier Rewards Gold. As long as you pay your balance in full each month, there’s nothing stopping you from using this card – and reaping its rewards – to your heart’s content.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  • Julie

    I found this helpful. Normally credit cards are confusing to me. I really like how simple this was to understand. Can you do some more break downs like this of other credit cards?