Executive Summary -
This was the card I first got and this would be the card I recommend to folks who want to get started with an American Express charge card. In our final part of the review, we'll run through the pros and cons of this card and assign our rating.
Our final part of this review tries to answer the question whether this is a good card and whether it is worth it? We also assign a rating for this card.
To explore this issue, we have to look at the cards that this one is competing with. And within the American Express family of charge cards, there is already a lot of competition. Let's look at them.
Just a notch beneath this card is the Amex Green charge card. In terms of the reward program, the Green and Gold versions of the card have the same one (which is the regular Membership Rewards program). That means you get the full benefit of being able to transfer MR points to airline partners and using points to redeem for other rewards.
What sets the gold apart from the green version is that you get extra features like the Gold Card Event. American Express sponsors lots of concerts and events and very often, their card members can get access to tickets before they are available to the public and there are also special reserved seats for Amex cardholders. This Gold version offers this feature while the Green version does not. For this extra feature, you will be paying a $125 annual fee vs $95 for the Green version.
Just above this version is the "premier rewards" version. It comes with a higher annual fee of $175. But the huge advantage is that you can earn triple points on airfare, double points on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, double points at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets and single points on other purchases. Hence, if you fly a lot, the "premier" version is probably the better card to get.
As to the question of whether this is a good card, the answer is YES. But should you get this card becomes a slightly more tricky question simply because of the choice offered by Amex and other issuers.
There are some of you who would like just to get started with American Express and want to get their charge card rather than their other credit cards. That being the case, I would have no hesitation recommending this card. I first got this card in 1994 and for the longest time, this was my only card. You could choose to get the "green" version. But having used this card to book advanced tickets for concerts and get preferred seats, I would say that I would go for this card rather than the Green one.
However, if you fly a lot (whether for your business or personal reasons), then I would actually recommend that you get the "premier version" (See review here). The reason is because you can earn more points.
You also have to bear in mind that Amex also offer other no annual fee credit cards like the Blue Cash Everyday (See review here). So you have other choices within the Amex family as well.
Summary - To sum up, I think this is a good card to get and I say this having had this card for ages until I upgraded to the Platinum version. If you are looking for a starter card with Amex, you cannot really go wrong with this. What I really like about this card is their great customer service, the ability to transfer points to airline partners, and the various perks like "Gold Card Events" (which I use quite often). If you do travel a fair bit, then the Premier version would probably make a better choice. In any event, I have no hesitation recommending this card.
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