Overview of the American Express® Gold Rewards Card
On gas, groceries, drug & pharmacy, travel (including flights, hotels, taxis, public transit)1 point/$1
On other purchases
American Express® Gold Rewards Card details
- Welcome offer
- 25,000 bonus points ($250 value)
- Annual fee
- Earn 2x points on gas, groceries, drug & pharmacy, travel (including flights, hotels, taxis, public transit), 1x points on other purchases
- Average point value
- Purchase interest rate
- Cash advance interest rate
- Balance transfer interest rate
- Minimum income
- Any amount
- Household income
- Any amount
- Recommended credit score
- American Express
- American Express
- Card type
Detailed card summary
Benefits & features
- New American Express® Gold Rewards* Charge Card Cardmembers can earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards® points just by making $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership.
- That’s enough to redeem for a round-trip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward TM* to almost anywhere in North America.
- Earn 2 points for every $1 on eligible travel and everyday purchases. Earn one point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else.
- Transfer your points instantly 1:1 to Aeroplan®*4. You can also transfer your points to other frequent flyer and hotel rewards programs like Delta SkyMiles®, Asia Miles19, Etihad Guest20, Starwood Preferred Guest® and more
- Charge any eligible purchase to your Card then log in to redeem your points for a statement credit.
- Book flights within Canada or to destinations around the world for a fixed amount of points, with the Fixed Points Travel Program. You can book any airline , fly any day, and even book right up to a day before departure.
- Free Additional Gold Rewards Card (a $50 value) to help you earn points faster
- As a Charge Card, the balance must always be paid in full each month. 30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full. Payments must be received and processed by the date of the next monthly statement to avoid interest charges.
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.5%
- *American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.
How to redeem
Redeem your points against any travel purchase on your statement
How to get approved
- Minimum income Any
- Household income Any
- Recommended credit score 660+
- You are a permanent Canadian resident and have reached the age of majority in the province in which you live.
Average user score for American Express® Gold Rewards Card
4.8 | 4 reviews
It was easy to apply for this card and I was approved instantly. The card arrived within a few days and I haven’t had any issues with it at all. I’ve found the rewards to be better than most other cards so all things considered I would highly recommend this card.
I like the card, high annual fee though and not many places accept Amex
good card, good option, very easy to communicate with american express. no problem to use it . thank you
I love the rewards program. We cash them in for gift cards. They add new vendors which we use all the time.
The American Express Gold Rewards card is one of the most flexible travel credit cards in Canada, and this has led it also to be one of the most popular – particularly among savvy travellers and points optimizers.
This card offers multiple ways to redeem your points for travel, even letting you transfer points to over a half dozen frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. And with the right transfers (and some research), you can strategically stretch the value of your points beyond the standard 1 cent per point and even get favourable rates when booking business or first-class seats on major airlines.
When you sign up for this credit card, you’ll pay an annual fee of $150, but you’ll also earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 points when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your credit card in the first three months.
If you’re looking for a flexible travel rewards credit card, keep reading to find out if the American Express Gold Rewards Card is for you.
AMEX Gold Card – Quick Review
- Strong earn rate: earn 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and eligible everyday purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Add an additional point per dollar spent with American Express Travel.
- Great transfer options: you can transfer your points to one of several available loyalty programs.
- 25,000 point welcome bonus: when you spent $1,500 in the first 90 days.
- No income requirement.
- Free authorized users: first supplementary credit card is free, others cost $50 per card annually.
- Charge card: gives you excellent spending power but little chance to accumulate debt
- Hotel perks: the Hotel Collection from American Express grants you access to over 600 participating hotels and resorts in over 30 countries worldwide. You could also qualify for a $100 credit on hotel amenities like dining, spa, etc.
- A full suite of travel benefits: emergency medical insurance, trip interruption insurance, car rental insurance, baggage loss/theft insurance, and flight delay insurance are included.
- Limited acceptance: while most major retailers, grocery stores, and restaurant chains accept American Express, AMEX isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard.
- It’s a charge card, so you have to pay off your balance in full every month, which may not be the right fit if you need to carry a balance.
AMEX Gold Rewards Card – detailed review
The AMEX Gold Rewards Card has a strong earn rate. With this card, you’ll earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel and everyday purchases, and 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else. Where it gets interesting is you’ll also earn 1 point for every $1 you charge to your AMEX Gold Rewards Card from American Express Travel.
On top of this earning rate, you’ll also receive a welcome bonus of 25,000 points when you spend $1,500 within the first three months. This bonus will help boost your overall point total and get you booking your free travel sooner.
How to redeem
One of the strong suits of the American Express Gold Rewards credit card is its flexible redemption options – ranging from very simple to slightly more elaborate (and potentially more lucrative).
1. AMEX Flexible Points Travel Program
With the AMEX Flexible Points Program, you can redeem 1,000 points for a $10 travel credit. This credit can be applied to all types of travel from flights, hotel stays, and rental cars. With this redemption method, your points are worth $0.01 each. That makes your 25,000 point welcome bonus worth $250 in travel credits. This redemption method makes it easy to quickly calculate the value of your points and use them to book travel from any travel provider, so you don’t need to rely on the American Express website.
2. AMEX’s Fixed Points Travel Program
Using the AMEX Fixed Points Program, you can apply points to book round-trip flights out of Canada. The fixed points system uses a regional redemption chart, allowing you to potentially redeem fewer points for a trip, in turn, increasing their value. For example, some short-haul flights within Canada and to the US are worth up to $0.02 per point. The redemption chart does require a bit more effort to use since points values can fluctuate depending on where you’re flying to, but anyone willing to invest a bit of time and research can reap greater returns out of their points.
3. Transfer options
The final way to redeem points for travel with the American Express Gold Rewards Card is to transfer your points. The ability to transfer points is our favourite feature of this credit card and one of its most significant selling points. Using the transfer option, you can move your AMEX points to over a half dozen airline and hotel loyalty programs, including Aeroplan, Marriott Bonvoy, and British Airways Avios. Since the AMEX points often transfer at a 1:1 ratio, you can make your points more valuable if you move them to a program where points are worth more (for instance, it’s not uncommon for Aeroplan points to offer a return of up to 2 cents on certain travel routes or even more on business class flights).
4. Statement credits and prepaid card
You also have the option to use points to save on everyday purchases, though the returns you’ll get from your points are slightly less lucrative.
Points can be redeemed for statement credits in increments of 1,000 points for $7 (or 0.7 cents per point). You can also redeem points for prepaid cards to use anywhere American Express is accepted starting from 3,125 points for $25 (or 0.8 cents per point).
The American Express Gold Rewards Card comes with comprehensive travel insurance you would expect from one of Canada’s best rewards credit cards.
The card offers $5,000,000 in travel medical emergency insurance (as opposed to the standard $1,000,000) for trips of up to 15 days for cardholders and travel companions under the age of 65.
A suite of other benefits are included such as trip interruption insurance, flight delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and lost/delayed baggage insurance of $500 per trip that’ll kick in after six hours of delays.
The card also includes hotel/motel burglary insurance for stays in North America and car rental insurance for vehicles with an MSRP of up to $85,000 (most competing cards only cover cars with an MSRP of $60,000 or below).
Like all American Express cards, you’ll receive access to Front of the Line, which lets you purchase or reserve pre-sale tickets to some of the biggest live events before they’re widely available to the public.
Cardholders will also receive up to $100 USD in hotel credits every year that can be used towards amenities, room upgrades, and more. To qualify for the hotel credit, you must stay at least two or more consecutive nights at one of the many eligible hotels participating in the American Express Hotel Collection program.
Finally, there’s AMEX Offers: a small online portal that offers discounts when shopping from a handful of rotating retailers.
Qualification requirements and fees
Unlike comparable Visa or Mastercards, you won’t need to earn a minimum income of say $60,000 or $80,000 to qualify for the American Express Gold Rewards Card. It also won’t cost you extra to add up to one authorized user, so you can share the account with a loved one without it setting you back an extra $30 or $50 annually like with many other rewards credit cards. The one slight drawback: the card’s annual fee for primary cardholders is set at $150, which is slightly above the $120 charged by cards of a similar tier.
When discussing fees and interest rates, it’s important to stress the American Express Gold Rewards Card is what’s known as a charge card.
What does that mean in practical terms? With a charge card, you won’t be limited by a traditional credit limit and have more spending power (though you may need to tap Amex’s Check Spending Power tool on your app in advance to see if you qualify for a particularly large purchase). Since charge cards don’t have fixed credit limits, the maximum amount you can spend on your card can actually fluctuate, and depending on your spending habits, can be quite exorbitantly high.
With a charge card, you’re also required to pay off your balance in full each and every monthly statement period and can’t carry a balance. In a way, using a charge card can be an effective way to help keep your spending in check and avoid racking up costly interest charges. If you don’t pay off your balance in full, you’ll face stiff penalties and possible account closure.
Are there any drawbacks to the AMEX Gold Rewards Card?
There is one big drawback to the American Express Gold Rewards Card, and it involves the card’s acceptance.
Unfortunately, American Express isn’t as widely accepted as Mastercard or Visa. Some retailers (for example, Loblaws) don’t accept American Express credit cards, and depending on your shopping habits, this could represent a significant inconvenience. American Express credit cards are still widely accepted across Canada at thousands of merchants. Still, if you’re concerned about being able to use your credit card, you can always carry a back-up no-fee credit card from Mastercard or Visa credit card in your wallet, just in case.
Second, the American Express Gold Rewards Card doesn’t earn you as many points per dollar as the American Express Cobalt or Scotiabank Gold Amex. For example, those credit cards will earn you more points on grocery spending and dining, so if you tend to spend more in these categories than travel, a different credit card may be a better option. Unless you’re going to use the American Express Gold Card to transfer points to various frequent flyer programs, you may be better served by the American Express Cobalt.
Finally, the American Express Gold Rewards Card is a charge card, which means you have to pay off your balance in full at the end of every month. This credit card doesn’t give you the flexibility to carry a balance, so if that is a feature you need, another credit card (specifically, a low interest credit card) might be a better choice.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card is an extremely flexible rewards credit card due to its wide array of travel redemption options, including the rare and highly valuable ability to transfer points to other loyalty programs. When you use this credit card, you’ll also gain access to excellent travel and entertainment perks.
That said, the points scheme isn’t great for Canadians who don’t spend big on travel or want to leverage point transfers, so if you are looking for a more straightforward credit card that will earn you rewards on everyday spending, a credit card like the AMEX Cobalt might be a better choice.