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In case you missed it, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card is now the American Express Gold. And, it comes with some exciting new benefits. With the American Express Gold, you now earn bonus points on dining plus you can earn $120 in dining credits. To announce the changes, American Express mailed a letter to current cardholders.
Can You Update Your Premier Rewards Gold to the American Express Gold?
If you currently own the Premier Rewards Gold, American Express automatically updated your account in October 2018, to the American Express® Gold Card.
One downside of the benefit update is that the annual fee increases from $195 to $250. But, you may be able to renew your annual fee for $195 if your card anniversary is before April 1, 2019. After this date, current cardholders will see their annual fee increase to $250. You should have the new American Express Gold by that time as well.
You can enjoy these two benefit enhancements:
- $120 Dining Credit ($10 each month for select restaurants)
- 4x Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (First $25,000 in annual purchases then 1 point per $1 after)
Continue to Enjoy These Premier Rewards Gold Travel Benefits
You will still continue to enjoy these benefits with the American Express® Gold Card:
- 3x Membership Rewards® points on airline tickets directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com
- 1x point for all other purchases
- $100 air travel credit
- No foreign transaction fee
- 1:1 Membership Rewards point transfers
Note that the American Express® Gold Card is a metal card.
You Won’t Get These Benefits When You Update
Because you’re already a card owner, you won’t enjoy the welcome offer.
Existing cardholders are sometimes at the losing end when credit card companies revamp their current lineup. This is one of those instances.
Since American Express has a “once in a lifetime” policy for welcome offers, the American Express® Gold Card offers is closed to previous cardholders. In a nutshell, the American Express is the same card with a new name.
If you have a friend who didn’t own the Premier Rewards Gold, they can qualify for the 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points welcome offer after they spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with their new card within the first 3 months.
Should You Stick With the American Express Gold?
Card updates always lead current cardholders to question if the update is worth the higher annual fee. In this case, your annual fee increases $55 to equal $250. So, you need to decide if these updates are worth the higher fee:
- 4x Membership Rewards® points at US restaurants and US supermarkets ($25,000 in combined spending then 1 point per $1)
- $120 in dining credit
You get $10 monthly statement credit (equal to $120 in savings) when you eat at one of these merchants (enrollment required):
- Cheesecake Factory
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Shake Shack
When you maximize the $100 airline credit and $120 dining credit, your annual fee is effectively $30. Earning enough purchase rewards to redeem one award flight a year pays the rest of the annual fee.
If the Gold benefits don’t justify the $250 annual fee, you might consider alternate cards instead.
Wells Fargo Propel
How does the sound of zero annual fees and foreign transaction fees sound like?
The Wells Fargo Propel also comes on an American Express credit card.
You won’t earn Membership Rewards points or have 1:1 point transfers, but you have some nice dining and travel benefits. Plus, it comes without the annual fee of course.
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card comes with these benefits:
- 3x points on dining, travel, gas, transit, and streaming
- 50% travel redemption bonus
- $600 cell phone protection
- 30,000-point bonus offer worth $300
When redeeming your Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards, each point is worth one cent each for cash and gift cards. But, your points are worth 1.5 cents when redeemed for award travel. You can redeem your points on the Wells Fargo travel portal. Although you don’t get 1:1 point transfers, the 50% bonus is a nice tradeoff.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of the American Express Gold. But, it’s still a solid pick with an annual fee of $95. When the Amex Gold was still the Premier Rewards Gold, it’s annual fee was $95 after you redeemed the $100 airline fee credit.
If you want a pure travel rewards card, the Sapphire Preferred offers these benefits for $95 a year:
- 2x points on travel and dining
- 1:1 point transfers to Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners
While you don’t earn 4x points on dining and groceries, you don’t pay extra for the $120 dining credit you might not use.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you still have access to 1:1 point transfers. There are several overlapping transfer partners like JetBlue, British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Singapore Airlines.
Also, you get access to a few new partners like Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Plus, you can transfer your points to World of Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott Rewards too.
Platinum Card from American Express
This option takes the opposite approach. Sometimes, you get more benefits when you spend more upfront.
The American Express Platinum Card has a $550 annual fee, but it comes with more benefits that may work better for you. Plus, you may qualify for its 60,000 Membership Rewards bonus.
Some of the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express that you might like include:
- 5x points on plane tickets booked directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com
- 5x points on hotels booked at AmexTravel.com
- $200 airline fee credit
- $200 in annual Uber credits
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
- Free airport lounge membership
Once you maximize the annual credits, your annual fee reduces to $150.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.