American Express Platinum vs. American Express Gold Card – Which is Better in 2023?
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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.
Table of Contents
Benefits At A Glance
Here is an overview of each card’s main benefits and fees.
|American Express Platinum Card||American Express Gold Card|
|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 Offer||100,000 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 Rewards||5x 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 Benefits||Amex Global Lounge Collection||None|
|Notable Benefits||Annual $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
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.
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.
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.
Further Reading: Credit Score Requirements for the Amex Gold Card.
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 Option||Point Value|
|Hotels, Rental Cars, Cruises, Vacations||0.7 cents|
|Gift Cards||1.0 cents|
|Online Shopping||0.7 cents|
|Cash Statement Credits||0.6 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
- Air Canada (Aeroplan)
- Air France-KLM (Flying Blue)
- Asia Miles
- British Airways
- Choice Privileges
- Delta Air Lines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Hilton Honors
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Amex Platinum Card Benefits
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
- 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.
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: Up to $300 per year 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.
- 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.
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 Platinum||American Express Gold|
|Trip Cancellation and Interruption||$10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per 12-month period||N/A|
|Trip Delay||$500 per covered trip after six hours||$300 per covered trip after 12 hours|
|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 $75,000||Secondary 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 Protection||Up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year for purchases within 90 days||N/A|
|Extended Warranty||One additional year for warranties of 5 years or less||One additional year for warranties of 5 years or less|
|Cell Phone Protection||$800 per claim after a $50 deductible||N/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.
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