American Express Gold vs. Platinum

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If you’re passionate about travel rewards, then high-end credit cards like the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express are probably on your radar.

However, you may find that one of these cards will leave you considerably better off. While the two options are similar in many ways, the Amex Gold will cost you $445 less each year in annual fees, yet you’ll also get access to a broader range of bonus categories. The Platinum Card from American Express, on the other hand, offers a long list of travel perks and generous rewards on qualifying flight and hotel purchases. So, which travel credit card offers a better value for your money? Let’s find out.

Comparison overview

Cards American Express® Gold Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
Welcome bonus Earn a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first six months Earn a 100,000-point welcome bonus after spending $6,000 in the first six months
Rewards Rate
  • Earn 4X points at restaurants
  • 4X points on Uber Eats purchases
  • 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1X)
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 2X points on rental cards booked through amextravel.com
  • 1X points on everything else
  • Earn 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership
  • 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or on American Express Travel and on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year)
  •  2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel
  • 1X points on everything else
Intro APR No introductory APR No introductory APR
Estimated yearly rewards  value from spending (based on a $15,900 budget) $696 $394
Bonus credits $340 (all credits recur annually) $1,974
Annual fee $250 $695
Total yearly value $786 ($1,986  total first-year value based on The Points Guy valuations.) $2,368 ($4,368 total first-year value based on The Points Guy valuations.)

American Express Gold vs. Platinum highlights

Both of these rewards credit cards let you earn points in the valuable American Express Membership Rewards program, yet their unique earning rates and cardholder perks set them apart. The following benefit comparisons can help you figure out which American Express credit card might work better for your needs and goals.

Amex Gold vs Platinum: Best welcome bonus

Winner: Amex Platinum

The Platinum Card from American Express edges out its golden cousin with an offer of 100,000 rewards points (worth up to $2,000 according to valuations from The Points Guy) for spending $6,000 in your first six months. The Amex Gold Card, on the other hand, offers 60,000 reward points (worth up to $1,200 according to the same valuations) for spending $4,000 in the first six months.

With that being said, the $4,000 spending requirement for the Amex Gold Card is easier to reach if you don’t spend a lot of money each month.

It’s also worth noting that Amex has launched preapproved offers through CardMatch for both its Platinum and Gold cards. This tool can match you with preapproved or prequalified credit card offers that match your credit profile. CardMatch welcome bonus offers could go up to 125,000 or even up to 150,000 Membership Rewards points for the Platinum card. For the Amex Gold, the bonus could be boosted up to 75,000 points.

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Best rewards rate

Winner: Amex Gold—at least for most people

While the Platinum Card from American Express lets cardholders rack up 5 points per dollar on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), what gets Amex Gold over the line is that its broader bonus categories will probably benefit more people. Unless you’re a frequent traveler, you’re likely to earn a healthier overall rewards rate for your normal spending with Amex Gold, which offers bonus points for dining out and groceries in addition to flight purchases.

The year-round rewards rate of 4X points at U.S. supermarkets is particularly generous, and that’s especially true when you realize this rate applies to your first $25,000 spent on qualifying grocery purchases each year (then 1X points). If you’re a foodie who spends a lot on specialty foods or you have a big family, it’s easy to see how the Amex Gold Card could leave you ahead. The fact that this rate also applies to restaurants, including takeout and delivery, is another major plus.

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Annual fee

Winner: Amex Gold

Given that Amex Gold Card’s annual fee is $445 cheaper, it’s not a huge surprise that it comes out the winner here. The reality is that not everyone can justify paying an annual fee of $695 for a credit card. Considering all the perks the Amex Gold Card gives you for an annual fee of $250, this card could make considerably more sense.

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Best annual credits

Winner: Amex Platinum

The Gold Card offers up to $120 in Uber Cash. Simply add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.

You’ll also get up to $120 in dining credits. Upon enrollment, you’ll earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits each month when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Plus, you can get a $100 on-site credit for qualifying activities like dining or spa treatments when you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel and stay at least 2 nights (qualifying activities vary by property). This brings the annual credit value to $340 a year.

The Platinum Card, on the other hand, has a plethora of annual bonus credits. The card offers up to $200 in Uber cash for your U.S. rides each year after you add the card to the Uber app ($15 each month plus a bonus of $20 in the month of December). You will also be able to take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit, which can be used on baggage fees and more on one qualifying airline of your choosing.

In addition, you’ll get up to $200 in credits for hotel services through Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection (when you stay at least two nights or more—qualifying activities vary by property) and a $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck. You also get up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue shopping credits with required enrollment.

Further, you can cover the cost of a Clear membership with the annual $179 statement credit, enjoy a $300 Equinox credit to spend across qualifying Equinox services and take advantage of up to $240 in digital entertainment credits when you enroll and use your card to subscribe to one or more of the following: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times.

New to the card, you’ll get up to $155 (plus applicable taxes) per year in Walmart+ monthly membership credits ($12.95 plus applicable taxes) each month you pay your Walmart+ membership with your card. There’s also a new $300 credit for each eligible SoulCycle At-Home bike purchase made using your card (through Amex’s provided link).

With all of these credits in mind, the Amex Platinum can deliver value well beyond the cost of its annual fee.

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Best travel perks

Winner: Amex Platinum

The Amex Platinum easily comes out ahead in terms of travel perks based on a few factors. It all starts with the fact that you get Priority Pass Select airport lounge access (worth $429). But this card also lets you enter American Express Centurion Lounges as well as Delta Sky Clubs when you fly with Delta.

Other travel benefits you get with the Amex Platinum include Gold elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs and access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program. Of course, you’ll also get up to $100 in credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and up to a $200 airline fee credit for incidentals, as previously mentioned.

Finally, the Amex Platinum also comes with its own VIP concierge service.

Why should you get the Amex Gold?

The Amex Gold Card offers an exceptional rewards rate in everyday categories, so you can build points quickly even if you’re not a frequent traveler. This card is ideal for foodies and those with big grocery and dining budgets as a result, but there are other reasons to consider signing up.

Additional benefits

The Amex Gold Card comes with useful benefits like dining credits, 90 days of return protection and a free ShopRunner membership that gets you free two-day shipping at participating stores. If you book a hotel through The Hotel Collection, you can also enjoy free room upgrades and up to $100 in hotel credits. As a cardholder, you’ll also receive secondary auto rental coverage and baggage protection with coverage provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify, which typically means having a FICO score between 670 and 850.

Why should you get the Amex Platinum?

If you travel often and want to be as comfortable as possible, then the Platinum Card is ideal. This travel credit card’s range of luxury perks is so extensive you can expect red carpet treatment wherever you go. Meanwhile, the rewards rate for flights and hotels is outstanding, too.

Additional benefits

Access to airport lounges, hotel benefits like room upgrades and daily breakfasts, credits for Uber rides, personalized travel assistance, rental car insurance, return protections—the Platinum Card’s list of perks seems endless.

Finally, keep in mind that this card has more travel protections overall. As a cardholder, you’ll qualify for trip delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage insurance and car rental insurance coverage.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good credit to excellent credit to qualify, which typically means having a FICO score between 670 and 850.

The bottom line

If you love a VIP experience and globe-trot regularly, then the Amex Platinum is a fantastic option. But if you’re not overly fussed about luxury travel or only travel a few times each year, the Amex Gold offers better value as well as more rewards-earning opportunities.

If you can’t decide between these two rewards credit cards, you can also consider getting both. With both the Amex Platinum and the Amex Gold in your wallet, you can have access to the top travel perks on the market along with enough bonus categories to let you rack up as many American Express Membership Rewards points as possible.

Many consumers even sign up for an Amex cash back credit card like the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express in order to earn optimal rewards with what is known as the Amex trifecta. No matter what you decide, there’s an American Express credit card (or combination of cards) to suit your needs.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."
Edited by
Jane Butler
Reviewed by
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