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American Express Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum Review

by Ryan Guina

Do you ever wonder why credit card companies offer different versions of the same credit card? And what’s the difference between gold and platinum anyway… prestige and bragging rights? Not really. No one cares about the credit card in your wallet unless it is the American Express Centurion Card, and then people only care because they are superficial or they think you’re silly for spending several grand in annual fees. But I digress… The short answer is there is more than just a color difference of green, gold, and platinum. These cards deliver a variety of service and benefits.

American Express® Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum Card® Benefits

The main benefit of these cards is the service and perks they provide. There are many common features among them, and some that are exclusive to a particular card, such as the Gold Card events or the concierge service available only to The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders.

Membership Rewards program. These cards all come with free membership to the Membership Rewards program for no additional fee, so you can use your rewards card to make purchases, book travel, or redeem them for gift cards or other perks. Cardholders earn one point per dollar spent on all purchases, and the rewards can be redeemed for gift cards, items, or transferred to airline or hotel miles. There is no limit to the amount of points that can be earned, and points never expire.

Here are just some of the perks you expect with the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Card Feature American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card American Express® Platinum Card
Fraud Protection X X
Purchase Protection X X
Extended Warranties X X
Auto Rental Insurance X X
Use points for airline/hotel miles X X
Identity Theft Assistance X X
Access to Gold Card Events X X
Complimentary Access to Airport Lounges
- Available at Select Airports
Concierge Service - X
Travel Accident Insurance Yes Yes
Business Version Yes Yes
Apply Apply Apply

Sign-Up Bonuses for these American Express Cards

These American Express Cards each come with a sign up bonus.

  • American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card. Earn More: earn 25K Membership Rewards® points when you spend $2K during your first three months of Card membership; earn 15K points when you spend $30,000 within one calendar year.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express. Get 25,000 Membership Reward® points after you make $2,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months. Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period. As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items on Amazon.com.

American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card Details

  • American Express® Premier Rewards Gold CardEarn More: earn 25K Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2K during your first three months of Card membership; earn 15K points after you spend $30,000 within one calendar year
  • Earn Fast: 3X points for flights booked with airlines, 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets, 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Use points for gift cards for dining, entertainment, and to shop over 300 of some of your favorite brands
  • Access to Benefits: Baggage Insurance Plan* when you travel, and shop with confidence with Extended Warranty* and Return Protection.*Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company
  • Book two consecutive hotel nights through American Express Travel and receive $75 back at checkout. Restrictions may apply
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply

Click to Apply for the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express Details

  • American Express® Platinum CardGet 25,000 Membership Reward® points after you make $2,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
  • Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period.
  • As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items on Amazon.com.
  • No foreign transaction fees. No matter what country you’re in, when you use your Platinum Card there are no Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • 24/7 Platinum Card® Concierge service for assistance with reservations, travel, gifts, and more.
  • Premium Access- Gain exclusive access to unique experiences from special entry to food festivals to VIP packages at concerts.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

Click to Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Annual Fees

These American Express cards offer generous benefits, but they come at a price. Each of these cards carries an annual fee (waived for the first year for the Gold Card). Annual fees are never fun, but they are typically easy to negotiate and often earn the card holder rewards points upon renewal. The renewal fee for the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card is $175, starting in your second year. The Platinum Card has an annual fee of $450. The benefits you receive for using these cards can far exceed the annual renewal fee, depending on your usage.

Who Should Use These American Express Cards

These three cards are charge cards not credit credit cards, which means the bill must be paid in full each month. The target audience for these cards is a person who regularly spends a lot of money each month, has the ability to pay the bill in full, and wants to take advantage of the excellent benefits and services – particularly those of the Gold and Platinum Cards. The higher annual fees make the Gold and Platinum Cards a better deal for those who will take advantage of the many services and discounts and plan to spend several thousand dollars a month with their card.

“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.”


Published or updated December 30, 2013.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Student Scrooge

One important point that is worth mentioning is that the AmEx Platinum can be a great choice for anyone who travels frequently — in addition to concierge service, the Platinum card comes with access to the lounge clubs for most of the major domestic airlines (which can make a huge difference in a travel experience when you travel frequently).

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2 Ryan

Student Scrooge: Thanks for pointing that out. I’m a fan of travel benefits. I don’t travel very frequently, but I’m in favor of making any trip a more relaxing and comfortable experience!

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3 Stan Sieler

Hi…can’t tell when your comparison was written .. you ALWAYS want to include a date in a review, so you’re not at the mercy of bad web software that doesn’t provide an initial-posting date! To compound the problem, comments don’t have their dates displayed either :)

If we assume the review was posted in 2011, then you’ve completely overlooked the Companion Ticket benefit of the Platinum Card …a nearly-free second ticket when you buy First or Business Class ticket (from the AmEx travel group). Using that only once could pay for the significant added cost of the Platinum card for many years.

SS 2011-09-30

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