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The American Express® Gold Card and Citi Premier® Card are two of the best travel credit cards as you have several ways to earn bonus points, flexible redemption options, and purchase statement credits. 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. Visit to learn more.

American Express Gold Benefits At a Glance

Here is a brief summary of the Amex Gold benefits:

  • Earn up to 4x Membership Rewards on purchases
  • Flexible redemption options
  • 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year
  • 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. Both cards require you to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months to earn the bonus offer. The Citi Premier has a higher face value but can be potentially harder to qualify for.

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 monthsAlso, Rose Gold is back! Cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold. Terms apply.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Citi Premier: 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.

Purchase Rewards

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

The American Express Gold Card rewards categories are:

  • 4x on dining worldwide (includes takeout and delivery)
  • 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 annually, then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly from airlines or on
  • 1x on all remaining purchases

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.

It can be easier to earn rewards points with the Citi Premier as there are more bonus categories 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 Reward 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 for 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.

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

The Amex Gold offers two dining credit bonuses (terms apply and enrollment required).

  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash for rides and eats ($10 per month)
  • Up to $120 in annual dining credits ($10 per month) to participating brands. Some of the brand partners include Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations.

American Express® Gold Card cardholders can also get up to $120 in Uber Cash annually. Plus, you’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards® points for each Uber Eats purchase on your card. To use this perk, simply add your card to your Uber account and you’ll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash each month in your Uber account for U.S. Uber Eats orders or U.S. Uber rides. Any unused Uber Cash expires at the end of each month (it does not roll over to the next month).

Cardholders also get up to 12 complimentary months of Eats Pass when you subscribe with your American Express Gold Card. That’s a value of up to $119 annually (based on the $9.99 monthly price over 12 months). With the Uber Eats Pass, you can get unlimited $0 Delivery Fees and 5% off orders over $15 at eligible restaurants. Note that taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum.

This benefit applies only in the U.S. on U.S. orders at eligible restaurants and on eligible restaurant purchases.

Enrollment is required by 12/31/2021. After that, the Uber Eats Pass will begin auto-billing 12 months after your enrollment in this offer, at the then-current monthly price. Learn more about the Uber Eats partnership for more information.

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 to receive the benefit.

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

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, the Citi Premier eliminated their various travel protection benefits in 2019.

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. 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 of the 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 and Uber Cash 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?


In conclusion of 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.

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

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