If you’re in the market for a new travel credit card and hoping to earn flexible points, you may be comparing the American Express Gold Card with the American Express Platinum Card. After all, both premier rewards credit cards let you accrue points that can be used for 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.

But, which of these two credit cards is best for your wallet? That depends on the type of perks you want and how much you’re willing to pay to get them. 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.

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: At a Glance

  • The Platinum Card from American Express offers a range of superior benefits like a $200 airline fee credit, $200 in Uber credits each year, airport lounge access, and a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit. However, the $550 annual fee can sting a bit.
  • The American Express Gold Card offers a smaller selection of benefits with a lower, more reasonable $250 annual fee.
  • Before you choose between these two cards, make sure to consider how you’ll use their respective travel credits and how much you’ll earn in rewards over time.

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American Express Gold Card: How It WorksAmEx Gold Card Logo

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
  • Earn 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Earn 4x points on up to $25,000 in restaurant purchases each year, 3x points on flights booked with airlines or on AmexTravel.com, and 1x points on all other purchases
  • Qualify for a $100 airline fee credit good toward checked baggage and other travel incidentals
  • Get up to $120 in annual statement credits toward purchases at GrubHub, Seamless, Boxed.com, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and participating Shake Shack locations
  • Get up to $100 off and a room upgrade on reservations made with The Hotel Collection from Amex
  • No foreign transaction fees
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The American Express Gold Card is slightly easier to stomach thanks to its $250 annual fee, yet you’ll receive a smaller welcome bonus and lower earning rates with this card. You’ll also get a different set of statement credits with this card, including the dining credit and a smaller airline fee credit.

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 on dining 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 $100 airline credit, the dining statement credit, and $100 off specific hotel bookings
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The Platinum Card from American Express: How It WorksAmEx Platinum Card Logo

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

Platinum Card from American Express Details

  • $550 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Earn 5x points on airfare booked direct or through AmexTravel.com as well as 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com; earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Airport lounge access, including the Global Lounge Collection
  • Qualify for a $100 hotel credit with The Hotel Collection
  • Automatic Hilton Gold status
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Up to $200 in Uber credits each year
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
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As you can see, the Platinum Card offers more benefits at a much higher cost. You’ll have to pay $550 per year to carry this card, but you’ll receive higher earning rates on travel, a bigger welcome bonus, airport lounge access, a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit, a larger airline credit, and even $200 in Uber credits per year.

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
  • You believe you can utilize the credits this card offers, including the airline credit and the $200 in Uber credits each year, which are given out in monthly allotments
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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 dines out often and travels a lot 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:

Spending scenario #1 during year one:Gold Card from American ExpressPlatinum Card from American Express
Spending scenario #1 during year one:


● $25,000 spent on dining

● $6,000 spent on airfare

● $3,000 spent on prepaid hotels

● $12,000 spent on other purchases
She would earn:

● 100,000 points on dining

● 18,000 points on airfare

● 3,000 points on hotels

● 12,000 points on other purchases

Total: 133,000 points
She would earn:

● 25,000 points on dining

● 30,000 points on airfare

● 15,000 points on hotels

● 12,000 points on other purchases

Total: 82,000 points
Spending scenario #2 during year one:


●      $10,000 spent on dining

●      $10,000 spent on airfare

●      $6,000 spent on prepaid hotels

●      $12,000 spent on other purchases
She would earn:

●      40,000 points on dining

●      30,000 points on airfare

●      6,000 points on hotels

●      12,000 points on other purchases

Total: 88,000 points
She would earn:

●      10,000 points on dining

●      50,000 points on airfare

●      30,000 points on hotels

●      12,000 points on other purchases

Total: 102,000 points

The chart above might help you figure out 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 and whether you want premier travel benefits like airport lounge access, as well as each card’s statement credit offers and how well you’ll be able to use them.

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

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