American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card Review

By on August 23, 2013

For the high-rolling, jet-setting crowd, getting a rewards charge card is something of a status symbol. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is the epitome of a “pay to play” mentality, where cardholders are not extended a line of credit, yet they’re still paying hefty annual fees in exchange for some juicy benefits that come with being a cardmember. There are several other credit cards out there that could beat the points accumulation figures offered by Amex Premier Rewards Gold, but if you don’t want a credit card for whatever reason, then this charge card could be a viable alternative.

New Cardholder Bonuses

First and foremost, you need very good or excellent credit to qualify for the Premier Rewards Gold card. Credit Karma reports that 736 is the average credit score approved for the card.

If you do get approved, you could earn up to 25,000 in bonus points as a new member. The Premier Rewards Gold card requires you to spend just $2,000 within the first three months of card membership in order to qualify for the bonus points.

There is also a $0 annual fee for the first year, but the fee moves into the triple figures range ($175) in the second year and beyond.

Apply Now – American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

Pay to Play: A Charge Card with Rewards

The primary purpose of charge cards—which require you to pay off the balance at the end of the month—is to build and maintain a stable credit score. Since there is no line of credit extended to you with the Premier Rewards Gold card, you’re less of a liability for American Express (and less profitable, since they won’t earn interest off of you) and there is no actual spending limit. However, paying to use a charge card seems counterproductive to many people. Especially when there is an exorbitant annual fee involved.

Annual Fee

For the first year as a card-carrying member with Amex Premier Rewards Gold, you won’t pay an annual fee. After that twelve-month mark passes however, an annual fee of $175 is tacked on. This is nearly double what midrange rewards credit cards charge, but you’re not even using a line of credit from American Express. You’re essentially paying for the  exclusive rewards that come from earning points through your purchases. Like any credit card with an annual fee, you’ll have to do the math to make sure your spending will at the very least break even and rack up more than $175 in points and benefit value in order for it to make sense to get this card.

How to Earn Points

Earning points is relatively straightforward with the Premier Rewards Gold card. For flights booked directly with the airline, you get 3 points per dollar spent. For every dollar spent at gas stations and supermarkets in the US, you get 2 points, and for all other eligible purchases, you get one point for every dollar spent. If you manage to spend $30,000 with your card in a year’s timeframe, the Premier Rewards Gold card will give you an additional 15,000 points bonus.

Pay with Points

Redeeming your accumulation of points is simple. For travel expenses, you can use your points towards airfare, accommodations, vacation packages, and more through American Express Travel. No cumbersome blackout dates are involved.

Apply Now – American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

Exclusive Gold Hotel Collection

One of the main perks to being a Premier Rewards Gold card member is access to American Express’ Exclusive Gold Hotel Collection. Stay a minimum of two nights at affiliated hotels and resorts—such as the Hilton and MGM Resorts—and receive complimentary room upgrades, $75 hotel or resort credits, and more. Certain terms and conditions apply (for example, you must book through American Express Travel and pay with your American Express Premier Rewards Gold card).

Other Member Privileges

Additional benefits that come with being a Premier Rewards Gold card member include:

Travel

24/7 Roadside Assistance (including $50 coverage for towing charges; maximum four times per year)
Global Assist® Hotline
Baggage Insurance
Travel Accident Insurance

Shopping

Extended manufacturer’s warranty on eligible purchases
Purchase and Return Protections

Note: American Express includes a majority of these benefits in most of their credit card offerings as well.

Apply Now – American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

Amex Gold or Amex Premier Rewards Gold?

The American Express Gold and American Express Premier Rewards Gold cards are relatively similar to each other. They’re both charge cards (balances must be paid off at the end of each month), they have the same travel and shopping protections and benefits, and they both have the legendary customer service provided by American Express representatives backing them up.

The regular Gold card has a lower annual fee ($125, after the first year’s $0 fee), but fewer travel benefits, lower points per dollar (one point for every dollar spent, regardless of where or what your purchased).

Final Word

Ultimately, the Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express is a symbol of prestige. If you travel often, the discounts and rewards will be well worth the $175 annual fee, but for those who don’t travel as frequently, you could end up paying more than what you receive. If accessing the Gold Hotel Collection is a benefit you’ll enjoy, then the Premier Rewards Gold card is a great choice.

Apply Now – American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express.  Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.  This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
Russell Kith

About Russell Kith

Russell Kith grew up in small town Wisconsin, the youngest of 4 boys. Having devoted most of his adolescent years to troublemaking, he left home at 18 and roamed across the world taking a variety of jobs he declines to specify. These days, you can find him writing about personal finance on the web. You can follow Russell on Google+ or Twitter.

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