American Express Gold Rewards Card

Last updated: August 26, 2023
  • 70,000 Membership Rewards points
  • $1,676 First-year value
Best offer is available via a referral link
Signup bonus:
10,000 MR points upon spending $4,000 in the first three months
5,000 MR upon spending $1,000 in each of the first twelve months
Total of up to 70,000 MR points
Annual fee:
Earning rate:
2 MR points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, drugstores, and travel purchases
1 MR point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Referral bonus:
7,500 MR points per referral, up to a maximum of 112,500 MR points per calendar year
Perks & benefits:
$100 annual travel credit
$50 NEXUS credit
Plaza Premium lounge passes
Card type:
Credit card

One of Amex’s iconic products, the American Express Gold Rewards Card is in many ways a “lite” version of the famous Platinum Card. The Gold Rewards Card comes with many of the same features and fees, albeit scaled down for those who many not be able to take advantage of everything the Platinum Card has to offer.

While there may be better options for everyday earning rates and other benefits, the Gold Rewards Card is a good choice if you want a modest amount of premium perks without paying full premium annual fees.

Bonuses & Fees

The Gold Rewards Card offers up to 70,000 Membership Rewards points when applying with a referral link. The public link offers 10,000 fewer points as a signup bonus. The points are earned as follows:

  • 10,000 MR points upon spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 MR points upon spending $1,000 in each of the first 12 months, for a total of up to 60,000 MR points

The annual fee of $250 is quite reasonable when you subtract the annual $100 travel credit, making the “effective” annual fee $150 per year.

Furthermore, as a cardholder, you’ll earn 7,500 MR points for every referral you make to any card in the Membership Rewards family, up to a maximum of 112,500 MR points per calendar year.

Earning Rewards

Not only does the Gold Rewards Card come with a generous welcome bonus, it’s a good card to use on a daily basis for earning rewards. You’ll earn:

  • 2 MR per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and drugstores 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

Indeed, this is one of the only credit cards in the market that offers an accelerated earn rate for shopping at drugstores. If you have a large amount of spend at drugstores, the American Express Gold Rewards Card can be a worthwhile addition to your wallet.

Redeeming Rewards

The Membership Rewards program offers outstanding redemption opportunities as well. This is primarily because it’s a flexible, transferable rewards currency.

You can transfer your MR points at a 1:1 ratio to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios, as well as a host of other global frequent flyer programs (including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Air France-KLM Flying Blue) at a 1:0.75 ratio. Moreover, you also have the option of converting points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio for booking hotel stays.

Furthermore, you can redeem MR points directly for flights through the Amex Fixed Points Travel reward chart, although these are limited to round-trip flights departing from Canada.

Essentially, you can use a fixed amount of points towards the base ticket price of a regular cash ticket, up to a certain maximum. The number of points required and the maximum ticket price depends on the geographical region you are visiting (you can only book round-trip flights that originate in Canada).

Lastly, you have the option of redeeming MR points directly against travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point (cpp), although this is typically not recommended, as the value pales in comparison to what you could get by booking flights through Aeroplan, Avios, or even the Fixed Points Travel chart.

Perks & Benefits

The Gold Rewards Card has a handful of benefits, in many ways a slimmed-down version of what the Platinum Card offers.

For airport lounge access, you’ll get four complimentary visits to Plaza Premium lounges each year, a useful perk at many Canadian airports. You’ll also get a Priority Pass membership, although it doesn’t come with any free visits – you’ll have to pay to enter.

You’ll also get a $50 (CAD) NEXUS credit once every four years. This credit will be automatically applied to NEXUS application or renewal charges. Keep in mind that you’d still be on the hook for the rest of the fees, as it costs $50 (USD) for an application.

Additionally, you’ll get all of the standard perks of being an American Express cardholder, including Front of the Line event presale tickets, American Express Invites to exclusive experiences, and Amex Offers for extra everyday value when you use your card.

Finally, the card has a slick metal finish. You have the option to select the traditional Gold colour, or the distinct Rose Gold tone.


Insurance Coverage

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
  • Trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance: for Trip Cancellation, up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons, and for Trip Interruption, up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
  • 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
  • Auto rental collision/loss damage insurance: Comprehensive coverage for up to 48 consecutive days for cars with an MSRP of up to $85,000, which can help you save on the insurance fees that the car rental company would otherwise charge.

Additionally, the card also offers Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection, covering most eligible items you’ve purchased with your card should they be stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase, as well as an extended one-year warranty period compared to the manufacturer’s warranty.

Historical Offers

Apply Now

The American Express Gold Rewards Card does not have a minimum income requirement to be eligible.

You'll earn the best available signup bonus if you apply using a referral link. Consider supporting Prince of Travel by applying for the card via the link below.

  1. Alex YYZ

    I’ve got an offer to upgrade my existing green card to the Gold card.
    The lingo says “for up to 50,000 points bonus”.
    The publically available offer now is 5000 points * 12 months for $1000/mo spent = 60,000 points.
    a. is the upgrade offer going to rack 50,000 points on top of the publically available 60,000 points?
    b. there is a free supplementary card offered. Will that free card be eligible for the 4 Plaza Premium lounge visits at YYZ?

    1. Ricky YVR

      A. Highly doubtful. It’s probably 50,000 points alone, structured in some way – what do the terms say?

      B. Nope, supplementary cardholders don’t get the lounge access benefit.

  2. Ky

    hey! I am just wondering how do you access the priority pass and the plaza premium lounge? and is it possible to bring a guest to the lounge?

  3. Duncan

    I was just looking at the Gold Card on the Amex site – do I understand the travel credit correctly in that you have to purchase travel (flight, hotel?) through Amex Travel? And if so, is there an blog article on how to do this or is it not a preferred way of book (as I don’t often see you discussing this as a travel option). Thanks.

  4. Duncan

    I was just looking at the Gold Card on the Amex site – do I understand the travel credit correctly in that you have to purchase travel (flight, hotel?) through Amex Travel? And if so, is there an blog article on how to do this as I don’t often see you discussing this as a travel option. Thanks.

  5. Mike

    For Aeroplan bookings: if you pay the taxes with this card, is the travel insurance valid for trip interruption / cancellation / delayed luggage etc?

  6. T

    Just looking into the rewards program, Walmart is not considered a grocery store for 2x points nor is shopper drugsmart consider a drugstore….. any idea where I can get this 2x points?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Shoppers Drug Mart is considered a drugstore.

  7. Ron

    Does the “old trick” work for the 100$ travel credit? (you know the trick used on the platinum card)

    1. Ricky YVR

      Don’t see why not.

      1. Nick

        Ron, curious to see if the travel trick worked?

  8. Tomas

    Hello community!
    I’m new to the points game and over the next couple of months have some spending that will be refunded (basically free spending), is it worthwhile to apply for the Gold card as it is much easier to get those 50k points over 3 months and then 8-12 months down the line apply for the Cobalt card (as the bonus is based on monthly spending) and just not renew the Gold?
    Thanks for any info!

  9. Jack

    Hi Ricky,

    I had the Amex Gold card a few year ago, am I entitled to the new sign-up bonus if I apply for this ‘new’ product?

  10. Mano

    Hi, I’m holding an Amex gold card. I called in today and spoke to Amex customer service to know if there are any changes with benefits like the cobalt card which American express recently launched. I was been told very soon about Amex’s new gold card will be launched as a Cobalt card. But I’m not sure how far it is true. Do you have any info or updates about the new launch of the Amex gold card?

  11. Leo

    Hi Everyone, just a massive FYI and giving back to the community. For the Amex Gold reward card, as of July 24, 2021 (could have been before this date but this is when I called Customer Service), Amex is not taking new applications so you can’t get this card at this time. Even referral links will fail when you try to apply.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Thanks for the heads up Leo. We’ve edited the page to reflect this for now.

  12. thanusan selvarajah

    Does this also apply to the cobalt card as well?
    “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!”

    1. Ricky YVR


  13. Jay

    I currently have an AMEX business plat. Is there a way to send myself a referral link for an Amex gold card? that way I can get referral bonus on both cards or does it have to be from gold -> gold? thanks

    1. Josh YVR

      Self-referral is a huge red flag – high risk of being banned. Better to refer back and forth amongst family.

      Business Platinum cannot refer to Personal Gold, only to Business Gold or Business Edge. Personal Gold can refer to and from Cobalt.

    2. Jay

      Never mind, Risky has already answered it. thanks

  14. Mark

    Hi Ricky! I already have an Amex Aeroplan Gold Card (which has now been rebranded as the Amex Aeroplan Card). Is there a way to switch my current card to this Amex Gold Rewards Card, and take advantage of this welcome bonus? Or is the only way to take advantage of the welcome bonus to apply as a new cardholder? Thank you!

    1. Josh YVR

      Unless you get a specific upgrade/downgrade/switch offer, the only way to get the bonus with Amex is to apply for a new card. You could call and ask, but I wouldn’t count on it.

      1. Mark

        Thank you!

  15. jovin

    FYI. your referral link for this card does not seem to work.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Give it a go now – thanks.

      1. jovin

        Excellent, thanks.

  16. Kyle

    Does the Amex Gold offer 4x back on spending for business advertising on facebook or Google? The american version does.

    1. Sarah S.

      How can we get the American version of Amex gold? I’m spending so much USD on amazon advertising and I like to know which credit card works the best with USD expenditure ?

    2. Ricky YVR

      Not in Canada, unfortunately.

      1. Kyle

        Thanks for the reply. If I got the American version, would I get 4x back on canadian Google ads spend?

        1. Jay

          I asked the same for shipping from China to USA. I think it depends if your ad spend is from or .com as it has to be a us based business

  17. Talha

    Do you know if we can use the CPA offer and do a referral at the same time?

  18. T

    Is the CPA offer dead?

    1. D

      The personal still works with the same rsvp. The business rsvp has changed.. any one have any insight?

      1. J

        Where do you see the personal one? I can’t seem to see it on the CPA Perks website!

  19. Siddik

    I applied for this card and surpassed $1500 but have only received 25,000MRP. I got a supplementary card at the time of signup. I also checked on AMEX website and it doesn’t say anything about 5,000 MRP with a supplementary card. Please let me know if I’m missing something.

    1. Ricky YVR

      The extra 5,000 MR points upon adding a supplementary card is only available if applying via a referral link.

      1. Osvald

        That’s right, applied through Ricky’s referral link, 5000 points for the 2nd card arrived shortly after paying the first monthly fee

        For the sake of decency I used the supplementary card once. But I guess if you don’t use it the 5000 bonus would still come

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