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Amex Gold vs. Platinum: Platinum Wins for Travel Benefits

American Express? Gold Card review The Platinum Card? from American Express review
American Express? Gold Card
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) and restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on other eligible purchases. $250 annual fee.
The Platinum Card? from American Express
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 5X Membership Rewards? points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other eligible purchases. $695 annual fee.
SUMMARY

In the world of travel credit cards, the American Express? Gold Card and The Platinum Card? from American Express are two of the best. For rewards on everyday spending and dining, the Gold card is ideal, as it offers excellent rewards at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets. On the other hand, for frequent travelers who thrive on luxury benefits, The Platinum card is the standout option, with its plethora of high-end perks.

But which card is the right choice for you? Let our experts help you decide.

HIGHLIGHTS

American Express? Gold Card:

  • The Amex Gold Card comes with $120 in dining statement credits and $120 in Uber Cash annually.
  • Amex Gold has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
  • The main reward categories of the Amex Gold Card are 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year, then 1X).

The Platinum Card? from American Express:

  • The Amex Platinum Card comes with over $1,500 worth of statement credits available each year, airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and more.
  • Amex Platinum has a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).
  • The main reward categories of the Amex Platinum Card are 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), and 5X points on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel.

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: An overview

? The Platinum Card? from American Express American Express? Gold Card
Best for Luxury travel benefits Rewards on everyday spending
Welcome offer 80,000 Membership Rewards Points by spending $8,000 within your first 6 months of membership (worth up to approx. $1,600) 60,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months (worth up to approx. $1,200)
Earning rate 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel

5X points on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel

1X points on all other eligible purchases
4X points at restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.)

4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year, then 1X)

3X points on flights booked directly or with American Express Travel

1X points on all other eligible purchases
Redemption rate Approx. 0.5 cents to 2 cents per point, depending on how you redeem them. Approx. 0.5 cents to 2 cents per point, depending on how you redeem them.
Annual fee $695 $250
Other benefits Over $1,500 in statement credits available each year

Exclusive airport lounge access

$189/year CLEAR Plus statement credit

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit
Up to $120 in dining statement credits per year

Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year

$100 experience credit when booking eligible hotel stays
Learn more Read Amex Platinum review Read Amex Gold card review

Why you might want to get the Amex Gold card

For starters, the Gold card’s annual fee is over $400 less expensive than the Platinum’s. Outside of that, this card would likely be the better fit if most of your spending is on dining and shopping at U.S. supermarkets, as those are its highest-earning categories. It also has $120 worth of Uber Cash yearly and $120 worth of dining-related statement credits yearly, effectively covering the $250 annual fee.

Bottom line: The American Express Gold Card is best for earning rewards on everyday spending and for people who enjoy dining out.

Why you might want the Platinum card instead

Although the Amex Platinum has an objectively high annual fee, it comes with a multitude of benefits that can easily make up for it— if you can use them. Benefits like airport lounge access, hotel elite status with Marriott and Hilton, and over $1,500 worth of available statement credits could be very valuable to the luxury traveler.

Bottom line: The American Express Platinum Card is best for frequent travelers who can dedicate themselves to maximizing luxury benefits and specific statement credits.

Should I get both Amex Gold and Amex Platinum?

You probably don’t want to apply for both cards concurrently as it reduces your chance of earning the welcome bonus with each. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea to have both— we’d just recommend staggering your applications to maximize your chances of earning the welcome offers.

If you’re a dedicated enough traveler, the two could make a harmonious pairing in your wallet. The Gold can do most of the work of earning the points, as its categories are more useful for daily spending, and the Platinum can give you access to all of the luxury travel benefits your heart desires.

If you have one of these cards and want another card to maximize your rewards, but paying almost a thousand dollars per year in annual fees doesn’t sound appealing, you might be better off looking for a mid-tier rewards card or cash-back card from another card provider. Our guide on the best credit cards can help you decide which is right for you.

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Welcome offer

Winner: Amex Platinum, sort of?

The Amex Platinum wins by a small margin when it comes to the welcome bonus. However, the two are pretty evenly matched if you look at the spending requirement to earn the bonus in relation to the amount of points earned.

Gold: The Amex Gold offers 60,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months. This offer can be worth up to $1,200, depending on how you choose to redeem your points.

Platinum: The Amex Platinum offers 80,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $8,000 in the first 6 months. This offer can be worth up to $1,600, depending on how you choose to redeem your points.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find even more generous promotional welcome offers for cards like the Gold or Platinum available through the American Express website or via the CardMatch tool.

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Rewards points

Winner: Amex Gold

Both cards provide some pretty impressive ways to earn points. The Gold card offers more chances to earn points on everyday spending while the Platinum card’s 5X Membership Rewards on travel makes it better for those who travel frequently. We prefer the Gold in this category.

Earning Amex Gold rewards:

Earning Amex Platinum rewards:

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Travel perks

Winner: Amex Platinum

American Express is known for travel perks, but in a side-by-side comparison, the Platinum card handily wins this category.

Let’s take a look at some of the travel perks that come with these cards:

Airport lounge access:

Hotel benefits:

CLEAR Plus & TSA PreCheck/Global Entry:

Airline credits:

Travel insurance benefits:

Note: Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Lifestyle credits

Winner: Amex Platinum

Because you can earn enough statement credits with the Platinum card to cover the annual fee, this category goes to Platinum.

Amex Gold credits:

Amex Platinum credits:

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Fees

Winner: Amex Gold

The Amex Gold card wins this category because of its much lower annual fee.

The Platinum Card has an annual fee of $695 while the Gold card has an annual fee of $250. And if you want to add any authorized users to your account, you’ll have to pay $195 for each on the Platinum card, while you can add up to 5 authorized users on the Gold card for free (then $35 each).

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Eligibility

When it comes to getting a card membership, both of these cards generally require great or excellent credit. Neither the Gold or Platinum cards are easier to get, as they’re both considered fairly high-end credit cards.

Bottom line: Which do you get?

If you’re still debating whether to get the American Express Platinum or the American Express Gold Card, consider this: how much are you willing to spend, what do you tend to spend money on, and what benefits can you actually utilize?

If you spend a lot on dining and groceries, the Gold card seems right up your alley. If you spend a lot on travel and would benefit from luxury benefits like airport lounge access and hotel elite status, the Platinum card is where it’s at. Either way, make sure you can squeeze enough value out of the card to make the annual fee worth it.

Advertiser Disclosure

American Express? Gold Card

American Express? Gold Card
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) and restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on other eligible purchases. $250 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

The Platinum Card? from American Express

The Platinum Card? from American Express
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 5X Membership Rewards? points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other eligible purchases. $695 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

If you’ve come to realize that you don’t want either of these cards, check out these other options:

For cash back:

For travel rewards:

FAQs: Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum

Is American Express Platinum better than Gold?

The Amex Platinum Card may be a better choice for travelers, while the Amex Gold card could be better for dining enthusiasts and earning points on everyday spending.

Should I upgrade from Amex Gold to Platinum?

If you think that you would benefit from the better travel rewards, you might want to upgrade to the Amex Platinum card. Otherwise, stick with the Amex Gold Card for earning rewards on everyday spending.

Is Amex Gold easier to get than Platinum?

These are not mid-tier credit cards, and they both require a fairly high credit score for card membership. The Amex Gold Card is not especially easier to get approved for than the Platinum Card. To get an idea of if you may qualify, you can try getting pre-approved for an Amex card.

What are the best Amex Gold Card benefits?

The best benefits of the Gold Card are 4X Membership Rewards points on dining and groceries. These rewards help you turn everyday out-of-pocket spending into valuable perks for travel or other redemption options.

What are the best Amex Platinum Card benefits?

While the ability to earn 5X points on travel purchases is nice, the best benefits of the Platinum Card are the ample statement credits. You can earn around $1,500 — more than double the annual fee — each year in statement credits.

What is the most prestigious American Express card?

It’s probably the Centurion card. You can’t even apply for this card without an invitation, and Amex doesn’t publish the requirements for card membership.

Hayley Harrison
Hayley Harrison Personal Finance

Hayley Harrison is an active personal finance contributor for LA Times Compare. She is passionate about helping consumers make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals by simplifying complex topics relating to insurance and personal finance.

Hayley brings first-hand knowledge of the finance industry thanks to her previous experience as a branch manager for a mid-sized regional bank and as a licensed accident and health insurance agent.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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