American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Earn More Membership Rewards - NerdWallet
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American Express Premier Rewards Gold: Earn More Membership Rewards

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The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a status symbol that offers generous rewards and perks to people with superb credit. With this travel card, you’ll earn points on flights as well as everyday purchases. Here’s what you should know before applying.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit

Bonus Offer

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.

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $195

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • Purchase: N/A
  • Penalty APR: Up to 2.99%

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.
  • No matter where you’re traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • With The Hotel Collection, you can get up to a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade at check-in if it’s available, when you book a stay of at least two consecutive nights.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express: Benefits and basics

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express’s rewards rate is one of the highest among American Express cards. You’ll get 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines; 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants; and 1 point per dollar on everything else. The card also comes with a decent sign-up bonus: 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..

The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $195, but if you use the card frequently and are sharp about redeeming points, you can make up for that expense in rewards fairly easily. Sign-up bonus aside, if you put more than about $3,200 worth of flights booked directly with airlines on the card, you can break even on this deal, taking the $100 airline fee credit into account.

Note that because this is a charge card, you are required to pay the balance in full each month.

Here are some of the card’s standout features:

Annual $100 airline fee credit. The annual $100 airline fee credit that comes with this card can be used to cover incidentals, such as baggage fees, airport lounge day passes and in-flight refreshments. If you travel frequently, you’ll easily use up this credit.

Transfer partners. You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to several airlines and hotels, sometimes at a 1:1 ratio. This makes it an excellent card for people who already have loyalty accounts elsewhere. If you transfer and redeem judiciously, you may be able to get upward of 2 cents of value out of each point. This chart shows how much points and miles are worth in various programs.

Hotel upgrades and credits. If you stay at least two consecutive nights at a hotel in American Express’s Hotel Collection, you’ll get a credit of up to $75 on certain dining, spa and resort expenses, as well as any upgrades that are available. Keep in mind that some of the hotels in this collection are on the pricier side.

All in all, this is an excellent card for frequent travelers who can afford to pay off expenses in full every month.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express: Pitfalls and other possibilities

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express isn’t a perfect fit for everyone. Here’s why you might want to go for another card.

Limited international acceptance. Outside the U.S., American Express isn’t accepted as widely as Visa and MasterCard. Even though the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express comes with no foreign transaction fees, you may want to carry a backup card to use instead when traveling abroad.

Low statement credit redemption value. While you can redeem Membership Rewards as statement credit, that redemption option will only give you a value of 0.6 cent per point. In this case, a cash-back card, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, would offer a better rewards rate.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
Learn More
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express doles out 6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 spent a year — then 1%), unlimited 3% on gas and select department stores, and 1% elsewhere. It also comes with a sign-up bonus: Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit. This card has an annual fee of $75, but (sign-up bonus aside), you’ll come out ahead if you spend at least $1,250 on groceries every year.

No airport lounge membership. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express allows you to use the $100 airline fee credit to cover day passes for airport lounges — exclusive clubs in airports that generally serve complimentary food and drinks. But that credit may only be enough for about two airport lounge day-passes. If you want to visit these lounges more frequently, The Platinum Card® from American Express may be a better pick.

American Express Platinum Credit Card
Learn More
With The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll get access to airport lounges worldwide, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Airspace Lounges, as well as free enrollment in Priority Pass Select. Its annual fee of $450 is relatively steep, but considering that a one-year pass to Delta Sky Club Lounges costs $450 for a single person, this card offers excellent value. The card also comes with an annual $200 credit to offset airline incidentals like bag fees or in-flight meals, plus a big sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Should I get the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express?

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express may not be the best card for you if you don’t travel often, or if you don’t like booking flights directly with airlines. But if you’re a frequent flier looking for a travel rewards card that offers redemption flexibility and big earning potential, this card could be an excellent pick.

Updated September 2, 2015

Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.

  • Lainthedesert

    what is the minimum credit score needed to obtain a AMEX gold card?
    Is this an indication of credit worthiness or just that the person has paid
    $125 annually to get it?

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      I’m not sure if they have a hard-and-fast minimum credit score, but you do need excellent credit to get the card.

      • Avi

        For the record, I was a cardmember for a year with the HHonors free card, spent roughly 750-1000 per month on the card, and paid it off in full each month.

        In March I applied for (and was approved for) the Gold Premier Rewards Card. My credit score is in the 600-650 range. Just a general idea, but YMMV.

        • Golfstar

          Your credit sucks Avi!

          • Billy Beefcaked

            Agreed. I’m really surprised they gave you won with that bad of credit.

          • Kind_sir

            Billy, I’m surprised they gave you ‘won’ with that bad of spelling. 😉

          • chuck

            Avi, I don’t believe you….you don’t spend nearly enough dough and your credit sucks………BUT, I would like some of what you are on………

          • Paul

            Me too!

          • Paul

            Yeah, I agree his score sucks!

        • credit

          i have a credit score of 570 and i got the gold card as well
          maybe bcz i have good track of paying the blnc in full of all the cards which i have

        • Paul

          What does YMMV mean?

      • Xzur

        Comply with amex terms and agreements, you’d be ok.

      • disqus_Sx1BQg9Oyp

        I applied and was accepted when the card was new. I had been turned down for Chase and Citi cards around the same time.

        Perhaps they were willing to lower their acceptance standards when it was a new product???

      • nick

        I got the PRG with a 698 Experian score.

  • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

    I’m not sure if they have a hard-and-fast minimum credit score, but you do need excellent credit to get the card.

    • Avi

      For the record, I was a cardmember for a year with the HHonors free card, spent roughly 750-1000 per month on the card, and paid it off in full each month.

      In March I applied for (and was approved for) the Gold Premier Rewards Card. My credit score is in the 600-650 range. Just a general idea, but YMMV.

      • Golfstar

        Your credit sucks Avi!

        • Billy Beefcaked

          Agreed. I’m really surprised they gave you one with that bad of credit.

          • Kind_sir

            Billy, I’m surprised they gave you ‘won’ with that bad of spelling. 😉

        • Paul

          Yeah, I agree his score sucks!

      • credit

        i have a credit score of 570 and i got the gold card as well
        maybe bcz i have good track of paying the blnc in full of all the cards which i have

      • Paul

        What does YMMV mean?

    • Xzur

      Comply with amex terms and agreements, you’d be ok.

    • nick

      I got the PRG with a 698 Experian score.

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  • AhdsPtn

    Oh! The minimum credit score needed to obtain a AMEX gold card?
    Is this an indication of credit worthiness or just that the person has paid
    $125 annually to get it?

  • https://www.cardauthorizer.com/merchants-services.html Merchant Services

    Oh! The minimum credit score needed to obtain a AMEX gold card?
    Is this an indication of credit worthiness or just that the person has paid
    $125 annually to get it?

  • https://www.cardauthorizer.com/merchants-services.html Merchant Services

    Oh! The minimum credit score needed to obtain a AMEX gold card?
    Is this an indication of credit worthiness or just that the person has paid
    $125 annually to get it?

  • Leecie

    Where is the grace period

    • HollywoodF1

      The grace period works like this: Anything I buy between, say, April 5 and May 4 is due on May 28.

  • Leecie

    Where is the grace period

  • Leecie

    Where is the grace period

    • HollywoodF1

      The grace period works like this: Anything I buy between, say, April 5 and May 4 is due on May 28.

  • Billy Beefcaked

    I’ve had AMEX Gold Premier since 2010, and my credit was 780 and my wife’s was 811. I like the card because I put EVERYTHING I spend on it each year. So I get the bonus points each year for spending $30,000+ a year, and bonus points on groceries and gas. I had around 250,000 points which I cashed out in February 2013, and at that time they gave you an additional 20% points if you cashed out that month. That gave me 300k total which took care of 20 days of hotel room costs and about 70% the rental car I needed.

    I look at it this way. If you are spending money then you might as well get something back for it, and AMEX Gold Premier is totally worth it.

    It also helps me remember NOT to buy things because I have to make sure I can pay it off at the end of the month. If you can’t control your spending DO NOT GET THIS CARD!

    • disqus_Sx1BQg9Oyp

      Exactly! I have one and use it for EVERYTHING (even insurance, power bill, etc.). I even gave an additional card to my girl and she uses it for work expenses, gas, etc…..Yes, you have to pay attention to how much you spend, but you will never have to pay interest because you pay in full every month.

      I’d say if you fly 3+ times a year (3x points), spend over $20k per year on it, and pay in full every month, you will easily make out on top of the $175 annual fee with Membership Rewards points, roadside assistance, etc….I really like when they give discounts on Travelers Cheques, I’ll redeem every time. Paid for an 8 day vacation in Hawaii (air/hotel/car, not food or beverages) after having the card for only 2 years.

      It’s not a card to use frugally. If you like to just use cash, I’d avoid it.

  • Billy Beefcaked

    I’ve had AMEX Gold Premier since 2010, and my credit was 780 and my wife’s was 811. I like the card because I put EVERYTHING I spend on it each year. So I get the bonus points each year for spending $30,000+ a year, and bonus points on groceries and gas. I had around 250,000 points which I cashed out in February 2013, and at that time they gave you an additional 20% points if you cashed out that month. That gave me 300k total which took care of 20 days of hotel room costs and about 70% the rental car I needed.

    I look at it this way. If you are spending money then you might as well get something back for it, and AMEX Gold Premier is totally worth it.

    It also helps me remember NOT to buy things because I have to make sure I can pay it off at the end of the month. If you can’t control your spending DO NOT GET THIS CARD!

  • james

    I have better credit than all of you and im 18 HA

    • chromedragon

      Please! You have nothing there to compare! Wait until you have had excellent credit for 3o years then you can brag!

    • manuell

      Get a job Nigro

    • Michael Taylor

      the goal is not to care about a credit score james! that being said eat dirt perhaps some day you can be self sufficient like me.

  • james

    I have better credit than all of you and im 18 HA

  • james

    I have better credit than all of you and im 18 HA

    • chromedragon

      Please! You have nothing there to compare! Wait until you have had excellent credit for 3o years then you can brag!

    • Michael Taylor

      the goal is not to care about a credit score james! that being said eat dirt perhaps some day you can be self sufficient like me.

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    It pays rewards in the form of Membership Rewards, which we believe is one of the best points programs out there.

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    It pays rewards in the form of Membership Rewards, which we believe is one of the best points programs out there.

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  • chromedragon

    I have had a card since 2003. It is NOT for someone who cannot keep track of their finances as it is not a credit card. Balance must be paid off every month. The biggest downside I find is that some of the merchants I do business with do not accept AE.

  • chromedragon

    I have had a card since 2003. It is NOT for someone who cannot keep track of their finances as it is not a credit card. Balance must be paid off every month. The biggest downside I find is that some of the merchants I do business with do not accept AE.

  • chromedragon

    I have had a card since 2003. It is NOT for someone who cannot keep track of their finances as it is not a credit card. Balance must be paid off every month. The biggest downside I find is that some of the merchants I do business with do not accept AE.

  • disqus_Sx1BQg9Oyp

    Exactly! I have one and use it for EVERYTHING (even insurance, power bill, etc.). I even gave an additional card to my girl and she uses it for work expenses, gas, etc…..Yes, you have to pay attention to how much you spend, but you will never have to pay interest because you pay in full every month.

    I’d say if you fly 3+ times a year (3x points), spend over $20k per year on it, and pay in full every month, you will easily make out on top of the $175 annual fee with Membership Rewards points, roadside assistance, etc….I really like when they give discounts on Travelers Cheques, I’ll redeem every time. Paid for an 8 day vacation in Hawaii (air/hotel/car, not food or beverages) after having the card for only 2 years.

    It’s not a card to use frugally. If you like to just use cash, I’d avoid it.

  • Mary Seeyu

    Amex is the best card to have. You purchase something, you pay for it at the end of the month. This way you don’t go deep into debt. I love it!

    • ben roth

      me too this is the best as you say

  • Mary Seeyu

    Amex is the best card to have. You purchase something, you pay for it at the end of the month. This way you don’t go deep into debt. I love it!

  • Mary Seeyu

    Amex is the best card to have. You purchase something, you pay for it at the end of the month. This way you don’t go deep into debt. I love it!

  • member since 11

    Three years ago I had 680 when approved for Discover More with 4k CL only (my first prime CC after the subprime Capital One, Credit One and First Premier Shitty Banks)… Six months later I found my invitation into this Amex Gold and they approved me online . It was 2011. Now I’m using the SimpliCity with 18k CL, Chase Freedom 16k, Chase Southwest Plus 16,2k (and 50K miles bonus) , Discover 19,5k, and my two brand new cards: Chase Mariott visa signature wih low 5k (but 70k points bonus) and Citi Hilton 6k only (but again: 40k bonus). so It was worth to join the AmEx team.

  • member since 11

    Three years ago I had 680 when approved for Discover More with 4k CL only (my first prime CC after the subprime Capital One, Credit One and First Premier Shitty Banks)… Six months later I found my invitation into this Amex Gold and they approved me online . It was 2011. Now I’m using the SimpliCity with 18k CL, Chase Freedom 16k, Chase Southwest Plus 16,2k (and 50K miles bonus) , Discover 19,5k, and my two brand new cards: Chase Mariott visa signature wih low 5k (but 70k points bonus) and Citi Hilton 6k only (but again: 40k bonus). so It was worth to join the AmEx team.

  • Chong Yang

    If you’re looking for a card with a good reward program then this is not it. I have this card and I charged everything on it thinking that the point system was worth it. It sounds good with the 3x ,2x,1x point system but if you do the math it is not. The conversion rate for a statement credit is 166.67 points per $1 credit. If you charge an item that gives you 1x point then you are getting 0.6% cash back. For 2x points, you are getting 1.2% cash back. And for 3x points you are getting 1.8% cash back. If you use your points to shop on their website, the conversion rate is even higher with a 200 points per $1 credit. Gift cards ranges from 100 points/$ to 200 points/$. A straight up cash back reward card is a better choice in my option.

    • William Wadsworth

      Only an idiot would use MR points for statement credits or cash back. The real value is found in transfers to travel partners, where you can get 5-6 cents per point of value on some redemptions. That’s essentially 5% off non-bonused purchases, 10% off gas/groceries, and 15% off travel.

  • Chong Yang

    If you’re looking for a card with a good reward program then this is not it. I have this card and I charged everything on it thinking that the point system was worth it. It sounds good with the 3x ,2x,1x point system but if you do the math it is not. The conversion rate for a statement credit is 166.67 points per $1 credit. If you charge an item that gives you 1x point then you are getting 0.6% cash back. For 2x points, you are getting 1.2% cash back. And for 3x points you are getting 1.8% cash back. If you use your points to shop on their website, the conversion rate is even higher with a 200 points per $1 credit. Gift cards ranges from 100 points/$ to 200 points/$. A straight up cash back reward card is a better choice in my option.

  • Chong Yang

    If you’re looking for a card with a good reward program then this is not it. I have this card and I charged everything on it thinking that the point system was worth it. It sounds good with the 3x ,2x,1x point system but if you do the math it is not. The conversion rate for a statement credit is 166.67 points per $1 credit. If you charge an item that gives you 1x point then you are getting 0.6% cash back. For 2x points, you are getting 1.2% cash back. And for 3x points you are getting 1.8% cash back. If you use your points to shop on their website, the conversion rate is even higher with a 200 points per $1 credit. Gift cards ranges from 100 points/$ to 200 points/$. A straight up cash back reward card is a better choice in my option.

    • William Wadsworth

      Only an idiot would use MR points for statement credits or cash back. The real value is found in transfers to travel partners, where you can get 5-6 cents per point of value on some redemptions. That’s essentially 5% off non-bonused purchases, 10% off gas/groceries, and 15% off travel.

  • ESCO

    Recently opened up a “Premier Rewards American Express Gold Card”. This card requires you to pay off your balance each month and earn points along the way. The first month our bill was over $8,500 and was of course paid in full before the due date. Half way through the second month our card was blocked at $4,000 and I was told to make a payment before the due date to have the card unblocked. We spoke to four different American Express representative including a “supervisor” named Steven Hancock who was the rudest one of all. They informed us that the “system” has to learn your spending habits and will block the card intermittently. I informed the representative that being out to dinner and having your Amex CC declined over and over is embarrassing and makes your customers feel like they have done something wrong. Stephen Hancock told me that if I want to be sure the card will go through, just check the app for “available spending” prior to every purchase for the next 6 months as there is no limited dollar amount that we should stay under to ensure we won’t be declined. Really??!!?? That is the answer? With an 800 credit score and 200k income per year I think it is ridiculous treatment of your customers. How do you even stay in business with a system like this and people like him representing AMEX. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE WITH YOUR MONEY, I WILL.

  • ESCO

    Recently opened up a “Premier Rewards American Express Gold Card”. This card requires you to pay off your balance each month and earn points along the way. The first month our bill was over $8,500 and was of course paid in full before the due date. Half way through the second month our card was blocked at $4,000 and I was told to make a payment before the due date to have the card unblocked. We spoke to four different American Express representative including a “supervisor” named Steven Hancock who was the rudest one of all. They informed us that the “system” has to learn your spending habits and will block the card intermittently. I informed the representative that being out to dinner and having your Amex CC declined over and over is embarrassing and makes your customers feel like they have done something wrong. Stephen Hancock told me that if I want to be sure the card will go through, just check the app for “available spending” prior to every purchase for the next 6 months as there is no limited dollar amount that we should stay under to ensure we won’t be declined. Really??!!?? That is the answer? With an 800 credit score and 200k income per year I think it is ridiculous treatment of your customers. How do you even stay in business with a system like this and people like him representing AMEX. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE WITH YOUR MONEY, I WILL.

  • ESCO

    Recently opened up a “Premier Rewards American Express Gold Card”. This card requires you to pay off your balance each month and earn points along the way. The first month our bill was over $8,500 and was of course paid in full before the due date. Half way through the second month our card was blocked at $4,000 and I was told to make a payment before the due date to have the card unblocked. We spoke to four different American Express representative including a “supervisor” named Steven Hancock who was the rudest one of all. They informed us that the “system” has to learn your spending habits and will block the card intermittently. I informed the representative that being out to dinner and having your Amex CC declined over and over is embarrassing and makes your customers feel like they have done something wrong. Stephen Hancock told me that if I want to be sure the card will go through, just check the app for “available spending” prior to every purchase for the next 6 months as there is no limited dollar amount that we should stay under to ensure we won’t be declined. Really??!!?? That is the answer? With an 800 credit score and 200k income per year I think it is ridiculous treatment of your customers. How do you even stay in business with a system like this and people like him representing AMEX. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE WITH YOUR MONEY, I WILL.

  • Alex Pereda

    I had the amex gold rewards for almost a year and I’ll probably cancel it, although if you travel a lot on the same airline you can use the $100 statement credit over incidentals, a $200 annual fee for just having a card is outrageous.

    The best you can get for points is 1 point = 1 cent, if you buy a ticket through them — have heard complains that it’s expensive compared to other sites —

    I’m starting to use my chase United Explorer card. Paying “only” $95 per year and gaining 1 mile per dolar spent at least I can get a free checked bag on domestic flights…

    You think amazon will care that my card has “gold status?!”

    • Alex Pereda

      when you cancel it, please post if they offered you something to retain you as a client…… instead of the annual fee

  • Alex Pereda

    I had the amex gold rewards for almost a year and I’ll probably cancel it, although if you travel a lot on the same airline you can use the $100 statement credit over incidentals, a $200 annual fee for just having a card is outrageous.

    The best you can get for points is 1 point = 1 cent, if you buy a ticket through them — have heard complains that it’s expensive compared to other sites —

    I’m starting to use my chase United Explorer card. Paying “only” $95 per year and gaining 1 mile per dolar spent at least I can get a free checked bag on domestic flights…

    You think amazon will care that my card has “gold status?!”

  • Alex Pereda

    I had the amex gold rewards for almost a year and I’ll probably cancel it, although if you travel a lot on the same airline you can use the $100 statement credit over incidentals, a $200 annual fee for just having a card is outrageous.

    The best you can get for points is 1 point = 1 cent, if you buy a ticket through them — have heard complains that it’s expensive compared to other sites —

    I’m starting to use my chase United Explorer card. Paying “only” $95 per year and gaining 1 mile per dolar spent at least I can get a free checked bag on domestic flights…

    You think amazon will care that my card has “gold status?!”

    • Alex Pereda

      when you cancel it, please post if they offered you something to retain you as a client…… instead of the annual fee

  • Ts

    I got a invitation to apply for Premier Rewards Gold Card. They are offering 50000 points for eligible purchases of 1000$ in 3 months. Annual fee :195$
    I don’t travel a lot but would like to save on gas and groceries and all other purchases.

    Can someone explain how the 50K points worth 500$ can be redeemed?

  • Ts

    I got a invitation to apply for Premier Rewards Gold Card. They are offering 50000 points for eligible purchases of 1000$ in 3 months. Annual fee :195$(waived for 1st yr)
    I don’t travel a lot but would like to save on gas and groceries and all other purchases.

    Can someone explain how the 50K points worth 500$ can be redeemed?

  • Donna Banks

    With Amex points you need to forget about the cash back and use your points for travel. I just booked Virgin Atlantic to Europe and the Premier Coach which is the same as business was only 60,000 points plus $700 in taxes for 2 tickets.these tickets would have been $2300 each if I had used cash.. Do not book with Amex Travel Co call Virgin and ask do they have air available have them hold it then call Amex and have them move needed points into your Virgin Mileage account. You can also do this with Delta and Air Canada they belong to star alliance which has at least 16 or so different airlines. Then you will do the same as I explained with Virgin booking.

  • Donna Banks

    With Amex points you need to forget about the cash back and use your points for travel. I just booked Virgin Atlantic to Europe and the Premier Coach which is the same as business was only 60,000 points plus $700 in taxes for 2 tickets.these tickets would have been $2300 each if I had used cash.. Do not book with Amex Travel Co call Virgin and ask do they have air available have them hold it then call Amex and have them move needed points into your Virgin Mileage account. You can also do this with Delta and Air Canada they belong to star alliance which has at least 16 or so different airlines. Then you will do the same as I explained with Virgin booking.