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      American Express Platinum vs. American Express Gold (September 2022 Credit Card Comparison)

      Josh Patoka
      Amex Platinum Vs Amex Gold Card

      “Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired.”

      The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card are your two best options for earning Membership Rewards. Both cards also offer a variety of travel and dining benefits but distinctly different annual fees. 

      This Amex Platinum Card vs. Amex Gold Card comparison looks at the various perks. You can choose the winner to earn the most points and maximize the card benefits.

      Benefits At A Glance

      Here is an overview of each card’s main benefits and fees.

      American Express Platinum CardAmerican Express Gold Card
      Annual Fee$695$250
      Authorized User Fee$175 for up to 3, then $175 each for 4th or more card$0 for the first 5 and then $35 for the 6th or more card
      Welcome Bonus Offer100,000 Membership Rewards after spending $6,000 in 6 months ($1,000 value)60,000 Membership Rewards after spending $4,000 in 6 months ($600 value)
      Purchase Rewards5x on flights booked directly through airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
      5x on prepaid hotels through American Express Travel
      1x on remaining purchases
      4x on at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
      4x at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 per year)
      3x on qualifying flights
      1x on remaining purchases
      Airport Lounge BenefitsAmex Global Lounge CollectionNone
      Notable BenefitsAnnual $200 airline fee credit
      $200 on select hotel stays
      Up to $200 in Uber Cash
      Airport security application fee credits
      Travel loyalty status
      1:1 point transfers
      Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year
      Up to $120 in annual dining credits
      $100 experience credit at The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel
      1:1 point transfers

      Read our American Express Platinum Card and American Express Gold Card guides to dig deeper.

      Annual Fee

      There is a stark difference in the annual fee of both cards:

      • Platinum Card: $695
      • Gold Card: $250

      The price gap is even wider if you intend on adding additional users. 

      If you want additional Platinum Cards, you pay a flat fee of $175 for up to three additional cards. However, you pay $0 if you only want the secondary cards to be an Amex Gold product.

      For Amex Gold cardholders, secondary Gold Cards are free. 

      You must decide which card benefits make it easier to offset the annual fee. Each card caters to different spending habits and the pricier Platinum Card may not be as expensive as you think.

      Welcome Bonus Offer

      Both cards let you earn bonus Membership Rewards that are most valuable for award flights or gift cards.

      • Platinum Card: 100,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months ($1,000 value)
      • Gold Card: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months ($600 value)

      Earning Membership Rewards

      You can earn bonus Membership Rewards on select travel purchases with either card. However, both cards have different rewards categories.

      Amex Platinum

      The Amex Platinum reward categories include:

      • 5x on flights you book directly through the airline or on AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
      • 5x on prepaid hotels through AmexTravel.com
      • 1x on everything else

      The Platinum Card has one of the highest earn rates for airfare purchases when most rewards credit cards earn 2-3x points. 

      It’s an excellent option for frequent travelers but doesn’t earn bonus points on everyday purchases like other premium credit cards.

      Amex Gold

      Your Amex Gold rewards categories are the following:

      • 4x at restaurants worldwide plus U.S. delivery and takeout
      • 4x at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year)
      • 3x on flights booked directly through airlines or on AmexTravel.com
      • 1x on all remaining purchases

      The American Express Gold Card doesn’t earn as many points on travel yet you can rack up more points overall. The dining and supermarket bonus categories are an easy way to earn bonus Membership Rewards frequently.

      Redeeming Membership Rewards

      Your redemption options are the same for both cards with a maximum redemption value of 1 cent.

      Here is an example of how much your Membership Rewards can be worth:

      Redemption OptionPoint Value
      Flights1.0 cents
      Hotels, Rental Cars, Cruises, Vacations0.7 cents
      Point TransfersVaries
      Gift Cards1.0 cents
      Online Shopping0.7 cents
      Cash Statement Credits0.6 cents

      1:1 Transfer Partners

      You can also transfer your points to 20 airline and hotel loyalty programs, usually at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments.

      • Aer Lingus
      • AeroMexico
      • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
      • Air France-KLM (Flying Blue)
      • ANA
      • Asia Miles
      • Avianca
      • British Airways
      • Choice Privileges
      • Delta Air Lines
      • Emirates
      • Etihad
      • Hawaiian Airlines
      • Hilton Honors
      • Iberia
      • JetBlue
      • Marriott Bonvoy
      • Qantas
      • Singapore Airlines
      • Virgin Atlantic

      Amex Platinum Card Benefits

      Amex Platinum Card vs. Gold Benefits

      Photo: pixabay

      This Amex Platinum vs. Amex Gold comparison ultimately comes down to deciding which card has the better benefits for your circumstances.

      The Platinum Card offers significantly more perks and these are the most valuable ones.

      Annual Travel Credits

      You can enjoy several travel statement credits each year:

      • Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 per year for incidental charges
      • Hotel Credit: Up to $200 per year on Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel
      • Uber Cash: $15 monthly ($35 in December) for Uber or Uber Eats purchases
      • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Up to $100 every four years
      • CLEAR®: Up to $189 per year

      Airport Lounge Benefits

      If you like to get to the airport early or have long layovers, you might get this card just for the American Express Global Lounge Collection benefits.

      You get complimentary access to these lounge networks:

      • Centurion Lounge
      • Escape Lounge
      • International American Express
      • Priority Pass
      • Air Space
      • Delta Sky Club
      • Lufthansa
      • Plaza Premium

      The airline-operated lounges are only available when you have a same-day itinerary with the carrier. Complimentary access to several networks can easily be worth more than the annual fee if you currently pay for several memberships.

      Travel Loyalty Benefits

      The Platinum Card offers automatic elite status with select travel programs:

      • Hilton Honors Gold
      • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
      • Car rental perks with Avis, Hertz, and National
      • Participating cruise lines (Cruise Privileges Program)
      • WheelsUp membership discounts
      • On-site amenities at Fine Hotels and Resorts

      You can also get discounts when booking international roundtrip flights through American Express Travel. The eligible cabins are first class, business, and premium economy with the International Airline Program.

      Lifestyle Benefits

      This card also stretches your purchasing power with select retail and entertainment brands. 

      • Digital entertainment credit: Up to $20 monthly for select streaming and media services
      • Walmart+ credit: Monthly membership reimbursement (up to $155 per year or $12.95 monthly plus applicable local tax). Plus Ups are excluded.
      • Equinox: $25 per month for Equinox+ or a monthly club membership
      • SoulCycle: $300 statement credit after buying a SoulCycle at-home bike
      • Saks Fifth Avenue: Two $50 semi-annual statement credits
      • InCircle: $100 InCircle Gift Card for every 10,000 points you receiving at participating department stores
      • Resy: Exclusive reservations at elite restaurants worldwide
      • By Invitation Only: Curated events only for Platinum members

      These benefits are different from the Amex Gold Card which specializes in saving money at restaurants.

      Amex Gold Card Benefits

      The American Express Gold Card benefit selection may pale in comparison to the Amex Platinum. However, the semi-premium card offers more than most rewards credit cards.

      Dining Benefits

      • Uber Cash: $10 per month for rides or eats
      • Dining credits: $10 per month at select brands like Grubhub, Boxed, and others
      • American Express Preferred Seating at restaurants

      You can also get exclusive access to ticket pre-sales for entertainment and enjoy other unique experiences.

      Travel Benefits

      There are a couple of ways to get discounted travel and complimentary on-site benefits:

      • The Hotel Collection: $100 experience credit on qualifying stays
      • Gold Card Destinations: Savings on select vacation packages or cruises

      This card doesn’t offer airport lounge benefits or airline fee credits. But the above benefits and the monthly Uber Cash perks are useful for saving on luxury travel.

      Travel and Purchase Protection

      Both cards also offer various travel insurance and purchase protection benefits. 

      Here are the maximum coverage amounts:

      American Express PlatinumAmerican Express Gold
      Trip Cancellation and Interruption$10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per 12-month periodN/A
      Trip Delay$500 per covered trip after six hours$300 per covered trip after 12 hours
      Baggage DelayN/AN/A
      Lost Luggage Reimbursement$2,000 per checked bag and $3,000 per carryon
      (NY residents: $2,000 per bag and $10,000 per trip)
      $1,250 per person ($10,000 per trip for New York State residents)
      Car Rental Insurance
      (Collision and Theft)
      Secondary coverage up to $75,000Secondary coverage up to $50,000 
      Purchase Protection$10,000 per purchases and $50,000 annually for purchases within 90 days$10,000 per item and $50,000 annually for purchases within 90 days
      Return ProtectionUp to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year for purchases within 90 daysN/A
      Extended WarrantyOne additional year for warranties of 5 years or lessOne additional year for warranties of 5 years or less
      Cell Phone Protection$800 per claim after a $50 deductibleN/A

      The Platinum Card has better coverage, as you might expect. However, both cards can help you avoid buying a standalone travel insurance policy for cheaper trips.

      When to Apply For the Amex Platinum

      The Platinum Card from American Express is highly appealing because it offers a treasure chest of benefits. It can be worth applying for when you say “yes” for these reasons:

      • You often fly: Most travel benefits are only helpful if you spend a lot of time in the skies. These benefits include lounge access, expedited security programs, and airline fee credits.
      • Enjoy luxury travel and entertainment: You will also need to book premium flights, hotel stays, and participating retail services to utilize the annual statement credits and loyalty benefits.
      • Earn 5x on flights and hotels: Earning up to 5 Membership Rewards per $1 on flights and hotels is better than most cards. However, these are your only bonus categories.
      • You’re comfortable with the $695 annual fee: The $695 annual fee makes this card an expensive investment. However, you can easily offset the cost even if you only use a handful of the perks.
      • Can earn the welcome offer: You might also time your signup bonus for when you can achieve the relatively high spending requirement. If successful, you earn one of the most valuable credit card signup bonuses.

      When to Apply For the Amex Gold

      The American Express Gold Card can be the better card in these situations:

      • Want non-travel bonus categories: You can earn bonus points on flights plus dining and groceries. The Amex Platinum only nets extra rewards on flights and hotels.
      • Similar redemption options: With more purchase bonus categories, your points have the same redemption value for travel and non-travel rewards. 
      • Prefer dining statement credits: The monthly Uber Cash and dining statement credits can be the better option if you struggle to use the Platinum air travel benefits.
      • Desire a smaller annual fee: The $250 annual fee for the basic card and free secondary cards can be a better deal if you don’t need the additional benefits.

      The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

      These two cards contend to be the best American Express credit card for earning travel rewards. You can earn an above-average number of points on travel purchases and redeem your points for award flights.

      However, each card serves a different customer base.

      The Platinum Card from American Express offers a crazy amount of luxury travel benefits that other premium credit cards can’t hold a candle to. However, these perks won’t be worth the $695 annual if you don’t fly often or patronize the brands offering the statement credits.

      On the other hand, the American Express Gold Card is a snazzy semi-premium travel credit card. While you sacrifice several air travel benefits, you can make up the difference each week when it’s your go-to card for grocery and dining purchases.

      Once you decide which card has the most relevant travel and shopping benefits for your circumstances, it’s time to apply.

      Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

      Josh Patoka The Vacationer Bio

      By Josh Patoka

      Josh Patoka writes about maximizing travel rewards for The Vacationer. As well, he contributes to several personal finance sites specializing in making money, paying off debt, and investing.