cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Amex gold card worth it?

rgd51
Regular Contributor

Amex gold card worth it?

I love dining out that it is probably the majority of my credit card spending. I have the chase freedom flex which gives 3% cash back on dining. I always PIF every month. My credit history is 6.5 years old with always PIF, never have paid any interest on credit cards, and no derogatory or late payments ever.

 

I have 6 hard inquiries on my experian report within the last year and 12 within the last 2 years (mortgage rate shopping), 761 fico 8 with experian, 6 new accounts in the last year (5 credit cards and 1 mortgage). Last HP and new account was about 4 months ago.

 

I use door dash and grub hub on a regular basis. The gold card has a $250 annual fee but offers up to $240 in credits that I would easily use without any effort which would effectively make the annual fee $10 for me.

 

I read it gets 4x points on dining and grocery stores. Does that mean 4% cash back? What are my redemption options and which redemption options give the most rewards?

 

I used the Amex pre qualification tool and I am pre approved/qualified for the gold card.

Would this card be more rewarding for me than my freedom flex that I currently use for dining?

Message 1 of 41
40 REPLIES 40
Slabenstein
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

4x MR doesn't mean 4% cashback.  I believe MR are worth 0.6 cpp when redeemed for statement credit, so if you use them in that way 4x MR would be about 2.4% cb.  There are a lot of other ways to use them that come out at 1 cpp or more, but, to my knowledge, these are mostly travel-related.  The MR pros on this board should be able to give you a more informative answer and let you know what the highest-value redemption options are.  However, since you say you'd be able to recoup the Gold's AF, whether you'd get a better return on your dining spend from that card or your CFF would depend on how you could redeem the MR and whether that would get you an effective rewards rate of >3% for 4x MR.  My own somewhat sketchy knowledge is due to the fact that our lifestyle wouldn't give us much opportunity to spend MR on anything other than statement credit, so MR-earning cards wouldn't be a good choice for us.


Message 2 of 41
TampaBAY86
New Contributor

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

OP, what kind of rewards are you interested in? Do you want to stick with just cash back, or are you interested in learning a rewards system? 

Message 3 of 41
FormerCollegeDJ
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

I think the answer @Slabenstein provided was pretty good (and as @TampaBAY86 noted, the real question is how do you like to use "rewards" - cash back, travel, gift cards, etc.).  I'm not an expert regarding American Express Membership Rewards, but to my knowledge Amex MR points provide the greatest value when you transfer them to one of Amex's many airline partners for premium (i.e. first or business class) tickets on high cost flights, particularly international flights or places like Hawaii.

 

I want to note that if you value cash back and want to boost your dining rewards rate in a low cost or cost efficient manner, you should check out the US Bank Altitude Go Visa, a no annual fee card that offers 4% cash back on dining (and 2% cash back on a few other categories, plus offers an annual $15 streaming credit).  It also offers a $200 sign up bonus with $1000 in spend over the first three months.  There are two negatives with the card relative to the Chase Freedom Flex:

 

1) To my knowledge you can only get "cash back" as a statement credit (i.e. no direct deposit or check mailed to you) unless you have US Bank savings and/or checking accounts.

 

2) US Bank is sensitive to credit card approvals and typically does not approve cards to anyone regardless of credit score unless they have no more than one credit card approval in the last 12 months.  From what I've read, other loan requests may also count towards the only one loan approval in the last 12 months rule.

 

In your case, #2 above would limit your ability to immediately apply for the US Bank Altitude Go, but it could be a worthwhile card for you down the line.

Playing the credit card rewards game since early May 2020.

Current credit cards:
*Discover Cash It, 10/5/94, $10,000 CL
*American Express Hilton Honors, 9/23/96, $16,500 CL
*Kohl's store card, 7/31/00, $2500 CL
*Chase Amazon Rewards Visa, 10/29/06, $7000 CL
*Citi Sears/Thank You Rewards Mastercard, 9/19/09, $2001 CL (LOL)
*Citi My Best Buy Visa, 12/29/11, $4600 CL
*Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard, 10/17/15, $15,000 CL
*Bank of America AAA Member Rewards Visa, 3/9/17, $15,000 CL
*Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa, 6/29/20, $11,000 CL
*Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard, 11/9/20, $9900 CL
*Capital One SavorOne Mastercard, 3/30/21, $10,000 CL
*Wells Fargo Propel American Express, 4/11/21, $10,000 CL

Next target credit cards:
*US Bank Cash+ Visa
*Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa, PSECU Founder's Card Visa, or Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
*Citi Custom Cash Mastercard
*Elan Financial Services Max Cash Preferred (S&T Bank Visa version)
Message 4 of 41
rgd51
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

I prefer cash back but i have read you can get 1 cent per point value if you redeem for certain give cards. That would be easy for me to do so considering that I would make full use of the $240 in credits you can get which would basically be a $10 annual fee for 4% cash back on dining and groceries. Do you think applying for or opening this card would spook my other accounts and cause them to get closed like how people on this site have had that happen?

Message 5 of 41
FormerCollegeDJ
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex gold card worth it?


@rgd51 wrote:

I prefer cash back but i have read you can get 1 cent per point value if you redeem for certain give cards. That would be easy for me to do so considering that I would make full use of the $240 in credits you can get which would basically be a $10 annual fee for 4% cash back on dining and groceries. Do you think applying for or opening this card would spook my other accounts and cause them to get closed like how people on this site have had that happen?


I say do a little more research on the Amex Membership Rewards redemption options to better understand the point values for various kinds of redemptions and if you like what you see, go for it.

Playing the credit card rewards game since early May 2020.

Current credit cards:
*Discover Cash It, 10/5/94, $10,000 CL
*American Express Hilton Honors, 9/23/96, $16,500 CL
*Kohl's store card, 7/31/00, $2500 CL
*Chase Amazon Rewards Visa, 10/29/06, $7000 CL
*Citi Sears/Thank You Rewards Mastercard, 9/19/09, $2001 CL (LOL)
*Citi My Best Buy Visa, 12/29/11, $4600 CL
*Bank of America Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard, 10/17/15, $15,000 CL
*Bank of America AAA Member Rewards Visa, 3/9/17, $15,000 CL
*Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa, 6/29/20, $11,000 CL
*Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard, 11/9/20, $9900 CL
*Capital One SavorOne Mastercard, 3/30/21, $10,000 CL
*Wells Fargo Propel American Express, 4/11/21, $10,000 CL

Next target credit cards:
*US Bank Cash+ Visa
*Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa, PSECU Founder's Card Visa, or Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
*Citi Custom Cash Mastercard
*Elan Financial Services Max Cash Preferred (S&T Bank Visa version)
Message 6 of 41
rgd51
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

Could getting this card spook my other lenders?

Message 7 of 41
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

Others have given you some great answers.  The easiest way to lay it out is that you would get 0.6 cents per point for statement credit, 0.7 cents per point when using points during checkout at select retailers (Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, PayPal, maybe others), up to 1.0 cent per point for gift cards (electronic Home Depot certificates and some others are usually 1 cent but most are substantially lower), at least 1.0 cents when redeeming for travel in the Amex Travel portal, and typically much more than 1.0 cents when transferring points to an airline (or hotel, as long as the redemption makes sense) loyalty program.

Message 8 of 41
rgd51
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

Yeah but would this spook my other lenders and cause them to close my accounts? I definitely can make use of the gift cards that do 1 cent per point which would make this a 4% cash back card on groceries and dining with an effective $10 annual fee. To me that is more value than the no AF altitude go card because that one only gives 2% back on groceries. 

 

I am not a huge traveler but my girlfriend and I like to take frequent road trips and stay in reasonably priced hotels during said trips.

Message 9 of 41
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Amex gold card worth it?

Worst case then you could always just book rooms with Amex Travel and be assured that you are getting at least 1 cent per point (or 4% back for restaurant and grocery purchases) if the gift cards don't work out for you.  There are also frequently great Amex Offers that can pay off well also.

 

You mentioned reasonably priced hotels, so perhaps moving to a Marriott or Hilton account may stretch the points further.  (I can get a lot more from Marriott for example (just redeemed a stay for 2.67 cents per point) but I am selective about when and where I use mine.)

 

As for spooking other lenders, that's really profile dependent and depends on who your lenders are.  Some like Barclaycard and Chase may be a bit more prone to taking AA if a lot of new credit is acquired.  With a clean and well-aged profile, the likelihood of that goes down.  You did mention getting quite a few cards in the past year, so that could be seen as aggressive credit-seeking.  Really up to you and your knowledge of your profile to make that risk assessment of whether 1 more could be the one that causes another lender to take a closer look.

Message 10 of 41
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.