Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum - young woman in kayak

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Which Card Should You Get?

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When comparing the American Express® Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express, the best option for you depends entirely on the perks you want and how much you’re willing to pay for them. Both are excellent travel credit cards that help you accrue points you can use to save on travel through the Amex portal. Better yet, you can use Membership Rewards for point transfers to airlines and hotels or for gift cards, merchandise, and more.

So, which of these two credit cards is best for your wallet? Before you decide, it’s smart to study all the benefits each card offers, their earning structures, and the fees you’ll have to pay when you sign up. I’ll compare the pros and cons of each card below!

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: At a Glance

  • The Platinum Card from American Express offers a range of superior benefits like up to $200 in annual statement credits toward select hotels, airport lounge access, and a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit. Enrollment in each program is required to take advantage of these benefits. There are no foreign transaction fees, however, the $695 annual fee can sting a bit. Terms apply. (See Rates and Fees.)
  • The American Express Gold Card includes no foreign transaction fees and offers a smaller selection of benefits with a lower, more reasonable $250 annual fee. Terms apply. (See Rates and Fees.)
  • Before you choose between these two cards, make sure to consider how you’ll use their respective credits and how much you’ll earn in rewards over time.

American Express Gold Card: How It Works

Amex Gold Card and Rose Gold Card

Let’s start with the American Express Gold Card because it comes with the lowest annual fee of the two. Here are the main details to be aware of:

American Express Gold Card Details

  • $250 annual fee
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn a 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on your card within six months of account opening
  • Earn 4x points on restaurant purchases (including delivery, takeout, and Uber Eats), 3x points on flights booked with airlines or on AmexTravel.com, and 1x points on all other purchases
  • Earn 4x points on up to $25,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases
  • Earn up to $120 annually in Uber Cash to use toward Uber rides and Uber Eats orders when you use these services with your card
  • Earn up to $120 in annual statement credits ($10 per month) when you use your card toward purchases at GrubHub, Seamless, Boxed.com, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and participating Shake Shack locations (enrollment required)
  • Get up to $100 off and a room upgrade on reservations made with The Hotel Collection from Amex
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply
  • Learn how to apply

The American Express Gold Card is slightly easier to stomach thanks to its $250 annual fee. You also can choose between the Gold and Rose Gold, if that is something that interests you.

With that said, you’ll receive a smaller welcome bonus and lower earning rates with the Gold Card. You’ll also get a different set of statement credits with this card, including the dining credit (enrollment required).

Overall, the American Express Gold Card is a solid option to consider if:

  • You want to earn American Express Membership Rewards points but don’t want to pay an exorbitant annual fee
  • You spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets each year and want to maximize this specific 4x earning category
  • You think you can make use of the other credits this card offers, including the $120 dining statement credit (enrollment required), $10 a month in Uber Cash, and $100 off specific hotel bookings

Learn how to apply | Read Amex Gold Card review

The Platinum Card from American Express: How It Works

Amex Platinum Card

Think of the Platinum Card from American Express as a more luxurious version of the Gold Card. This card has a higher annual fee, but the perks are more generous as a result.

Platinum Card from American Express Details

  • $695 annual fee
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $6,000 on your card within six months of account opening
  • Earn 10x points on $25,000 in combined spending at worldwide restaurants and when you “Shop Small” in the U.S. for first six months
  • Earn 5x points on airfare booked direct or through AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 in purchases)
  • Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • $200 annual hotel statement credit for prepaid bookings with Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee statement credit with one qualifying airline
  • Airport lounge access, including the Global Lounge Collection
  • Qualify for a $100 onsite hotel credit with The Hotel Collection
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status (enrollment required)
  • Automatic Hilton Gold status (enrollment required)
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash each year (available to Basic Card Member only)
  • Up to $240 annually in statement credits toward select digital entertainment services (up to $20/month, enrollment required)
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit (enrollment required)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply
  • Learn how to apply

As you can see, the Platinum Card offers more benefits at a much higher cost. You’ll have to pay $695 per year to carry this card, but you’ll receive higher earning rates on travel, a bigger welcome bonus (most of the time), airport lounge access, a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit, and even up to $200 in Uber Cash per year. (Enrollment required.)

With those details in mind, the Platinum Card from American Express is probably best for:

  • Someone who spends a lot on airfare and prepaid hotel stays and could benefit handsomely from these 5x categories
  • Anyone who travels a lot and could take advantage of travel perks like expedited airport security, airport lounge access, and Hilton Gold status (enrollment required)
  • You believe you can utilize the additional statement credits this card offers

Learn how to apply | Read Amex Platinum Card review

Amex Platinum vs. Gold Card from American Express: How Much Will You Earn?

Before you pick between these two awesome rewards credit cards, it can help you see how much you’ll earn with each based on your spending style. Here’s an example to consider:

Let’s say Debra, an engineer, is a foodie who travels for work. She spends a lot of money on travel, food, and fun as a result, and wants to earn American Express Membership Rewards points she can transfer to airlines.

Here’s how much she would earn with each card based on a few different spending scenarios during her first year of membership:

Spending Scenario #1
(First Year)
Amex Gold Card EarningsAmex Platinum Card Earnings
$25,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets100,000 points at U.S. supermarkets25,000 points at U.S. supermarkets
$2,000 spent on dining
($1,000 first 6 months)
8,000 points on dining11,000 points on dining
$6,000 spent on airfare18,000 points on airfare30,000 points on airfare
$3,000 spent on prepaid hotels3,000 points on hotels15,000 points on hotels
$12,000 spent on other purchases12,000 points on other purchases12,000 points on other purchases
Total: 141,000 pointsTotal: 93,000 points
Spending Scenario #2
(First Year)
Amex Gold Card EarningsAmex Platinum Card Earnings
$10,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets40,000 points at U.S. supermarkets10,000 points at U.S. supermarkets
$15,000 spent on dining
($7,500 first 6 months)
60,000 points on dining82,500 points on dining
$10,000 spent on airfare30,000 points on airfare50,000 points on airfare
$6,000 spent on prepaid hotels6,000 points on hotels30,000 points on hotels
$12,000 spent on other purchases12,000 points on other purchases12,000 points on other purchases
Total: 148,000 pointsTotal: 184,500 points

The tables above might help you decide which card would leave you better off based on your spending style, but there’s more to the story when it comes to picking between these two American Express Membership Rewards credit cards. You also need to consider how often you travel, whether you want premier travel benefits like airport lounge access, the discrepancy between the annual fees, as well as each card’s statement credit offers and how well you’ll be able to use them.

AmEx Gold vs AmEx Platinum Pin - picture of young woman kayaking

The Bottom Line

The right American Express credit card for you depends on a whole host of factors, but you should also remember that you don’t really have to choose.

American Express has a once-per-lifetime rule that lets you have each of their credit cards, and earn their respective welcome bonuses, once. As a result, you can have both cards at the same time or one after the other. As with all issues within the world of points and miles, the choice is yours.

To see rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please use the following links: American Express Gold Card: See Rates and Fees; American Express Platinum Card: See Rates and Fees.

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