Best Charge Card: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
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The American Express Gold Card maintains an air of status to this day. Its premium cost, premium benefits, and backing from one of the most respected credit card companies on the planet has made attaining the Gold card an aspiration for many. But, is it worth it for you? Here's our review of their newer version, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.
Why We Like This Card
- Welcome offer: 25,000 points after meeting spending requirements
- $100 annual airline fee credit (with restrictions)
How This Card Works
The Premier Rewards Gold Card is a charge card, not a credit card, which means you are required to pay your balance in full each month. Thus, there is no interest rate.
This card offers 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points for purchases at US supermarkets, at US gas stations, and at US restaurants, and 1x points on other purchases.
Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership.
You can transfer these points to frequent flyer programs or redeem them for rewards from leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise, or entertainment. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Transferring Points to Miles)
Annual airline fee credit. Cardholders may select an airline and receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credit that can be used to pay for incidental fees on the selected airline. Qualifying fees include checked bags, in-flight refreshments, flight-change fees, and airport lounge day-passes. (See also: Best Travel Rewards Cards)
Hotel credit. Cardholders get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection.
No preset spending limit. There are plenty of other benefits associated with these Gold charge cards. For one, there's no preset spending limit. However, you are required to pay your entire balance in full each month.
Extended warranty and purchase protection. Each time you use your card to purchase an item with a warranty of five years or less, you receive up to an extra year of warranty from the Premier Rewards Gold card. You'll also receive purchase and return protection which can cover refunds, theft, and damage for 90 days.
Travel benefits and services. When you travel, you'll be covered by car rental insurance, baggage insurance, and their Global Assist Hotline. There are no foreign transaction fees when you use the Premier Rewards Gold card. Terms apply. (See also: Best Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards)
- $195 Annual Fee (waived for the first year)
- No APR (balance is paid in full each month)
- No Foreign Transaction Fee
Generous points for airfare purchases. I find that the major pro for this card is the triple points on airfare purchases. If you frequently fly, this card can award more points than many cobranded airline credit cards, allowing you to rack up points and earn rewards faster. (See also: Best Airline Credit Cards)
Membership Rewards program. Another big pro for me is the power of the Membership Rewards program. Its network of dozens of airlines and hotels make travel planning that much more fun and rewarding. And, with many promotions during the year granting bonuses of as much as 50% or 100%, you have even more opportunity to get your money's worth.
High annual fee. I find that the $195 fee is steep after the first year. Unless you can take advantage of the bonus categories and extra benefits, it may be difficult to justify the annual fee.
Charge card compatibility. Furthermore, the charge card situation is not for everyone. If you aren't able to pay your balance in full each month, it's best to instead choose a card with a low interest rate that allows you to carry a balance. (See also: Credit Cards with Low Interest Rates)
Who This Card Is Best For
This card is best for the frequent air traveler. At three points per dollar spent on airline fares, plus the ability to transfer points to other airlines as well as the extra flight benefits, there's really no better card out there for that purchase.