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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?
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.
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.”
Airline gift card purchases often qualify towards the airline fee credit with American Express
Double points at restaurants
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.
Soon you can use the PRG Card abroad without paying foreign transaction fees
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?