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Published October 17, 2022

American Express Gold Rewards Card Canada Review 

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Best for travel lovers who want a flashy card with flexible rewards points and robust insurance coverage.

The Amex Gold Rewards Card’s accelerated earn rates on everyday spending categories make it easy to collect points for travel discounts and unique experiences.

    4.5

    NerdWallet Rating American for Express Gold Rewards Card

    View star rating methodology.

    American Express® Gold Rewards Card

    American Express® Gold Rewards Card
    • Annual Fee
      $250
    • Interest Rates
      20.99% / 21.99%
    • Rewards Rate
      1x-2x Points
    • Intro Offer
      Up to 50,000 Points
    Our Take
    Why we like it

    The American Express Gold Rewards Card should get the attention of travellers looking for comfort and flexibility. Points can be used for an impressive array of items and can be transferred to other rewards programs. The new rose gold design is an eye-catcher, too.

    Pros
    • Travel in comfort: room and rental car upgrades, access to airport lounges and credits for hotel amenities like dining and spa treatments.
    • The 50,000-point intro offer is equivalent to $500 for shopping, travel and more.


    Cons
    • Travellers 65 or older won’t be covered by the card’s emergency medical insurance.
    • If you travel often, you could burn through your four complimentary visits to Plaza Premium Lounges fairly quickly.

    American Express Gold Rewards Card pros and cons

    Pros

    Cons

    American Express Gold Rewards Card rewards

    Estimated value of the American Express Gold Rewards Card

    Point value breakdown

    The value of an American Express Membership Rewards point varies on the redemption method you choose, but you can expect to get around 0.7-2 cents per point. 

    Calculating your annual rewards

    Let’s look at a hypothetical example in which a person earns 4,000 points per month on their Amex Gold Rewards Card across all spending categories, and chooses redemption methods that get between 1 and 2 cents per point, on average. This example does not include any Welcome Bonus points.

    48,000 points earned x 1.75 cent average value per point = $840 annual rewards

    $840 annual rewards – $250 annual fee = $590 net annual rewards

    Welcome offer value

    The welcome offer for the American Express Gold Rewards Card includes up to 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. The total value of the offer will depend on how you redeem the 50,000 points.

    Amex suggests the welcome offer is worth $500, which is the minimum value when redeemed through statement credits. You need to spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of card membership, then make one eligible purchase of any amount between 14 and 17 months of card membership to get the full 50,000 points.

    However, the welcome offer could be worth up to $1,000 if redeemed strategically — you’ll just need to redeem the points for short-haul flights, available with a value of $0.02 cents per point.

    Annual value

    Beyond its welcome offer, the Amex Gold card has additional benefits that deliver value. Cardholders get a $100 CAD annual travel credit to redeem for trips booked through American Express Travel Online and a $50 CAD statement credit for NEXUS application or renewal fees charged to the card. Staying at least two consecutive nights at eligible hotels yields a $100 USD credit for hotel amenities. And cardholders get four complimentary passes to Plaza Premium Lounges across Canadian airports annually, which cost about $55 per pass if you purchase them on your own. All told, those perks are worth about $495 per year. And that doesn’t include the insurance that comes with the American Express Gold Rewards Card, which could be worth thousands should you ever need to put it to use.

    Is the Amex Gold Card worth it?

    It depends on your spending habits. At a minimum, you want to recoup your cardholder costs. According to NerdWallet analysis, one American Express Membership Rewards point can be worth as much as 2 cents. You’d need to earn at least 12,500 points to recoup the card’s annual fee of $250. To earn the 12,500 points needed to offset the card’s annual fee, you’d need to spend at least $6,250 — and that’s money spent in this card’s highest earning category of 2 points per $1.

    American Express Gold Rewards Card full review

    The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a metal credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points. Cardholders earn points for each eligible dollar spent, with accelerated rates on travel, grocery store, gas station and drugstore spending.

    Benefits of the American Express Gold Rewards Card

    The glitzy Amex Gold earns rewards points and comes packed with travel perks, like insurance coverage, airport lounge passes, hotel credits, Hertz rental upgrades and more. Oh, and did we mention the sleek stainless steel design? The card is available in gold or rose gold — the choice is yours.

    Drawbacks of the American Express Gold Rewards Card

    The American Express Gold Rewards Card card has a $250 annual fee, and its emergency medical insurance doesn’t extend to cardholders 65 and older. Plus: airport lounge access isn’t unlimited — you get four passes annually, which you could burn through quickly if you’re a frequent flier.

    Is American Express reliable and secure?

    With American Express being one of the world’s biggest credit card issuers, their products typically provide a secure way of making purchases in person and online.

    If someone steals your credit card information or makes fraudulent purchases with your card, American Express’s Fraud Protection Guarantee ensures you won’t be held responsible for any of the charges.

    There have been minor security scares involving American Express customer information in recent years that were either the result of security breaches at third-party sites storing American Express customer data or the work of disgruntled former employees.

    American Express customer satisfaction ratings

    American Express ranks third (and above industry average) in customer satisfaction with credit card issuers, according to J.D. Power’s 2022 Canada Credit Card Satisfaction Study, a survey of 6,478 cardholders in Canada [1]. Card issuers were rated on their benefits and services, communication, card terms, customer support and rewards. The credit card issuers with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the survey were Tangerine Bank and Canadian Tire.

    American Express had a Trustpilot rating of 1.7 out of 5 possible stars based on more than 2,500 customer reviews, at the time of this writing.

    American Express had a 1.07 out of a possible 5 stars, according to nearly 300 customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau website, at the time of this writing. American Express is accredited and has an A+ rating by the BBB itself.

    American Express had a Customer Service Scoreboard rating of 36.52 out of a possible 200, based on over 300 ratings, at the time of this writing.

    American Express Gold Rewards Card details and eligibility

    Who qualifies for the Amex Gold Rewards Card?

    You must be a Canadian resident and at least the age of majority for your province or territory to be eligible for the Amex Gold Card. You must also meet credit score and income requirements.

    Approximate credit score needed for approval

    Canadian credit card issuers rarely disclose required credit scores, which makes it hard to know your chances of approval when comparing credit cards. It also means any score suggestion we make would be our best guess — which may not be accurate and could result in card application rejections. We don’t want that. 

    Suggesting that you’d need a “good” or “excellent” score is also confusing because the meaning of those terms can vary depending on the rating system card issuers use.

    Instead, we’ll tell you what we do know: higher scores have better chances of approval — that’s true no matter what type of credit you’re applying for.

    Want to learn more? Visit our “What Credit Score is Needed for a Credit Card?” page.

    » MORE: How to Check Your Credit Score

    Income requirements

    American Express doesn’t publicly disclose annual income requirements for its Gold Rewards Card. You must provide your annual income during the application process, which may be a factor during card approval.

    Who should get the Amex Gold Rewards Card?

    The American Express Gold Rewards Card offers its highest earn rate on travel expenses, groceries, gas and drugstore purchases. It also provides comprehensive travel insurance and numerous travel-related perks, like NEXUS fee rebates and airport lounge passes. Travel lovers that frequently spend big at the grocery store, pumps or drugstore will be able to make the most of this credit card’s rewards program and benefits.

    How to know if the Amex Gold Rewards Card is right for you

    If you like to travel and typically use your credit card at the grocery store, gas station, or drugstore, the American Express Gold Rewards Card may be a practical choice.

    How to apply for the Amex Gold Rewards Card

    You can complete the application for the Amex Gold Card from the American Express website:

    1. Select the Apply Now button from the American Express Gold Rewards Card page on the American Express website.
    2. Review the card’s terms and conditions and select Agree and Begin to continue. 
    3. Enter your personal details, including your full name, date of birth, phone number, email address and residential address.
    4. Tell American Express about your finances, including your annual personal income, household income and employment details. 
    5. Choose a four-digit PIN.
    6. Review the information you’ve supplied and submit your application.

    How to maximize the benefit of the Amex Gold Rewards Card

    Get the biggest bang for your buck with the following tips:

    Alternatives to the Amex Gold Rewards Card

    If you want a card that turns heads but aren’t sold on the Amex Gold, it isn’t the only metal card on the market. Explore your metal credit card options to find a card that fits your design preferences and spending habits.    

    Or maybe you aren’t interested in earning American Express Membership Rewards points. If that’s the case, numerous rewards program alternatives exist, like Air Miles, Aeroplan rewards, TD Points, Scene+ points, Aventura Points and more. Compare your rewards credit card options from other providers to find the ideal fit for your lifestyle.

    Reasons you might want a different card

    The Amex Gold earns rewards and comes with an attractive lineup of card perks, but there are a few circumstances where it won’t be a practical fit: 

    Amex Gold Rewards Card vs Amex Platinum Card

     American Express Gold Rewards CardAmerican Express Platinum Card

    Annual fee$250 for first card
    $699 for first card.
    Reward rates2 points per $1 spent on travel purchases.
    2 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases.
    1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
    3 points per $1 spent on dining and food delivery.
    2 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases.
    1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
    Travel perks$100 travel credit for American Express Travel Online.
    $50 NEXUS fee rebate.
    Four airport lounge passes annually.
    Get a $100 USD credit for hotel amenities when you stay two consecutive nights.
    $200 travel credit for American Express Travel Online.
    $100 NEXUS fee rebate.
    Free and unlimited access to over 1,300 global airport lounges.
    Receive late check-out and complimentary daily breakfast for two at over 1,100 hotels worldwide.
    Get fast-tracked for hotel loyalty programs.
    Access priority security lanes and complimentary valet service at Toronto Pearson Airport.

    American Express Gold Rewards Card facts

    American Express Gold Rewards Card
    Card TypeMetal rewards credit card.
    Interest Rates
    Regular/purchase APR
    20.99%
    Cash advance APR21.99%
    Penalty APR23.99% if you miss two payments within 12 months, and 26.99% if you miss three payments within 12 months.
    Fees
    Annual fee$250
    Balance transfer3% of transaction
    Cash advance$2.75 per transaction
    Foreign transaction2.5% of transaction
    Signup Bonus or Welcome OfferReceive 40,000 points by spending at least $3,000 within the first three months of card membership.
    Receive 10,000 points by making one eligible purchase of any amount between 14 and 17 months of card membership.
    Rewards and benefitsAmerican Express Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for travel experiences, merchandise, gift cards, statement credits towards eligible purchases and more. You can also transfer your points at an exchange rate of 1:1 to American Express partner loyalty programmes, including Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles, Marriott Bonvoy and more.
    Other perks
    Metal design. Choose between gold or rose gold for the design of your stainless steel card.
    Travel credit. Receive a $100 annual travel credit to redeem for travel experiences booked through American Express Travel Online.
    Free airport lounge passes. Enjoy four complimentary passes to Plaza Premium Lounges across Canadian airports annually.
    NEXUS fee rebate. Get a $50 statement credit when you charge a NEXUS application or renewal fee to your card.
    Priority Pass membership. Access over 1,200 airport lounges across the world for a fee.
    Hotel credit. Stay at least two consecutive nights at eligible hotels to get a $100 USD credit for hotel amenities, like dining, spa treatments, room upgrades and more.<
    Hertz upgrades. Enroll in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program to receive car class upgrades on rentals of five or more consecutive days and waived fees for additional drivers.
    Front Of The Line perks. Access exclusive ticketing presales for concerts, shows and special events.
    American Express Experiences. Enjoy special access to advanced film screenings, food festivals, private shopping experiences and curated offers through the American Express Experiences program.
    Amex Priority Lines. Skip the crowds and lineups at popular Toronto event venues like the Budweiser Stage and the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
    Exclusive lounges and bars. Relax in exclusive American Express lounges when you take in a Toronto show at the Princess of Wales and Ed Mirvish Theatres.
    Insurance coverage
    Extended warranty12 months
    Purchase protection90 days
    Travel accidentUp to $500,000
    Emergency medicalUp to $5 million per person, per trip.
    Flight delayUp to $500 per person for meals and accommodations.
    Baggage delayUp to $500 for clothing, toiletries and other essentials.
    Lost or stolen baggageUp to $500 of coverage per trip for all insured persons.
    Hotel burglaryUp to $500 of coverage for personal items (excluding cash).
    Rental car theft/damageYes, up to 45 days.

    Rating Methodology

    NerdWallet Canada rates credit cards according to overall consumer value and their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation include annual and other fees, rewards rates, the earning structure (for example, flat-rate rewards versus bonus categories), redemption options, bonus offers for new cardholders, introductory and ongoing APRs, and other noteworthy features such as airline or hotel perks or the ability to transfer points.

      Frequently asked questions about Amex Gold Rewards Card

      How do you qualify for a Gold Amex?

      To be eligible for the Amex Gold Rewards Card, you must be a Canadian resident and at least the age of majority for your province or territory. You must also meet credit score and income requirements.

      Is the Amex Gold a metal card?

      Yes, the American Express Gold Rewards Card is a metal credit card. It’s made of stainless steel, and available in gold or rose gold finish.

      Article Sources

      Works Cited
      1. J.D. Power, “J.D. Power 2022 Canada Credit Card Satisfaction Study,” accessed Nov. 16, 2022.
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