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Two cards that sometimes get overlooked might be just what you’re looking for. They both earn rewards for select supermarket and restaurant purchases. They also have annual credits that can come in handy throughout the year. Both also come with flexible redemption options, so you aren’t stuck if you want to use your card in various ways. What are these two cards? The American Express® Gold Card and Citi Premier® Card. These two cards are some of the top cards available. This American Express Gold vs Citi Premier comparison can help you choose the better card.

best credit cards for everyday spending
Use one of the best credit cards for everyday purchases to buy fresh loaves of bread at Whole Foods. Photo by Whole Foods

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

American Express Gold Benefits At a Glance

Here is a summary of the Amex Gold benefits:

  • Earn up to 4x Membership Rewards® points on purchases
  • Flexible redemption options
  • 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
  • Up to $120 in annual dining credits
  • Gold or Rose Gold card design

Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.

Related: American Express Gold Card Review

Citi Premier Benefits At A Glance

These are some of the best Citi Premier benefits:

  • Earn up to 3x ThankYou points on purchases
  • Flexible redemption options
  • 1:1 airline point transfers
  • Annual $100 hotel savings benefit

Related: Citi Premier Card Review

Welcome/Signup Bonus

Moving on in this American Express Gold vs Citi Premier review, let’s look at bonuses.

American Express Gold: New American Express® Gold Card cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months. Cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold cards. Terms apply.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Citi Premier: For a limited time, new Citi Premier® Card cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. 

You won’t qualify for this bonus if you have earned a signup bonus or closed an account in the last 24 months for a card that earns ThankYou points.

Related: Citi Premier Card Bonus

Additionally, both are some of the best credit card offers available.

Purchase Rewards

You can earn bonus points on various travel and food-related purchases for either card. The better option can depend on your purchase habits and whether you want to earn American Express Membership Rewards or Citi ThankYou points.

The American Express Gold Card earns:

  • 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X)
  • 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

As you can see, this card works when you are traveling, but it is also useful for daily purchases. This can be one of the best cards to use for groceries.

The Citi Premier earns unlimited 3x points on these five purchase types:

  • Air travel
  • Hotels
  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
  • Supermarkets

All non-bonus Citi Premier purchases earn 1 point per $1. Like the Amex Gold, using this card for travel and daily purchases make this an attractive card. However, it can be easier to earn rewards points with the Citi Premier as there are more bonus categories, less restrictions, and no maximum spending caps.

Redeeming Points

The maximum redemption value is 1 cent per point for either card. Here is an in-depth look at the redemption options for the Gold Card and Premier Card.

American Express Gold

Each Membership Rewards® point is worth 1 cent for award flights on Amex Travel and select gift cards. Your points are worth less than 1 cent for other award travel, retail, and cash bookings.

You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to airlines and hotels. The Membership Rewards transfer network is larger than Citi ThankYou.

Most of the transfer partners are international airlines. Some of the best transfer partners can include:

  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue
  • Hawaiian
  • Air Canada
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Singapore Airlines

The hotel transfer partners include:

  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Here’s the credit score you’ll need for the Amex Gold Card.

The above airlines and hotel partners can help you travel the globe.

Related: Amex Gold vs Amex Platinum 2022 Review (Best Amex Card?)

Citi Premier

Your ThankYou points are worth 1 cent for award flights through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center and gift cards. You can also transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to airlines but not hotels. JetBlue is the only domestic airline partner.

Notable Citi ThankYou transfer partners include:

  • JetBlue
  • Air France KLM FlyingBlue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Here’s the credit score you’ll need for Citi Premier.

Additional Benefits

Here are some other fun aspects of this American Express Gold vs Citi Premier review. Both cards offer additional benefits to defray some of your purchases. The better benefits depend on if you want travel or dining credits.

American Express Gold Card

Another perk is the ability to earn up to $10 in statement credits on a monthly basis when you use your Gold Card to pay at the following dining establishments (enrollment is required):

  • Grubhub
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Goldbelly
  • Wine.com
  • Milk Bar
  • Shake Shack (only at participating locations)

This perk can save you up to $120 annually.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Citi Premier

The Citi Premier® Card offers an annual $100 hotel savings benefit. You will need to book a minimum $500 stay (excluding fees and taxes) through thankyou.com to receive the benefit.

While you get fewer statement credits, it’s important to remember the annual fee is $155 less.

Related: Why You Should Think About Trying For The Citi Premier Card

Travel Insurance

The Amex Gold offers more travel insurance benefits:

  • Baggage insurance: Up to $1,250 for carry-ons and $500 for checked bags ($10,000 aggregate limit for New York State residents)
  • Secondary rental car insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline when traveling at least 100 miles from home (3rd party charges may apply)

Unfortunately, Citi Premier eliminated its various travel protection benefits in 2019.

However, if credit card travel insurance is important to you, consider one of the best credit cards for travel insurance instead.

Annual Fee

This American Express Gold vs Citi Premier review wouldn’t be complete without looking at fees.

The annual fee for the American Express® Gold Card is $250, but there are no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees). 

The annual fee for the Citi Premier® Card is $95. However, there are no foreign transaction fees.

When the American Express Gold is Better

Consider applying for the American Express Gold when you want these perks:

  • Want to earn American Express Membership Rewards
  • Prefer the American Express 1:1 transfer partners
  • Desire annual dining credits instead of the annual hotel statement credit
  • Are more comfortable paying a $250 annual fee
  • Want some travel insurance benefits

The American Express Gold Card is a semi-premium card. You won’t get the swanky airport lounge benefits and frequent flyer perks like some other American Express cards, but you also don’t pay a higher annual fee.

For bragging rights, the Gold Card also happens to be a metal credit card with a Gold or Rose Card color scheme.

This card is better than the Citi Premier if you can get more value from the dining rewards and prefer the Amex 1:1 transfer partners.

Related: Is The American Express Gold Card Worth The Annual Fee?

When the Citi Premier is Better

Choosing the Citi Premier is better for these reasons:

  • Want to earn Citi ThankYou points
  • More purchase rewards bonus categories
  • Want the $100 annual hotel savings instead of dining credits
  • Lower annual fee ($95 vs. $250)

While this card doesn’t have as many benefits, you pay a smaller annual fee. This card is more of a travel reward pureplay, while the Gold Card balances travel and dining benefits.

Related: Is the Citi Premier Worth It?

Summary

In conclusion, the American Express Gold vs Citi Premier review, you can see how easy it is to earn bonus points on travel, dining, and groceries. The better card depends on which rewards program you prefer and whether you want the Citi hotel savings benefit or the American Express dining credits.

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

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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.

2 Comments On "American Express Gold vs. Citi Premier Card Comparison"
  1. Selina J. Morales|

    This is a difficult question to answer, but the significant difference between these two cards is that the Amex Gold card has an annual fee for more rewards points.

    The Citi Premier card has some powerful benefits including more inclusive rewards with no blackout dates, for example for airfare and car rentals. The Amex Gold card also issues more reward points than even its own premier competitor, so it makes sense that someone might find value in this over Citi Premier. Plus it comes with access to airport lounges across the US, which can really save you money on food if airports lack decent food options.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yup, agree they are both good cards and have their own benefits.

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