American Express Gold Card Review – Updated in May 2018

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American Express Gold Card Review

The American Express Gold Card primarily targets those people who prioritise welcome bonus and rewards over other attributes of a credit card. The annual bonus obtained in the first year is around 10,000 reward points. Moreover, you get to earn 1 reward point on every INR 50 spent on all categories except fuel, insurance, utility payments and cash transactions. This card is also good since you get 500+ redeem options from the 18 Karat and 24 Karat Gold Collection. Additionally, you also get BookMyShow vouchers.

FinTown Rating: 3/5

Rating by Category:

Annual Fee 3
Rewards Rate  3.5
Initial Bonus 3
Annual Fee 5
  • The Annual Fee is not very high for the first year. However, a higher annual fee is charged from the second year onwards.
  • Despite the 0.9% rewards rate, this card is great due to the wide coverage of categories on which reward points could be earned.
  • The welcome offer on this card is 4,000 bonus points. Therefore, a rating of 3 is justified.
  • Since the AmEx Gold credit card is a charge card, an interest rate is not applicable. Therefore, we give the AmEx Gold Card a rating of 5.

Pros and Cons:

Reasons to Choose Reasons to Avoid
Welcome bonus, Renewal bonus Need to pay your credit card bills in full every month.
Monthly bonus on meeting criteria High Annual Fee
Gold Collection No reward points on Fuel, insurance, utility payments and cash transactions.
Dining options No airport lounge access
No interest rate No golf privileges

Rewards/Benefits – American Express Gold Credit Card

Welcome Offer

You get 4,000 bonus points on using your card thrice within the first 60 days of issuance of the card.

Rewards

On making 6 transactions worth INR 1,000 each, you would get 1,000 bonus membership points. Furthermore, you will earn 1 reward point on every INR 50 spent. However, you will not earn any reward point for some categories. Moreover, you can redeem these points from the 18 Karat and 24 Karat Gold Collection.

Renewal Benefits

You get 5,000 bonus points on payment of renewal fee in the first year.

Travel Benefit

You can get savings up to INR 1,000 on bookings from MakeMyTrip.

Monthly Blockbuster Programme

You can earn up to INR 2,000 vouchers every month with the American Express Gold Card.

Dining Discounts

Enjoy up to 20% discounts at select restaurants.

No pre-set spending limit

Since it is a charge card, there is no pre-set limit to this card.

Is the Rewards Rate good?

For every INR 50 spent,  you get 1 reward point. In other words, you earn INR 0.45. Therefore, the rewards rate is 0.9%. This is the rewards rate for redeeming points for Amazon voucher. However, please note that you would not earn any rewards on fuel, utility, insurance and cash spends.

Is this card for you?

This card is perfect for you if:

  • Earning rewards is your priority. However, you are fine with not earning rewards in categories such as fuel, cash, insurance etc.
  • You earn above INR 6 lakhs
  • You have a bank account
  • Airport lounge access and golf games are not important to you.
  • You have a good credit history and no payment defaults.

Payments & Fees:

Annual Fee Year 1 fee: Rs. 1,000 plus taxes

Year 2 onwards: INR 4,500 plus taxes

Foreign Currency Mark-up Fee 3.5% + taxes
Cash Withdrawal Fee 3.5% + taxes
Railway surcharge Fee 1.8%
Reward Redemption fee (i) 250 for every redemption of

Air Miles

(ii) 200 for reinstatement of Points for every monthly billing statement

How to get the most out of this card?

For getting maximum benefits, you must use your cards 6 times a month in order to earn the 1,000 bonus points. Additionally, you also get a welcome offer on using your card thrice in the first 60 days to earn 4,000 bonus points. You also get 1,000 bonus points on registering for standing instructions within the first 5 months of receiving the card.

On regular spending, you get additional 6,000 points. To get the most out of this card, you should be able to accumulate 24,000 bonus reward points and redeem these points from the Gold collection offered by American Express.

Lastly, you should try to make the bill payments in full to avoid paying penalty fees. Since this is a charge card, Annual Percentage Rate is not calculated.

How to Redeem Rewards – American Express Gold Card

To redeem your points for travel rewards, visit this page (https://travel.americanexpress.com/travel/travel-paywithpoints) and log in to your account.  All you have to do is follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Select your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation package, or cruise through the American Express Travel site.
  2. At checkout, select the option to “Use all or some Membership Rewards points” for your booking.
  3. Choose the number of points you would like to redeem and select Apply.

Please note that the purchase amount will be first charged to your card. However, points will be deducted from your memberships rewards balance and the same amount will be credited to your account.

For all other rewards, visit this page (https://catalogue.membershiprewards.co.in/index.mtw). Log in to your account and follow the steps mentioned above. To sum up, all you need to do is choose the product and then select the option to “Use all or some Membership Rewards points” for your booking.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Delinquency Fee: A delinquency fee of 5% is levied if you don’t pay your bills in full. The minimum charge, however, is INR 300.
  2. No pre-set limit: It rather depends on the declared financials, account history, spending pattern and credit record.
  3. Cash withdrawal limit: You can withdraw a maximum of INR 10,000 every 14 days.

Application Requirements or Eligibility Criteria:

  • I am over 18 years of age
  • I have a good credit history and no payment defaults
  • If self-employed: My company has been trading for more than 12 months
  • You are earning more than INR 6 Lakhs a year

Negative Customer Feedback:

Based on 203 reviews, AmEx Credit Card has received a rating of 2.17 on mouthshut.com. People have shown their general dissatisfaction about the unacceptability rate of AmEx Gold Cards. Additionally, the no pre-set credit limit feature is talked about a lot in these reviews. Cardholders highlight that this feature is not really transparent and is decided at the discretion of the bank.

Other credit cards with similar/better features:

Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card

If you are looking for a rewards card with a low fee, then the Standard Chartered Bank Platinum Rewards Card will do the job very well. The first year fee for this card is INR 399. However, the renewal fee is INR 750 from second year onwards. Additionally, people with a monthly income of INR 25,000 and above can apply for this card.

This card comes lets you earn  5 points with every INR 150 spent on dining, fuels and hotel bills. Additionally, the 20% cash back on Uber Rides and welcome offers of around 1500 bonus points makes it a value for money card.

Diners Club Black International Credit Card

The HDFC Diners Club Black International Credit Card is a good option for people who travel a lot, make a good amount of transactions in foreign currencies and love to eat out. This card offers 10X rewards on international transactions.

Additionally, this card provides unparalleled protection in terms of insurance coverage. This card also offers 6 complimentary golf games. On every spend of INR 150, you get to earn 5 reward points with the Diners Club Black International Card. Lastly, the host of concierge service provided also makes this card a suitable choice for people keen on getting rewards for their travel and dining.

Bottom Line

The American Express Gold Card is perfect for people who want to earn reward points instead of cash back. However, the annual fee is rather on the high side. Additionally, the rate of the unacceptability of this card at stores etc. make this a little unappealing. However, the variety this card offers in terms of redeeming points is amazing.

Think this credit card is for you? APPLY NOW.

FinTown Advantage:  We provide unbiased personal finance advice to help people make the best possible financial decisions. Our reviews and ratings of financial products are determined by customer financial wellbeing and not profiteering. Whether or not we make a penny, we do what is best for the customer. Our research team is made up of economists and market researchers who spend hundreds of hours researching and comparing products with the same mission in mind.

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