Benefits Of The New Premier Rewards Gold Card From American Express

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Link: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

As I first wrote about in February, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express underwent a major rebranding as of June 1, 2015. It’s one of the first cards I ever applied for, and one I’ve held onto ever since. The sign-up bonus on the card continues to be 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases in your first three months.

What are these changes which American Express has made to the Premier Rewards Gold Card?

AmEx-PRG

Annual fee is increasing by $20

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first (even though it’s not really bad news, given the below). The annual fee for the Premier Rewards Gold Card is now $195, which is a $20 increase over the old annual fee.

That being said, the first year’s intro annual fee continues to be $0, and you can still add up to five additional cards to the account at no additional cost.

$100 airline fee credit being added

The Premier Rewards Gold Card now offers a $100 airline fee credit per calendar year. That’s an important thing to note before getting too angry about the $20 hike in the annual fee. Because by my math, the value proposition of the card is basically improving by a minimum of $80 per year.

Also keep in mind that while your annual fee is based on card member year, the airline fee credit is based on calendar year. That means you’ll get $200 in airline fee credits before you pay your first year’s annual fee.

If you’re an existing card member of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, you’ll want to log-in to designate the airline you want for your $100 fee credit.

PRG-AF

Keep in mind that anecdotally American Express fee credits can often be used to purchase airline gift cards, so to me that’s “good as cash.”

Amex-Reimbursements
Airline gift card purchases often qualify towards the airline fee credit with American Express

I value that $100 fee credit at close to face value, so to me that basically puts the card in line with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, for all practical purposes.

Double points at restaurants

The Premier Rewards Gold Card now offers double points at restaurants. This matches the double points offered for dining by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.

Restaurant-Bonus-Points
Soon you can earn double points at restaurants with the PRG Card

No foreign transaction fees

The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card no longer charges foreign transaction fees. This also puts them in line with the competition. It’s nice to see American Express slowly shying away from foreign transaction fees, between this announcement and the one about changes to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

TGV-Train-Brussels-Paris-02
Soon you can use the PRG Card abroad without paying foreign transaction fees

Bottom line

I think what American Express is doing here is brilliant. They’re basically offering very similar benefits to the mid-range Chase and Citi products, except they’re marketing it in a bit more premium of a way. Instead of having the annual fee be $95, they’re charging $100 more but also offering a $100 airline fee credit.

And I get why they’re doing that, because they don’t want to create too much overlap in their products, as the Amex EveryDay℠ Preferred Credit Card has a $95 annual fee.

If you ask me, this is a pretty compelling card with the new benefits:

  • Receive triple points on airfare
  • Receive double points on gas, dining, and groceries
  • $195 annual fee, but you receive a $100 airline fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

This is one of the most comprehensive cards out there in terms of the category bonuses.

Is the sign-up bonus of 25,000 points huge? Not really. But do keep in mind you’ll also receive two $100 airline fee credits before you pay your first annual fee. 25,000 Membership Rewards points, plus $200 in airline fee credits within 12 months, plus an awesome rewards structure is a great combo, in my opinion.

Do you plan on picking up the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express now that it has been refreshed?

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Comments

  1. @Lucky,
    Hey Lucky, were you at the opening of the new Centurion Lounge in Miami? If not you might have missed out, a lot of the real houswives of miami were there. Not sure if you watch the miami one but thought I’d mention it anyway.

  2. Very interesting! Thank you. I just got this card actually. Is there a way to check if a specific airline’s gift card purchase would count as a valid purchase for the credit? I’m looking to buy either a Delta, JetBlue or Alaska gift card.

  3. I just picked 2 of these up. One for me and my wife. Got 50k for each card after $1k spend. Have to go incognito to find it

  4. Lucky,

    Question for you. Between the SPG Amex and the PRG, if you were applying for either for the first time, which would you go for now that the new benefits on both cards have been announced?

    I’m looking at an application in the near future here, and would be curious to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks in advance!

    –Louis

  5. @ Louis — That’s a toughie. I’d get them both eventually, but I’d probably lean towards the PRG since I do think it’s more rewarding for everyday spend based on all the bonus categories, all things considered. But I do think they’re both worth applying for and holding onto long term.

  6. @ Semira — There are FlyerTalk threads dedicated to airline fee credit experiences with each airline, so I’d recommend checking them out.

  7. @ Tommy — Hah! Couldn’t make it unfortunately, but now mildly jealous (if it were Beverly Hills or New York, on the other hand, I’d be crying).

  8. Lucky: Not sure why you write “The Premier Rewards Gold Card now offers double points at restaurants” when in reality the benefit is only for US restaurants. As somebody who’s often traveling internationally, I’m surprised you put this card in the same league as the CSP given this huge difference. Same applies for gas stations and supermarkets, though one is less likely to use that category overseas.

  9. Just noticed that the Amex landing page for this card specifies that the 2x points is only on *US* gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants — I think the CSP would still be the way to go for gas stations and restaurants abroad then, right?

  10. This is a great card, but don’t settle for a 25K bonus, especially with the “one bonus per lifetime” rule. There was a 50K offer last month that could be accessed via private browsing – not sure if that is still available!

  11. Or 75k like I received. Don’t don’t don’t sign up and waste your once in lifetime Bonus on a measly 25k

  12. I have the business version which posted AF last month. I still have two months to decide. Do you recommend any card that I can downgrade that enables me to keep low MR points?

  13. @Lucky,

    Any idea if these changes will be same for he UK version of this card? Also assuming the changes will be apllied to any current cards?

  14. Amex is saying that we aren’t eligible for any offer because we are current cardholders (have a platinum). How do we get around that? Do we have to cancel the platinum first?

  15. Lucky,

    I got this card during the time when you can have 1 every year or two year. Cn’t remember exactly. So you think I can get the sign up bonus again at least once more this lifetime? lol

  16. @ leslie — Technically it’s once per lifetime now, so wouldn’t count on getting the bonus if you’ve had the card before.

  17. @ globetrotter — The Amex EveryDay Card doesn’t have an annual fee but lets you accrue “premium” Membership Rewards points.

  18. Lucky,

    If I previously had the standard Gold card, am I still eligible for the sign-up bonus for the PRG since I technically didn’t have it in my lifetime?

  19. Re: $100 credit.
    Do you usually buy the AA gift cards online, and then use them online to buy tickets?

  20. So if you had to pick Amex PRG vs CSP vs Citi TY Premier? They all seem to vying for the primary card in everyone’s wallet … what do you think is the best? Better yet … maybe make a post about it 🙂

  21. didn’t the AMEX Premier Gold have a 15K points bonus after spending 30K in 1 year? Did that go away ?

  22. This is what the benefits state as of 11/4/2015 which actually lead me to do digging which in turn lead me to this website.

    “Airline tickets, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty free purchases, and award tickets are not deemed to be incidental fees. The airline must submit the charge under the appropriate merchant code, industry code, or required service or product identifier for the charge to be recognized as an incidental air travel fee.”

    also united.com states that gift card purchases need be purchased online only?

  23. Also,
    If you check the amex website for “Your Special Offers” you can easily get a 50k point bonus for signup. That’s what I did for my husband, otherwise there was only the normal 25k bonus for PRG everywhere else. And it only had a $1k spend!

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