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Amex Platinum vs. Amex Gold: Do they pay for themselves?

  • 6-min read

Welcome back to the age-old debate: Amex Platinum vs. Amex Gold? Both are premium cards with high-level perks and great rewards offers, but are they worth the fee?

Bottom-up angle of a woman holding a credit card, debating the benefits of Amex Platinum vs. Amex Gold
Violeta Stoimenova / Getty Images

What’s the difference between Amex Gold and Amex Platinum?

The main difference between Amex Gold and Platinum is that the Amex Platinum is designed to be a travel companion, while the Amex Gold is a better pick for everyday shopping.

The Amex Platinum offers baller travel advantages, such as elite status with hotel brands, complimentary Delta Sky Club access, and point rewards when you book flights and hotels through American Express Travel. The Amex Gold gives you points for flight purchases as well, but there are fewer extra travel perks.

With the Amex Gold, you have the option to get the card in gold or the on-trend rose gold color. But besides the color, the Amex rose vs gold cards offer the same rewards and perks. If you go the Platinum route, you can also snazz up your card by choosing between one of two artistic card designs from visual artists Kehinde Wiley and Julie Mehretu.

American Express redemption options

Membership Rewards® Points can be used to pay off credit card purchases, plus points can be redeemed for the following:

  • Merchandise
  • Entertainment
  • Travel 
  • Gift cards
  • Charitable giving

You can also transfer points to other frequent flier or loyalty programs, such as Asia Miles, British Airways, Delta SkyMiles®, Etihad Guest, Marriott Bonvoy™, and more. 

Welcome offer

When comparing credit cards, don’t overlook the welcome offer. Often, that’s where the money resides. Welcome offers are icing on the cake that could sway you toward one card over another. Below are the current welcome offers for the Amex Gold vs Platinum. 

Keep in mind that these sign-on benefits can change, and certain people are targeted for specific offers. If you don’t see the offer below, try going incognito on your browser or clearing your search history first.

Amex Gold

The Amex Gold is currently offering 75,000 Membership Rewards Points if you spend $4,000 within the first six months of having the card. A 75,000-point windfall is worth a whopping $700+ for flights and $490+ for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel. 

Tip: American Express has a nifty rewards calculator you can use to do the math on the value of your points when redeemed for travel, merchandise, and more. The annual fee for the Amex Gold is $250 per year.

Amex Platinum

The Amex Platinum is offering 125,000 Membership Rewards Points—one of its highest bonuses on record—if you spend $6,000 on the card within the first six months. A 125,000 point windfall is worth $1,000+ for flights and $700+ for prepaid hotels when booking through American Express Travel. The Amex Platinum has a $695 annual fee.

Points earning

On an ongoing basis, the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum cards have point categories that reward you for different areas of spending.

Amex Gold

The Amex Gold offers the highest number of points in the dining and supermarket categories.

  • 4X Points on dining worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4X Points on the first $25,000 spent per year at U.S. supermarkets
  • 3X Points on flights booked directly with airlines or through
  • 1X on all other purchases 

Amex Platinum

The Amex Platinum offers the most point rewards for flights and prepaid hotels. 

  • 5X Points on the first $500,000 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through
  • 5X Points on prepaid hotels booked through 
  • 1X Points on all other purchases

Perks and credits

Most American Express cards come with a few base-level perks, like Global Assist® Hotline you can call for emergencies when you’re more than 100 miles from home, and insurance for baggage and rental cars. In addition to those perks, here are the benefits of Amex Platinum vs Gold:

Amex Gold

The Amex Gold gives you two opportunities to earn statement credits. 

  • $120 dining credit: Amex will give up to $10 in dining credits monthly when you use the card to pay for orders from GrubHub, Seamless, Boxed, and other partners.
  • $120 Uber Cash Credit: Connect the Gold Card to Uber, and you’ll get $10 each month to use on UberEats orders or Uber rides. That’s about enough to cover one UberEats delivery fee…maybe.

Amex Platinum

The Amex Platinum gives members the motherload in statement credits. If you take advantage of each credit, the value of these credits could surpass the cost of the annual fee.

  • $200 hotel credit: $200 in annual statement credits for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel.
  • $240 entertainment credit: Up to $20 in statement credit per month when you pay for Peacock, The New York Times, Audible, or SiriusXM with your Platinum Card.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: If you pay for a Walmart+ membership with your Platinum Card, you’ll get credits to cover the cost.
  • Global Lounge Collection® access: Complimentary entry to The Centurion Network® airport lounges. Picture yourself eating croissants in the JFK airport lounge instead of waiting in the Starbucks line and fighting for an outlet to plug in your phone. Now that’s what I call luxury. 
  • $200 Uber Cash: $15 per month in Uber Cash and an additional $20 in December.
  • $200 airline credit: Up to $200 per year in statement credits for travel fees on an airline of your choosing. 
  • $300 Equinox credit: Up to $300 in credits per year for Equinox membership or use of the Equinox+ app. 
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit: Up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually when you shop at Saks Fifth Avenue with your card.
  • $189 CLEAR® credit: A credit of up to $189 per year for CLEAR membership, which is a biometric airport verification system that can get you through security faster. 
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck® credits: A $100 statement to cover the cost of Global Entry or a statement credit of up to $85 to help you pay for TSA PreCheck®. These services offer expedited security and customs screenings. For example with TSA Precheck, you don’t need to take off your shoes, belt, or jacket in security.
  • Elite travel status: Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status plus preferred car rental status, which means upgrades galore. 

What types of spenders should get each card?

Choosing between the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum comes down to your lifestyle and how you plan on using the card. 

Amex Gold

Are you a foodie who enjoys a good Michelin Star restaurant or throws down in the kitchen? The Amex Gold could be the better choice if you spend more time wining and dining clients, friends, or family than you do traveling. 

The annual fee on the Amex Gold is quite a bit lower than the Amex Platinum, and you’ll get rewarded when buying ingredients for the next big TikTok recipe or trying the chef’s new menu at your favorite restaurant. 

When you subtract the $120 dining credit and the $120 Uber cash credit, you’re looking at an effective $10 annual fee—not a bad deal if you plan to exhaust both direct benefits.

Amex Platinum

If you spend a lot of time jet-setting for meetings or pleasure, the Amex Platinum could be the better pick. You’ll earn points on flights booked plus tons of hotel, travel, and shopping credits. 

Kicking back, relaxing, and taking selfies in exclusive sky lounges before boarding and during layovers can make for a more comfortable trip. And if you request an upgrade at certain hotels after flashing your Amex Platinum card, there’s a greater chance you’ll actually get one. 

Don’t write this card off right away because of the annual fee. The Amex Platinum offers over $1,500 in annual credits, not to mention all of the elite travel advantages. If you use all the perks the card has to offer, you’ll be receiving more value from the card than you pay each year to keep it. 

Is it ever a good idea to have both cards?

Adding both cards to your wallet could give you the best of both worlds, and it could make sense if you rack up points and utilize the perks enough to make the fee worthwhile.

Qualifying for two welcome bonuses could also mean you receive enough points to book an epic trip. Have dreams of tanning in Bali or lounging in your own ocean bungalow? These cards could be your ticket there. 

Just keep in mind that if you’ve ever had either of these cards in your wallet before, you may not qualify for the new welcome offer the second time around.