Welcome to my analysis of the Premier Rewards Gold charge card from American Express.
First and foremost, this card is one of the four charge cards offered by Amex which I introduced in the American Express (Amex) charge cards post from Monday. This is also mainly a travel card. With travel perks in mind, the key advantages and benefits of this card are:
- Points earning categories
- 3x points when paying an airline directly, e.g. buying a ticket from Southwest
- 2x points at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets (e.g. Safeway but not Target), and at amextravel.com
- 1x everywhere else like other Membership Rewards earning cards
- $100 airline fee credit
- Access to The Hotel Collection and personal travel services (also available to regular Gold card cardholders) found through the Amex Travel website
The 2x categories for gas stations and restaurants are perfect for both someone traveling and everyday workers because many people drive to and from work or go out to eat. The secret category Amex did right is the supermarket bonus category because everyone has to eat so the PRG earns extra points regardless of how you eat, unless you grow all of your food.
Moving on to the travel specific benefits of this card, the 3x MR when buying directly from airlines can quickly add up. Even for someone flying a handful of times a year. To show the simple math behind this, a plane ticket between SFO and SEA in October is as low as $195 which comes out to an earning 585 points when using the PRG. Since Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for at least 1 cent/points (1cpp) the 585 points comes out to no less than $5.85.
Combining the 3x MR points with the $100 airline incidental fee credit can prove to be effective points earning. The annual fee for the PRG can be effectively reduced by $100 if the full $100 airline fee credit is redeemed. The credit is given per calendar year, rather than account year, which means a total of $200 in airline fee credits are possible to be claimed in the first 12 months.
On top of the airline fee credit and travel oriented bonus spending categories, the Premier Rewards and regular Gold cards provide access to personalized travel service which is essentially access to travel agents for specific countries or activities like France or Hawaii or beach vacations. These cards also enable hotels in The Hotel Collection to be found when searching for hotels through amextravel.com.
I want to make this distinction: the personalized travel service and The Hotel Collection is different and separate from the concierge and Fine Hotels & Resorts offered by the Platinum card. Those services are discussed in an upcoming post about the Platinum card and its numerous benefits.
You can apply for the Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express by following this link and you will receive 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of owning the card.