The Preferred Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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The Preferred Rewards Gold Card from American Express - Expert with Points

Key link: American Express Preferred Rewards Gold application page

Key facts: No annual fee in year 1 and £140 thereafter. You can cancel at any point for a pro-rata refund. Interest rate: Representative APR 57.6% variable including the annual fee (free in year 1) based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200. Interest rate on purchases 22.9% APR variable.

What is the Amex Gold sign-up bonus?

Amex Gold offers 12,000 Membership Rewards points when you sign-up using the links on this page and spend £3,000 within 3 months (the normal sign-up bonus is 10,000 points). This is one of the most generous sign-up bonuses available on any free UK loyalty charge or credit card.

Membership Rewards points can be converted 1 to 1 into Avios. This means that you can receive 12,000 Avios points for free by applying for this card, spending enough to trigger the sign-up bonus and then transferring the points to British Airways.

What are the rules for qualifying for the sign-up bonus?

The bonus is only available to customers who have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months. Cards issued by MBNA or Lloyds Bank do not count.

You will receive the sign-up bonus if you have a Corporate or Business American Express card via your job and you receive Membership Rewards points from it.

You will definitely receive the bonus if you are only a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s American Express card. As far as Amex is concerned, that card belongs to the primarily cardholder and does not make you an ‘existing cardholder’.

If you do not qualify for the bonus, you can still apply. You still receive the other card benefits, including the two free airport lounge passes and ‘no fee in the first year’.

Any other benefits with Amex Gold?

You receive two free airport lounge passes each membership year with Amex Gold, valid at any airport lounge in the ‘Lounge Club’ network. Lounges can be found at most major airports world-wide. After your two free visits, you can make further lounge visits for a £20 charge.

You will receive 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points each year when you renew your Amex Gold membership if you have spent £15,000 in the previous year. These will post one month after your renewal date.

You will receive a 10% discount and free additional driver on Hertz bookings. There are also 350 4-5 star hotels worldwide which offer a $75 in-hotel credit and an upgrade when booked by an Amex Gold cardholder via the American Express travel service.

What is the Amex Gold annual fee?

There is no fee for the first year of Amex Gold. For future years, there is a fee of £140. As the annual fee is refunded pro-rata if you cancel, there is no rush to cancel before the fee becomes due.

What do you earn per £1 spent on the card?

  • You receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card.
  • Foreign currency transactions and airline transactions earn 2 points per £1.
  • Travel bookings made via the American Express Travel website, and paid for online, earn 3 points per £1.

What is a Membership Rewards point worth?

Membership Reward points can be redeemed for as little as 0.45p or as much as 1.7p (equivent to 0.45% - 1.7% cashback). Points can be redeemed as statement credit against purchases, transferred 1:1 to a number of airline schemes (including Avios and Virgin Atlantic Airmiles) or as much as 1:3 to a number of Hotel schemes.

Is Amex Gold a good card to use when travelling?

This depends on what your idea of a good deal is! If (like me) you value the double Membership Rewards points you receive when using the card abroad, then this is a good card to use.

However, most people will probably dislike using this card abroad; Amex adds a 3% foreign exchange fee and calculates the currancy exchange rate to Dollars before converting to Stirling. If you would rather avoid these fees than you can either get a dedicated 0% FX card (the full range can be found here) or link a reward earning Visa or Mastercard to a free Curve card - more about Curve here.

Conclusion

The sign-up bonus of 12,000 Membership Rewards points is the most generous incentive available on a free UK charge or credit card. I strongly recommend signing up and giving the card a try, if only for the first free year.

For day to day spending, 1 point per £1 is middling, although the 10,000 point bonus for spending £15,000 in a year would increase your average rate sharply if you achieved it.

The application form for Amex Gold can be found here.

Ross Slater

Dr Ross Slater

Ross is Expert with Points' main contributor. Sharing his knowledge of various travel reward schemes, to help your travelling go further.

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