The revamped American Express Gold Rewards Card details are revealed!

 Back in May we had a post in our series on Canadian cards due for an overhaul that covered the American Express Gold Rewards
card. At that time we had no knowledge of the changes that would happen to the
Cobalt Card only a few short months later and heralded the fact the Gold
Rewards Card was still one of the best in Canada. We actually put our
opinion out there that the card was only due for a tweaking not an
overhaul. However with the changes to the American Express Cobalt Card
it pretty much made the Gold Rewards Card in its present form obsolete.
There was speculation, even on our part based on emails we had received
that the Gold Rewards card was going to be discontinued but that was
quickly corrected that the card was only being paused for a revamp.

I had stated the card should see increased earn rates like 4x points at
drug stores and 3x points on groceries and that they should bring the
Rose Gold version of the card to Canada like is seen the U.S. Well now
that we had
the Cobalt changes take place in August and with that card being such a
strong point earning card I began to feel like Amex would head the other
direction and focus more on travel
with this card. And it turns out that is the case. Everything that is
new on the card are enhanced travel benefits and insurances. No
increased earn rates, but no decrease either – which makes sense seeing
that the Cobalt Card is the primary big time earner in their portfolio
but I did get one of my revamp ideas – and that’s the Rose Gold card is
coming to Canada! On the downside, yes there’s always a downside, is
like the Cobalt Card this card is seeing an increase to its annual fee.
Access to these these benefits will begin on October 18, 2021.  Now
let’s jump into the details!

NEW $100 Annual Travel Credit

Those familiar with Amex’s Platinum Card will know this benefit very
well although those cardmembers get a $200 credit.This $100 Annual
Travel Credit can be used towards any travel booked via American Express

The Cardmembers’ Annual Travel
Credit will be issued on their next anniversary on or after October 18,
2021. Cardmembers can use this Annual Travel Credit towards any single
travel booking made through Amex Travel Online of $100 or more charged
to their Card, including flights, car rentals, hotels, and more.

Annual Travel Credit renews every year on the Card’s anniversary date.
To use the Annual Travel Credit, Cardmembers can book online at

The value of this travel
credit equals the increase in the annual fee on the card so if you can
use this benefit your annual cost for the card will work out to be the
same as before the revamp

NEW Priority Pass Worldwide Airport Lounge Access + four (4) complimentary Plaza Premium visits per year

Yay! Lounge access! Now you may be saying well there isn’t much value
in Priority Pass anymore since they lost all of their Plaza Premium
lounges in Canada but Amex fixed that! Seeing that Amex has a separate
relationship with Plaza Premium they will also offer four Plaza Premium
visits per year. This is good for those cities with Plaza Premium
Lounges (Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal) while other
cities like Calgary, Ottawa and Quebec City you can use the Priority
Pass membership to access other lounges but will have to pay the US$32
entry fee.

American Express Gold Rewards
Cardmembers can receive complimentary membership in Priority Pass. This
allows them to relax before their flight in one of the 1,200 Priority
Pass lounges around the world for a usage fee at the prevailing rate.

top of this, Cardmembers can enjoy four complimentary visits per year
to Plaza Premium Lounges across Canada. After your four complimentary
visits have been used for the year, Cardmembers may continue to visit
the Plaza Premium Lounges for a usage fee at the prevailing rate.

Priority Pass Membership costs US$99 per year (although you can typically get it at a discount – we even have a partnership with them
whereby you can get it for US$79) and this new benefit will waive that
membership fee. So at the very least it is a US$79 value and then you
have your four free lounge visits which are worth about US$32 each.
Combined value is no less than US$207 or about C$260.

NEW A $50 NEXUS Card Statement Credit

Following in the footsteps of CIBC and TD the revamped American
Express Gold Rewards card will feature a statement credit for NEXUS

receive a $50 CAD statement credit once every four years when a NEXUS
application or renewal fee is charged to their American Express Gold
Rewards Card.

In a similar vain to the other two issuers this credit is available
once every four years however Amex’s credit comes in lower at only C$50.
With NEXUS costing US$50 (and word of it increasing soon) the credit
won’t cover the full cost of the membership. Both CIBC and TD’s cover up
to C$100 which easily covers the exchange rate at this time but none
will cover the proposed US$120 fee. Hopefully Amex revisits this and
adjusts it to be more inline with the others.

NEW Trip Cancellation Insurance

This is an insurance benefit I has asked Amex about back in 2010 when
they launched the Gold Rewards Card as we were starting to see on more
cards in Canada. At the time, it was an expensive benefit to add to a
card that was first year free but we do finally see it being added to
card now:

We know that travels might not always go as
planned. That’s why the Card continues to come with the same
travel-related insurance coverages Cardmembers already enjoy. Plus,
effective September 21, 2021, Cardmembers can enjoy new Trip
Cancellation Insurance. For more information about the Card’s coverages,
please visit

NEW Metal Card + Rose Gold Option

cards are starting to become more popular in Canada and the Gold
Rewards Card can be added to that list of cards. On top of being issued
as a metal card you will be able to choose to get the Rose Gold metal
card in the near future.

The enhanced Gold
Rewards Card now comes in metal. Once Cardmembers’ current Card expires,
they will automatically be issued a new metal Card in Gold. They can
continue to use their current Card until they receive a new one. 

are also excited to share that we will soon be phasing the rollout of
the new Rose Gold metal in Canada. We are treating this initial period
of availability as a small pilot for new Cardmembers and will be
extending the rollout more broadly in early 2022 to include existing
Gold Rewards Cardmembers. Existing Cardmembers can stay tuned for more
from us about how they will be able to access the new Rose Gold metal.

The Rose Gold version of the U.S. Gold Rewards Card

Earn Rates and redemption remain unchanged

The card’s earn rates remain the same:

  • 2x the points on eligible travel purchases
  • 2x the points on eligible gas, grocery and drugstore purchases 
  • 1 x the points on everything else 

as the card earns Membership Rewards points and there haven’t been any
changes to the program since May (when they upped Use Points for
Purchases non-travel to 1,000 points for $10) the redemption side of
things remains the same. 

Annual Fee increase 

these enhancements do come at a cost however and that cost is a $100
jump in the annual fee from $150 to $250. However existing Cardmembers
will get a $100 credit towards that fee so that they only pay $150 for
the first year with the revamped card to give it a try and see if they
want to keep it,

annual fee will be increasing to $250 on Cardmembers’ next
Cardmembership anniversary date on or after October 18, 2021. For the
first year, existing Cardmembers can experience all that their new Card
has to offer at the same annual fee they have now. Cardmembers will
receive a credit upon their next Cardmembership anniversary date after
their new annual fee of $250 is billed.

Waitlist offer

Just like the relaunch of the
Aeroplan cards in 2020 and the best ever offers on seven of their cards
earlier this year, Amex will be putting out a waitlist offer for the revamped
Gold Rewards Card. The waitlist offer will launch next week. The Waitlist offer is for an additional 5,000 points

Click here to join the waitlist


Wrapping it up

revamped American Express Gold Rewards Card goes back to its roots as a
card for travellers. When it launched 11 years ago it was the travel
earn and burn aspect that set it apart but 11 years is a long time and
during time the competition caught up to this card and even Amex in ways
cannibalized the Gold Rewards card when when they launched the Cobalt
Card. Now we have a card that is perfect fit for someone looking for
greater travel benefits but not so much or so expensive as the Platinum
Card from American Express. It fits nicely in-between the Cobalt Card and the Platinum Card
as a rewarding true travel rewards card that should now appeal to those
looking for benefits beyond earn and burn yet maintaining a decent
value in that regard. I mean the card has held onto second place in our
rankings for the last four years based on the earn and burn and that
hasn’t changed so you know its a good card. Still, selfishly I wish we
did see an increase in the drug store earn rate so the card would be a
leader in that category for us older people and for those purchases at
London Drugs! 😉 One final note, we haven’t heard anything yet as to
what the welcome bonus will be on the card when it opens up for
applications again so that remains to be revealed. Anyone care to take a
guess at what we may see for a welcome bonus?

Images via American Express