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Thursday, September 14, 2017

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is still worth it even without the first year free option

Today marks the end of an era. Nearly 7 years after it was launched the American Express Gold Rewards Card is no longer first year free. It was inevitable, a card to maintain such a long run with basically an option to try it out for free is unheard of. All of this card's competitors don't do it, they only bring about such an option on a limited time basis and we can assume that may be the case now with the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

The question many will ask now is the card worth it with the annual fee. Simple answer, yes it is. There are reasons why the card has been ranked as our #1 card in Canada for so many years and it wasn't due to the first year free benefit. Here are just some of the reasons why the card is still worth it and is still a top contender in the market:
  • The 25,000 Point welcome bonus - worth $250 in travel with Amex's Use Points for Purchases option or worth even more when converting to one of the card's frequent traveler partners like Aeroplan or British Airways Executive Club. Its direct competitors that offer Aeroplan miles or British Airways Avios typically only offer 15,000 miles as their sign up bonus.
  • The $150 annual fee is for the primary card while the first supplementary card is free. When compared to its direct competitors your are looking at those cards having a $120 or $150 primary card fee plus $50 for supplementary cards so this card actually ends up $20 to $50 cheaper
  • The card earns 2 points per dollar spent on Gas, Grocery, Drug Store and Travel purchases. That translates into 2 Aeroplan Miles or British Airways Avios per dollar spent - no other card offers that high of earn for those programs in Canada
That last reason is the main reason I have held onto my card for so long. I have a family of four and I probably spend on average $400 to $700 a week on groceries, gas and drug store purchases. That equates to 800 to 1,400 Aeroplan Miles or Avios per week or somewhere in the neighbourhood of 41,600 to 72,800 miles per year. That's a lot and doesn't include my travel purchases made on the card. I would estimate I earn the equivalent of 100,000 miles per year on the card. That's worth a lot more than the $150 annual fee I have been paying on it for the past 6 years. Not to mention if you take advantage of the limited time bonus to transfer to British Airways of  25% and I'm looking at 125,000 Avios per year.

If you don't have this card yet, yes its unfortunate you didn't get in on it when it was first year free but don't let that deter you from getting the card, it was ranked our #1 travel rewards card for 2017 and years before and it keeps that ranking as it still one of the best travel rewards cards.

American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express Gold Rewards Card

• New American Express® Gold Rewards Cardmembers can earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards® points just by making $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership *
• That’s enough to redeem for a round-trip Fixed Mileage Flight RewardTM to almost anywhere in North America
• Transfer your points to frequent flyer programs, or 1:1 to Aeroplan®* and Avios
• Earn 2 points for every $1 on eligible travel and  everyday purchases. Earn one point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else
• Charge any eligible purchase to your Card then log in to redeem your points for a statement credit
• Book flights within Canada or to destinations  around the world for a fixed amount of points, with the Fixed Points Travel Program. You can book any airline , fly any day, and even book right up to a day before departure.
• 1 Free Supplementary Gold Rewards Card (a $50 value) to help you earn points faster
• As a Charge Card, the balance must always be paid in full each month. 30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full. Payments must be received and processed by the date of the next monthly statement to avoid interest charges.
• *American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.
Conditions apply

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