American Express® Gold Card: Is It Worth $250?

The American Express® Gold Card offers competitive point multipliers when it comes to purchases at U.S. restaurants and U.S. grocery stores, and it also has a handful of other benefits offered by Amex that make it stand out in compared to other premium cards.

Is the American Express® Gold Card worth the $250 annual fee?

Important note: the American Express® Gold Card is NOT the same card as the Platinum Card® authorized user Gold card. They are two completely different cards, and you will not receive the same benefits.

American Express® Gold Card Calculator

Ask Sebby crunches the numbers for you to calculate the Expected Value of the American Express® Gold Card. For the expected value of points, we derive the approximate dollar value based on the numbers you enter in the calculator. Scroll down to the end of the post to see our methodology.

The calculator below contains default figures and serve as an example only. Users should insert their own data for the most accurate results.

Welcome Offer

The American Express® Gold Card has a 35,000 point welcome offer after spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening.

American Express has a “once in a lifetime” welcome offer rule. To qualify for this offer, you must not currently have the card and/or have received a previous American Express® Gold welcome offer.

In October 2018, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold (PRG) card was revamped to the American Express® Gold Card. If you previously received a bonus from the Amex PRG card, you do not qualify for a welcome offer.

If you attempt to apply and you are greeted with a pop-up that says you aren’t eligible for the welcome offer, then you will not receive one.

Calculation Methodology

The results from the above calculator are based on your ability to reach the minimum spend requirement to earn the welcome offer, your amount of spend on different categories, how you plan to redeem American Express Membership Rewards, and how much relative value you assign to the other benefits.

The “Years” referenced in the calculator refer to the cardmember year, based on when you are approved for the card.

  • Year 1 = first 12 months of card membership

  • Year 2 = the following 12 months afterward

American Express® Gold Card

  • Welcome offer: 35,000 Membership Rewards points, after $2,000 in spend within the first 3 months

  • Point Multipliers:

    • Earn 4X points at U.S. restaurants

    • Earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year, then 1X

    • Earn 3X points points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com

    • Earn 1X points on all other purchases

  • Credits:

    • $100 annual airline fee credit per calendar year to use for incidental fees like baggage fees

    • Up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you pay with the Gold Card at select dining partners (see below for details)

  • Other Benefits:

    • Access to The Hotel Collection

    • ShopRunner membership

    • No foreign transaction fee

  • Terms apply

$100 Airline Fee Credit

Select one qualifying airline and enroll in the airline fee credit. Receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits to use on incidental fees when you charge it to your Gold Card.

Eligible airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines

  • American Airlines

  • Delta Airlines

  • Frontier Airlines

  • Hawaiian Airlines

  • JetBlue Airlines

  • Spirit Airlines

  • Southwest Airlines

  • United Airlines

You can change your selected airline once per year.

$10 Monthly Dining Statement Credit

Earn up to $10 in statement credits each month when you pay with the Gold Card at participating partners. You must enroll in the benefit to receive the credits.

If you maximize the $10 statement credit each month, you’ll receive an annual savings of $120.

Participating partners:

  • Grubhub

  • Seamless

  • The Cheesecake Factory

  • Ruth's Chris Steak House

  • Participating Shake Shack locations. Excludes Shake Shack locations in ballparks, stadiums, airports and racetracks.

The Hotel Collection

The Hotel Collection is a program that offers room upgrades and hotel credits for dining, spa and resort activities when you book a room through American Express Travel Services.

Cardholders must stay 2 or more consecutive nights to receive the following benefits:

  • $100 hotel credit to spend on eligible dining, spa and resort activities

  • Room upgrade at check-in, based on availability

  • Earn 2X points on prepaid bookings with the Gold Card

  • Ability to use pay with points on prepaid bookings

The value of the “Other Benefits” is going to be different for everyone based on the cards you have in your wallet, and how often you can utilize them. In the calculator, you should enter the dollar amounts for how much you value the benefit.



Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 

UGC disclosure: These 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.”