Amex Gold Rewards Card Review 2024
American Express Gold Rewards Card Review
Perks and Rewards
Amex Gold Review Summary:
If you are looking for the best rewards card in Canada, look no further than the Amex Gold Rewards card. This card has more than just impressive looks. It will give you all the perks you would expect from an Amex card, like points and travel rewards. It will also give you extras such as lounge passes, hotel credits and upgrades.
While these benefits come at a cost, $250 per year to be exact, with so many ways to earn points on everyday purchases, the fee will more than pay for itself in terms of rewards and other benefits.
In our Amex Gold Review, we’ll share all of the details you’ll need to know, including fees, benefits, redeeming points, and how it compares to other popular rewards credit cards in Canada.
- Points transfer to 6 different airlines at a 1:1 value
- Comprehensive travel insurance
- No minimum income requirement
- 60,000 Membership Point welcome bonus
- $250 annual fee
- American Express is not universally accepted
- NOT a credit card but a charge card
There are only a few charge cards available to the Canadian market, and all of them are offered by American Express, so our editorial team was able to really focus on the details when it came to our Amex Gold Rewards Card review. Our process was less about finding which company had the best offering and more about looking at the differences between a select few American Express cards.
In this review, we’ll break down the numbers on this Amex charge card and see how it compares to its nearest competition (yes, another Amex). We’ll also dig into the difference between a charge card and a credit card so you can make an educated decision.
Amex Gold Rewards Card Review: The Numbers
Annual Fee: $250
Minimum Income: none
Interest Rate: The Amex Gold Rewards Card is a charge card, which means that the balance must be paid in full every month. Failure to pay the balance results in 30% interest charges and the card is frozen until the balance is paid off. Keep reading for more information on charge cards vs credit cards.
Earn Rate: 2 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, drugs, and eligible travel. All other purchases earn points at 1:1.
Amex Gold Rewards Card Welcome Bonus
Earn up to 60,000 bonus points in the first year. Each month you spend at least $1,000 using your Amex Gold Rewards Card, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus points.
There are several ways to redeem your Amex Gold Membership Rewards points:
- Amex Gold Rewards cardholders can transfer points to a half-dozen airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.
- Cardholders can take advantage of Amex’s fixed or flexible points travel programs for travel on any airline with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
- Points can be redeemed towards gift cards, merchandise, or Amazon.ca purchases.
- Cardholders can also redeem points towards hotel visits by transferring them to the Hilton Honors program at a rate of 1:1, or to the Marriott Bonvoy program, which gives Amex Gold Rewards cardholders a 20% bonus: 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for every 5 Gold Membership Rewards points.
The redemption strategy with the best value is, without question, taking advantage of the ability to transfer points to airline programs. This means that if you transfer your points to, say, Aeroplan, your welcome bonus alone earns you about $500 in free airfare. This value is so good that the American Express Gold Rewards card has earned a reputation as one of the best Aeroplan cards – even though it doesn’t specifically earn Aeroplan points!
The American Express Gold Rewards card comes with a full suite of travel insurance, including:
- Emergency medical insurance
- Trip interruption insurance
- Baggage delay insurance
- Hotel burglary insurance
- Lost or stolen baggage insurance
- $500,000 travel accident insurance
- Car rental theft or damage insurance
- Buyers Assurance Protection Plan
- Purchase Protection Plan
Other Perks and Benefits
Amex cardholders enjoy exclusive perks including:
- American Express Experiences special offers and events, Front of the Line tickets and presales, as well as specially curated offers and experiences
- Special benefits and offers including discounts on hotel and car rental bookings.
Amex Gold Rewards Card: A Charge Card, Not a Credit Card
The most important thing to know about the Amex Gold Rewards card is that it is not, in fact, a credit card. If you carry a balance on your cards, we strongly recommend that you look elsewhere. Unlike a credit card, a charge card is designed to be paid off in full every month – and it penalizes cardholders who fail to do this.
Charge cards don’t have a pre-set spending limit, but that doesn’t mean you have unlimited spending power—large purchases may need to be approved by Amex before you can make them. Approval depends on several factors including your credit record, account history, and your personal financial situation.
Think of a charge card as a little (temporary) extra spending power in your pocket and an opportunity to earn rewards on purchases you would have otherwise made from a bank account. Just don’t expect to be able to transfer your balances onto the Amex Gold Rewards Card and pay them off over time. If that’s what you need, this is not the card for you. If that’s what you are looking for, consider getting one of the best travel credit cards in Canada from our list instead.
Amex Gold Rewards Card vs. Amex Aeroplan Card
American Express is the only company that offers charge cards in Canada, so we didn’t have to go far to find the competition. The Amex Aeroplan Card is the closest alternative in terms of annual fees. Let’s see how they compare
While the Gold Rewards card offers 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, drugs, and eligible travel, the Aeroplan card offers:
- 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on eligible Air Canada purchases
- 1.5 points per dollar on dining and food and delivery purchases in Canada
- Both cards offer 1 point per dollar spent in all other categories
- The annual fee for the Gold Rewards Card is $250 while the fee for the American Express Aeroplan Card is $120
Both cards come with a suite of travel insurance, but the Amex Gold Rewards Card is more comprehensive, additionally offering:
- $5,000,000 in emergency medical insurance for travelers under 65
- Up to $6,000 in trip interruption insurance ($1,500 per person)
- Up to $500 to cover lost or stolen baggage.
Our conclusion is that if you plan to purchase all of your groceries, gas and travel with your charge card each month, the Amex Gold Rewards card might be worth the extra $130 annually.
The fact that you can transfer your Membership Rewards Points to Aeroplan (or one of 5 other airline loyalty programs) at a 1:1 exchange is the game changer here. It means that you can use the extra flexibility of the Gold Rewards Card’s bonus categories for daily spending – and then simply transfer your points. When you add the Amex Gold Rewards Card’s enhanced insurance package, the decision is even clearer.
Amex Gold Rewards Card Review: Important Points to Remember
When it comes down to it, the best card for you is just that, the best card for you. That’s why we always remind our readers to do their own research.
Take your own needs into account:
- How much are you willing to spend in annual fees?
- What kinds of purchases do you make most often?
- Do you require travel insurance? (Are you over 65? Make sure you pay attention to age restrictions)
- And, especially in the case of this card, are you looking for a charge card or one that will allow you to carry a balance?
Your answers to these questions will affect your search for the card that’s right for you.
American Express Gold Card FAQ
Amex Gold Rewards Card Review Final Verdict
For avid travellers, the Amex Gold Rewards Card is an excellent choice. Getting double the points for travel and everyday purchases is a huge benefit. Plus, the points you have are the points you’ll keep. Those points can be used to earn free airfare and hotel stays.
If you are not the world traveller type, no problem. The Amex Gold Rewards Card allows you to redeem points for everyday purchases, as well as on things like Amazon purchases.
These flexible features are the reason why the Amex Gold Rewards Card is one of the best charge cards in Canada. However, it is important to keep in mind that the annual fee is $250. Not cheap. Also, this is a charge card, meaning you’ll need to pay off the entire balance each month, or else face hefty interest fees as well as having your card locked.
If you’re more in the market for a great credit card, check out our full article on the Best Credit Cards in Canada.