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November 4, 2015

Rewards Credit Cards

American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card Review

By earning triple points on airfare and double points at US stand-alone gas stations and supermarkets, it's hard to find a more versatile rewards card than the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card, especially when considering the many ways you can redeem points. While there's no annual fee for the first year, the $175 annual fee might scare away those who are on a budget.

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The Good

Easily accumulate large rewards

Since the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card offers three points per dollar on airfare and two points per dollar spent on groceries at US stand-alone supermarkets or at US stand-alone gas stations, you won't have to worry about using your card at specific places to accumulate rewards. Being able to earn triple points on airfare without having to book with a specific airline is a major highlight of this card. In fact, this card offers more points on airfare than other rewards credit cards that aren't associated with an individual airline.

Earn large bonuses

Compared to the other top rewards credit cards, the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card offers one of the best bonuses for new cardholders. If you spend $2,000 during your first three months of card membership, you'll earn 25,000 points that never expire. Keep in mind that you are not eligible for this bonus if you've owned this card in the past year, or if you've signed up for other AMEX cards within the last 90 days. In addition to the sign-up bonus, you can also earn a 15,000 point bonus after you spend $30,000 in one year.

Wide range of redeemable rewards

One of the best features about the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is that you are never limited in choices when it comes to redeeming your rewards. It goes a long way to know that you can actually capitalize on the rewards you earn with a credit card. Your points will never expire and you can use the points for rewards with over 300 brands. On top of that, you can transfer your points to over 20 airlines and hotels. Points can also be redeemed for gift cards and other merchandise.

Prestige factor

When it comes to getting "status" points, it's tough to beat the credibility you receive by taking out an American Express® Gold Card. It's common for people to use their Gold Card for business or social occasions to show the other people around them that they have "made it."

Pay with points on the American Express travel site

If you log on to the American Express Travel site, you can pay for your trip by having points automatically deducted from your Membership Rewards account. The "Pay with Points" option will cover most travel-related expenditures, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more with no blackout dates or restrictions. You can also receive $75 back at checkout if you book two consecutive hotel nights through the American Express Travel site. The minimum point redemption requirement is 5,000 points.

No interest charges

Using the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card has the potential to limit the balance you carry over each month because you're not able to carry over a balance at all. With this card, you pay your balance in full every month. That means there are no interest charges to worry about, but make sure you are ready to consistently pay off your balance each month.

The Bad

High annual fee

Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175. Several of the best rewards credit cards don't have any annual fee at all, and only one other product that we reviewed has a higher fee.

Pay balance each month and no balance transfers

You are out of luck if you want to bring in a balance from another credit card or transfer the balance of an existing loan onto the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card. Since balances with this card must be paid in full each month, you are not able to transfer a balance from another card. This is further evidence that American Express is willing to give out big rewards if you pay your full balance each month. However, having to pay off your entire balance can be a hassle if an emergency comes up or if you want to make a big-ticket purchase.

Foreign transaction fee

Several of the other rewards credit cards won't charge a foreign currency transaction fee, but the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is not one of them. While the 2.7% fee charged for each transaction will be annoying for world travelers, it's still slightly less than the 3% charged by other companies.

The Details

Rates and Fees

  • Annual Fee: Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175
  • Cash Advance Fee: None
  • Cash Advance Rate (APR): 2.7% per transaction
  • Introductory Rate (APR): None
  • Standard Rate (APR): None

Penalty Fees

  • Default Penalty Rate (APR): None
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $38
  • Minimum Interest Charge: None
  • Over-Limit Fee: None
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $38

Balance Transfers

  • Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR): None
  • Standard Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR): None


  • Additional Rewards for Dining: None
  • Additional Rewards for Gas: 2 points per $1 at U.S. stand-alone gas stations
  • Additional Rewards for Groceries: 2 points per $1 at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets
  • Additional Rewards for Shopping: None
  • Additional Rewards for Travel: 3 points per $1 on airfare
  • Bonus Points Offered: 15,000 points after spending $30,000 within one calendar year
  • Rewards Earnings for All Purchases: 1 point per $1 on eligible purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 25,000 after spending $2,000 during your first 3 months of Card membership
  • Type of Reward: Points

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