At TPG, most of us have a wallet filled with credit cards. Some go all out (paging editorial director Scott Mayerowitz with his 19 and counting credit cards), while some keep a smaller stockpile (insert a gif of me waving my six cards). But we all undoubtedly have a favorite card.
Brian Kelly has talked about his love of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, but many credit card pros have a different opinion when it comes to choosing the one card we can’t live without.
In a Clubhouse panel with reporters and editors from The Points Guy and NextAdvisor, there was a clear winner when the group was asked about their absolute favorite card: the American Express® Gold Card.
But why has this card remained a favorite when there are so many excellent options? Here are four reasons it’s the one card we can’t live without.
It’s a great card for foodies
List a better card for food lovers — I’ll wait.
The Amex Gold is a powerhouse for dining and U.S. supermarkets. You’ll earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and dining. Plus, the card comes with up to $240 in dining-focused annual statement credits. Enrollment is required.
Each month, you can get a $10 statement credit when you get food from one of several participating restaurants or meal services, including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Each month, you’ll also get $10 in Uber Cash (which you can use on Uber Eats). Enrollment required for select benefits.
“The Amex Gold is definitely my go-to card. I spend a lot of my budget at restaurants and on groceries, and I love knowing that I get 4 points per dollar on all of those purchases. I always offer to pay the bill to get the points, too,” said Samantha Rosen, an editor for NextAdvisor and one of the panelists from the joint Clubhouse. “And while I do try to support restaurants directly when I can, I use the $10 monthly dining credit on platforms as well as the new $10 Uber credit on Eats orders.”
Related: The best credit cards for dining out, taking out and ordering in
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It balances premium benefits and affordability
I’ve talked before about how I don’t personally have an ultra-premium card (at least not yet). This is partially because I haven’t needed one, but it’s also because I’m generally pretty budget-conscious.
The Amex Gold — with its $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) — offers a handful of premium benefits that I can take advantage of without costing me more than I am willing to pay each year in annual fees.
Once you factor in the two monthly credits you get with the card, the net effective cost of the card is already lowered to $10. I can easily recoup that with Amex Offers, meaning all the points I earn are just gravy. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Related: Why the Amex Gold is the perfect ‘in-between’ card
Membership Rewards is one of the best points currencies
Speaking of earning points, Membership Rewards are some of the best points you can earn right now. TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each, tied with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Out of the top credit card issuers, Amex has by far the most extensive transfer partner list, with 19 airlines and three hotel chains. And those transfer partners can help make your points go a long way toward a number of excellent redemptions.
Former TPG credit cards writer Chris Dong was another Clubhouse panelist that listed the Amex Gold as the card he couldn’t live without.
“Between dining out at restaurants and spending at U.S. supermarkets, the Amex Gold has become my go-to card while living in New York,” said Dong. “The 4 point per dollar bonus goes a really long way in accruing extra Amex Membership Rewards points, which I redeem for flights. For instance…I transferred Membership Rewards points to fly on ANA’s incredible first-class suites.”
And while the Amex Offers program isn’t specific to just Membership Rewards cards, I’d be remiss without mentioning how much value Amex Offers can add to the program. I look through the offers available on my card weekly, and there’s almost always something new that I add to my account — extra points on hotel stays, cash back on my monthly Grove order or something else.
All in all, the Amex Membership Rewards program is such an asset to have at your fingertips with the Amex Gold Card.
Related: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value
Bonus: It’s one of the prettiest cards on the market
We can’t discuss why the Amex Gold is one of my (and many others’) favorites without mentioning the card’s sleek design.
The Amex Gold is available in both the original Gold design and the wildly popular Rose Gold edition. I can’t tell you how often I get asked about my Amex Rose Gold when I use it at coffee shops and restaurants.
Hands down, it’s the prettiest card in my wallet (and, I’d argue, in anyone’s wallet).
Of course, you can’t judge a card purely on how well it matches your social media aesthetic. But when you factor in all of the other reasons the Amex Gold is an excellent card, the fact that it does have such a gorgeous design certainly doesn’t hurt.
Still not 100% convinced? Right now, the card is offering a welcome bonus for eligible new cardholders for 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. TPG values that bonus at $1,200. However, you might be able to earn a higher welcome offer through a friend or loved one’s referral link through June 7.
You could also be targeted for a higher bonus through the CardMatch tool (although offers through CardMatch are not guaranteed and are subject to change at any time).
All in all, you can’t go wrong with the Amex Gold. It’s a great card for travelers who would rather earn points on non-travel expenses so they can redeem for their dream trips instead. You’re getting solid benefits without paying an astronomical annual fee, and the current welcome bonus is competitive with top travel cards on the market.
There’s definitely a reason so many credit card pros are obsessed with having it in our wallets.
Apply here for the American Express Gold Card with a 60,000-point welcome bonus.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson.