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I’ve been a Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express cardholder for several years. It’s been the strongest Membership Rewards-earning card. Now, they’ve added new benefits, made the earning more attractive, and I can really justify not just having the card but keeping and using it. Here’s why.
Why Premier Rewards Gold Has Been a Valuable Card for Years
For a long time the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express was the best Membership Rewards points-earning card, bar none.
Membership Rewards are one of the most valuable currencies because they transfer to a variety of different airline (and hotel) programs, in many cases instantly. That lets you accrue very flexible points, deciding where to put them later when you know what trip you want to book and which partner has award availability.
And the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express was much better at earning Membership Rewards points than the Platinum Card by American Express. That’s because of its spending category bonuses, especially triple points on airfare.
It’s been attractive as a points-earning card the first year with its $0 introductory annual fee, but after the first year the fee was $175 (now $195). That’s still cheap compared to the Platinum card, which doesn’t earn points as quickly, but expensive compared to strong earning cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which earns double points on travel and dining (and is $0 the first year, then $95).
They’ve Improved the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Benefits!
The Premier Rewards Gold card has made some changes to be more competitive. It has added a $100 airline fee credit, a new category bonus double points on dining, and no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee has gone up $20 to $195 — but is still $0 intro the first year.
So spending category bonuses are — 3X for flights booked directly with airlines; 2X points at US restaurants; 2X points at US gas stations; 2X points at US supermarkets.
- The card becomes competitive on earning with Chase Sapphire Preferred by offering more points on airfare (though not bonusing other travel), matching double points on dining, and bonusing gas and groceries which Sapphire Preferred does not.
And the $100 airline fee credit is available for your choice of:
And because the benefit is based on calendar year, you can receive the $100 twice during your first cardmember year (that has no annual fee). In other words, get the card now and use the $100 fee credit before the end of 2015, and again at the beginning of 2016. You net $200.
Here’s the page to register your airline preference for the Premier Rewards Gold airline fee credit.
- It’s now more compelling to keep the card each year with the $100 airfare credit, the net fee is competitive with both Sapphire Preferred and Everyday Preferred
What Else Could They Have Done?
While they were revamping the Premier Rewards Gold, they could have done this with the card’s design. I think it like it better than the Premier Rewards Gold that I have in my wallet.
So, there’s that.
I like the card for triple points on airfare. With double points on US dining, supermarkets and gas stations, no more foreign transaction fees, and a better annual fee value proposition after the $0 intro first year I’ll definitely keep the card.
During the first cardmember year? Get the card now and take advantage of two $100 fee credits with a $0 fee, the card’s 25,000 point signup bonus (after $2000 spend within 3 months) is pretty sweet.