Why I’m keeping the Amex Gold another year

15

Two days before Nick posted that he was considering dumping the Amex Gold card for the Capital One SavorOne, I made my own decision about the Amex Gold Card.  I’m keeping it for one more year.  A retention offer makes it a keeper.  For now.

For many or most, the Amex Gold Card is well worth its $250 annual fee.  In exchange for that annual fee, you get a card that earns 4x for dining worldwide, 4x at U.S. grocery stores on up to $25K spend per year, and 3x on flights.  Plus, the card offers $120 in Uber / Uber Eats credits ($10 per month) and $120 in “dining” credits: $10 per month back when using the card at participating dining partners (Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, Shake Shack, Seamless/Grubhub, Cheesecake Factory).

Those who can get good value from the card’s 4x categories and from the Uber and dining credits can do very well with the Gold Card.  For me, though, it’s not worth the annual fee.  For starters, the 4x categories don’t interest me.  I earn 5x ThankYou points for dining with my Citi Prestige card (no longer available to new applicants), and 5x ThankYou points for grocery spend with my multiple Citi Custom Cash cards.  And while I value the $10 monthly Uber credits, I haven’t used the $10 monthly dining credit in ages and so that’s of no value to me either.

Due to the considerations above, I opened an online chat with Amex during regular business hours and said that I wanted to cancel the Gold card.  I was transferred to a specialist who eventually said that I was qualified for either of two retention offers:

  1. Earn 30,000 points after $3K spend in 3 months; or
  2. Earn $200 after $3K spend in 3 months

Obviously I went for the points.  Since I have the Schwab Platinum card which allows cashing out points for 1.1 cents each, it was completely obvious that I should pick the first retention offer.  At a minimum 30K points is worth $330.  In practice I should be able to get more value than that by transferring to airline partners or using with my Business Platinum to pay for select airfare in order to get its 35% points rebate (making points worth slightly more than 1.5 cents each).

My retention offer was enough to convince me to keep the card for another year.  I’ll probably drop it next year, though, when the annual fee comes due again.  It’s not common for Amex to offer a retention bonus two years in a row for the same card; so, unless things change, I really will dump the card then.

Please don’t take my decision to cancel the card next year as advice for you.  The Gold card isn’t right for me long term, but for many or maybe most people it’s a terrific choice.

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Anand

Was close to canceling this card upon my first anniversary next week. But got the 20,000 points after $2K spend in 3 months offer and kept another year. Hate that this is the heaviest credit card in my wallet, and the only one that ever falls out.

Corbett

I, too, LUVVV my Citi Custom Cash but would like to point out that the AmEx Personal Gold, Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred distinguish Walmart Supercenter from Neighborhood Market. In the case of the Blue Cash Everyday, Walmart.com also is treated to the 3% bonus category. Capital One Savor and Citi Custom Cash list Walmart Neighborhood Market as groceries but don’t apply the bonus category.

I have decided to dump my Blue Cash Preferred right before the AF posts because, when the annual fee is taken into consideration, its grocery earning rate is just a whisker above 4.4X and I already pay that Personal Gold annual fee for roughly the same reward rate. My Capital One Savor pays 4% on streaming versus the 6% at AmEx Blue Cash Preferred but on a much longer list of services.

Ben

My experience was that Amex will not approve retention offer year after year. Yet, when I chat to close my Gold card, I was offered 20k MR after $2k in 3m. This is fairly generous considering that last year I got 30k MR, so I kept the card.

TimR

The sooner one dumps the card, the sooner to reset the clock for Amex “forgetting” the card to churn as well

Baris

Moved to Portugal last year, and suddenly one of my favorite cards Amex Gold, became a burden in my wallet. Not many stores accept Amex in Europe, and while I can use dining 4X, i can’t use it for my grocery shopping here as it’s US only.

And even though I use UberEats on a daily basis, Gold’s Uber credits are also US only, therefore no value there too.

My card is due for renewal next month, planning to do what Greg did, and see what offer I’ll get. Sad to say goodbye to a card I’m a member of since 2009…

Jay

With the amex gold rebates coming in harder to efficiently use monthly credits (compared to the old annual airline credit), I’ve often wondered what the value for the gold card is over a combo of no annual fee freedom flex/custom cash cards are. With multiples of those cards you can more or less recreate the same 4x environment for food with 3x dining (FF) and 5x grocery (CC). The ability to get multiples of these should even allow you to reach a similar $/ year capacity like the 25k on amex gold but with less worry about getting hassled about gift card purchases at the grocery. Others who hold a Citi prestige like Greg don’t even value the 4x on dining which turns the amex gold into a $250 grocery card and at least personally I’d rather use a combo of no fee cards to get same (ish) result, as it appears he does as well. Obviously amex has referrals which some can maximize, generous retention offers every other year, and people may prefer MR to UR or TYP, but for the longer game I have a hard time paying that large fee over and over. Curious if I’m missing something or my situation just makes the gold card less valuable than it is to others.

ECR

Its interesting to see how YMMV on each benefit. Living in NYC the dining credits are so easy to use. No, I’m not trying to find something for $10 or less, but when you order food delivery a couple times a week its easy to make sure at least once is done with each of Uber, grubhub/seamless and caviar/doordash to satisfy credits from various cards. But of course people living in different areas have very different use for these credits.

Anony Mouse

Quick question:

I am in a similar situation, my AF just hit and I’m wondering whether to dump my Amex Gold. I applied for the Business Checking 60K MR promo back in December, and am still waiting to fulfil the “keep $5,000 average balance for 60 days” term.

If I cancelled my Gold (it’s my only MR-earning card), would the 60K still show up in my account after I qualify in late February? Or would I be forfeiting that, since I would have no MR account at the time to deposit the points in?

Sam

Apply for the Amex blue business since it’s 0 fee and then you can drop your gold after that and keep your MRs

Dan T

Ha rookie…Easy win without the retention offer. All you got to do is order Uber eats or GrubHub for pick up so you avoid all the fees plus delivery. Essentially I get a Chipotle burrito and a burger for free or a dollar twice a month. That’s $240 back…. But because Rakuten allows you to get MR pts instead of Cashback Amex is a gold mine. LG had 20% cash back on Rakuten, but when you switch to MR pts it’s 20x. Got a new washer and dryer for about $2,400 so I got the 2,400 std pts + 48,000 MR pts in a single transaction. This essentially paid for a $1,200 round trip business class ticket when I transferred the MR points to British Airways on American Airline metal.

My wife gets all her makeup from Ulta or Sephora, my work clothes come from Macy’s, old navy, many times they have electronic stores… All which range from 2x to 10x. I spend only about $1,000 a month on my gold and get about 8k pts/month. Since I only redeem MR points for 2 cents per point or more for flights, I’m essentially banking $160-$300/month in flights. Scores me a really nice free vacation once a year.

Citi or discover can’t touch this. Chase is the only other that comes close

Last edited 20 days ago by Dan T
YoniPDX

We have two Golds and two personal Plats. With good ROI vs AF.

In Portland we have a vast array of GH & Uber/Eats options – typically
I pick up our orders for a good part of
last year youn ould count on $5 off $15 GH order (pickup included) promos on a weekly basis typical on Sundays.

So Gold was breakeven or better – only because we already eat out regularly (or order takeout).

So I would order typically two $15 orders (using P1/P2 accounts – I use Samsungs secure folder for 2nd installed app on same phone for P2 Amex/Cap1/USBank/Chase/etc – but you need access to another phone for 2-factor SMS occasional confirmation texts).

So for much of last year we would get a few meals out of that $30 ($20 GH credits and Promo) from GH.

We often use our Uber credits to/from Airport during months we travel if not; I have found good value ordering Fogo de Chão for pickup 20oz of meat plus two sides for $26 picked up in PDX.

Next AF ask for upgrade bonus – snag the double dip credits to offset Plat AF (FHR & Airline) then (PC) downgrade back to Gold next renewal.

We jumped on the lucrative Platinum train during Covid with all the offers, etc.

Also got a few great retention offers (Biz & Personal Plat no spend AF statement credit, 50K MR with$3K on two other Plats.

Now we are down to two Plats and two Golds –

We have done a combo of PC Plat-& Gold -& ;upgrade bonus to Plat (double dipping credits vs AF + MR) except we have been carousel riding with 2 golds & 2 Plats last Plat upgrade bonus was only 25K MR for $3K spend (but double dip offset the AF plus some of the other credits.

Last edited 20 days ago by YoniPDX
Anand

Another good use it to cross refer with gold between P1 and P2 for biz green if u still get the 30k offer. Till last year biz plum used to be first year free but now only charge card that is first year free is biz green. That offsets u r annual fee even if u don’t qualify for biz green sign up bonus

tjp74

I’ve gotten two different offers on P1 vs P2.
Earn 30,000 points after $3K spend in 3 month
Earn 20,000 points after $2K spend in 3 month
will call for P3 tomorrow. btw, all of them past 30 day after annual fee posted. one even after 2 month but they still offered these. I can’t love Amex enough.

eddie edwards

All depends on how many MR points you have & how much MS you can do, or want to do. 100k miles for ~ $300+$250 is decent, esp. if you’re a heavy user of AC and didn’t do all the promos Greg/Nick did these past 2 years. I’m getting a little tired of it personally & seems like liquidation is getting harder, esp at scale

Yuri

I dumped my Amex Gold beginning this year, and eventually replaced it with Savor One. Was using Altitude Reserve in between. After they cancelled airline credit and replaced it with useless Uber credit, I decided to cancel. However, I still receive Uber credits to my Uber account. I also have multiple Custom Cash cards, but I MS them instead of using them for grocery or some other useful category. I also have Prestige, which I use for dining and airlines.