Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
If you’re in the market for a new credit card that offers perks such as higher rewards on dining and grocery shopping, a generous welcome bonus and statement credits for dining and ride-sharing services, look no further than the American Express® Gold Card.
New cardholders can earn a lucrative welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 within the first six months of card membership. And with the American Express Gold Card, you’ll earn 4X points for dining at restaurants worldwide — as well as on takeout and delivery within the U.S. — and for shopping at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year), 3X points for flights booked directly with the airline or via amextravel.com, and 1X points for all other eligible purchases.
Points earned with the card can then be redeemed in a number of ways or for flights, hotels and other travel activities via amextravel.com or by transferring them to any of Amex’s travel partners, including Delta, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Hilton, Marriott and Choice Hotels, among others. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for transfer bonuses, which can stretch your points even further.
American Express® Gold Card
On the American Express secure site
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 calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership
Balance transfer fee
Foreign transaction fee
The American Express Gold Card is also a good option for those who can take full advantage of the included dining and ride-sharing statement credits — the combined value of both credits is $240, which is nearly as much as the card’s $250 annual fee (see rates and fees). Upon enrollment, cardholders can receive up to $120 in dining credits (up to $10 in statement credits each month) when you use your card to dine with GrubHub, Wine.com, Goldbelly, The Cheesecake Factory, Milk Bar, and certain Shake Shack locations. Once the card is added to your Uber account, you automatically get up to $120 Uber Cash per year ($10 each month), which you can use for rides or dining via Uber Eats.
You’ll also have access to American Express travel and protection benefits such as The Hotel Collection, baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage coverage, no foreign transaction fees for using the card abroad, 24/7 emergency assistance, special Amex Offers and exclusive experiences and seating at concerts and sporting events.
Amex is known for its luxury travel rewards credit cards — the $695 annual fee Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates and fees) and the $250 annual fee American Express® Gold Card to name a few — and while they each offer a ton of travel benefits, they also require a steep annual fee and generally require applicants to have a good credit score or higher.
Below, Select takes a look at the credit score you’ll need to qualify for the American Express Gold Card, one of the best travel rewards cards on the market.
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What credit do you need for the Amex Gold Card?
While American Express doesn’t publicize a minimum credit score for the Amex Gold Card, generally, applicants with a good credit score of 670 or above are more likely to qualify. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating a greater likelihood of a borrower being able to pay off their balance on time.
FICO Score ranges:
- Very poor: 300 to 579
- Fair: 580 to 669
- Good: 670 to 739
- Very good: 740 to 799
- Excellent: 800 to 850
Keep in mind, however, that all applicants with a credit score of 670 or above won’t necessarily make the cut — other factors, such as the five listed below that FICO uses to determine your credit score, will also be considered by the credit card issuer.
- Payment history (35%) — If you’ve made your previous payments on time
- Amounts owed (30%) — Your credit utilization ratio, or the ratio of the amount of credit you’re using to the amount that’s been extended and owed on your accounts
- Length of credit history (15%) — The amount of time you’ve had credit
- New credit (10%) — How often you open new accounts
- Credit mix (10%) — Whether you have different types of credit, such as installment loans or revolving lines of credit
It’s also worth noting that American Express offers a pre-qualification service so you can see if you qualify for the card before you actually apply — and no, it doesn’t harm you credit score.
If you don’t have a good credit score, focus on improving it by making your payments on time and in full, using as little of your extended credit as possible, and limiting the number of credit applications you put in.
Signing up for Experian Boost, which counts on-time payments for certain subscription services and utilities toward the calculation of your credit score, could also help bring it up a few points.
On Experian’s secure site
Average credit score increase
13 points, though results vary
Credit report affected
Credit scoring model used
Why you may be rejected when applying for this card
While credit card issuers heavily rely on credit scores to evaluate applicants, they also consider other factors, such as your annual income, how long you’ve had credit history and how many credit cards you currently have. For example, if you have a good credit score but have only had a credit history for a few months, the issuer may end up rejecting you because you don’t have a long enough credit history to indicate your creditworthiness.
American Express also has set limits when it comes to how many of its consumer and business cards you’re allowed to have. Individuals are limited to just five total consumer credit cards, so it’s possible you could be automatically rejected if you already have five American Express credit cards.
If, for whatever reason, you are rejected for the Amex Gold Card, card issuers and banks are required by federal law to let applicants know exactly why within 60 days. It might also be worth appealing the decision by calling American Express directly — pointing out your loyalty to the credit card issuer or your history of making on-time payments on your lines of credit may help your chances.
The American Express Gold Card card is a great option for consumers who tend to be big spenders when dining out and shopping at grocery stores, especially those who will take full advantage of its included dining and Uber credits. To qualify for this $250 annual fee card, one of the best travel rewards credit cards available, you should have a credit score of at least 670.
If you apply but don’t make the cut, note that Amex has limits on the number of cards consumers are allowed to have and is required by law to spell out the reason for your rejection within 60 days.
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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.