American Express Gold Card Review – Striking Gold?

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The higher you go, the better it gets – that’s the promise offered by the American Express Gold Card. Revered as a status symbol, a mark of prestige, and a sign of repute, the Amex Gold Card is only offered to individuals with superb credit. This card bears resemblance to the American Express of yore, when owning these cards made you part of an exclusive and elite club that had the best of the benefits. And as it is with all Amex cards, the value of the Gold Card emanates not from their rewards rate but from the very exclusive benefits it offers to its titleholders.

About the American Express Gold Card

First introduced by American Express in the year 1966, the highly sought-after American Express Gold Card was brought out in an effort to cater to the higher echelon of business travel. The American Express Gold Card happens to be a charge card, which basically means that you’ll have to pay your unsettled balance in full each month, and so it doesn’t require you to pay any interest. A few cardholders may be provided with the option to lengthen payment on certain purchases, but they have to contact Amex in order to request it. The American Express Gold Card is a rewards credit card that one can use to earn points that can be redeemed against a plethora of irresistible options.  These include telecom awards, travel merchandise, statement credit, as well as fuel, water, gas, electricity providers. However, it doesn’t have any incentives such as sign-up bonuses for new members.

Nevertheless, one big perk that the American Express Gold Card has is that it offers its members an initial annual fee of $0 for the first year of their membership, following which they need to pay an annual fee of $125, which could be seen as quite high compared to the other reward credit cards. However, the American Express Gold Card makes up for this in its standout Membership Rewards program, which is one of the preeminent credit card rewards programs existing today. Cardholders and members earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases, with certain exemptions of course. Cardholders even receive 2 points per dollar spent on buying gas and groceries, and 3 points per dollar spent on airfare with the card. They also earn bonus points while shopping in site on American Express.  These are very extraordinary rewards for a high-brow charge card. The reward points can also be easily shifted to most key frequent flyer programs. Members can also receive $75 dining credit at the Westin, W, Sheraton and the Le Meridian hotels provided they book at least 2 nights through Amex travel.

Apart from the above treats and privileges, the American Express Gold Card also offers 24X7 roadside assistance (upto $200 annually), up to 4 service visits annually, along with some pretty extensive rental car insurance, as well as baggage insurance which covers damages (up to $1,250) to checked-in bags during in boat, train, bus and chopper travel. The card also offers travel accident insurance up to $100,000 on common travel carriers. The American Express Gold Card also looks to cover cardholders through its purchase protection policy when certain eligible purchases get stolen (90-day accidental theft). Additionally, the warranty extension extends the manufacturer’s warranty by a year, and the return protection policy gives the same coverage to members if they wish to return an item the seller won’t accept. These rewards are available up to $300 per item purchased, up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 annually per card account, and exclude handling and shipping charges. Their global assist hotline is like a walking-talking travel concierge on the go and takes care of any problems that you might have while travelling, right from losing your passport in a foreign country to finding a suitable, quick flight to home. Members also get the advantage of preferred seating and treatment at sporting events, concerts and the likes, where members have exclusive access to tickets before they go up for sale and even get to sit with the other deep-pocket spenders to catch all the action.

What’s more, the Amex Gold Card offers for speedy and quick card replacement whenever cardholders misplace or have their cards stolen anywhere across the globe. Armed with zero lost card liability and even offering cardholders complimentary supplementary gold cards in certain cases, Amex makes sure that the customer isn’t at loss in case of such emergencies and issues temporary Gold Card as soon as possible. Moreover, the points that the cardholders stand to earn is limitless.  The sky is literally the limit when it comes to accumulating the points on the American Express Gold Card, sans any worry as to when the points will expire. With built-in intelligence, your Gold Card offers cardholders flexibility by analyzing their spending patterns and automatically adjusting spending limits. As the old commercials said – “Membership has privileges”, this is what they meant.

Although any individual who is over eighteen years of age, has a good credit history with zero payment defaults and, if self-employed, has been so for at least 18 months (12 months if he/she is an existing Amex card member), prospective cardholders need to carefully analyze and factor in the calculations for the rewards offered and the charges of the card, and consider them against their own needs. The American Express Gold Card specifically privileges and works for big-spender and big-ticket classes who spend big on travel, shopping and the likes, and smart cardholders need to evaluate the card’s terms carefully to decide if the American Express Gold Card works for them. Additionally, the membership points take 6-8 weeks to be credited to the cardholders’ membership rewards account after they have earned them. Prospective cardholders need to take this aspect into consideration too while planning for obtaining this card.

Once a super-exclusive product, the American Express Gold Card now offers an extremely strong rewards program along with travel protection and purchase options. The American Express Gold Card continues to be a much sought-after competitive charge card without being exceptional in any one particular area.

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