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Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

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New Member

Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

I’m a 23 year old grad student who is thinking of getting a new card and this one interests me. I currently fly domestically around 1-3 times a year, and internationally maybe once every 2 years or so. I also take weekend trips domestically on occasion, by car. I spend around 4-600/month on dining and groceries combined.

I currently have the 50k for 1k spend offer, and it’s tempting me to apply for the card. Does the card make sense for someone who doesn’t frequently travel internationally? From what I’ve been told, international travel is where MR points really shine.
Message 1 of 35
34 REPLIES 34
New Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

I understand the temptation, but based on what you described, you may be stuck paying $250/year and not use the points at a good value (international air travel). AMEX points are not very valueable for Cashback credit. 

 

If I were you, I would get a Cashback CC with no annual fee. 

AMEX Gold: NPSL | TD Cash: 10K | RBC Rewards: 25K | Citi Premier: 9.3K | Discover It: 3.4K | BCE: 0.5K | BHG World MC: 11K
Amazon Prime: 1.8K | Google: 1.5K
EX: 730 | EQ: 738 | TU: 741

Message 2 of 35
Moderator

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@FutureCC wrote:
I’m a 23 year old grad student who is thinking of getting a new card and this one interests me. I currently fly domestically around 1-3 times a year, and internationally maybe once every 2 years or so. I also take weekend trips domestically on occasion, by car. I spend around 4-600/month on dining and groceries combined.

I currently have the 50k for 1k spend offer, and it’s tempting me to apply for the card. Does the card make sense for someone who doesn’t frequently travel internationally? From what I’ve been told, international travel is where MR points really shine.

Welcome to the forums!  Sounds like Gold would likely be a good fit for you.  While international business/first travel is where the point value really shines, it's not like you're going to get poor value from MRs using them on domestic airfare, even in coach.  Is there a specific airline or alliance that you normally travel on?

 

Let's split the difference on your spend to $500 a month.  Just with dining and groceries alone, you'd get 24,000 points a year.  Transfer that to Delta and worst case it's worth $288 in travel, plus you can get two $50 eGift cards from Delta and a couple of others to trigger the airline credit.  That alone is likely enough to pay for your international flight every other year, especially combined with other spending.  You'd also get 3x points on your airfare purchased through the airlines or through Amex Travel.  Certainly worth a shot for at least the first year!


Message 3 of 35
Established Member

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@FutureCC wrote:
I’m a 23 year old grad student who is thinking of getting a new card and this one interests me. I currently fly domestically around 1-3 times a year, and internationally maybe once every 2 years or so. I also take weekend trips domestically on occasion, by car. I spend around 4-600/month on dining and groceries combined.

I currently have the 50k for 1k spend offer, and it’s tempting me to apply for the card. Does the card make sense for someone who doesn’t frequently travel internationally? From what I’ve been told, international travel is where MR points really shine.

Welcome to the forums!  Sounds like Gold would likely be a good fit for you.  While international business/first travel is where the point value really shines, it's not like you're going to get poor value from MRs using them on domestic airfare, even in coach.  Is there a specific airline or alliance that you normally travel on?

 

Let's split the difference on your spend to $500 a month.  Just with dining and groceries alone, you'd get 24,000 points a year.  Transfer that to Delta and worst case it's worth $288 in travel, plus you can get two $50 eGift cards from Delta and a couple of others to trigger the airline credit.  That alone is likely enough to pay for your international flight every other year, especially combined with other spending.  You'd also get 3x points on your airfare purchased through the airlines or through Amex Travel.  Certainly worth a shot for at least the first year!


At least for the first year? Then what? Im genuinely curious about what you mean. Are saying to cancel it or ? My understanding is you dont want to cancel a card as it could affect credit, although since this is a charge card maybe its different? Thanks for the info

Message 4 of 35
New Member

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

Isn’t the AF effectively $30 if I go through both credits, which I’m almost certain I will?
Message 5 of 35
Established Member

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@FutureCC wrote:
I’m a 23 year old grad student who is thinking of getting a new card and this one interests me. I currently fly domestically around 1-3 times a year, and internationally maybe once every 2 years or so. I also take weekend trips domestically on occasion, by car. I spend around 4-600/month on dining and groceries combined.

I currently have the 50k for 1k spend offer, and it’s tempting me to apply for the card. Does the card make sense for someone who doesn’t frequently travel internationally? From what I’ve been told, international travel is where MR points really shine.

Welcome to the forums!  Sounds like Gold would likely be a good fit for you.  While international business/first travel is where the point value really shines, it's not like you're going to get poor value from MRs using them on domestic airfare, even in coach.  Is there a specific airline or alliance that you normally travel on?

 

Let's split the difference on your spend to $500 a month.  Just with dining and groceries alone, you'd get 24,000 points a year.  Transfer that to Delta and worst case it's worth $288 in travel, plus you can get two $50 eGift cards from Delta and a couple of others to trigger the airline credit.  That alone is likely enough to pay for your international flight every other year, especially combined with other spending.  You'd also get 3x points on your airfare purchased through the airlines or through Amex Travel.  Certainly worth a shot for at least the first year!



I think K-in-Boston nailed it. 100% agreed! If you can make use of the full $220 in credits ($30 EAF) it’s a good value with your monthly spend on dining and groceries, and if you use the MR for flights. If we are talking strictly about your $500 avg spend on dining and groceries, that would only net you $120 in cash back a year on the numerous 2% cards out there. Whereas like K-in-Boston mentioned, that same spend with the Gold card is worth a minimum of $250+ in travel via Delta and other partners.

Message 6 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@FutureCC wrote:
I’m a 23 year old grad student who is thinking of getting a new card and this one interests me. I currently fly domestically around 1-3 times a year, and internationally maybe once every 2 years or so. I also take weekend trips domestically on occasion, by car. I spend around 4-600/month on dining and groceries combined.

I currently have the 50k for 1k spend offer, and it’s tempting me to apply for the card. Does the card make sense for someone who doesn’t frequently travel internationally? From what I’ve been told, international travel is where MR points really shine.

Welcome to the forums!  Sounds like Gold would likely be a good fit for you.  While international business/first travel is where the point value really shines, it's not like you're going to get poor value from MRs using them on domestic airfare, even in coach.  Is there a specific airline or alliance that you normally travel on?

 

Let's split the difference on your spend to $500 a month.  Just with dining and groceries alone, you'd get 24,000 points a year.  Transfer that to Delta and worst case it's worth $288 in travel, plus you can get two $50 eGift cards from Delta and a couple of others to trigger the airline credit.  That alone is likely enough to pay for your international flight every other year, especially combined with other spending.  You'd also get 3x points on your airfare purchased through the airlines or through Amex Travel.  Certainly worth a shot for at least the first year!


I think the Delta value can be less than that. I believe Amex charges a fee for transferring points into US based airlines like Delta so that lowers the .012 value per point a bit more. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 7 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@drave199 wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

@FutureCC wrote:
I’m a 23 year old grad student who is thinking of getting a new card and this one interests me. I currently fly domestically around 1-3 times a year, and internationally maybe once every 2 years or so. I also take weekend trips domestically on occasion, by car. I spend around 4-600/month on dining and groceries combined.

I currently have the 50k for 1k spend offer, and it’s tempting me to apply for the card. Does the card make sense for someone who doesn’t frequently travel internationally? From what I’ve been told, international travel is where MR points really shine.

Welcome to the forums!  Sounds like Gold would likely be a good fit for you.  While international business/first travel is where the point value really shines, it's not like you're going to get poor value from MRs using them on domestic airfare, even in coach.  Is there a specific airline or alliance that you normally travel on?

 

Let's split the difference on your spend to $500 a month.  Just with dining and groceries alone, you'd get 24,000 points a year.  Transfer that to Delta and worst case it's worth $288 in travel, plus you can get two $50 eGift cards from Delta and a couple of others to trigger the airline credit.  That alone is likely enough to pay for your international flight every other year, especially combined with other spending.  You'd also get 3x points on your airfare purchased through the airlines or through Amex Travel.  Certainly worth a shot for at least the first year!


At least for the first year? Then what? Im genuinely curious about what you mean. Are saying to cancel it or ? My understanding is you dont want to cancel a card as it could affect credit, although since this is a charge card maybe its different? Thanks for the info


credit cards stay on credit report for 7 years from closure date so credit score wouldn't necessarily take a hit just by closing a credit card. Some lenders if they see a repeat pattern of people apping for cards then closing them after a year will factor that in when deciding if they want to approve you for cards in the future, so it is good to have some cards you keep long term to have a more balanced approach but never pay an AF if the card does not hold enough value.

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 8 of 35
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@red259 wrote:

@drave199 wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

@FutureCC wrote:
I’m a 23 year old grad student who is thinking of getting a new card and this one interests me. I currently fly domestically around 1-3 times a year, and internationally maybe once every 2 years or so. I also take weekend trips domestically on occasion, by car. I spend around 4-600/month on dining and groceries combined.

Some lenders if they see a repeat pattern of people apping for cards then closing them after a year will factor that in when deciding if they want to approve you for cards in the future, so it is good to have some cards you keep long term to have a more balanced approach but never pay an AF if the card does not hold enough value.

This! 

I just bit the bullet on the Gold after doing the math on my spend. With the $50k offer, it will sparkle. 😀

AMEX Platinum, Gold, Reserve & SPG | PenFed PR VS | NFCU FS VS | Discover IT | Citibank DC WEMC l Capital One Venture VS | Nordstrom VS l Banana Republic LUXE V I Lowes I Macys I Wayfair I
Message 9 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

OP whether or not the card makes sense depends on if you can actually use the points. It doesn't matter what value anybody else tells you if you don't fly on the airlines or partners of the airlines that Amex MRs transfers to then the card does not make sense. The first thing you need to do is research the different ways the points can be used and see if any of those are useful redemptions to you. Getting the card and points first and then trying to figure out how to use them is a poor way of picking credit cards. You don't need to know your exact redemption strategy but you should determine that there are at least a handful of options that you would be interested in within the next 1 or 2 years. If so then given your spend the card may make sense. Obviously international redemptions in business or first class will have a much higher return on value per point than on economy tickets, but in some cases you can get at least some value back on economy tickets as well when you can't find flights on sale etc. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 10 of 35
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