American Express Premier Rewards Gold card review

Our rating

5 stars 5/5

See explanation of our ratings system
See breakdown of this card’s rating

American Express Premier Rewards gold cardThis card has an array of benefits, which American Express fine tunes from time to time.

To make sure you don’t miss out on any, read this review before completing an application. American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner.


Sign-up Offer for August 2016

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 $195.

Learn more and take advantage of this offer while it’s available

In 1966, the American Express Gold Card became synonymous with customer service benefits and prestige. But, in 2009, AmEx came out with the Premier Rewards Gold which offers additional features to consider.

BUYING

Purchase protection
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 $10,000 per claim and up to $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 Premier Rewards Gold Card, those glasses could still be protected.

Extended warranty
When you consider how frustrating it is when 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.

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 in which you bought it. And even then, some retailers don’t accept returns, period.

If the store won’t accept your eligible return, American Express may. As long as 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:

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 after you complete your stay 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.roadside-assistance
Premium roadside assistance
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. American Express will cover the cost of those services 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 Premier Rewards Gold Card.

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 for those tickets 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 $250,000

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.

$100 airline fee credit

Each year, you can get up to $100 in automatic reimbursements for incidental charges on an eligible airline of your choice. This includes checked bag fees, in-flight food and drink and more (see the card’s terms and conditions for charges that are and are not covered). Just use your card to pay.

REWARDS

In addition to having a robust suite of perks and benefits, Premier Rewards Gold lets you rack up extra points in certain categories. 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
  • 2 points per dollar at restaurants
  • 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)

The rewards you earn are redeemable via the Membership Rewards program. It’s a robust and flexible program that allows you to exchange your points for travel, gift cards, statement credits, merchandise or entertainment and more. Just keep in mind that the value of your points will vary, depending on how you redeem.

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 (although not always) on a 1-for-1 basis meaning no dilution in value! As of August 2016, the list of frequent traveler programs includes:

Airlines:

  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad (new as of April 2016)
  • Flying Blue
  • Hawaiian
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic

Hotels:

  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Starwood Preferred Guest

This transfer option is generally considered to be the most potentially valuable way to redeem Membership Rewards. Remember… a value of 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 transfer them into the right program and then book strategically.

FUN

eventsSpecial 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. Many times you can even buy tickets before they’re sold to the public and get preferred seating.

Why we gave it 5 out of 5 stars

The Premier Rewards Gold card’s rating was based on our standards for “Flexible rewards programs,” as it’s tied to the Membership Rewards Program.

The card earned a full five stars, thanks mostly to its comprehensive bonus categories (which reward both everyday and travel spending) and its unique perks, which balance out the high-but-not-too-high annual fee.

Full starRewards earning rate: This card meets our requirement for annual-fee cards, as it offers at least 1x on all spending and at least 2X in two bonus categories. In fact, it offers 2X in three different bonus categories and 3X in one category.
Full starRewards value: To earn this star, a card must offer at least one redemption option that gives a value of 1 cent per point. The Premier Rewards Gold (which is tied to the Membership Rewards program) fulfills this with its gift card and travel-portal redemptions. You can also transfer to partner travel programs, where your points can be worth more than 1 cent each.
Full starUnique perks: The Premier Rewards Gold fulfills this star with roadside assistance, a yearly airline credit and a hotel-incidentals credit.
Full starFair annual fee: Three perks have calculable monetary value: The $100 airline credit, the $75 hotel-incidentals credit and the roadside assistance perks ($50/year approx.). If you use these each year, their value equals the annual fee.
Full starBonus opportunities: This card consistently offers a sign-up bonus and allows continuous bonus-earning opportunities via the Amex Offers program.

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.

Updated August 16, 2016