Credit card companies, like car manufacturers, offer dozens of different products at various price points in order to appeal to every segment of the market. Automobile manufacturers typically offer cars priced at low, mid-range, and high prices to appeal to a variety of customers.
Similarly, American Express offers a Gold card for a $125 annual fee, but the next most expensive product, their top of the line Platinum card, commands a $450 annual fee. To fill the gap, they created the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card. The card offers all of the features of their standard Gold card, but with higher rewards.
- Sign-Up Bonus. American Express provides 25,000 Membership Rewards points to new cardholders, when they spend $2,000 in 3 months.
- Membership Rewards Points and Bonuses. Like many American Express cards, this card earns one Membership Rewards program point per dollar spent on most purchases. Additionally, cardholders earn double points on gas and groceries, and triple points on airfare. Members can redeem Membership Rewards points for statement credits, gift cards, or merchandise at the rate of one cent per point, and can also exchange points for frequent flyer miles in many different airline programs.
- Charge Card. This card is not a credit card. Cardholders must pay their balances in full and on time each month. If you have a past due balance, you cannot accrue or redeem Membership Rewards points.
- Extended Warranty Protection. For most purchases made with your card, American Express extends the warranty up to one year.
- Roadside Assistance. Cardholders receive four service calls a year. American Express pays up to $50 for each service call, as a benefit of this card. This won’t cover the costs to have your car towed, but it should cover instances when you lock your keys in your car, need a jump start, or need assistance changing a flat tire.
- Purchase Protection. As with other American Express cards, new purchases have theft and accidental damage coverage for 90 days.
- Annual Fee. The annual fee for this card is $175, and is waived the first year. To compare, the American Express standard Gold card has an annual fee of $125, and the Platinum card has an annual fee of $450.
- Foreign Transaction Fees. Any purchase made outside of the United States incurs a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
- Earn Points Quickly. Cardholders earn points quickly for gas, groceries, and airfare. If you use this card for day-to-day purchases and airline ticket purchases, you can earn valuable Membership Rewards points faster than with other cards.
- Transfer Points to Miles. The 1% cash back equivalent of most Membership Rewards redemption options cannot compete with the best cash back credit cards. However, when earning triple points for airfare, you can earn airline miles more quickly. Use your miles for premium class tickets; these awards provide a better return than one cent per mile.
- Waived Annual Fee. You can try this card for free, because American Express waives the annual fee for the first year.
- American Express Service and Protection. American Express provides superior customer service and a number of consumer protection coverages. As a valued card holder, you can expect them to treat you exceptionally well.
- High Annual Fee. At $175, customers must carefully consider the value of the benefits and rewards of this card.
- Low Redemption Rates. Unless you utilize the spending categories that return higher rates, you only receive one point per dollar charged to the card. If you do not transfer your miles to frequent flyer miles, each dollar spent only returns a single cent in rewards value.
- High Foreign Transaction Fees. Capital One waives this fee on all of its cards, but American Express customers must have a Platinum card to avoid paying foreign transaction fees. Foreign transaction fees are higher than the card’s rewards, so foreign purchases essentially earn negative rewards.
- Modest Sign-Up Bonus. Many travel rewards credit cards offer a sign-up bonus that equals one round trip airfare award.
- Charge Card. You cannot ever carry a balance with this card. If you think that you cannot pay for all of your charges on time every month, you should apply for a credit card with a low APR instead.
In filling the space between the standard Gold card and the Platinum card, American Express has created a product that competes primarily with its other offerings. If you travel extensively and spend time in other countries, you may benefit more from using the Platinum card. If your spending levels don’t justify the higher annual fee, however, consider the standard Gold card. The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card was designed for frequent domestic travelers who value the rewards and benefits offered by American Express, but do not need the expensive Platinum card.
Do you have an American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card? What has your experience been like so far?
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.