The American Express® Gold Card: The Best Keeper Card on the Market

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By now you’ve heard me throw around the term “keeper card” a few times, referring to cards that make sense to hold onto year after year because the value you get will always outweigh the annual fee.

It doesn't matter which airlines or hotels you like, how much you spend, or anything else. A $700 hotel card makes sense for a very specific type of traveler, but a keeper card like the one I'm about to share with you makes sense for pretty much everyone.

In fact, I’m going to tell you about a certain keeper card that stands out from the rest of the pack. I’m talking, of course, about the American Express® Gold Card.

Why is the Amex Gold card SO good?

You can think of this card as the younger, more handsome brother of the famous Platinum Card® from American Express. Thankfully, it also comes with a “little brother-sized” annual fee of $250 (Rates & Fees).  

But before we jump into the nitty-gritty of fees, credits, and value, let’s talk about the points you earn from spending your cold, hard cash.

One of the biggest categories of spending for anyone is food, i.e. your morning coffee(s), groceries, drinks with friends, or the tiny $5 sandwich you paid $30 for on UberEats while sitting at home binge-watching Sex and the City… no? Is that just me?

Anyway, we all eat, and we all spend a decent amount of our money on food-related things. That’s exactly why the Amex Gold card is so awesome.

You can earn 4X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year,  then it drops to 1 point per dollar). This is more than any other card. 🤯

Because of this multiplier, you can rack up tons of points every month and then redeem them for travel just from eating food. It’s basically a dream come true. 

If you’re a Daily Drop reader, you probably also spend a few dollars here and there on flights. At least I hope you do.  

With the Amex Gold, you also earn you 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through AmexTravel.com. While there are other cards out there that earn more than this, none of those other cards have the same perks as the Gold card.

That brings me to my favorite thing about this card - the credits. And let me tell you, this card doesn’t mess around when it comes to credits.

After you enroll, you get up to $120 worth of annual dining credits (in the form of $10 per month statement credits) when you make the purchase with your Gold card at participating partners.

If you're new to statement credits, here is basically what this means:

  • Enroll in the benefit online, through the American Express® App, or by calling the number on the back of your card

  • Spend $10 in a given month at a participating partner on your Gold Card

    • "Participating partners" are specific brand establishments, but the list is long enough that it would be difficult to not find a use for this.

  • Receive a statement credit (i.e. a reduction in your Gold account balance), typically 6-8 weeks after your purchase

Second, you get up to another $120 of credits in the form of Uber Cash, also broken up into $10 per month after you add your Amex Gold card to your Uber account. You can also use these credits for UberEats in the U.S., making it easy to use if you aren't traveling in a big city.

So right off the bat, you’re looking at $240 of annual credits that you don’t even have to work hard to use.

Now you might be thinking to yourself…

Ummmmmm Mike, you literally just told me a little while ago that the annual fee of this card is only $250. Surely that must be a mistake if the card offers a total of $240 worth of annual dining statement credits and Uber Cash… right?

And I would respond by saying “No, Steve. You’re wrong.

Most of you aren’t named Steve, but those of you who are named Steve probably just felt really special there for a second.

It’s true, though. Because of the $240 of annual benefits that are earned from spending money I know I would be spending anyway, the $250 annual fee doesn't feel quite the same as other $250 purchases in my bank account 😁 

Remember when I said this was a keeper card? Yea, that’s why 😏

Every year you hold the card and mind your p's and q's (enroll in the benefit, put the right monthly spend to the right merchants on your Amex Gold card, etc.), you can get that level of value, no matter what.

But wait… there’s more 😮.  Did I mention this card also earns points and has a welcome offer?!?!?!

Earning and redeeming with the Amex Gold card

This card also currently has a welcome offer to earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.

So let’s say you put your normal, monthly purchases on the card until you hit that $6,000 threshold spend. 

In your first 6 months, you could earn something around 75,000 Membership Reward points, by reaching the minimum spending requirement (that’s 60,000 from the welcome offer and 15,000 from monthly spending).

Now for the exciting part - let's walk through some examples of how you could use those points! 

Let's say you live in New York and you want to spend a lovely, relaxing week in the Spanish countryside.

First, you could transfer 30,000 Membership Rewards points to KLM/Air France Flying Blue. With those points, you could book round-trip flights between New York and Madrid.

Next, you could take your remaining 45,000 points, transfer them to Marriott Bonvoy, and book this 7-night stay at a hotel in A Coruña, Spain.

Bottom line

To reiterate, by signing up for the Amex Gold card, paying the annual fee, and spending $6,000 in six months (that you are likely spending already), you're earning enough Membership Rewards points to book a hypothetical (and yet very much real) round-trip airfare and 7 nights in a hotel ALL on points.

🤯 That's pretty ridiculous, especially for a card you know you're going to keep year after year and continue to rack up heaps of points with.

This card has a home in most Daily Drop team members wallets… and for good reason. And we think it’d be an excellent card for you, too!

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