AmEx Revamps Gold Card, Adding Rewards, Raising Annual Fee

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express became the American Express Gold Card.

Claire TsosieOctober 4, 2018
On a similar note...
On a similar note...
AmEx Revamps Premier Rewards Gold, Adding Rewards, Benefits

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Nerd tip: On June 6, 2019 American Express made further updates to the American Express® Gold Card including offering 4X the points on dining worldwide. For the complete story, visit here.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

American Express has polished up one of its signature products, taking it from a ho-hum travel card to a dining rewards powerhouse.

On Oct. 4, 2018, the issuer replaced the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express with a newer version, dubbed the American Express® Gold Card. The new card comes with an annual fee of $250, rather than the previous fee of $195; the fee also will no longer be waived in the first year. Overall, the changes are a major improvement for existing cardholders and a lure for foodies who plan to apply for the card soon, despite the higher annual fee.

The positive changes

Of all the new benefits on the American Express® Gold Card, here are the most notable ones:

More rewards for food spending. The previous version of this card offered 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. restaurants. This version doubles that, offering 4 points per dollar spent on those same purchases (for up to $25,000 in spending at U.S. supermarkets per year). Terms apply. According to NerdWallet’s valuations, Membership Rewards are worth 1 cent each on average.

An added dining credit. The new card comes with an annual $120 dining credit, which comes in increments of up to $10 in statement credits each month. The credit can be applied when using the card at participating Shake Shack locations, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Grubhub and Seamless. Terms apply.

Metal construction. New and existing cardholders can opt for the new metal version of the Gold Card. For a limited time, a limited-edition rose gold metal card will be available through Jan. 9. They can call to request either one.

The negative changes

While most of the changes were positive, some weren’t. Here are the negative ones:

A higher annual fee that isn’t waived the first year. The previous card came with an annual fee of $195, waived the first year. Now, the annual fee is $250, and it’s not waived the first year. Terms apply. After the first year, that’s a 28% increase.

Lower rewards at the pump. The previous version of the card offered 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations. With these changes, you’ll earn only 1 point per dollar spent on these purchases. Terms apply.

What does it mean for existing cardholders?

Rewards and benefits will update. You'll have access to the higher rewards rates and dining credit right away if you already have the card, the issuer confirms. Starting Oct. 4, 2019, current cardholders will no longer get 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations.

A higher annual fee will take effect soon. You'll have to start paying the new annual fee of $250 on account anniversaries after April 1, 2019.

You'll have the option to get a metal card. You can request a new metal version of the card by calling AmEx’s customer service line. Through Jan. 9, you can request the limited-edition rose gold design.

Key features of the new American Express® Gold Card

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $250.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants.

  • 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets for the first $25,000 in spending in this category each year.

  • 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines and

  • 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

  • Terms apply.

Other benefits:

  • $100 airline fee credit.

  • $120 annual dining credit (up to $10 available per month), which can be used at participating Shake Shack locations, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Grubhub and Seamless. Cardholders receive this benefit as a statement credit.

  • Access to the Travel Collection by Travel Leaders Group benefit, which gets you access to travel discounts. To get the discounts, you need to enroll and contact the program’s Travel Collection Specialist.

  • Terms apply.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.