American Express Revamps Gold Card
American Express has updated and relaunched its Gold Card to target consumers who value earning bonus points on food-related items and getting better travel benefits.
Formerly known as the Premier Rewards Gold Card, the rebranded card is now simply known as the American Express Gold Card, which is a lot easier to remember. It's also easier to understand where it fits in the general categories of credit cards within the industry.
Like Capital One's Savor card, Wells Fargo's Propel card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, Amex's new Gold Card is geared toward foodies, with 4x Membership Rewards points for U.S. restaurant and supermarket purchases up to $25,000 in spending per year. This is double what the old card offered. Cardholders also get a $10 monthly statement credit--totally $120 a year--if the use their Gold Card at Amex's dining partners Shake Shack, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House and Grubhub/Seamless.
"We designed the new Gold Card to reward our Card Members’ growing appetites for dining out, eating in and traveling near and far," said Rachel Stocks, executive vice president of Global Premium Products & Benefits, American Express, in a statement. "Our Card Members increasingly want to experience new cuisines and explore new places, so when creating this new product, we focused on adding value in these areas, like the new dining credit and 4X points accelerators at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets. This is just another way that we strive to have our customers’ backs during the moments they value most."
In terms of travel benefits, the Gold Card now features membership to The Travel Collection. Put together by travel agency Travel Leaders Group, this site helps you plan travel, get travel discounts and benefits, and allows you to use your Amex Membership Points to book travel.
This new benefit is in addition to the Premier Rewards card's travel benefits, which for air travel include 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines and amextravel.com, a $100 credit for airline fees and a $100 credit for incidental travel expenses incurred through one airline. Cardholders also get a $75 hotel credit to cover charges, as well as available room upgrades at hotels that are part of Amex's Hotel Collection. Cardholders also have access to travel concierge services.
As part of the rebranding launch, Amex is offering a limited edition rose gold metal version of the card that's available to both new Gold Card members and those who already carry the Premier Rewards Gold Card. Regardless of whether you go for the rose gold version, the new Gold Card will come as a metal card rather than a plastic one.
Amex has two other limited time bonus offers for new Gold Card members. The first is an innovative "pick up the tip" perk that gives you a 20% statement credit on your U.S. restaurant purchases up to $100. This is good for the first three months you have the card. Also, in those first three months, if you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases, you'll give 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points.
All three of these bonuses are available for just a few months. Requests for the rose gold card have to be made by January 9, 2019. If you apply for the card by that date, you should still be able to take advantage of the other two offers.
Of course, these perks come with a price. Amex is raising this card's annual fee from $195 to $250, and it's dropping the 2x points for gas station spending perk that was on the Premier Rewards Gold Card.
This card is designed to compete with some of the other popular metal cards that have higher annual fees. For people who spend a lot on food, this may be a way to rack up rewards easily. The travel perks are also a nice way to offset the higher annual fee.