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Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express: Amex's Better Charge Card For Travel Spending Awards

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

Image of Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
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"One of our favorite charge cards currently available. Very good travel rewards through Membership Rewards program."

Contents

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is one of the better charge cards available in the U.S. The card features good reward rates, some fantastic Amex exclusive features and a decent signing bonus. Perhaps the strongest aspect of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is its 3:1 rewards rate on airfare, making it fantastic for earning travel rewards. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is also a charge card, which requires some careful consideration. Being a charge card, Amex expects cardholders to pay off their bill in its totality each billing cycle. Whether this is doable for a consumer should be the deciding factor in applying – not paying off your bill comes with penalties which will negate any and all value of the card.

Pros

  • Signing bonus, worth up to $250
  • Great rewards rate towards travel expenses

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Must pay entire balance at the end of the month

Review: Our Thoughts On The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

As a travel rewards card, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is among the premier choices for high spenders. For consumers spending at least $18,000 a year on travel expenses alone, the card outperforms both the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and the Chase Sapphire Preferred. When used optimally, the card’s rewards rate can vary anywhere between 2% to 3%, depending on the spending. In this instance, the card’s higher annual fee is also more than compensated for.

At this spending range, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® outperforms both the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card when it comes to general spending – it provides the most spending flexibility for the greatest travel rewards. For those with more moderate spending habits (falling around $1,000 a month) cards like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card may be a better fit.

Graph of Amex Gold Premier World vs Barclaycard Arrival Plus vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Consumers looking to get an American Express credit card also, will no doubt come across another prominent travel card – The Platinum Card® from American Express. While The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a significantly higher annual fee, its value to frequent travelers more than makes up for the price difference. The Platinum Card® from American Express provides frequent flyers with amenities, lounge access and travel credits each year. Though the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express lacks these features, its primary role is as a travel rewards card. This means it is geared at earning consumers points towards future flights, instead of supplying those who will fly regardless of rewards with additional perks and luxuries. 

The rewards you receive with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express are part of the Membership Rewards program. Across the various rewards programs available through different credit cards, Membership Rewards offers some of the most flexibility. However, while as a cardholder you will have more options, be aware that the value on most is not always the best – most redemption options fall below $0.01 a point. Being a travel card, if you wish to get the most out of your Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express card, you should stick to redeeming your points for airfare tickets and Uber rides.

Finally, one cannot ignore the fact that the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a charge card. If you cannot pay off your credit card bill in its entirety each month, you should avoid this card. Otherwise, you will incur some of the highest late fees and interest rates from all credit cards. To learn more about charge cards and how they differ from regular credit cards check out ValuePenguin’s comprehensive guide.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Benefits & Features

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express awards Membership Rewards® Points. By examining exactly how different spending patterns affect point earning rates, along with the point value of each redemption category we were able to get an idea of the overall value consumers can get by using this card.

Image of Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $195
Purchase APR
Card Details
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Global assist hotline
  • Travel insurance
  • Return protection
  • Purchase protection

How are Membership Rewards® Points earned with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express?

Fortunately for those interested in the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express card, it gives users plenty of opportunities to earn rewards points. Firstly, after signing up for the card you are presented with the opportunity to earn a signing bonus of 25,000 points. To qualify, you must spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of receiving your card.

How about earning Membership Points through every day use? Things here still look good. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express rewards users with 3 points for every $1 spent for flights booked directly with an airline. You also earn 2 points for every $1 spent at gas stations and supermarkets. All other purchases reward only 1 point per $1. No other Amex charge card offers rewards rates this good.

What are my Membership Reward Points Worth?

How much value you get out of your Membership Reward points depends on how you choose to redeem them. On average, most spending categories will net you less than $0.01. Maximizing point value requires transferring points to hotel and airfare loyalty programs. American Express offers a broad range of loyalty programs to choose from, most of them at a 1:1. Transferring points has the potential to increase their value to $0.012+.

Below is a list of all your redemption options and what kind of point value they provide. 

Category $ Value per Points
Shopping 0.5 cents
Gift Cards 1 cent
Paying off a charge 0.6 cents
Shopping on Amazon 0.7 cents
Booking flights with MR 1 cent
Booking Hotels with MR 0.75 cents
Points Transfer 1.2 cents+
Uber 1 cent

With these values, we can get an idea of what the rewards rate is on the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Below we demonstrate a sample calculation of how we obtained the rewards rate.

If you spend $1,000 at gas stations and supermarkets in one month you will earn 2,000 Membership Reward points. If they are then exchange for shopping purposes (say to buy a sheepskin hat through American Express’ online portal) we will get a value of $0.005 for each point we spend.

$1,000 spent = 2,000 Membership Reward Points

2,000 Membership Reward Points redeemed @ $0.005 = $10 value.

Therefore, after spending $1,000 you received a $10 value. Your rewards rate will be

$10 / $1,000 = 0.01 = 1%

If this calculation is carried out across different spending categories, mixing and matching redemption options with various spending patterns you will find that that the rewards rate can vary between 0.5% to 3%. 

No Preset Spending Limit 

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express card is a charge card, and as such, it has no preset spending limit. This does not mean that the card has unlimited spending potential. Instead, unlike most credit cards, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express has no hard credit limit imposed on it. Each month, American Express decides what your actual limit will be based on previous spending patterns, income, and payment history. This feature rewards consumers who spend big, and pay it off without problems, and quickly punishes those who cannot afford to make their payments on time. If your credit score is bad, expect for your monthly limits to be set low. 

One potential pitfall of this feature is that it obscures a cardholder’s knowledge. Since you may not know what your hard limit is for a month, you may be denied a charge unexpectedly, leading to some inconvenient situations.

Purchase Security

American Express provides added purchase protection to Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express cardholders in the form of extended warranties, guaranteed returns and item insurance. This feature allows cardholders more purchasing confidence. 

These features work as follows. Whenever you buy an item using your Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express you are given certain protections. Firstly, if you are given 1 extra year of warranty, which can also be applied on top of a warranty you purchased (however it may not exceed 5 years). Extended warranties from Amex are capped at $10,000 per item, and at $50,000 per calendar year.

If an item you bought breaks due to an accident, or is stolen the company will also refund your purchase for up to 90 days, for items worth up to $1,000.

What if you simply want to return an item, and the merchant won’t take it back? Again, cardholders are guaranteed their money back for up to 90 days which will be honored by American Express. In these cases, however, the maximum item value you can return is capped at $100. 

Other Features

There are two more notable features of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express worth mentioning. First is their premium roadside assistance. If a cardholder is unlucky enough to have their car breakdown, American Express offers to pay for towing or emergency roadside assistance up to 4 times per calendar year. Based on what a service like AAA costs, this gives Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express cardholders a value or approximately $52 per year.

Anytime a Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express users book a hotel stay for 2 or more consecutive nights using amextravel.com, and stay at one of the hotels in the Hotels Collection program, they receive $75 in hotel credit. This can be redeemed for things such as room service or upgrades. This is a fantastic feature for people who find themselves staying in many hotels throughout the year – this feature is uncapped and will take affect any time a cardholder books a 2+ night stay.

How does the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express compare to other Cards?

Whenever shopping around for any product, it is important to understand all options available. For this reason, we compiled a brief comparison between the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and some other charge cards and credit cards available. For the most part, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express preforms well – even when matched up against some of the top rewards cards around. 

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express vs Amex Green Card

The American Express Green Card is the least expensive charge card available to consumers. Unfortunately, the advantages of the Green Card over the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express end there. While the annual $80 difference between the two cards is significant, if a card’s price point is a major concern, one should in general avoid charge cards – which all fall onto the expensive side of annual fees. Additionally, the Green Card offers very little in terms of benefits despite its price tag. 

One thing to consider is that the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express will be more difficult to get than the low tier Amex Green Card. However, the Green Card still requires good to excellent credit. For individuals with that kind of credit score there are plenty of better options, some of which we profile below. 

As discussed above, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers a great signing bonus, and great everyday use potential. The Amex Green Card, on the other hand, presents cardholders with the bare minimum. There are no signing bonuses, most categories earn users a measly 1 Membership Rewards® point, and even the charge card benefits are cut down. 

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express vs American Express® Gold Card

One of the closest comparisons we can draw is between the two gold cards offered by American Express. The Premier Card offers more Membership Rewards® Points, but this comes at the cost of $50 more per year.

As long as an individual can take advantage of the 25,000 point bonus (approx. a $200 value), this difference in annual fees can be made up for, over approximately four years. After that, though, the cost of the higher annual fee is only covered for consumers with higher annual spending habits. If you find yourself to be a moderate spender, it becomes harder to justify scenarios in which the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express can offer you better value. 

For the additional annual cost, the Premium Rewards Gold Card also offers users one added key benefit. The standard Amex Gold Card does not have premium roadside assistance. While this is not necessarily a bonus which will translate to a dollar value each year (unless the cardholder is a very unlucky driver), there is always the benefit of the added peace of mind if road assistance is needed.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express vs The Platinum Card® from American Express

For $550 per year, consumers can gain access to some of the best travel benefits of any card on the market, through The Platinum Card® from American Express. Aimed at a completely different audience than the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, The Platinum Card® from American Express is designed for people who call an airport their second home. 

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a slew of benefits absent from the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express lineup of features. The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can enjoy access to over 600 airport lounges worldwide, free TSA Pre Membership as well as up to $200 a year in airline fee credit. Using all benefits can compensate users for the high annual cost of The Platinum Card® from American Express.

If a consumer is solely concerned with earning travel rewards, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is better for the job. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers just 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases, except (like all Amex Cards) through Amextravel.com, where you can up to 5 points per $1 spent or on airfare purchased directly from airlines (there you also get 5 points per $1). As noted in our benefits analysis, the Premium Rewards Gold charge card gives cardholders better point to dollar rations – 3:1 on travel, 2:1 on gas, groceries and Uber, and 1:1 on all other spending. 

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

When looking at purely travel spending, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express will generally come out a little ahead of the Chase Sapphire Preferred for spending of $18,000 per year and above. For instance, spending $2,000 on travel earns cardholders a rate of 2.27% with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and just 2.1% with the Sapphire Preferred. If you value spending beyond travel to earn rewards, the Sapphire offers a little more flexibility by offering competitive rates for dining and restaurant purchases. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express value falls drastically when spending in other categories. 

Both cards come equipped with good signing bonuses. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points (worth up to $625) after they spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of receiving their card. This comparable to the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express spending bonus which is half as valuable, but requires half the spending of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to earn.

Bottom Line: Is the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Worth It?

If a consumer feels confident in his or her ability to pay of the balance on a charge card each month, and isn’t shy of high annual rates, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers some great features. Between the high rewards rate, enrollment in Membership Rewards®, and shopping protection this card has the potential to save a consumer a lot of money. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is worth getting if a consumer is looking to take advantage of more than one of its features at a time. If, for example, your aim is to find a good travel rewards card better options, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, exist.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Resources

How Can I Apply for the Card?

To apply online follow this link https://www304.americanexpress.com/credit-card/premier-rewards-gold/ or call 1 800 243 3888.

How Do I redeem Membership Reward Points?

Redeeming your Membership Rewards® Points requires accessing your online account at http:///www.membershiprewards.com.

Comments and Questions

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.