American Express® Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

4 min read

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.

While these two cards are similar in many ways, the Amex Gold will cost you $300 less in annual fees and give you broader bonus categories. The Platinum Card, on the other hand, offers a long list of travel perks and generous rewards on qualifying flight and hotel purchases.

So which is better value for money? Let’s find out.

Comparison overview

Features American Express Gold Card The Platinum Card from American Express
Welcome bonus Earn 35,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in three months. Earn 60,000 point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in three 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 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com and 1X points on everything else.
Introductory APR No introductory APR. No introductory APR.
Annual fee $250 $550

American Express Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card from American Express highlights

Here’s a closer look at how the card benefits compare.

Welcome bonus winner: Amex Platinum

The Platinum Card edges out its golden cousin with an offer of 60,000 rewards points (worth up to $1,200, according to valuations from The Points Guy) for spending $5,000 in your first three months, which works out to be 12 points per dollar spent. The Amex Gold offers 35,000 reward points (worth up to $700 according to the same valuations) for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, at only 8.75 points per dollar.

Of course, the $4,000 spending requirement for the Amex Gold is easier to reach, but if value for spending is what you’re looking for, then the Platinum Card comes out on top.

Rewards rate winner: Amex Gold, probably

While the Platinum Card offers an outstanding five rewards points per dollar for qualifying flights 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.

Annual fee winner: Amex Gold

Given that Amex Gold’s annual fee is $300 cheaper, it’s not a huge surprise that it comes out the winner here. But what might surprise you is how easily you can make most of your money back, regardless of which card you have.

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 (enrollment required). You also get up to a $100 annual airline fee credit (with the select airline of your choice) for incidentals like checked bags, in-flight refreshments and onboard entertainment. These savings can add up to $220 a year, just $30 short of the annual fee charge.

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 $20 in December), as well as a generous up to $200 airline fee credit 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), $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Precheck (once every four/four and a half years) and Priority Pass membership to more than 1,200 lounges around the world. It can deliver value well beyond the cost of its annual fee for those who can take advantage of all these perks.

Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie

Neither cards charge a fee for foreign transactions, making them fantastic travel buddies.

Which card earns the most?

It depends. As we touched on earlier, the Platinum Card comes with a higher rewards rate for qualifying flight and hotel purchases, but the Amex Gold offers bonus points for everyday purchases like restaurants and groceries as well as qualifying flight purchases. So unless you’re a frequent flyer and want the card’s more premium travel benefits, the Amex Gold will probably earn you more.

Amex Gold vs. the Platinum Card spending example

Let’s say you spend $4,500 on groceries per year, $3,500 on dining out and $5,000 on travel (half on flights and half on hotel accommodation for simplicity). If all purchases are eligible for bonus points, then Amex Gold cardholders will receive a total of 39,500 points (18,000 for groceries, 14,000 for restaurants and 7,500 for flights).

Platinum cardholders on the other hand, will only get 33,000 points (4,500 for groceries, 3,500 for dining and 25,000 for flight and hotel). Clearly, Amex Gold earns more points in this scenario.
However, if your travel budget is $7,500 (split equally again between hotel and flights), then Gold cardholders will end up with just 43,250 points, compared with Platinum cardholders’ 45,500 points.

Why should you get Amex Gold?

Amex Gold offers strong rewards on everyday categories, so you can build points quickly even if you’re not a frequent traveler. It’s ideal for foodies and those with big grocery and dining budgets.

Additional benefits

You’ll get useful benefits like airline and dining credits, 90 days of returns protection and free ShopRunner membership. If you book a hotel through The Hotel Collection, you can enjoy free room upgrades and up to $100 in hotel credit. You’ll also receive baggage protection, with coverage provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage.

Redemption options

Redemption is flexible: Transfer reward points to partnered airlines or hotels, use them to book or upgrade travel, claim as statement credits, shop with merchant partners or redeem them for gift cards — the choice is yours.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good credit to excellent credit, which is at least 670 – 850.

Why should you get the Platinum Card?

If you travel often and value doing it in style, then the Platinum Card is ideal. Its range of luxury perks is so extensive you can expect red carpet treatment wherever you go. Its rewards rate for flights and hotels is outstanding too.

Additional benefits

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

Redemption options

These are similar to the Amex Gold. Your points won’t expire, and you can transfer them, exchange for gift cards and statement credits or pay with points for travel bookings, taxi fares and at Amazon checkout.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good to excellent credit, which is at least 670-850.

Bottom line

These two cards are designed to attract different customers. 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 only travel a few times each year, then the Amex Gold offers better value as well as more rewards earning opportunities.