Why It Pays To Get The Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card Soon

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Update: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has exciting new benefits, and a great new limited time offer. Learn more about the current offer here.

Update: This offer for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

I’ve had the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express since I was 18 — it was one of the first cards I ever signed up for, and I’ve had it ever since. That’s because the card has some really lucrative category bonuses for categories in which I spend a good amount, like airfare.

Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card benefits

This June the card underwent a refresh, whereby it saw some awesome new benefits.

Specifically, the card offers the following bonus categories:

  • 3x Membership Rewards points for flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2x Membership Rewards points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets
  • 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else

AmEx-PRG

That’s quite a nice return. Earning triple points on airfare is huge, and earning double points on restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets is something which is extremely rewarding for someone with an “average” spend profile.

The card has a $0 intro annual fee, and then it’s $195 in subsequent years. But the card also comes with a $100 annual airline fee credit. This credit works in exactly the same way that The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN credit works, except it’s for half the amount.

PRG-AF

This means that if you apply for the Premier Rewards Gold Card in the coming days, you could get a $100 airline fee credit this year, and then another $100 airline fee credit as of January 1, 2016. Anecdotally I’ve been able to use this credit to purchase American Airlines gift cards in small increments in the past, so when you consider you’d have $200 of credit within a few weeks when you don’t even have to pay an annual fee till your second cardmember year begins, well, that’s pretty good.

PRG-Airline-Fee-Credit-1

PRG-Airline-Fee-Credit

In addition to the above, the sign-up bonus on the card is 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within the first three months of card membership. It’s not a huge sign-up bonus, but in general American Express doesn’t have huge sign-up bonuses nowadays. So while there are sometimes higher targeted offers, I haven’t seen a higher publicly available one in quite a while.

Alternatives to the Premier Rewards Gold Card?

The Premier Rewards Gold Card used to be truly unique, as it was one of the few cards which offered such big category bonuses. At this point, however, it’s not the only card offering such big category bonuses.

As I’ve explained, the two other cards I use most for everyday spend include the:

  • Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
    • 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases
    • 2x points at US gas stations
    • 1x points on other purchases
    • Use your card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits
  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
    • 3x points on travel
    • 3x points on gas
    • 2x points on dining out and entertainment
    • 1x point on all other purchases

So there are several great offers, and really you don’t have to pick just one. You can always sign up for two or even all three of them.

Bottom line

While there are plenty of great cards out there, the Premier Rewards Gold Card is one I’ve had for years. If you apply in the next few days, you should be able to still get the $100 annual airline fee credit for both 2015 and 2016, which is pretty awesome given that you don’t even pay an annual fee until after the first 12 months of card membership.

Between the triple points on airfare and double points on gas, groceries, and dining, this is a pretty well rounded card. Unless you’re targeted for a better offer on the card, this is a great time to apply.


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Comments

  1. Lucky, you’ve mentioned before that Amex fee reimbursements work on a calendar year basis. Is the “time” of the charge actually when it occurs, when it posts to the account, or even worse, when the statement closes (e.g. If I was to charge something, say, later this week, would it count for 2015 or 2016, in your best estimate?)

  2. @ Mike — The reimbursement posts a few days after you make the eligible purchase. So if you purchase something on the 20th it will likely be reimbursed around the 23rd-24th, at least anecdotally. Has nothing to do with when the statement closes.

  3. 1) everyone gets the $100 credit 2x so applying now makes no diff vs applying 2 months from now.
    2) why are you pushing the 25k affiliate offer when there is a publicly available 50k offer???

  4. I would strongly recommend never using this card to book flights. The flight and baggage travel insurance is essentially nonexistent. Amex is absolutely horrible to get any assistance with travel interruption, delayed baggage, emergency travel, etc.

    After being burned, I will never use this card to book flights again.

  5. @ David – And what’s your “real job”? I’m guessing it isn’t much since you have time on your hands to post inane comments on the internet.

  6. Cool tip, the credit works for the United milage plus X app, and from there you can buy gift cards to Amazon etc and they credit as airline fees

  7. @David: So a real job wouldn’t include working for hours and hours every day, busy most of the time? I’m guessing your job is busier.

  8. If I had this card and cancelled it (moved to the Platinum card), how long do I need to wait to sign up again and get the bonus miles?

  9. Terrible advice, in my view. You will always be able to get two credits in your first year, but you can only get a sign up bonus once in your lifetime. To waste it on a 25000 point bonus seems foolish to me.

  10. The sign-up bonus is 50,000 points. This has been going on for over a year. Please correct your article. You just need to paste the Amex PRG landing page’s URL into your browser while in incognito mode. Boom, 50,000 points after only $1,000 in spending.

  11. I’ve tried pasting the Amex PRG landing page into an incognito browser and I still only see a 25,000 point sign up offer.

    Ben, the airline credit is for incidental fees. Can I purchase gift cards to trigger the credit so I can apply it towards airfare next year?

  12. I agree with Narwhal, I have been an Amex cardholder since 1967 , and I always thought I had trip interruption insurance, etc. but just recently my wife had to have back surgery and I had to cancel a cruise, air, etc. and when I called to make a claim I was told they no longer cover these things. You have to buy a separate policy to get coverage. Fortunately I charged part of the cruise on my United Club Card and they said I will be covered. I have yet to file the claim , but I am optimistic.

  13. I’ve opened this card for my wife and myself with a 50k bonus after spending 1k
    + 200 credit(2015 2016) for me and my wife,
    Closing the card at the end of the year
    = 100k membership points
    400$
    All this for spending 2k wich i did with serve in five days.

  14. The 50k incognito trick does not work anymore and has not for a few months. I wish it would start again…I have been trying to get one for my wife but can not get it to show up anymore.

  15. People, the 50,000 incognito trick still works. I’m using Chrome on my Macbook Pro, and on the 3rd try I was able to see the 50k points offer.

    If you don’t see the 50k offer the first time, completely close that incognito window and open a brand new one and try again. I can confirm I just saw the 50k offer on my 3rd attempt.

  16. Hi Ben! My first time posting here (a longtime reader), but do you believe the credit would post if I bought through a regional website of one of the US carriers, such as AA’s Japanese website with pricing in Yen? There’s an amazing HND-LAX-HND RT right now for around $450USD (¥60,000) that I would love to jump on. Thanks!

  17. @ Richard / All,

    I was approved for the $50K offer just moments ago.I had to use the incognito trick about 7 times before the higher offer appeared. I’m so glad for your help and that I read this blog! $50K bonus points plus the airline credit and the annual fee waived for the first year seems like quite a deal!

  18. @ Alex Aniel — The bigger issue is that airfare as such won’t generally qualify for the airline fee credit, so I doubt that would work.

  19. Lucky, so if I had this card 3+ years ago (cancelled after two years), I won’t be eligible for the bonus points? However, am I still able to use the airline fee credit benefit?

    Thanks.

  20. @Karl

    I’m glad I could help and you were able to get the 50k points offer. Shame on Ben for trying to trick people into clicking on HIS Amex PRG referral link with only a 25k signup offer.

    I understand he has to get paid, because this is his work. However, he’s always so sneaky and he’s not upfront about things like this. Especially with Amex only offering a sign-up bonus once per card per lifetime, I can’t believe Ben would skim his readers by 25k points just so he can get paid. I question his integrity as a human being.

    I wish these bloggers were more like MillIionMileSecrets, who always posts the best sign-up deal, even if it doesn’t earn him commission.

    I’m starting to call out these big bloggers on their shady ways.

  21. Should I be able to get the airline credit on my PRG that I had before June? I haven’t used a credit on that card this year, but when I login to my Amex account, I am only able to select an airline for my Platinum card. How can I select one for my Gold card?

  22. @ Richard – I know how the trick works and have used it in the past. I have tried 100 different times over the last few months using 2 different computers with no luck. I know people in the past have said they could only get it at work or at home etc. so it does not show up for everyone.

  23. This is a good card if you know what benefits you get and use it wisely; Below I listed some features

    1. Easy to get twice a year airline fee credits as it is per calendar year (resets every December billing statement). Make sure you don’t sign up in late November or early December for a new card. You can also buy $50 airline gift cards, pay for better seat assignments within the same cabin, flight refreshments, baggage and priority boarding fees etc.

    2. Free Shoprunner membership ($80 value) —- Many people don’t know about it but it is very useful with free 2 day shipping and free returns from several stores including Newegg, Macmall and Brooks brothers.

    3. Three points per dollar with airline tickets —– Use to buy tickets directly from airlines (not from kayak etc).

    Two points per dollar for dining—- Use only for US based restaurants (not for international dining).

    Two points per dollar for gas —– US gas stations only (not inside Costco, Sam’s or Walmart)

    Two points per dollar for supermarket purchases —- (excludes superstores like Target, Walmart and warehouse clubs); Places like Publix, Winn Dixie and Pathmark should work fine.

    Double Membership Rewards® Points —– When you charge air, flight + hotel packages, and cruise reservations through amextravel.com.

    $75 hotel credit after checkout— when booking two consecutive nights via the American Express’ Hotel Collection site (can be used for dining, spa purchases and resort activities

    4. No Foreign Transaction Fees

    5. Premium Roadside Assistance —- no additional cost up to 4 times per calendar year. You can cancel any AAA membership and save ~$50 per year.

    6. Lost luggage benefit; Carry-on Baggage — $1250; Checked baggage — $500

    7. 90 days return protection from purchase date – up to $300 per item and up to a maximum of $1,000 per Card Member account per calendar year (EXCEPT motorized vehicles, perishable items, computer software, and jewelry).

    8. Travel Accident Insurance — – $250,000.

    9. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance — < 30 days USD $50,000 (provides secondary coverage). Primary coverage (100K for 42 days) can be purchased for a flat fee of $16-25; Once you enroll for primary coverage, it automatically kicks in when you use the credit card to pay for a rental vehicle. Make sure cancel the enrollment after each trip. Both types of coverages don’t work for rentals in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand.

    I hope this helps someone!

    P

  24. I swear the incognito trick worked. I first tried on my laptop several times to no avail. But then I used my hotspot from my iphone and voila 50000 MR showed up!!!!!Instantly applied and approved. Thank y’all!!!!

  25. @Peter
    When you say it resets on the December billing cycle, is that the bill sent in December? Or the bill sent in January? Also does anyone know when the annual fee posts? Is it in the monthly bill AFTER your annual date? And does it reset in the calendar year (January 1) before the bill is sent?
    I am curious because I read somewhere that it was “possible” to squeeze three credits before one AF. I am guessing, if you sign-up December 15, XXXX get the card by December 20, XXXX activate, charge and get credit all recorded in December XXXX, but it shows up for the first bill sent January XXXX+1. The credit you used is for XXXX right? Then let’s say in March XXXX+1 you charge and get credit for the XXXX+1 credit. At this point, does the AF post in your bill sent December XXXX+1 or in January XXXX+2? And if it is the latter, if I charge and receive credit in January XXXX+2 for XXXX+2 credit before the January bill is sent, I should be able to call and either cancel/downgrade and be able to avoid paying any AF since it hasn’t been billed right?

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