ALERT: Please don't complete an application for the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card until you have read this review and fully understand the numerous card benefits. American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner.

American Express Gold Card
I frequently encounter people who have this card, but they're unaware of all the benefits it offers. As a result, they are leaving value and sometimes real money on the table!

So take a moment to review all of the Premier Rewards Gold Card's benefits before you apply. That way you won't miss out on anything once you have it.
Sign-up Offer for September 2014
Receive a bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in first three months of card membership AND get a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After the first year, the annual fee is $175.

Learn more and take advantage of this offer while it's available
Since making its debut in 1966, the American Express Gold Card has become synonymous with customer service and benefits, not to mention setting the "gold standard" for card prestige. But they came out with the Premier Rewards Gold which offers additional features to consider.

BUYING:
Purchase protection
What happens if the purchases you made with the credit card are lost, stolen or accidentally damaged? If fewer than three months have gone by since you made the purchase, American Express will pay to repair or replace eligible purchases – up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. Purchases anywhere in the world are covered.

Example: You buy a brand-new $130 pair of sunglasses and two months later, you drop them on the concrete and scratch up the lenses. Obviously the store/retailer isn't going to take them back. However if you paid for them with your American Express Gold Card, those glasses could still be protected.

Extended warranty
Let's be honest... they don't make things like they used to. That extended warranty the cashier tries to sell you at checkout might be a good idea, but why pay for it? The Premier Rewards Gold Card offers you an extended warranty on all eligible purchases. If the original manufacturer's U.S. warranty is five years or less, American Express will extend it up to a year at no additional cost.

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Example: You buy a new laptop and the manufacturer's eligible warranty covers 12 months. After 13 months, the fan goes bad and fries the motherboard (happened to me). If you bought the laptop with your AmEx Gold card, warranty protection is twice as long – 24 months instead of 12.

Return protection
Stores can be so picky about returns. Not only do you need the receipt, but the item needs to be in the exact same condition you bought it. And even then, some retailers don't accept returns, period.

Well if the store won't accept your eligible return, American Express may. If you bought the item with your Premier Rewards Gold card, American Express will refund the full purchase price (up to $300 per eligible item and up to $1,000 annually) within 90 days of purchase, as long as it's still in "like new" condition.

TRAVELING:

roadside assistance details
Roadside assistance
Why pay for a AAA membership? Get complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance (towing up to 10 miles, winching, flat-tire change if you have a spare, jump starts, fuel delivery up to 2 gallons and lock-out service) anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. You can use this service up to four times a year.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
Next time you rent a car, remember that American Express offers secondary collision coverage on eligible rentals when paying with your Gold Card. Plus you also get the 24/7 roadside assistance.

Luggage Insurance - Up To $1,250
What happens if your bags are lost, stolen or damaged while you're traveling? American Express offers insurance – up to $1,250 for carry-ons and $500 for checked luggage – on common carrier tickets, as long as you paid with your Premier Rewards Gold Card. Keep in mind that's in addition to the coverage provided by your airline.

Travel Accident Insurance - Up to $100,000
You're protected – for no additional cost – on all eligible travel via Common Carrier (ticketed passenger on an airline, cruise ship, train, etc). Just pay using your Premier Rewards Gold. Hopefully this is a feature you will never need to use, but travel accidents do happen.

Global Assist Hotline
What if you're traveling and your wallet is stolen – your passport, cards, and cash are gone? Or you have a medical emergency far from home? If you're more than 100 miles from home, get emergency assistance anytime. You can get access to emergency cash, help with your passport, referrals to medical providers, and much, much more. Of course you'll have to pay for any services your receive, but having AmEx help you coordinate everything can be a godsend in the midst of a crisis – especially if you don't know the local language.

Fast Card Replacement
Whether you're home or abroad, you can get a lost card replaced quickly. This happened to me when I was traveling. American Express sent me a replacement card using overnight express. I also know someone that had a temporary Gold Card given to them the very same day by going to an American Express office when they lost the card in Belgium.

REWARDS:
In addition to having a robust suite of perks and benefits, Premier Rewards Gold lets you rack up extra points in certain categories in the Membership Rewards program. Review the rewards structure for yourself and keep in mind there are no caps on how many points you can earn.
  • 3 points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations
  • 2 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Annual bonus of 15,000 points each calendar year you spend at least $30,000 on the card (this is ON TOP of the points you already earned.)
  • Sign-up bonus of 25,000 points after you spend $2,000 during your first three months with the card (use the link below to get this offer)
The Membership Rewards program is huge, so you can redeem your points for almost anything: travel, gift cards, statement credit, merchandise, you name it.

You can also use the Membership Rewards program to turn your card into a frequent flier card for multiple airlines. How? Instead of being restricted to a single carrier, you can convert points to frequent flier miles. The conversion is often on a 1-for-1 basis with no dilution in value! More than 20 partner airline frequent flier programs and hotel loyalty programs participate. As of September 2014, those partners include:

Airlines:
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Flying Blue
  • Frontier
  • Hawaiian
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic

Hotels:
  • Best Western
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Starwood Preferred Guest
Remember... 1 cent per point is the minimum you should settle for when redeeming for travel. But real frequent flier miles might be worth even more than that (since most airlines offer round trip flights for 25,000 miles and sometimes less), assuming you redeem them wisely.

FUN:
Special Events & Destinations
Gold Card Events
As a Gold Card member, you are eligible for access to special events along with extra perks and upgrades.

Get Exclusive Tickets
AmEx can hook you up with some of the most in-demand concert and event tickets in the country. Whether it's the hottest band or sports game, American Express has connections. Many times you can even buy tickets before they're sold to the public and get preferred seating.

VERDICT (September 2014)
Valuable benefits, high rewards on spending, and premium service? It's clear to see why the Premier Rewards Gold card is so coveted and highly rated. The enticing bonus offer that comes with it right now is icing on the cake. With the annual fee of $175 waived in year one, you can give the card a test drive before deciding if it will have a permanent spot in your wallet.

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.