American Express Gold vs. Platinum

1

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

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 $300 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

Features American Express® Gold Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
Welcome bonus Earn a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in six months Earn a 75,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in six months
Rewards rate Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 1X points on everything else Earn 10X points on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership, 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com (Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com and 1X points on everything else
Introductory APR No introductory APR No introductory APR
Estimated yearly rewards value (for someone who spends $15,900) $707 $797
Annual fee $250 $550

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 your 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 75,000 rewards points (worth up to $1,500, according to valuations from The Points Guy) for spending $5,000 in your first six months, which works out to be 15 points per dollar spent. The Amex Gold Card, on the other hand, offers 60,000 reward points (worth up to $1200 according to the same valuations) for spending $4,000 in the first 6 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 on purchases each month.

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 for qualifying flights (Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and prepaid hotels, 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 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. 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 $300 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 $550 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 $10 in dining credits each month for a range of popular eateries such as Boxed, Grubhub, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Seamless, participating Shake Shack locations and The Cheesecake Factory, although enrollment is required. The card also comes with a $100 activity credit on vacations over $3,000, a complimentary Eats Pass from Uber and $120 in Uber Cash per year (beginning in 2021). These savings can add up.

The Platinum Card, on the other hand, offers up to $200 in Uber cash for your U.S. rides each year (up to $15 each month and up to $35 in December), as well as up to $200 airline fee credits each calendar year. In addition, you’ll get $100 credit for hotel services through Amex’s Hotel Collection (when you stay at least two nights or more) 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. Through the end of 2020, you can also qualify for up to $40 per month in credits for select streaming services or wireless phone services.

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

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Best travel perks

Winner: Amex Platinum

The Amex Platinum Card 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.

You’ll also get a $200 airline fee credit for incidentals with this card.

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, as we mentioned already.

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 credit. 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 credit 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 cover, return protections—the Platinum Card’s list of perks seems endless.

Also note that, through the end of 2020, you can receive up to $40 per month in credits toward select streaming services or wireless phone services. These credits can help you get even more bang for your buck.

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 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.

Bottom line

If you love a VIP experience and globe-trot regularly, then the Platinum Card is a fantastic option. But if you’re not overly fussed about luxury travel or you only travel a few times each year, then 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 today 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.