Speaking of gold, the American Express Gold Card is a great credit card option for exactly this reason. With this card, you can earn rewards on restaurants, groceries and travel while taking advantage of enhanced rewards to redeem travel expenses through the Amex Travel portal.
If you are considering getting an Amex Gold Card, here’s what you should know about the features and benefits that are great for the traveling foodie inside you.
What does the AMEX Gold Card offer?
- Rewards rate: 4x Membership Rewards points on restaurants, including takeaway and delivery in the US; 4 times the points on Uber Eats purchases; 4x points in US supermarkets (on purchases up to $25,000 per year, then 1x points); 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel; Double points on cars rented through American Express Travel; 1x point on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership
- Annual fee: $250
- Ordinary APR (to be paid over time): 16.74 percent to 23.74 percent variable
The first benefit that comes out with Amex Gold is the welcome offer of 60,000 points that you will get after spending $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. These points can be worth up to $1,200 for travel on the Amex travel portal (based on monthly reviews from The Points Guy). However, be sure to double-check your redemption value with the Amex Rewards Calculator, just to be sure.
As noted above, the rewards structure is particularly generous for foodies: you’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants, including on takeout and delivery in the US and on Uber Eats purchases, as well as 4X points in US supermarkets (up to $25,000 in US purchases annually, then 1X points).
Then, not only can you earn 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel and 2X points on car rentals through Amex Travel, but you can also get higher redemption values when booking through the portal as well.
We’ve already covered the highest refund value by booking travel, giving you the best value. But there are other redemption options to consider, such as statement balances, gift cards, points payment at checkout with select merchants, and prepaid rental cars booked through Amex Travel. However, you should know that these recovery options will be much less valuable.
Supplementary Card Benefits
- Up to $120 in annual food credits: Earn up to $10 in statement credits per month on purchases of Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and Shake Shack.
- Up to $100 hotel credit with The Hotel Collection: Book two or more consecutive nights with your Card through the American Express travel portal (at any of the 600 eligible properties) and get up to $100 hotel credit.
- Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: Get up to $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 per month in Uber Cash, expires at the end of the month) toward US rides and US Uber Eats orders.
Here, you can see exactly why this card makes sense for foodies who travel. Besides the rewards structure, annual credits that focus on travel and dining are very attractive to someone with a huge grocery and dining budget.
Travel and shopping protection
This card also makes sense for travelers because of the rewards structure and hotel credit, along with additional travel and shopping protection. These include:
- Flight delay insurance
- Baggage insurance
- Insurance against loss and damage caused by car rental
- Extended warranty coverage
- Purchase Protection
Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees, which makes taking this card abroad even more worth it. If you plan to earn rewards from travel, Amex Gold is a great international travel companion for maximizing your earnings from spending on travel outside the US.
Should I get an American Express Gold Card?
Although this card is suitable for people who tend to spend a lot on groceries, dining, and travel, it is not for everyone. For example, there’s an annual fee of $250 (which isn’t a bad deal for roughly $350 in credits, plus a generous bonus structure and welcome bonus). However, if you don’t use this card often, don’t plan to use credits or won’t redeem rewards strategically for travel, this can be an expensive card to keep from year to year.
If the $250 annual fee is too much, consider a card in Capital One’s lineup of foodie-focused credit cards. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards credit card has no annual fee and you get 3 percent cashback on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery store purchases (excluding department stores like Walmart and Target), and 8 percent cashback on purchases from Vivid Seats (up to January 2023) and 1 percent returned to everything else.
However, there are not many benefits to spending on travel apart from the fact that the card does not have foreign transaction fees.
If you are more interested in a travel credit card with no annual fee, you can go for the Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card. With this card, you’ll get 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, plus 1.25X unlimited miles on all other purchases. You can redeem rewards for general travel through Capital One’s travel portal, with some opportunities to get an enhanced redemption rate with eligible Capital One travel partners as well.
However, to combine your rewards on travel, dining, and groceries, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a rewards structure similar to the Amex Gold card, but with a nominal annual fee of $95. Sapphire Preferred offers 3X points on food (including eligible delivery services), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs), 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 2X points on General travel and 1 X point on all other purchases.
Amex Gold offers slightly higher rewards for these categories, but we still consider Sapphire Preferred a decent option for those who aren’t ready for the $250 annual fee.
The Amex Gold Card is a great card for those who enjoy dining out or cooking at home with groceries, but it only makes sense if you’re willing to take advantage of strategic travel redemptions and use those credits conscientiously.
To see if you qualify for an Amex Gold or similar card, consider checking CardMatch to find credit card offers that match your credit profile. If your Amex Gold is approved and you don’t end up getting the value you want, you can always cancel or downgrade your American Express card in just a few steps.
The level of eligibility and benefits varies by card. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. The subscription was made by the Amex Assurance Company.