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Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

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New Member

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

Is it a “waste” to use points on domestic travel? Is it possible to get more than 1cpp on them? If so I could see using MR for that
Message 11 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

Make sure to dig into the redemption value for your specific redemption plans. If it's domestic travel, it could be that you really won't get much more value than a cash back card, especially given the annual fee. Having to buy egift cards and such to negate the fee is fine if you have the patience to do it, but don't ignore cash back cards that can provide comparable rewards that are more flexible with no need to worry about a fee. There are many dining and grocery reward cards out there, even if you have to sign up for two to maximize both of those things.

 

I'm not knocking the Amex Gold; it's a great card for someone who can make the best use of it. But to me that really means international travel. Other than that, even if you're getting 1 cent per point, it's 4% dining, which you can match or beat with other cash back cards with no fee. For grocery it becomes a bit more of a tossup, but still, you don't spend that much, so the reward difference isn't going to be very much.

 

At the end of the day just remember the card costs money to hold every year and it's not a tiny amount of money. Make sure you can overcome the fee and come out ahead vs other options. If you can, then the card makes sense.

Message 12 of 35
Valued Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

You would certainly get more than 1cpp right now with domestic travel.

If you fly SA or OW, you may have to book ticket through alliance partner award travel instead of booking AA or UA directly.

It will be more than 1cpp, although not a lot more. Greater value is from bonus transfer or airline sales.
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Message 13 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

With the Gold, you select an airline to make the fee credit available.

What airline do you fly most regularly? Is Delta a possible choice? If you only have the Gold as a travel card, and you stick with one airline, you will probably use up all the $100 credit just on bag fees, with two round trips per year. Since this is what you would pay anyway, it is a good pass-through fee usage. It is possible to get gift cards, but there are some limits on how those can be used to pay for stuff. The gift cards should be considered in December each year if you didn’t use all the credit yet.

You do not have to use the MR in the same year. Earning 4MR on food is a good earning rate. Transferring even to Delta can make sense because there are regular flash sales, reduced mileage requirements for using miles. If you are flexible with schedule those can be a good use of miles. The $10 per month dining credit is a good excuse to get a slice of Cheesecake each month, which is enough for three deserts Smiley Wink

I agree with KiB, this card probably makes sense for you. For international usage, be aware you need to take along a VISA or MC to handle non-AMEX merchants but that applies domestically as well.

You are already signed up with the airlines you fly to earn miles for those flights, regardless of any credit cards, right?
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Message 14 of 35
New Member

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

Yes I typically fly UA, AA, or Delta depending on which offers the cheapest flights. I have frequent flyer numbers with all 3, but no airline cards. I would no doubt go through the dining credit with Grubhub, and the airline should be fine. Seat upgrades (in same class), count right? It’s mainly the value of MR points I’m concerned about. If they’re worth the $30 AF for me. If I can get more than 1cpp it would likely be worth it right?
Message 15 of 35
Valued Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

Sure, 1cpp is basically 4% cash back on dining and grocery, 3% on travel.
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Message 16 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@FutureCC wrote:
Yes I typically fly UA, AA, or Delta depending on which offers the cheapest flights. I have frequent flyer numbers with all 3, but no airline cards. I would no doubt go through the dining credit with Grubhub, and the airline should be fine. Seat upgrades (in same class), count right? It’s mainly the value of MR points I’m concerned about. If they’re worth the $30 AF for me. If I can get more than 1cpp it would likely be worth it right?

If you are asking about the airline credit I do not know it will be triggered by buying seat upgrades in the same class. I would research that more I'm assuming you are asking about going from economy to economy plus or something like that vs just paying to select your seat in advance (which definetly would be covered by the fee). Some of this varies from airline to airline. Sometimes stuff like this gets covered but its going to come down to how they define upgrade, although people have been able to trigger the airline credit on things that do not qualify. 

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Message 17 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@FutureCC wrote:
Is it a “waste” to use points on domestic travel? Is it possible to get more than 1cpp on them? If so I could see using MR for that

You gotta price it out because it really varies by airline, award charts, time of year flying etc. Look at the award charts for economy flights you want and then compare it to the lowest ticket prices you can get on those same flights. Keep in mind with points you need to find availability but with cash back not only can you avoid being told there is no available award space but with cash back you can use any airline not just the ones that allow point transfers. Can you get more than one cpp on domestic redemptions? Absolutely, but a cash back card may work just as well or better. People recommend business and first class international redemptions on points because its a whole lot harder to be able to book those kinda tickets in cash and beat out the value of points. 

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Message 18 of 35
New Member

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

So I get that a citi DC aid easier, but isn’t it still worth it at 1cpp? Even cashing out at 0.6 cpp doesn’t seem horrible as a worst case, unless I’m missing something.

Assuming 6k annual spend on dining and groceries, that’s 120 cashback with citi DC or 24k MR Points with the gold right? Doesn’t the gold net similar cashback if redeemed at 0.6cpp? Plus Amex offers could potentially save me more money. Isn’t having the flexibility to use points on travel worth the AF? I get that 0.6cpp or even 1cpp isn’t most efficient but it still seems to come out ahead doesn’t it?

Not sure if I’m missing something but knowing how new I am to this, I must be.

Edit: I guess if I got two no AF cards, like Uber visa and BCE, my cashback would outweigh the points
Message 19 of 35
Moderator

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

Just to clarify, upgrades are specifically excluded from the airline credit.  Since I had a $142 Delta ticket trigger the credit, I tried a Main Cabin to Comfort+ upgrade on Gold and not only did I did not get the credit but I only got 3x instead of 5x MRs since I didn't use my Platinum card.  Smiley Wink

 

Worst case, a transfer to Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Air France/KLM would be 1.2 - 1.5 cents.  With award sales and transfer bonuses, those values can go WAY up.  They also go way up if you move to the front of the cabin.  (JetBlue and Alaska should also be at least the same value.)  I really do think Gold would be more beneficial for you from what you have stated than a 2% cash back card like Double Cash assuming that you are okay with travel rewards.

 

The other things to look at (maybe not right away) are whether Platinum makes sense for you to get (it's a hefty fee, but the math can surprisingly work out well for people who travel at least a few times a year) and whether it's time to choose an air alliance and grab a cobranded airline card.


Message 20 of 35
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