Is the Amex Gold Card’s $ 250 Annual Fee Worth the Cost? Here’s how to know

The American Express® Gold Card is a great card for dining out, ordering takeout, and traveling, but it comes with a relatively high annual fee of $ 250.See rates and fees

Cardholders can make up for the expense with up to $ 240 in food-related credits per year and a $ 100 credit toward eligible hotel stays, but paying $ 250 for a credit card isn’t within everyone’s budget.

If you order food for pickup or delivery at least twice a month from popular services like Uber Eats, GrubHub, and Seamless, you can easily recoup the card’s annual fee. The food-related credits alone effectively reduce the card’s annual fee from $ 250 to $ 10 – all with little work on your part – and the added benefits only add to its value.

Ahead, we’ll break down the Amex Gold card benefits and credits so you can decide if the $ 250 annual fee is worth it.

American Express® Gold Card

On the secure American Express site

  • Rewards

    4x Membership Rewards® points for restaurants around the world (including pickup and delivery, plus Uber Eats purchases) and at US supermarkets (up to $ 25,000 per calendar year in purchases, 1x thereafter), 3x points for flights directly with airlines or on an additional trip are booked .com, 1x points on all other purchases

  • Welcome Bonus

    60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $ 4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of opening your account

  • Annual contribution

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer costs

  • Foreign transaction costs

  • Need credit

Value of Amex Gold Card Benefits

To recoup the $ 250 annual fee on the Gold card, you must take advantage of the card’s benefits. We crunched the numbers to find out how much each benefit is estimated to be worth.

In addition, Amex offers shopping offers known as Amex offers, at various retailers, such as restaurants, hotels and department stores. With these offers you can get a credit statement or points on eligible spend after you have been activated. The value varies per card member, so estimating how much you can earn per year is not easy. However, combined, Amex Card members have saved more than $ 931 million since January 2010.

Alternatives to the Amex Gold card

American Express Cash Magnet® card

On the secure American Express site

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5% money back on all purchases

  • Welcome Bonus

    Earn a $ 150 statement credit after spending $ 1,000 on purchases in the first three months

  • Annual contribution

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases, N / A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer costs

  • Foreign transaction costs

  • Need credit

More manageable annual fee

American Express® green card

Information about the American Express® Green Card has been independently collected by CNBC and has not been verified or provided by the card issuer prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    3X Membership Rewards® points for eligible travel, transit and at restaurants worldwide and 1X Membership Rewards® points for all other purchases

  • Welcome Bonus

    30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $ 2,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account

  • Annual contribution

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer costs

  • Foreign transaction costs

  • Need credit

Luxury travel benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the secure American Express site

  • Rewards

    10x Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at US gas stations and US supermarkets (up to $ 15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership), 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ( from January 1, 2021, this applies up to $ 500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome Bonus

    75,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $ 5,000 within 6 months of opening an account

  • Annual contribution

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer costs

  • Foreign transaction costs

  • Need credit

Main thing

If your food delivery bills are high, the Amex Gold card can help you save on eligible orders through the dinner credit and Uber Cash benefit. And if you’re traveling later this year, booking a stay with The Hotel Collection can help you save up to $ 100 per eligible trip.

But if you prefer meal prep to takeout or don’t plan on using the Amex Gold’s food-focused credits, you’ll need to maximize the card’s rewards program to offset the annual fee. This requires more work and even more spending – about $ 6,250 to $ 25,000 in purchases is required to offset the annual fee, depending on the categories you spend in.

The fastest way to recoup Amex Gold’s annual fee is to spend a total of $ 6,250 on U.S. grocery stores and restaurants around the world.

Editor’s note: The opinions, analyzes, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial board only and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise approved by any third party.

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