American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card Review

Advertiser Disclosure

The AmEx Premier Rewards Gold card offers bonus points for both airfare and everyday purchases.

(Heads up: If you like the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card, we also suggest the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®, which currently comes with a 40,000 miles sign-up bonus!)

The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card  is a very solid travel rewards card, and not just because you get the first year with no annual fee. Not only does the rewards program gives you triple points on airfare purchases, you also earn double points at gas stations and supermarkets. It’s nice to be rewarded for everyday purchases as well. (Terms and Limitations Apply)

By the way, “airfare” purchases do include just a little more than airline tickets. You will also get the 3x bonus for airline fees, such as pet fees or even award fees. The only thing necessary is for the purchase to be classified as “Airline-Travel.” Even Priceline purchases count. The real advantage is that these points can be converted into miles. That’s right, you can use them to transfer miles into any of AmEx’s transfer partners, thus being able to use them for award flights and upgrades.

The current offer gives you 20,000 sign up bonus points after hitting a spend threshold of $2,000 in the first three months. There might be a better promo out there, though. AmEx is known to send targeted offers of higher sign-up bonuses, usually with a special RSVP code. Also, if you spend at least $30,000 in one year, you will receive 15,000 bonus points. (Terms and Limitations Apply)

So is the $175 annual fee worth it? Well, that depends on how much you spend on airfare and at gas stations and supermarkets. If you take a conservative estimate valuing these transferable points at 1.5 cents apiece, you would pay for the annual fee with the rewards if you spent either $5833.33 at gas stations and supermarkets in a year, or $3,888.88 in airfare in a year. That’s a lot of airfare, but most families do meet the gas stations and supermarkets spending level.

A few more things to note. First off, the Premier Rewards Gold card comes with a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%, which we really hate to see on a travel rewards card. Also, there is no preset spending limit. But, since this is a charge card, you need to pay off your balance in full every month. Sometimes, if you qualify, AmEx will let you set up a payment plan. But we don’t recommend counting on that. In fact, we recommend always paying off your balance in full every month anyway — unless you love undoing your rewards and then some by throwing money away to interest charges. Finally, do be aware that the requirements for this card include an excellent credit score.

Check out our guide to benefits below.

Money Math

  • Annual Fee: $175 (waived for the first year)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
  • APR: No interest, because you pay the balance in full every month.
  • Late Fee/Returned Payment Fee: $35

Benefits

  • Receive dispute resolution assistance through AmEx
  • Purchase Protection: Yes, covers refunds, theft, damage for 90 days
  • Travel Insurance: Yes, covers travel accidents
  • Car Rental Insurance: Yes, covers damage/theft
  • Roadside Assistance: 24/7, covers emergency services up to four times in one year
  • Extended Warranty: Yes
  • Customer Service: 24/7 Global Assist Hotline offers a variety of concierge-like services such as business referrals, visa/customs issues, destination info, and more

Don’t forget to check out our list of the best travel credit cards and best rewards credit cards.