Gold vs. Platinum Amex Card: What's the Difference?

Gold vs. Platinum Amex Card: An Overview

American Express “precious metal” cards, whether Gold or Platinum have a reputation of prestige. The Gold card and the Platinum card both offer a range of benefits to card holders, and they both have annual fees that are significantly higher than the average credit card fee.

Learn more about the differences between Amex Gold card and Amex Platinum so you can decide if one is right for you.

Key Takeaways

  • The American Express Platinum card carries strong advantages and benefits for frequent travelers.
  • The Amex Gold card is geared toward people who shop frequently, eat out a lot, and do a lot of everyday spending.
  • A Gold card's annual fee is $250 per year; the Platinum card's annual fee is $695.
  • Platinum cards must be paid off in full every month. Gold card owners can carry over certain balances with interest.

The American Express Gold and Platinum cards are actually “charge” cards rather than “credit,” which means you must pay the bill in full each month.

The Platinum card is essentially a Gold card with more rewards and a higher fee. The American Express Gold card has a $250 annual fee while the Platinum card has $695 annual fee as of 2023.

Gold vs. Platinum Amex Card

Investopedia / Sabrina Jiang

The American Express Gold Card

The Gold card has an annual fee of $250, and there is no annual fee for adding any additional cards to a Gold account. One of the biggest perks is the membership rewards program, which allows consumers to earn points with purchases.

The Gold card is geared toward people who like to shop, eat out, and have lot of everyday spending. American Express Gold cardholders can earn four points for every dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases), three points for every dollar spent booking flights with airline companies or through the American Express travel website, and one point for every dollar spent on any other purchase.

As of January 2023, first-time cardholders are also eligible for 90,000 points after they use their card to make $4,000 in purchases for the first six months of account membership.

Unlike traditional credit cards, American Express cards do not have a regular APR or charge interest, as all balances must be paid in full each month. However, the Gold card does offer cardmembers the flexibility to pay for purchases of $100 or more over time at a set interest rate.

Other benefits include up to $120 in dining credits each year—up to $10 per month in automatic statement credits when you use your card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Wine.com, Goldbelly, Milk Bar, and participating Shake Shack locations. But, cardholders must enroll in the program to be eligible.

The Gold card also offers a $120 Uber cash benefit, or $10 per month. This card also offers an extended warranty program*, purchase protection*, return protection*, Amex preferred seating on airlines and roadside assistance.  

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

The American Express Platinum Card

The Platinum Amex card offers members five points for every dollar spent on flights booked directly through airlines or through the American Express travel site, five points for prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com, and one point for every dollar spent on other purchases.

The Platinum welcome bonus as of January 2023 gives cardholders 150,000 points when they spend $6,000 or more in the first six months of account membership. However, if you want to add cards on your Platinum account, expect to pay an extra annual fee of $175 for up to three card and $175 per card after that.  

The Platinum card is geared for people who travel frequently. It has more travel perks than the Gold card. Rewards points can be used for merchandise, gift cards, dining, shopping, entertainment, or for use at the Amex travel website. Points can also be transferred to other frequent flyer programs. 

The Platinum card offers $200 in Uber credits as well as an annual $200 incidental airline fee credit on the eligible airline of your choice, giving passengers complimentary checked baggage and an in-flight meal with qualifying airlines.

Members also get a $200 hotel credit with bookings at qualifying The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts properties through the Amex travel website. Other benefits include (but aren't limited to) a $240 digital entertainment credit, $300 Equinox credit, and a $189 Clear Credit. The ample add-ons of the Platinum card can significantly offset the cost.

The Platinum card offers a slew of extras such as discounts on private jet and limousine rentals and a dedicated concierge service to assist in managing travel details.

Gold vs. Platinum
Feature Gold Platinum
Annual Fee $250 $695
Reward Points 90,000 after spending $4,000 in first 6 months 150,000 after spending $6,000 in first 6 months
Bonus Points 4X on restaurants, U.S Supermarkets; 3X on flights thru amextravel.com or booked direct w/ airlines 5X on flights thru amextravel.com or booked direct w/ airlines, 5X on prepaid hotels thru amextravel.com.
Other Credits $10/month in Uber Cash when you add a Gold Card to your Uber account $200 airline fee credit with one qualifying airline per year

Special Considerations

There are other costs to consider besides annual fees. Both cards are charge cards, which means that balances must be paid in full at the end of each month. The first late payment made will incur a fee of $29. Any additional late payments in the following six months will result in an up to $40 charge per month. Cardholders can face returned payment fees of up to $40 as well.

There are no interest charges on the Platinum account because it must be paid in full each month. However, there is more flexibility with the Gold card, which offers cardholders the option of carrying a balance on certain purchases over $100 with interest. American Express offers a calculator to figure out your interest charges.

Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee, making them affordable to use abroad.

Is Gold Card Higher Than Platinum?

Both Amex Gold and Platinum offer a range of benefits, with the Gold card catering more to everyday spending and the Platinum card designed more for travelers. The Platinum card has more benefits, but it's annual $695 fee is higher than the Gold card's $250 fee.

Who Is the American Express Platinum Card Aimed at?

The card's marketing pushes status. A solid credit score and income is necessary to qualify for the American Express Platinum card. Annual membership soared $145 to $695 for 2021. Cardholders get a variety of travel perks including access to airport lounges as well as benefits from Uber, airport security app CLEAR, hotels, car rental companies, and concierge services.

Is the Gold Card for Me?

The Gold card can provide a range of benefits on everyday spending for a more modest fee than the Platinum card. It will cost you $250 per year. The Gold card offers the option of carrying a balance on certain purchases over $100 with interest.

How Do I Decide Between the Platinum or Gold Card?

The right card for you will depend on your income, how much you charge, how much you travel, and what you can afford. Consider if you want to pay extra for more perks, in which case the Platinum card may be best for you.

The Bottom Line

With the Black, Platinum, Gold and familiar Green cards, American Express offers cards that fit most incomes. The best card for you will depend on your personal and financial situation, including your income, preference for charging or paying cash, how much you travel, and what you can afford. Keep in mind that Amex frequently changes the benefits to these card, so confirm the current offerings before you apply.

Article Sources
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