ALERT: This card has an array of benefits – so read this review and make sure you understand them all before completing an application. American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner.
I frequently encounter people who have the American Express Premier Rewards Gold 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!
This review will keep you from missing out.
ALERT: Higher annual fee and new benefits on the way in June 2015
If you're considering applying for this card, note that there are changes in store for June 1, 2015. The annual fee will increase from $175 to $195, but the good news is the card will start waiving foreign transaction fees, give 2 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and offer a $100 reimbursement for incidental airline fees.
Until then, read on for what the card offers right now.
Since making its debut in 1966, the American Express Gold Card has become synonymous with customer service benefits and prestige. But, in 2009, AmEx came out with the Premier Rewards Gold which offers additional features to consider.Sign-up Offer for April 2015
Receive a bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your card to make $2,000 in purchases in the first three months, 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
What happens if something you bought with the credit card is lost, stolen or accidentally damaged? If fewer than 90 days have gone by since you made the purchase, American Express will pay to repair or replace it under covered circumstances – up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. Purchases anywhere in the world are covered.
Example: You buy a $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.
When you consider how frustrating it is to have expensive appliances or electronics malfunction right after the warranty expires, 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.
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.
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 in which 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.
Hotel Collection benefits
If you use your card to book at least two consecutive nights (via American Express' Hotel Collection site), you'll get a credit at checkout, for each dollar spent on eligible changes (up to $75). Qualifying charges include incidentals like dining, spa purchases and resort activities. Terms and limitations apply.
Reconsider that AAA membership. This card provides 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. Note that this excludes rental vehicles, motorcycles, taxicabs, trucks and other types of vehicles.
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
Next time you rent a car, remember that American Express offers secondary collision coverage on eligible rentals when you pay 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 common-carrier travel (in other words, whenever you're a 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, but travel accidents do happen.
Global Assist Hotline
Imagine: You're traveling and your wallet is stolen – your passport, cards, and cash are gone. Or you have a medical emergency on the other side of the world. If you're more than 100 miles from home, get emergency assistance 24/7. 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 after losing 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.
The Membership Rewards program is huge, so you can redeem your points for almost anything: travel, gift cards, statement credits, merchandise or entertainment. Just keep in mind that the value of your points will vary, depending on how you redeem.
- 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 other eligible purchases
- 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)
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 transfer points to select frequent-traveler programs (airlines and hotels). The conversion is often on a 1-for-1 basis with no dilution in value! As of April 2015, the list of frequent traveler programs includes:
- Air Canada
- Asia Miles
- British Airways
- Delta SkyMiles
- El Al Israel Airlines
- Flying Blue
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin America
- Virgin Atlantic
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, if you can book a flight or room with a high cash price for a relatively small number of points.
- Best Western
- Choice Privileges
- Hilton HHonors
- Starwood Preferred Guest
FUN:Special Events & Destinations
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 (April 2015)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 authorís 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.