American Express Gold Card vs. Platinum Card: What’s Best for You?

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The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card are both premium cards, and each offers a long list of benefits. In general, The Platinum Card® is best for high-spending frequent travelers, while the Gold Card favors foodies. However, figuring out which is best for you can require a careful review of each card's fees and benefits.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. American Express® Gold Card

A side-by-side overview of The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card can make it easier to compare the options. As you take a closer look at some of the main differences between the two cards, it may become clear which one is a better fit for you. Terms apply to all American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required to receive benefits and statement credits.

Side-by-Side Comparison
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressAmerican Express® Gold Card
Annual fee$695$250
Foreign transaction feeNoneNone
Possible welcome offersEarn 100,000 bonus points if you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within 6 months of card membership
Earn 10 points per dollar on up to $25,000 in combined purchases at restaurants worldwide and Shop-Small participating merchants in the U.S. during your first 6 months
Earn 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 6 months
Rewards rates
  • 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked with airlines and through American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year)
  • 5 points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 1 point per dollar spent on other eligible purchases
  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases then 1 point per dollar)
  • 3 points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or using amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases
Additional benefits
  • Access to over 1,300 airport lounges
  • Eligible for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Eligible for Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Premium car rental status with Avis, Hertz and National
  • Complimentary benefits when booking a stay at a Fine Hotels and Resorts location through American Express Travel
  • $100 on-site credit for qualifying activities for eligible bookings of The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel
  • $100 on-site credit for qualifying activities when booking The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel; credit may vary by hotel
Eligible for Amex OffersYesYes
Authorized-user cards$175 for up to three additional Platinum cards, then $175 per cardFive for free, then $35 for each additional card

Annual Fees and Welcome Offers

The Platinum Card® from American Express stands apart from many rewards cards—including other premium options—with its $695 annual fee. Whether it's worth the high cost may depend on how much value you'll get from the rewards, statement credits and other cardholder perks.
The benefits could far outweigh the costs if:

  • You can meet the welcome offer requirement with your usual spending.
  • You use the statement credits offered (more on that below), allowing you to save hundreds of dollars each year.
  • You will frequent the airport lounges and take advantage of other premium perks offered.

The Platinum Card® from American Express' benefits can be particularly lucrative during the first year, with the increased rewards at restaurants and Shop-Small participating merchants, plus a statement credit for a multi-year Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership.
The American Express® Gold Card's $250 annual fee may be much easier to swallow. Although the fee is higher than on many rewards cards, the card has several statement credits that can help you save money. You also get a great rewards rate at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
You'll have a lower spending requirement for the American Express® Gold Card's welcome offer. There are also fewer statement credits to remember and manage—which may be a pro or con depending on how you use cards.

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Statement Credits

Both cards offer statement credits on eligible purchases. The Platinum Card® from American Express clearly provides more options, although their usefulness could depend on where you usually make purchases.

The Platinum Card® from American Express Statement Credits

  • $300 Equinox credit: Up to $25 per month on select Equinox and Equinox+ memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle credit: Toward the purchase of up to 15 SoulCycle at-home bikes per calendar year through Equinox+ (minimum 12-month Equinox+ membership required).
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: Up to $20 in statement credits per month for eligible purchases, including subscriptions for Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times.
  • $200 airline fee credit: Up to $200 in statement credits annually for airline incidental fees at a qualifying select airline of your choosing. Fees could include those for checked bags, priority boarding and inflight food.
  • $200 hotel credit: Up to $200 in statement credits on prepaid bookings through American Express Travel for Fine Hotels and Resorts and The Hotel Collection hotels.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Uber VIP status and up to $15 in Uber Cash most months ($35 in December).
  • $100 Saks credit: A $50 statement credit from January through June, and again from July through December, for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com.
  • Up to $179 CLEAR credit per year for a CLEAR membership.
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit: Up to $100 for Global Entry membership every four years, or $85 for TSA Precheck membership every 4.5 years.
  • Walmart+ membership credit: The statement credit covers the monthly cost of a Walmart+ membership, which is $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.

American Express® Gold Card Statement Credits

  • $120 dining credit per year: Up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you use your card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed or participating Shake Shack locations.
  • $120 Uber Cash per year: $10 in Uber Cash each month toward Uber Eats or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your card to your Uber account.

Rewards and Redemption

Both cards are part of the American Express Membership Rewards program. American Express Membership Rewards points may be worth different amounts depending on how you redeem them, so review the options closely.
You can use the American Express rewards calculator to compare redemption options and value between the cards.
You'll typically get the most value from your points when you redeem them to book flights through American Express Travel or transfer points to other membership loyalty programs, including the programs for Delta, JetBlue, Hilton and Marriott. In general, using Membership Rewards points to pay for merchandise or cash back aren't great options.

Which Card Should You Choose?

While The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card are both premium rewards cards, they're different enough that one option may stand out as the best choice for your wallet. Just keep in mind that they are similar in requiring good to exceptional credit to get approved.
You can check your credit score for free from Experian. Once you log in to your account, you can also use Experian CreditMatch™ to see if you're matched with either card and compare them to other options.

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