UPDATE: As of September 14, 2017, the first year fee waiver on this card is no longer being offered. The $150 annual fee will be charged on the first billing cycle.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card offers unbeatable value and is considered by many to be the best introductory travel rewards credit card in the Canadian marketplace. In this post, we'll hash out all the benefits of the card and take a closer look at why it's so highly regarded.
At the time of writing, the Gold Rewards Card offers a bonus of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points when applying through a referral link. You get 25,000 MR as a signup bonus after spending at least $1,500 on the card within the first three months, and another 5,000 MR when you add a free supplementary card at the time of your application (note that adding supplementary cards after your application is approved won't trigger the 5,000 MR bonus). The annual fee of $150 is waived for the first year.
Historically, the Gold Rewards Card has usually offered 25,000 MR as a signup bonus with a first year fee waiver, but not the extra 5,000 MR for adding a supplementary card. That makes it a fantastic time to apply, since the card is currently offering its highest-ever bonus.
Furthermore, as a cardholder, you'll earn 5,000 MR for every referral you make to any card in the Membership Rewards family, up to a maximum of 75,000 MR per calendar year.
Lastly, besides the 5,000 MR bonus for adding the first supplementary card, there are also links floating around that'll award you 1,000 MR for every additional supplementary card you add – keep in mind that you're allowed to have up to 9 supplementary cards per credit card, and they all come with a first year fee waiver on the Gold Rewards Card.
To find out where these bonuses can take you, read our complete guide to the Membership Rewards program.
Not only does the Gold Rewards Card come with a fantastic signup bonus, it's a great card to use on a daily basis as well for earning rewards. You'll earn:
- 2 MR per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and drug stores in Canada
- 2 MR per dollar spent on travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals, vacations, cruises, etc.)
- Earn 1 additional MR per dollar spent when booking your hotel or car rental through American Express Travel
- 1 MR per dollar spent everywhere else
Keep in mind that gas stations, grocery stores, and drug stores often sell gift cards for other stores that normally belong in the "everywhere else" category. You can effectively earn 2 MR per dollar spent on many purchases that normally fall into "everywhere else" by buying these gift cards and using them towards purchases that would normally earn 1 MR per dollar spent. This can be especially lucrative when purchasing big-ticket items, such as appliances, electronics, and furniture!
Charge your travel purchases to your American Express Gold Rewards Card, and you'll automatically enjoy a wide array of coverage, such as:
- Emergency medical insurance, for the first 15 days of each out-of-province trip, up to a maximum of $5,000,000 per insured person under 65
- Lost, stolen, or damaged baggage insurance, up to $500 per trip
- Travel accident insurance, up to $500,000, for you, your spouse, and any dependent children under 23
Additional coverage includes protection against trip interruption, car rental theft and damage, flight delay, and hotel burglary. The card also offers the Buyer's Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer's warranty on any item charged to the card for up to one additional year, as well as the Purchase Protection Plan, which automatically insures your purchases against accidental theft and damage.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a relatively easy card to get approved for. You just need to have at least $20,000 annual personal income or combined spousal income.
If you like the stuff I do on the blog and want to read more, I'd really appreciate it if you considered applying for the Gold Rewards Card through my referral link below, as it really helps me keep the blog going.
I should note, however, that you can also apply for the card through Great Canadian Rebates (GCR), who are offering $50 cash back for applying through their link. Keep in mind, however, that this offer does not include the 5,000 MR bonus for adding a supplementary card. In other words, if you do value $50 in cash more than 5,000 MR points, you ought to apply through GCR. Personally, I would opt for the 5,000 MR since you can usually redeem them at a spectacular value far higher than $50, though it's entirely your call.
Of course, if you're already a holder of any other Membership Rewards cards, you should use your own referral link to maximize your benefit.
The Gold Rewards Card by American Express is a standout option for those starting out in the miles and points game. It currently offers an all-time-high signup bonus of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points, gives you a fantastic return on your spending, and provides very comprehensive travel insurance coverage. In my opinion, it's a must-have for anyone looking to elevate their travel.