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The American Express Business Gold - credit card review
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The American Express® Business Gold Card Review

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Matt Brown

The American Express Business Gold Card is the newest business credit card from American Express. Launched in November 2018, it’s a newly introduced version of the former Business Gold Rewards Card that offers improved earning rates, new bonus categories and a unique new way for businesses to maximize bonus category spending.

Welcome Bonus

In a bit of a surprising move, the Amex Business Gold Card was launched with a welcome bonus that didn’t include Membership Rewards points, which is definitely a bit of a shock since the $295 annual fee isn’t waived the first year either.

(Though a 50,000 bonus point offer can be found via a personal referral link)

Instead, the American Express Business Gold Card includes the following as the bonus:

  • Up to 1 year free of Google’s G Suite Basic – for up to 3 users ( $180 value)
  • Up to 1 year free of ZipRecruiter Standard

These benefits are offered in the form of statement credits, so you’ll have to sign up or change your billing information to your Amex Business Gold Card if you’re already a customer on these specific plans, in order to receive these benefits.

Shortly after the launch, American Express released a referral offer that includes a welcome bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points with a minimum spend of $5,000 in 3 months.

American Express Business Gold Card Earn 4x points on 2 select business categories. Terms Apply.Learn More

Bonus Categories

The new American Express Business Gold Card is unique in that it allows businesses to earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar on your two most used bonus categories each month. The spend in the remaining categories will earn 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS GOLD CARD - Bonus Categories

Under the previous Business Gold Rewards card, you had to select one of five categories to earn 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar and you were locked into that category for the entire year.

This new structure offers greatly enhanced opportunities, especially if you’re a business that spends heavily on more than 1 of the selected bonus categories.

The new Amex Business Gold Card also added U.S. restaurants as a sixth bonus category. This is a welcome addition and a great opportunity for those who regularly have lunch meetings.

These are the bonus categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

Perhaps, the most convenient feature of the new Business Gold Card is that American Express automatically determines which categories are your top two for the month and awards Membership Rewards points accordingly.

If you have a business that spends heavily on one of these bonus categories, this is a great card for you since you get more flexibility in bonus earning options for your business spending. The bonus category spend does have a cap of $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year.

 

American Express Business Gold Card - bonus category - technology providers

U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions

Amex Offers

One of the biggest benefits behind most of the American Express cards is that they have access to Amex Offers. Amex Offers is a way for you to use targeted discounts for extra discounts and savings as well as to also earn extra Membership Rewards points at select merchants.

The available offers change regularly, so it’s always worth checking what might be available at select merchants as it can easily translate into hundreds or even thousands of dollars of savings annually — or tens of thousands of extra Membership Rewards points.

All you have to do is add the offers that you want to use to your American Express Business Gold Card and then use the card at that merchant and the offer will be applied to your account.

Screenshot 2018 10 25 22.05.23

Often, you’ll even find Amex Offers that overlap with the bonus categories for the Business Gold Card. In the screenshot above, if one of your top monthly 4X categories is shipping, not only would you be earning 4x Membership Rewards points for each dollar that you spend (up to $150,000), but you could also earn to 10% back on that first $1,000 in spend as well!

Membership Rewards: Transfer Partners And Rebate With Amex Travel

The Business Gold Rewards card earns Membership Rewards points. You can redeem these points in a number of ways, but in almost all cases the most lucrative ways to redeem them is by transferring them to any of American Express’ travel partners.

Airline Transfer Partners (transfer rate)Hotel Transfer Partners (transfer rate)
Aer Lingus AerClub (1:1)Choice Privileges (1:1)
AeroMexico Club Premier (1:1.6)Hilton Honors (1:2)
Air Canada Aeroplan (1:1)Marriott Rewards (1:1)
Air France KLM (1:1)
Alitalia Millemiglia (1:1)
ANA Mileage Club (1:1)
Asia Miles (1:1)
Avianca LifeMiles (1:1)
British Airways Executive Club (1:1)
Delta SkyMiles (1:1)
El Al Israel Frequent Flyer Club (1000:20)
Emirates Skywards Miles (1:1)
Etihad Guest (1:1)
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles (1:1)
Iberia Plus (1:1)
JetBlue TrueBlue (250:200)
Singapore Krisflyer (1:1)
Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub (1:1)

Along with earning and redeeming Membership Rewards points by transferring to partners, The Business Gold Card introduces its’ own version of a popular feature of the Business Platinum Card from American Express – the 25% airline rebate.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000, an extra 25,000 points after an additional $10,000 all in the first 3 months. Terms apply.Learn More

If you book a flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards Points for first or business class airfare, or any class with your selected qualifying airline, you get 25% of those points back as a refund. It’s important to note that rebate only works if you book via American Express Travel, and don’t transfer your points to one of American Express’ numerous transfer partners.

American Express Membership Rewards points - Airline Transfer Partner - Etihad Airways

The Business Gold Rewards card earns Membership Rewards points.  Redeem Business Gold Membership Rewards points by transferring them to any of American Express’ travel partners.

With the rebate, select travel booked through American Express Travel will effectively be booked at the rate of 1.33 cents per point, instead of the standard 1 cent per point.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers a similar benefit, but it’s a 35% which comes out about 1.53 cents per point.

Final Thoughts

The Business Gold Card definitely has some big positives. Some of these positives that really stick out include:

  • 4x Membership Rewards points on two categories instead of just one bonus category
  • U.S. Restaurants as a sixth bonus category
  • Categories are no longer locked into an entire year and instead are determined by monthly spend
  • 25% Pay with Points rebate

On the negative side, it’s definitely disappointing to see a card with a $295 annual fee – that isn’t waived the first year like previously on the Business Gold Rewards Card – launched with no welcome bonus.

However, if your business can take advantage of the increased bonus category cap and bonus category flexibility, this card can help you earn tons of Membership Rewards points. All in all, it’s a good effort from American Express, we just wish they’d add a real welcome bonus.

American Express Business Gold Card Earn 4x points on 2 select business categories. Terms Apply.Learn More

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed here are 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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AMERICAN EXPRESS GOLD CARD FULL REVIEW
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American Express Gold Card: Full Review

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Caroline Lupini

Credit cards that offer transferable point currencies are a great choice for many people who like to travel, and Amex just relaunched one of our long-time favorites!

American Express Gold Card Earn 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. Learn More by visiting our credit cards page

Previously called the Gold Premier Card from American Express, the American Express Gold Card has great benefits — including some fun new ones!

Here’s what you need to know about this refreshed credit card.

Content

American Express Gold Card Quick Stats
American Express Gold Card Perks

Should I Sign Up for This Card?
American Express Gold Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Bottom Line


American Express Gold Card Quick Stats

amex gold card full review - dining credit

The American Express Gold Card has gone from a somewhat standard travel credit card to a fantastic card for people who dine out in the U.S. restaurants.

The American Express Gold Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending at least $2,000 within the first three months of account opening. As with most Amex products, the welcome bonus and minimum spend requirement often varies. With this card, we’ve seen offers as high as 50,000 points.

If you apply by January 9, 2019, you’ll also receive 20% back on dining purchases at US restaurants in the form of a statement credit, up to $100, for the first three months of card membership.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Amex Gold’s benefits:

  • 4X Membership Rewards per dollar spent at US restaurants
  • 4X Membership Rewards per dollar spent at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year), then 1x
  • 3X Membership Rewards per dollar spent on airfare purchased directly from the airline
  • 1X Membership Rewards per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • $120 Annual Dining Credit
  • $100 Annual Airline Fee Credit
  • $250 Annual Fee

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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs chase sapphire reserve
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Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)® Luxury Card Review

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By:  Caroline Lupini

The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)® Luxury Card from American Express launched in August 2018, after the new Marriott Rewards program replaced the SPG, Marriott Rewards, and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards loyalty programs as part of the Marriott-Starwood merger.

While the card doesn’t have a particularly impressive earn rate for everyday spend, it comes with some unique benefits that could be valuable for frequent Marriott hotel guests.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the SPG Luxury Card.

Starwood Preferred Guest - spg - luxury credit card review - Benefit - Complimentary Marriott Gold Elite Status

Opening the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Luxury Card from American Express will give you automatic Gold Elite status in the Marriott Rewards program – normally you’d have to spend 25 nights at Marriott hotels to reach that level.

Welcome Bonus

The SPG Luxury Card offers 75,000 Marriott Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of holding the card.

 

Bonus Categories

The SPG Luxury card has the following bonus categories:

  • 6X at Marriott hotels (including former Starwood brands and Ritz-Carlton)
  • 3X at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X on all other purchases

There is no limit on the number of bonus points you can earn in these categories.

Benefits of the SPG Luxury Card

The SPG Luxury Card doesn’t have particularly compelling bonus categories – but what makes it interesting are the extra benefits it offers. Here are a few of the perks that you get in exchange for the $450 annual fee:

  • $300 Annual Marriott Statement Credit

Every card member year you’ll receive a statement credit for the first $300 you spend at Marriott properties worldwide, including room charges and anything billed to your room. That means if you were planning to stay at a Marriott hotel anyway, this is a cool $300 back in your pocket. This benefit follows your account year, so you have 12 months to use the credit from when you open the card, and the limit will reset every year on your account anniversary.

SPG Luxury Card | Benefit | $300 Annual Marriott Statement Credit

Every cardmember year you’ll receive a statement credit for the first $300 you spend at Marriott properties worldwide, including room charges and anything billed to your room.

  • Annual Free Night Award (Up to 50,000 Points)

Every year, after your account anniversary, you’ll receive a free night certificate valid at properties that cost up to 50,000 points per night. (This kicks in after you’ve held the card for a year – you won’t receive a free night certificate when you open the card.)

By the time you’ve had the card for a year, Marriott will probably have rolled out their new rewards chart, so your free night certificate will work at category 1-7 properties during off-peak dates, and category 1-5 properties during peak dates.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More

 

  • Complimentary Marriott Gold Elite Status

Opening the card will give you automatic Gold Elite status in the Marriott Rewards program – normally you’d have to spend 25 nights at Marriott hotels to reach that level. Gold status gives you a 25% bonus on points earned from Marriott stays, 2:00 pm late checkout (based on availability), room upgrades, 250-500 bonus points per stay and free enhanced in-room internet access.

  • 15 Bonus Elite Nights

If you’re working on earning Marriott Elite Status, the SPG Luxury Card will give you a jump-start by crediting your account with 15 elite nights every calendar year starting in 2019.

You can receive a maximum of 15 bonus elite nights per Marriott Rewards account, regardless of how many Marriott or SPG credit cards you have.

  • Platinum Elite Status After Spending $75,000

While we don’t necessarily recommend putting this much spend on the SPG Luxury Card (other cards will earn you more points), if you spend $75,000 on this card in a single calendar year, you’ll receive Platinum Elite status with Marriott.

Platinum Elite gives you access to hotel lounges at participating Marriott brands, an exclusive welcome gift at check-in (points, breakfast vouchers or a welcome amenity), 50% bonus points on stays and enhanced room upgrades (including Select Suites).

  • Priority Pass Select Membership

Like pretty much every other high-end travel credit card out there, the SPG Luxury Card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you and up to two guests access to more than 1,000 airport lounges (and restaurants) around the world.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) |Luxury Credit Card Review | Benefit | Priority Pass Select Membership

SPG Luxury Card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you and up to two guests access to more than 1,000 airport lounges (and restaurants) around the world.

  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Statement Credit

If you, or someone you know, don’t have Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check, you’ll get a statement credit for $100 or $85, respectively, when you pay the application fee for either program using the SPG Luxury Card. You can use this benefit once every four years.

  • Roadside Assistance

If you find yourself stranded in the U.S. or Canada – even in your own driveway – being an SPG Luxury Card holder means American Express will cover the cost for emergency services like replacing a flat tire, towing your car up to 10 miles, jump-starting the battery, retrieving your key from inside the car and delivering up to 2 gallons of fuel up to 4 times per year. However, note that the terms for this service exclude rental vehicles.

SPG Luxury Credit Card | Benefits | Roadside Assistance

Being an SPG Luxury Card holder means American Express will cover the cost for emergency services like replacing a flat tire, towing your car up to 10 miles, jump-starting the battery, retrieving your key from inside the car and delivering up to 2 gallons of fuel up to 4 times per year.

  • Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection and Return Protection

If you use the SPG Luxury Card to purchase something, American Express will add up to two years to the manufacturer’s warranty (if it’s five years or less), reimburse you for purchases you’re unable to return within 120 days (up to $300 per purchase and $1,000 per year) and reimburse you for lost, stolen, or damaged items (up to $10,000 per incident and $50,000 per year).

SPG Luxury Credit Card | Benefit | Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection and Return Protection

If you use the SPG Luxury Card to purchase something, American Express will add up to two years to the manufacturer’s warranty.

How to Use Marriott Rewards Points

Marriott Rewards points can be used to book nights at any of the 29 brands in the combined Marriott, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton portfolios – over 6,800 hotels in 150 countries!

Here’s what the Marriott award chart looks like. Note that prices will increase in 2019 for peak dates and top-tier properties, so if you know your travel plans for 2019, it’s best to book now – if prices later drop for your dates, you can usually change to the lower rate without penalty (but check the change/cancellation policy before booking just to be sure).

image2 3

The real sweet spot with Marriott Rewards points is the ability to transfer points to over 40 airline partners, including many airlines that don’t have other transfer partners like Alaska, American, Japan Airlines, and Lufthansa.

Almost all airlines receive points at a 3:1 ratio (3 Marriott Rewards points = 1 airline mile), and for every 60,000 points you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus – so, 60,000 points = 25,000 miles.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express Earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)

 

Is the SPG Luxury Card Right for You?

One important factor in deciding whether to apply for this card is making sure you can get the welcome bonus. As with most American Express bonuses, you aren’t eligible to get a welcome bonus if you’ve held this card before. Given that this card didn’t exist before August 2018, that’s unlikely to be a problem.

However, because Marriott offers credit cards with both American Express and Chase, there are also restrictions based on credit cards you’ve opened with Chase. You will not be eligible for the welcome bonus if any of the following apply:

  • You currently have the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card or have had it open within the past 30 days
  • You opened a Chase Marriott Rewards Premier, Premier Plus or Premier Plus Business card in the past 90 days
  • You received a welcome bonus or upgrade offer for a Chase Marriott Rewards Premier, Premier Plus or Premier Plus Business card in the past 24 months

Final Thoughts

The SPG Luxury Card may be a good fit for frequent Marriott guests who can make good use of the $300 annual statement credit, or for heavy spenders who want to shoot for the free Platinum Elite status with $75,000 in purchases.

You may also want to consider the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from Amex Personal and Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from Amex, which both have a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year) and include a free night (up to 35,000 points).


Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed here are 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.

MARRIOTT REWARDS PREMIER PLUS CREDIT CARD REVIEW
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Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Review

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Caroline Lupini

Chase launched the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card in May 2018 as part of the Marriott-Starwood merger. This card isn’t the best choice for everyday spend, but it comes with an annual free night certificate that easily makes up for the annual fee, and offers some minor benefits for Marriott guests.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More

Welcome Bonus

The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card offers two free nights, up to  35,000 points each, after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of holding the card.

Bonus Categories

The Marriott Premier Plus Card has the following bonus categories:

  • 6X at Marriott hotels (including former Starwood brands and Ritz-Carlton)
  • 2X on all other purchases

There is no limit on the number of bonus points you can earn in these categories.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus - Credit Card Review - 6X at Marriott hotels (including former Starwood brands and Ritz-Carlton)

6X at Marriott hotels (including former Starwood brands and Ritz-Carlton)

Annual Fee

This card has a $95 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year.

Benefits of the Marriott Premier Plus Card

  • Annual Free Night Award (Up to 35,000 Points)

One of the best benefits of the Marriott Premier Plus card is that it offers a free night certificate valid at properties that cost up to 35,000 points per night. Unfortunately, you won’t get this certificate the first year that you have the card, rather it will kick in after you’ve had the card for a full year.

Since Marriott’s new award pricing chart out in 2019, but the time you’ve earned your first certificate it will be valid at Category 1-5 properties during off-peak times and Category 1-4 properties during peak times.

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