Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Review
Editorial Note: The information related to the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express has been collected by Credit Cards House and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
There is a hole in the credit card rewards market. There are dozens of cards that offer points, miles, and other travel benefits, typically with an annual fee of about $95. These include cards like the United Explorer card from Chase, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, and the Delta Gold SkyMiles card from American Express.
Then, there are several premium reward cards that offer very valuable perks, like unlimited airport lounge access, but typically have annual fees of $450 or more. But when it comes to credit cards with annual fees between $100 and $400, there are very few options. It would be as if few automakers built luxury cars that cost more than $30,000 but less than $100,000.
The Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express, a Credit Cards House advertiser, is one of the rare exceptions that is filling the gap between the entry level reward cards and the premium travel reward cards.
How This Card Works
This card is not a credit card, it's actually a charge card. This means that cardholders are responsible for paying their entire balance in full each month. However, cardholders can enroll in the Pay Over Time option which allows their card to work more like a credit card.
For each dollar spent on most purchases, cardholders receive one point in the American Express Membership Rewards® program. This card also offers double points for purchases at US gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants, and 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
The Membership Rewards program is one of the most valuable travel rewards programs available, as points can be used to book travel reservations, buy merchandise, or receive gift cards. In addition, points can be transferred to airline miles and hotel points with numerous travel partners.
This card also features many travel benefits including a $100 annual airline fee credit that can be used toward fees such as bag fees, cancellation fees, and seat selection fees. Cardholders have access to the American Express Hotel Collection, which offers a $75 hotel credit and room upgrades when you book a stay of two nights or longer through American Express Travel.
Other travel benefits include Premium Roadside assistance, which can provide complimentary services such as a jump start, installing a spare tire, or towing your car up to 10 miles, up to four times a year. This card also offers a baggage insurance plan and a Global Assist Hotline that can help you arrange medical, legal, or passport services through a third-party provider.
Shopping protections include extended warranty coverage, purchase protection, and return protection. American Express also offers access to hard to get tickets to entertainment and sporting events. There is a $195 annual fee for this card that's waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.
There are many American Express cards that allow you to earn Membership Rewards points, but this one has some of the most valuable bonus categories. The ability to earn 2x points at gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants is an extremely strong offer, as is the 3x points for airline reservations.
These rewards are especially valuable since they can be transferred to airline miles with 17 different carriers such as Delta, Air Canada, Virgin America, and British Airways. When points are redeemed for miles, and miles are used for award travel in business and first class, or for expensive last minute flights, it's possible to realize several cents in value for each point earned.
The $100 annual airline fee credit is also a useful benefit as it's now nearly impossible to travel without being charged additional fees for nearly anything. When cardholders factor this benefit into this card's $195 annual fee, which is waived the first year, it brings the price down to the same level as much of the competing travel reward cards. And because customers can utilize this fee each calendar year, new account holders will be able to receive the credit twice within their first cardmember year.
Finally, this card comes with a very wide range of travel insurance and purchase protection benefits. For example, American Express only offers the Premium Roadside Assistance benefit on this card, its Platinum card with a $450 annual fee, and its by-invitation-only Centurion card with its $2,500 annual fee.
The $195 annual fee is the first thing that jumps out at prospective new applicants, and unfortunately, many will look elsewhere without considering the value of all of the benefits this card offers. And since this card is not a true credit card, customers who may want to carry a balance will need to take the extra step of enrolling in the Pay Over Time program. That said, those who incur interest charges on their credit cards are better off using a card with the lowest possible interest rates, not a travel rewards card.
The Premier Rewards Gold card nicely fills the gap between lesser cards and the ultra-premium products offered by American Express and other card issuers. This is the right card for regular travelers who want to earn rewards that can be transferred to airline miles while enjoying premium travel insurance and purchase protection. By striking the right balance between costs and benefits, American Express exploits a niche in the market that was otherwise overlooked.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.
First published , last updated
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.