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Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

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Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@FutureCC wrote:
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

If you're only getting 0.6cpp, you're going to be better off with cash back as many cards can match or beat the effective rate at that point. At 0.6cpp, your 4x categories become something like 2.4% value, which can easily be beaten elsewhere. You'd also have no fee to deal with and more flexibility with redemption, since cash is cash and can be used for anything.

 

Without solid travel plans and/or knowing exactly how you'd use the points to really maximize the value, I would hold off on the Gold. Your call though.

Message 21 of 35
Established Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@FutureCC wrote:
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

yes, it does come out ahead if you spend that much on grocery and dining. DC is a general non-category spending card. It is not meant to compete or replace other cards with high category spending reward.

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Message 22 of 35
New Member

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

I’m getting mixed answers so I guess I’ll have to do more research on MR points. Luckily I still have over a week to decide to get the 1/9 offer.
Message 23 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@FutureCC wrote:
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.

@FutureCC wrote:
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
When you you invest in a point program you are losing flexibility not gaining it. Cash back is always going to be more flexible than points. If there is an open seat on a plane you can purchase it but just because there is an open seat does not mean the airlines will make that seat available for an award. You have to look at how you will use these points to determine their value. People can tell you what a point is worth until they are blue in the face. That does not make it true. Points are only worth what you get for them at the time of redemption. I just looked at flights from NY to LAX on Delta and for basic economy (the very lowest ticket class which is what economy award tickets are) it costs from 35k to 40.5K roundtrip + $11 and change for taxes etc. A quick search and I can get flights between the same airports for $270 roundtrip on united. So in that case the value would be a bit under .007 per point. Put more simply the flight could cost me 40.5k Amex points with an $11 fee vs 27K cash back points. Not to mention I would earn miles on my paid flight. If your local airport is a hub for the travel partner then you will have more options and will be able to get the value up some, but the point is you need to do the math. People can give you estimates what points should be worth but they are only estimates and only you know what redemptions you want to make and you will have to price them out. In the case of Delta if you live near a hub city they have award flash sales etc. I took advantage of one but I got lousy seats on the plane. I mean seriously how do you have a window seat with no frickin window? 
;
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 24 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

OP you are getting a lot of opinions here. The information is not wrong, but it is all opinions.

The SUB that you get is worth the effort. Actually getting the card gets you the experience for a year or more with the points system and the possibilities.

Don’t over think it too early. There is no perfection in any credit card, each card has a series of trade-offs. Experience them for yourself.
High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 25 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@NRB525 wrote:
OP you are getting a lot of opinions here. The information is not wrong, but it is all opinions.

The SUB that you get is worth the effort. Actually getting the card gets you the experience for a year or more with the points system and the possibilities.

Don’t over think it too early. There is no perfection in any credit card, each card has a series of trade-offs. Experience them for yourself.

You don't need to get the card in order to experience the points system. Its very simple to look before applying and determine how many points you expect to earn from projected spend and research different ways those points may be used without applying for a high AF card first. Who knows maybe there will be a higher signup offer in the future. I really do not see the logic in encouraging people to apply for credit cards without having them look into what the value of the card may be to them in their specific situation first, especially when you are talking about cards with high AFs and bonuses that are only availble once in a lifetime.

;
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 26 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@red259 wrote:

@NRB525 wrote:
OP you are getting a lot of opinions here. The information is not wrong, but it is all opinions.

The SUB that you get is worth the effort. Actually getting the card gets you the experience for a year or more with the points system and the possibilities.

Don’t over think it too early. There is no perfection in any credit card, each card has a series of trade-offs. Experience them for yourself.

You don't need to get the card in order to experience the points system. Its very simple to look before applying and determine how many points you expect to earn from projected spend and research different ways those points may be used without applying for a high AF card first. Who knows maybe there will be a higher signup offer in the future. I really do not see the logic in encouraging people to apply for credit cards without having them look into what the value of the card may be to them in their specific situation first, especially when you are talking about cards with high AFs and bonuses that are only availble once in a lifetime.


OP has the 50k MR for $1k spend offer. Even the 50k MR for $2k spend is not a bad offer. Are you aware of AMEX ever offering more than 50k MR as a SUB for Gold?

 

I respect your knowledge of what can be done with MR at the high end of the scale, but that knowledge is difficult to transfer via text explanations here, and it is not necessarily the only useful redemption option for MR.  I agree that considering MR for purchases at Amazon or cash back is a bad redemption choice, but that is because I used a few MR at Amazon to experience the disappointing return for myself.  

 

Credit card rewards require a certain amount of personal experience to both understand the terminology and to see how the banks and cards present and work with the offerings. It is a lot like training someone to use a computer. Book learning only gets you a little way down the road before you just have to turn on the PC or Mac and start trying things.  

 

In my own experience with the Gold, I have had the PRG since 2015, and while it got some use, these recent changes are making the Gold much more common for me to use.  The credits available defray nearly all the AF. The points earning rate, even if redeemed for common SkyPesos use, is not available in a cash back card.  The MR do not have to be used immediately, do not carry an expiration date like some programs.  There are simply a lot of good reasons to try this card, just like there were good reasons to try when the first year AF was waived.  

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 27 of 35
Established Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?

Honestly, it's not a bad deal, in fact, it's a very good deal.
MR is a system with tricks and winding path for better value, not as straightforward as cash back or UR. But it is a decent value system if you use it on travel.

Simply transferring to delta would net you 1.2x4=4.8% cash value.

The sub is really good, so trying for a year seems like a risk free thing to do.
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Message 28 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@red259 wrote:

@NRB525 wrote:
OP you are getting a lot of opinions here. The information is not wrong, but it is all opinions.

The SUB that you get is worth the effort. Actually getting the card gets you the experience for a year or more with the points system and the possibilities.

Don’t over think it too early. There is no perfection in any credit card, each card has a series of trade-offs. Experience them for yourself.

You don't need to get the card in order to experience the points system. Its very simple to look before applying and determine how many points you expect to earn from projected spend and research different ways those points may be used without applying for a high AF card first. Who knows maybe there will be a higher signup offer in the future. I really do not see the logic in encouraging people to apply for credit cards without having them look into what the value of the card may be to them in their specific situation first, especially when you are talking about cards with high AFs and bonuses that are only availble once in a lifetime.


Would have to agree here. There's really no need to apply to "experience" the points. Amex makes point values pretty clear whether or not you actually have a card. You can browse the website and they even have a "point worth calculator" tool which shows the value of your points for each different card. So there's no need to actually have the card just to know whether it makes sense or not.

 

At the end of the day, if OP is dead set on it, at least they're getting a sign up bonus that is worth at least $250 or so in the worst case. So it's not like it's the end of the world; I just don't personally think this card makes sense for people without real travel redemption plans that will make it exceed the value of a cash back card.

 

If you do decide the Gold doesn't fit you, one caveat is that unlike many products, there's no version you can downgrade to with no AF. As long as the account is open you'll have to continue paying a fee. I believe you can downgrade to the Green but still has a fee. Something to consider.

Message 29 of 35
Super Contributor

Re: Does Amex Gold make sense for me?


@kdm31091 wrote:

@red259 wrote:

@NRB525 wrote:
OP you are getting a lot of opinions here. The information is not wrong, but it is all opinions.

The SUB that you get is worth the effort. Actually getting the card gets you the experience for a year or more with the points system and the possibilities.

Don’t over think it too early. There is no perfection in any credit card, each card has a series of trade-offs. Experience them for yourself.

You don't need to get the card in order to experience the points system. Its very simple to look before applying and determine how many points you expect to earn from projected spend and research different ways those points may be used without applying for a high AF card first. Who knows maybe there will be a higher signup offer in the future. I really do not see the logic in encouraging people to apply for credit cards without having them look into what the value of the card may be to them in their specific situation first, especially when you are talking about cards with high AFs and bonuses that are only availble once in a lifetime.


Would have to agree here. There's really no need to apply to "experience" the points. Amex makes point values pretty clear whether or not you actually have a card. You can browse the website and they even have a "point worth calculator" tool which shows the value of your points for each different card. So there's no need to actually have the card just to know whether it makes sense or not.

 

At the end of the day, if OP is dead set on it, at least they're getting a sign up bonus that is worth at least $250 or so in the worst case. So it's not like it's the end of the world; I just don't personally think this card makes sense for people without real travel redemption plans that will make it exceed the value of a cash back card.

 

If you do decide the Gold doesn't fit you, one caveat is that unlike many products, there's no version you can downgrade to with no AF. As long as the account is open you'll have to continue paying a fee. I believe you can downgrade to the Green but still has a fee. Something to consider.


OP travels 1 to 3 trips domestically each year. Worst case, going into this without a specific plan, OP can expect to get about 1.2c 1.3c per point just by a basic transfer to Delta on ~90% of Delta flights. Some flights will have better redemption options. If paid flights are purchased with the Gold, they get 3MR. The $100 fee credit, worst case, can be used for checked bag fees or snacks.

 

Just because someone does not have a travel plan yet, has not worked through all the options to articulate it, does not mean they won't ever be a traveller. It takes a lot of MR to do real redemptions. The OP spend pattern should work well to build up those MR to have them available.

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 30 of 35
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