Changes to the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is currently offering 25,000 points after you spend $2,000 on the card within the first 3 months. While this offer has been the norm for this card for quite some time, the card just underwent some significant changes which I want to point out. *Terms Apply. See Rates and Fees

Card Changes:

  • Annual Fee Increase: The annual fee has increased by $20 and is now $195/year. Although the annual fee is still waived the first year. While having an annual fee increase is never fun, the increased benefits are worth it in my opinion.
  • Earn 2x Points at U.S. Restaurants. Previously you only earned 1x point when dining out, so earning double points is a nice addition.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. This is not a deal breaker for me since there are already so many cards that offer no fee when using your card overseas, but I am glad to see this card join the bandwagon and waive all fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. This is the biggest enhancement to the card in my opinion and really helps offset the high annual fee. This is a similar concept to the American Express Platinum card where you can receive up to a $100 credit per calendar year. Statement credits can include anything from checked baggage fees, lounge access, and in-flight purchases. I’ve actually even been reimbursed for airline gift card purchases. Since the credit is one-time per calendar year, you can actually receive the statement credit twice within the first year of card membership.

Even with a high annual fee, this is still a solid card. You will earn 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines, 2X points at US gas stations, US supermarkets, and US restaurants, and 1X points on other purchases. If you pay for travel a decent amount, then this is a great card to have to pay for all your airfare.

This card earns American Express Membership Reward points which allows you to transfer points to many partner airlines. Airline partners include: Air Canada, Singapore, ANA, British Airways, Iberia, Delta, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Alitalia, Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, El Al, Frontier, JetBlue, Hawaiian. With Membership Reward points, you’ll get the best value when you transfer to airlines since the transfer rate is very low for hotel partners. Although at some point throughout the year, there might be a bonus transfer opportunity which makes transferring to a partner a better value. Partner hotels include: Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors, and Starwood Preferred Guest. From time-to-time they also offer some extremely lucrative bonus transfer opportunities to airlines, although they are not as common as they used to be (for example the most recent 50% bonus with British Airways Avios).

Overall, this is a good offer to earn some Membership Reward points and gain some airline reimbursement. In the first year of card membership, for example, you can earn 25,000 points and receive up to $200 back in airline fee credits. Since the reimbursement credits is one per calendar year, you can take advantage of it in 2015 and then again at the beginning of 2016 all within the first year of having the card. That means this can all be earned prior to the annual fee hitting!

And remember, since this is an American Express card you can take advantage of all the American Express statement credit offers. This can also help offset the annual fee and in many scenarios based on your shopping habits it can actually help you earn more money!

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