Sometimes procrastination is a good thing. But in my case I’m still not sure. I’ve had the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card for many years. When the Amex Everyday credit card came on the scene I always meant to get that card and give up my Amex Premier card, but I never got around to doing that. The news now is that as of October 4, Amex rebranded the Premier Gold Card with the new name American Express Gold Card. Amex says, “New benefits, new look, same card only better.” The rebranding gives us more or less opportunities to earn Membership Rewards points, depending on our spending habits. I’m still on the fence as to what I’ll now use my card for and if I’ll keep it.
As of October 4: New Benefits and Membership Rewards Earning Rates
The card earns 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in the restaurant category in the United States and at U.S. supermarkets (capped at $25,000 per year on the supermarkets category).
The new Amex Gold Card now offers $10 per month in statement credits at the following restaurants and delivery services: The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Seamless, Shake Shack and GrubHub. If you use the credit at least once per month, you can potentially save $120 per year on dining at these places. Seems old fashioned that Amex still makes us enroll in some of their card benefit programs, but they do. Make sure to enroll in the program to receive the monthly credits.
New cardholders will receive a 20-percent discount on dining in the form of a statement credit in the first three months of being a member (capped at $100). To qualify for this offer, you must apply by Jan. 9.
Here’s one of card benefit losses I’m going to miss.
The Gold Card was my go-to card at gas stations. Starting in October 2019, double points at U.S. gas stations will no longer apply to qualifying purchases on the Gold Card for all existing cardholders who were approved for the card before Oct. 4, 2018. Bummer!
Benefits Staying The Same
The $100 airline fee credit is not going away, and you can continue using it toward baggage fees, seat selection, and in-flight meals, among other things, on your airline of choice. Enroll and choose your airline. If you haven’t used this year’s airline fee credit, ACT now! Don’t make the mistake I almost did with my Citi Prestige fee credit travel allowance.
Another benefit I’ve used quite often when I wanted to grow my Membership Rewards stash was earning 3X points per dollar spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines. This benefit stays with the rebranded card.
Other Changes on The Rebranded Card
The annual fee on this card was $195, but it’s going up to $250 and if you get the new Amex Gold Card, that $250 is not waived for the first year.
Maybe it’s the new metal look of the card and that it comes in gold and rose colors that caused the $55 increase in annual fee :) The limited edition of rose gold color is available until Jan. 9 only. I have the option of asking for a card replacement and getting a new sleek metal card, but I can’t see any benefit in doing that. Can you? Maybe I’m missing something.
Did American Express knock it out of the park with this rebranding? Many people think so. For me, not so much. Amex seems to have put weird restrictions and limitations on some of their benefits. For some people who eat out a lot, the 4x points at US restaurants helps. I do most of my eating out when I travel abroad, and for restaurants in the states I’d still rather use my Chase cards.
The restaurant choices for the monthly credit don’t sweeten the deal for me. If it does for you, the annual fee on the credit card would easily be covered. Without gas stations as one of the bonus categories, the card definitely becomes a “maybe I’ll cancel” card, though I’ll continue to use it for groceries. I wouldn’t apply for this card if I didn’t already have it, given the bonus categories and annual fee increase. I still have some time before I lose the gas station benefit and I’ll have to keep track of whether or not I use the card for airline tickets. What’s your thinking on the rebranded Gold Card? Did Amex hit it out of the park?