Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Which Rewards Credit Card is Better?

The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card are two of today’s most prestigious rewards credit cards. However, both cards have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s worth your time to research the benefits of each to find the best match.

For example, the Amex Platinum is preferred by many frequent flyers because of its generous travel perks. The Amex Gold tends to be a favorite for foodies and those wanting a smaller annual fee.

Both cards can help you maximize travel and lifestyle purchases, and our Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum comparison cuts to the chase to help you pick a winner.

CardAnnual FeeWelcome OfferFeatured BenefitsCredit Score Needed
Platinum Card® from American ExpressBasic Card: $695 Additional Cards: $175 for up to 3, then $175 each80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $8,000 in purchases within your first six months of Card MembershipAnnual $200 airline fee credit, up to $200 in Uber Cash, Global Lounge Collection, multiple travel and lifestyle credits Good to Excellent (670 to 850)
American Express® Gold CardBasic Card: $250 Additional Cards: Free60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 monthsUp to $120 in annual dining credits, up to $120 in Uber Cash, $100 luxury hotel experience creditGood to Excellent (670 to 850)

Overview of Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum

Let’s start by looking at the signup bonuses, annual fees, and qualification requirements for either card. Both cards rank among the more luxurious American Express credit cards, which makes them more challenging to qualify for.

Annual Fee

There is a significant difference in the annual fees for the Amex Gold and Platinum, with the Platinum Card being substantially more expensive. Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee.

  • Amex Platinum: The annual fee is $695 for the primary card. You can get up to 3 secondary cards for an additional $175. Beyond three extra cards, the charge is $175 per card. As a side note, a secondary card can be a Gold Card (different than the American Express Gold Card) at no extra cost, but it won’t include the Platinum cardholder benefits.
  • Amex Gold: $250 for the primary card; additional cards are free.

Given the large gap between both cards’ annual fees, you really need to determine if the additional benefits of the Amex Platinum (and your planned usage) will be sufficient to offset the fee. 

While the Platinum Card additional cards cost money, cardholders can enjoy airport lounge access without the primary cardmember being present, plus other travel perks like free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

You can also add a child as an authorized user when they’re at least 13 years old for either card.

Welcome Offers

Both cards have welcome offers of American Express Membership Rewards for new applicants if they reach a certain spending amount during the introductory period. Amex welcome offers don’t apply to existing cardholders.

American Express Platinum Card Welcome Offer

The Amex Platinum offers 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $8,000 in purchases within your first six months of Card Membership. This bonus is worth up to $800 in award flights and select gift cards.

American Express Gold Card Welcome Offer

New Amex Gold cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. This bonus is worth up to $600 in award flights and select gift cards.

Related Post: Best Credit Card Bonus Offers

Minimum Credit Score Requirement

Both cards require good to excellent credit, with a minimum credit score of 670 or higher. Since both the Amex Platinum and Amex Gold are premium credit cards, you must demonstrate that you’ve already managed starter credit cards responsibly.

In addition, the minimum age to apply for either card is 18, although some states require you to be at least 19 years old.

Learn More: 12 Ways to Check Your Credit Score for Free

Spending Limit

The Amex Platinum and Amex Gold are charge cards with a variable spending limit. Your spending power depends on several factors, including your income and recent card activity. 

As a result, higher monthly balances can increase your limit. Just be sure to pay it in full monthly to avoid interest charges.

Card Designs

The American Express Gold Card is available in the traditional gold card design or the more recent rose gold scheme.

Platinum cardholders can choose from three designs: Classic Platinum or one of two colorful designs created by renowned artists Kehinde Wiley and Julie Mehretu.

Both products are metal credit cards, regardless of which design you choose.

Earning and Redeeming Membership Rewards

With either card, the additional travel and lifestyle benefits are nice, but picking the card that earns the most points in your largest spending categories is the best way to maximize value.

Amex Platinum Bonus Categories

Platinum cardholders can earn up to 5x Membership Rewards on travel spending:

  • 5x flights booked directly from airlines or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year)
  • 5x on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com
  • 1x on all remaining purchases

The Amex Platinum is one of the best travel credit cards on the market, and its benefits package reflects it.

Amex Gold Bonus Categories

The American Express Gold Card earns up to 4x Membership Rewards on purchases:

  • 4x at restaurants worldwide
  • 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
  • 3x on flights booked directly from airlines or at amextravel.com
  • 1x on all remaining purchases

This card is better for dining rewards and food-related purchases, whether traveling or staying home.

Redeeming Amex Points

The Amex Gold and Platinum redemption options are identical, so this comparison factor is negligible. Your points are worth up to 1 cent when booking award flights through American Express Travel or when redeemed for select gift cards.

You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to a number of airlines and hotels which can help you get a higher redemption value. Some of the transfer partners include Delta Air Lines, 

However, the redemption value for most of the remaining travel and cash back redemptions is 0.5 to 0.8 cents. 

Related Post: Travel Credit Cards with Six-Figure Welcome Bonuses   

Amex Gold vs. Platinum Benefits

Taking time to compare the Amex Gold and Platinum benefits can help you decide which rewards credit card is superior for your spending habits and lifestyle.

In a nutshell, the Platinum Card offers substantially more travel and lifestyle perks which is why it commands a higher annual fee. However, the Gold Card is better for dining rewards.

Travel Perks

Here is a head-on comparison of the travel benefits of both products.

Amex Platinum Travel Benefits

The American Express Platinum is the clear winner for travel aficionados, including travel credits, elite loyalty status, and on-site perks. 

Your benefits include the following:

  • Annual $200 airline fee credit
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December). Terms Apply.
  • $200 Hotel Credit per year (on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel, the Hotel Collection requires a minimum two night stay)
  • $100 experience credit at The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection® airport lounge access (The Centurion, Priority Pass Select, Delta Sky Club, and more)
  • CLEAR® Plus membership (up to $189 per year)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • International Airline Program (discounted premium cabin fares)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite loyalty status
  • Hilton Honors Gold loyalty status
  • Avis, Hertz, and National car rental privileges
  • Private jet privileges
  • Personalized travel concierge

This isn’t an exhaustive list of this card’s travel benefits. Still, it covers the bases and solidifies that competing premium cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, cannot match.

Despite all of the benefits, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, as certain expenses may qualify. 

For example, the airline fee credit only applies to incidental fees like checked bags or in-flight purchases but not ticket purchases like other credit card travel statement credits cover. In addition, hotel credits usually require a minimum two-night stay.

Related Post: Platinum Card from American Express Review

Amex Gold Travel Benefits

The American Express Gold Card benefits lean toward dining rewards while offering a couple of travel perks beyond earning 3 points per $1 on qualifying flights.

  • $120 in Uber Cash per year for rides or eats ($10 per month)
  • $100 experience credit at The Hotel Collection with American Express (minimum two-night stay)
  • Global Assist Hotline when traveling over 100 miles from home (third-party fees apply)

Learn more about the American Express Gold Card.

Lifestyle Rewards

Both cards offer benefits that make it easier to enjoy the finer points of life.

Amex Platinum Lifestyle Benefits

The Platinum Card offers several lifestyle-related perks that can also be beneficial:

  • Curated By Invitation Only® experiences (fine dining, art, performances, etc.)
  • Global dining access by Resy
  • $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue statement credits ($50 semi-annually)
  • Up to $300 in fitness statement credits with Equinox
  • $240 annual digital entertainment credit ($20 per month on select services)
  • Free ShopRunner membership
  • $12.95 monthly credit for Walmart+ membership

If you spend money with the participating merchants, these credits make sense. Otherwise, getting the Amex Platinum for its luxury travel benefits is best.

Learn more about the American Express Platinum Card

Amex Gold Lifestyle Benefits

The American Express Gold Card’s strong suit is its dining perks. 

Including the monthly $10 Uber Cash credit for rides or eats, you receive a $10 dining credit at these participating brands:

  • Grubhub
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Goldbelly
  • Wine.com
  • Milk Bar
  • Shake Shack (participating locations only)

Don’t forget that you also earn 4x Membership Rewards on restaurant and food delivery app purchases worldwide. Also, remember that your first $25,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases earn quadruple points, which is a significant value.

Learn more about the American Express Gold Card

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Which is Better?

At first glance, the Amex Gold vs. Platinum comparison may look like a difference in annual fees and the depth of card benefits. Obviously, you’ll get more earning potential with the higher annual fee’d Platinum than the Amex Gold.

However, depending on your spending habits, you could earn more points with the Amex Gold, regardless of its lower earning rates.

Flights and hotels earn up to 5x rewards with the Amex Platinum, while the Amex Gold earns up to 4x on dining and groceries, plus up to 3x on most flight bookings.

If most of your spending is on travel (flights and hotels), then the Amex Platinium is your best bet because you can rack up points and enjoy the many travel perks the card offers.

However, if you dine out regularly and spend a lot of money on groceries but only take one or two trips a year, then you may earn more points with the Amex Gold card while saving over $400 per year on the annual fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Amex Platinum so popular?

The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the most desired travel credit cards because it offers an above-average number of benefits. Some of the most valuable include complimentary airport lounge access, luxury hotel and resort benefits, and travel and lifestyle statement credits for qualifying purchases.

Why Is the Amex Gold so expensive?

The American Express Gold Card’s annual fee of $250 is pricier than most rewards cards as it offers up to $120 in dining credits, another $120 in Uber Cash, and a $100 hotel experience credit. It earns more points on dining and groceries than most competing cards too. Despite the relatively high annual fee, you can save more money if you usually make purchases eligible for the statement credits.

Is the Amex Gold a travel rewards credit card?

Yes, the American Express Gold Card is a travel rewards card as it offers some travel benefits. Its most valuable point redemption options are for award travel, mainly flights.

 

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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