How I Maximize Points w/ Travel Credit Cards!

How I Use Travel Credit Cards to Save Money

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Hi guys! I just want to say right off the bat that travel rewards credit cards have saved my life.

Well, not literally, but they certainly have saved me tens of thousands of dollars (!) in travel expenses over the years, and they’ve allowed me to take advantage of incredible perks that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. The bottom line is that if you travel more than once a year, then getting a travel rewards credit card is an absolute no-brainer (as long as you follow the golden rule of paying off your balance each month.) The points you can acquire by using one of these credit cards will allow you to save money while maximizing your experience, such as upgraded business class plane tickets, free (or heavily discounted) luxury hotel stays, free access to thousands of airport lounges, insurance for rental cars and tons more.

In this article, I am going to give you my personal recommendations (in order, with #1 being my favorite) for the best travel rewards credit cards on the market. I actually carry all these cards in my wallet and use them almost every single day! For each credit card, I will be sharing a breakdown of its benefits and key points, and I will do my best to keep this blog post updated as time goes on.

Please keep in mind that these credit cards are only offered in the USA for American residents (citizens, green card holders, etc), so if you are unable to get approved for an American credit card then kindly look into my other travel tips in my travel hacking course.

Let’s get into it - woohoo!

Best credit card recommendations

Drew’s Rating:(4/5)

INTRO OFFER
60,000 points

ANNUAL FEE
$95

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

RECOMMENDED CREDIT
670-850 (Excellent/Good)

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Learn How to Apply

At our partner site CardRatings

TOP PERKS

TRAVEL HEAVYWEIGHT: This card earns 5X POINTS (yes, quintuple points!) when you purchase travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. Earn DOUBLE points on all other travel. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

DINE OUT AND EARN CASH: The Sapphire Preferred® earns TRIPLE points back on dining.

TRAVEL SAVINGS: Zero foreign transaction fees saves you money!

WHO'S IT FOR?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is for explorers starting their free travel adventures! I love this card and I've saved thousands of dollars using it as a tool to make my trips around the globe affordable. I recommend this card for every first-time rewards traveler primarily because of its top tier intro bonus: 60,000 points that are worth $750 towards travel when you redeem through Chase's Ultimate Rewards® portal! The card boosts all your points by 25% towards travel, so it's one of the most valuable travel cards out there, with a low annual fee. You won't find a strong travel rewards card with an annual fee much lower than $95, and the card's value per year will be much more than that if used fully!

Their ongoing bonuses have recently improved, too, and now offer a previously unheard-of 5X points back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning you can earn money back on your future adventures!

Basically, if you're looking to become a rewards traveler and don't already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, it should be the first on your list!

Pros & Cons
Extra Details

Pros

  • With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, you'll earn 5x the points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery store purchases, 2x on all other travel, and 1x on everything else.
  • The signup bonus is the best for a beginning travel card, and is worth $750 towards travel when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Amazing monthly ongoing points accumulation: 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate rewards with 2X points on all other travel and a $50 annual hotel statement credit.
  • Are you a foodie? Get triple 3X points on dining and online groceries.
  • No foreign transaction fees, so you can save money when traveling abroad!

Cons

  • The only thing stopping this from being the best card for every single traveler is that, like the others displayed below, it is recommended that applicants have a "Good to Excellent" credit score.
  • Banks don't usually disclose the exact parameters they look at in an applicant, but if you have limited or poorer credit, we recommend you get a student credit card or a credit builder card and start working on your score!
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • You'll earn 5x the points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery store purchases, 2x on all other travel, and 1x on everything else.
  • You can earn an annual $50 hotel statement credit when you book using Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Travel protection benefits, including trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, and lost luggage insurance (great options for all travelers!)
  • Points redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth 25% more on airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
  • You can unlock $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year with a free DashPass (when you activate by December 31, 2024.)

Pros

  • You’ll earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases, 2x on all other travel and 1x on everything else.
  • The sign-up bonus is great: it's valued at around $750 USD.
  • You can earn an annual $50 hotel statement credit when you book using Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Travel protection benefits, including trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, and lost luggage insurance (great options for all travelers!)

Cons

  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • You’ll earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases, 2x on all other travel, and 1x on everything else.
  • Travel protection benefits, including trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, and lost luggage insurance (great options for all travelers!)
  • No foreign transaction fees, so you can use this card worldwide with ease.
  • Points redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth 25% more on airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
  • You can unlock $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year with a free DashPass (when you activate by December 31, 2024.)
Drew’s Rating:(4/5)

INTRO OFFER
80,000 points

ANNUAL FEE
$95

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

RECOMMENDED CREDIT
670-850 (Excellent/Good)

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Learn How to Apply

At our partner site CardRatings

TOP PERKS

COMBINE TRAVEL REWARDS WITH RESTAURANT AND SUPERMARKET EARNINGS: The Citi Premier Card earns triple points at supermarkets and restaurants and triple points on air travel, hotels, and gas station purchases! It earns 1 point per $1 on everything else. Combined, this makes it one of the most robust points earners for both everyday spending and travel. The card earns 1 point per $1 on everything else.

OFFSET THE ANNUAL FEE: The $100 hotel savings per year on qualifying purchases easily offsets the $95 annual fee even for sporadic travelers.

WHO'S IT FOR?

I recommend the Citi Premier Card for savvy everyday spenders lookin to put their grocery store, restaurant, and gas station purchases towards travel with triple points, but also want to enjoy a very strong bonus offer worth an estimated $800. The card also offers triple points back on travel in the long term.

Additionally, you'll save $100 on a single hotel booking of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) made through Citi's thankyou.com portal. This alone offsets the low $95 annual fee, making the card great for those who only travel once or twice a year, as well as heavy travelers.

Pros & Cons
Extra Details

Pros

  • The fact that the Citi Premier Card earns triple points on not only travel, hotels, and gas, but also supermarkets and restaurants, makes it extremely competitive for savvy spenders looking to earn free travel.
  • The $100 year in hotel savings (on a single stay of $500 or more) easily offsets the low $95 annual fee.
  • Points transfer easily to Citi's airline partners, including TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, among others.
  • This card offers World Elite Mastercard benefits including perks such as Fandango movie discounts, credits for rides on Lyft, and even cell phone coverage.

Cons

  • Citi's ThankYou points are valuable, but typically not as valuable or versatile as Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards. Most of their airline transfer partners are international, so domestic travelers will not find this card as valuable as international travelers.
  • Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of being a cardholder. 
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 at supermarkets and restaurants

  • Earn 3 Points per $1 on air travel, hotels, and gas stations

  • Earn 1 Point per $1 on all other purchase categories
  • $100/year in hotel savings (on a single hotel stay booked through thankyou.com of $500 or more.)
  • 80,000 bonus points can be redeemed for $800 in gift cards when used at thankyou.com
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases, which makes it a great travel card!

Pros

  • The fact that the Citi Premier Card earns triple points on not only travel, hotels, and gas, but also supermarkets and restaurants, makes it extremely competitive for savvy spenders looking to earn free travel.
  • The $100 year in hotel savings (on a single stay of $500 or more) easily offsets the low $95 annual fee.
  • Points transfer easily to Citi's airline partners, including TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, among others.
  • This card offers World Elite Mastercard benefits including perks such as Fandango movie discounts, credits for rides on Lyft, and even cell phone coverage.

Cons

  • Citi's ThankYou points are valuable, but typically not as valuable or versatile as Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards. Most of their airline transfer partners are international, so domestic travelers will not find this card as valuable as international travelers.
  • Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of being a cardholder.

  • Earn 3 Points per $1 at supermarkets and restaurants

  • Earn 3 Points per $1 on air travel, hotels, and gas stations

  • Earn 1 Point per $1 on all other purchase categories

  • $100/year in hotel savings (on a single hotel stay booked through thankyou.com of $500 or more.)

  • 80,000 bonus points can be redeemed for $800 in gift cards when used at thankyou.com

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases, which makes it a great travel card!

Drew’s Rating:(4/5)

INTRO BONUS
75,000 miles

ANNUAL FEE
$95

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

RECOMMENDED CREDIT
670-850 (Excellent/Good)

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Learn How to Apply

At our partner site CardRatings

TOP PERKS

BEST FLAT-RATE TRAVEL EARNER: Simply put, this card offers double miles on every purchase, every day, with no cap on spending. Pretty great.

INTRO BONUS: The 75,000 mile intro bonus is one of the best in this class of consumer travel cards.

WHO'S IT FOR?

The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is amazing for anyone who wants to earn a lot of points towards travel, very easily and simply. It just works, earning double miles on every purchase you make, with the additional option of earning 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Capital One also gives you flexibility when redeeming your miles: You can stay at any hotel, fly on any airline, or even be reimbursed for other travel expenses like Airbnb, train tickets, or campground bookings. The card's points also easily transfer to many airline and hotel partners. This makes the value of the points predictable and easy to use.

Pros & Cons
Extra Details

Pros

  • This card is perfect for both busy people and beginning rewards travelers who don't want to have to remember their card's bonus categories: You'll simply earn double miles every purchase.
  • The 75,000 mile intro bonus is worth $750 in travel, and the $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry statement credit more than offsets the $95 annual fee.
  • The points are evenly transferrable across travel purchases and don't fluctuate in value like other brands with more of an orientation towards partner programs.

Cons

  • Current, you can't transfer your miles to any large U.S. airlines. This may change in the future, but take this into account.
  • There aren't as many statement credits and other perks as some similar travel cards.
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 within your first three months. This is equal to $750 in travel!
  • Your miles can be used to cover almost any travel purchase and transferred to several different airline and hotel loyalty programs, unlike some programs where you have to use your points on specific airlines or hotels.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles every day on every purchase you make.
  • There's no limit to how many miles you can earn, and they won't expire for the life of the account.
  • Up to $100 application fee credit reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Pros

  • Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 within your first three months. This is equal to $750 in travel!
  • This card is perfect for busy people who don't have time to try to remember bonus categories—you'll simply earn 2x the miles on every purchase.
  • Your miles can be used to cover almost any travel purchase and transferred to several different airline and hotel loyalty programs, unlike some programs where you have to use your points on specific airlines or hotels.

Cons

  • Currently, you can't transfer your miles to any large U.S. airlines
  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 within your first three months. This is equal to $750 in travel!
  • Your miles can be used to cover almost any travel purchase and transferred to several different airline and hotel loyalty programs, unlike some programs where you have to use your points on specific airlines or hotels.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles every day on every purchase you make.
  • There's no limit to how many miles you can earn, and they won't expire for the life of the account.
  • Up to $100 application fee credit reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • No foreign transaction fees
Drew’s Rating:(4/5)

INTRO OFFER
50,000 points

ANNUAL FEE
$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

RECOMMENDED CREDIT
670-850 (Excellent/Good)

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 120 days of account opening

Learn How to Apply

At our partner site CardRatings

TOP PERKS

RENTAL CAR BEAST: Earn QUINTUPLE POINTS on car rentals and prepaid hotels booked through U.S. Bank's Altitude Rewards Center

CAR TRAVEL: You also earn 4x points at both gas stations and EV charging stations, as well as 4x points on travel.

ALL ROUNDER: The card also earns double points on grocery stores, grocery deliver, dining, and streaming services, and 1 point per $1 on everything else.

WHO'S IT FOR?

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect card is definitely for road trippers! Whether you're renting a car or using your own, this card will save you money on both rentals and gas. Even electric vehicles earn quadruple rewards! You'll earn money back from snacks with double point on groceries and dining, and commuters will also love how their gas purchases turn into travel rewards points.

The 50,000 point intro bonus is respectable but not huge, but this is offset by $0 intro for the first year, then $95. The intro bonus is also easier to attain than most other cards in this class.

The card is an all-rounder, even offering double points on streaming services, plus a $30 credit for annual streaming purchases.

Pros & Cons
Extra Details

Pros

  • The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect is a motor car superstar, and earns back tons of rewards on rental cars and gas, often one of the most expensive parts of any vacation or road trip.
  • The card is an all-rounder, offering cash back on travel, rental cards, hotels, gas and EV charging, in addition to groceries, restaurants, and even streaming services.

Cons

  • U.S. Bank's points generally aren't considered as valuable as Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards, and the intro bonus is a bit more modest than some competitors.
  • However, it's easier to attain with a lower minimum spend and longer spending period, and the fact that the annual fee is waived the first year basically adds $95 to the effective intro bonus value when you compare it to other cards that do not waive the fee first year.
  • Intro Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening (equal to $500 value, redeemable towards travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise, and more.)
  • You'll earn 5X points when you book car rentals and prepaid hotels through the Altitude Rewards Center.

  • Earn 4X points at gas stations, EV charging stations, and travel.

  • Earn 2X points on grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining, and streaming services (as well as up to a $30 credit for annual streaming service purchases!)

  • Earn 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

  • Up to $100 in statement credit to reimburse the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (every four years.)

  • Earn 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

  • Your points will never expire.

  • Use the U.S. Bank ExtendPay™ Plan to split eligible purchases of $100+ into equal monthly payments and pay over time. 

Pros

  • You'll earn 5X points when you book car rentals and prepaid hotels through the Altitude Rewards Center; 4X points at gas stations, EV charging stations, and travel; and 2X points on streaming services, as well as grocery stores, grocery delivery, and dining.

     

  • Up to $100 in statement credit to reimburse the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (every four years.)

  • Up to a $30 credit for annual streaming purchases (like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and more!)

  • Your points never expire.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Intro Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening (equal to $500 value, redeemable towards travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise, and more.)

  • You'll earn 5X points when you book car rentals and prepaid hotels through the Altitude Rewards Center.

     

  • Earn 4X points at gas stations, EV charging stations, and travel.

     

  • Earn 2X points on grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining, and streaming services (as well as up to a $30 credit for annual streaming service purchases!)

     

  • Earn 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

     

  • Up to $100 in statement credit to reimburse the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (every four years.)

     

  • Earn 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

     

  • Your points will never expire.

     

  • Use the U.S. Bank ExtendPay™ Plan to split eligible purchases of $100+ into equal monthly payments and pay over time.

     

Drew’s Rating:(4/5)

INTRO OFFER
Earn 80,000 points

ANNUAL FEE
$695  Rates & Fees

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

RECOMMENDED CREDIT
670-850 (Excellent/Good)

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening.

Learn How to Apply

At our partner site CardRatings

TOP PERKS

#1 LUXURY REWARDS CARD: If you want to travel in style, this is the card for you. The card has an extremely high intro bonus and ongoing rewards, and access to the best additional features such as Centurion Lounge access and hundreds of dollars worth of fee credits per year! If used to the fullest, these perks more than offset the annual fee.

TOP INTRO BONUS: The American Express Platinum® card has a higher intro bonus than any other consumer rewards card with 80,000 Membership Rewards points worth $750 or more towards travel.  

TOP TIER ONGOING REWARDS  The Platinum® Card also offers ongoing 5X Membership Rewards points on both flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per calendar year on flights, unlimited on hotels!) You'll find this hard to beat! The card earns 1 point per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

Terms and Restrictions Apply. "Enrollment Required" per Amex guidelines for benefits where enrollment is required.

 

WHO'S IT FOR?

The Platinum® Card from American Express is designed for expert rewards travelers looking for a luxury cards with maximal perks and value! The intro bonus is massive, the ongoing rewards top tier, and Amex Membership Rewards points have huge value when transferred to one of their 20 airline and hotel partner brands: We estimate a transfer value of over 2 cents per point in some cases!

Better yet, the card offers too many perks to list on one page: Some of the best include free entry to the exclusive Amex Centurion Lounge, which makes waiting for your flight a breeze with free food and amenities.

The card also allows you to reimburse your Clear, Global Entry, and TSA PreCheck application fees, and also offers a yearly $240 digital entertainment credit for Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, Audible, and/or the New York Times. Better yet, the card offers a $200/year airline fee credit with a pre-selected airline of your choosing, and much more! Combined with points, these perks more than offset the $695 annual fee.

However, if you don't think you'll be traveling enough to offset the annual fee, I recommend you get a beginner card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or American Express Gold Card first!

If you're planning a big trip, or travel often, this can be the card to take your experience from good to great!

Pros & Cons
Extra Details

Pros

  • The intro offer is the best out there in my opinion, and can kick-start your travel rewards journey, especially if you're planning a big trip or want to travel in style!
  • The fee reimbursements for both travel and entertainment not only offset the annual fee, but can move you to through the TSA line and save you time on boarding!
  • The 24/7 Platinum Club Concierge service and Centurion Lounge access are genuinely awesome, you'll feel like royalty!

Cons

  • The $695 annual fee is not worth it if you're not planning to maximize the intro bonus and fee credits. If you can't offset the fee, get a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead!
  • Membership Rewards points are hugely valuable. However, this card is for experts who like to plan and squeeze every dollar out of their rewards! Doing this can be a bit complicated for beginners.
  • Similar to the above point, the card only earns you 5X rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, not all travel. So, I recommend you know where you're going to spend before you get it!
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X the Membership Rewards Points for flights booked with American Express Travel or directly with airlines (up to $500,000 per calendar year.)
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards Points when you book a prepaid hotel through American Express Travel.
  • Earn $200 back in statement credits each year when you book prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel and pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • Eligible purchases with Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, Audible and/or The New York Times can earn you a digital entertainment credit of up to $240/year. Enrollment required.
  • Access to the newly expanded Centurion® Network, including 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide.
  • Earn up to $200/year in airline fee statement credits with a pre-selected, qualifying airline.
  • Take advantage of Uber VIP status, as well as $15 a month in Uber Cash to use on rides or Uber Eats orders in the US (up to $200 savings annually.)

Pros

  • The $695 annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning bonus rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories
  • The annual airline fee credit and other statement credits can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.

Cons

  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X the Membership Rewards Points for flights booked with American Express Travel or directly with airlines (up to $500,000 per calendar year.)
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards Points when you book a prepaid hotel through American Express Travel.
  • Earn $200 back in statement credits each year when you book prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel and pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • Eligible purchases with Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, Audible and/or The New York Times can earn you a digital entertainment credit of up to $240/year. Enrollment required.
  • Access to the newly expanded Centurion® Network, including 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide.
  • Earn up to $200/year in airline fee statement credits with a pre-selected, qualifying airline.
  • Take advantage of Uber VIP status, as well as $15 a month in Uber Cash to use on rides or Uber Eats orders in the US (up to $200 savings annually.)
Drew’s Rating:(4/5)

INTRO OFFER
Earn 60,000 points.
Terms apply

ANNUAL FEE
$250 Rates & Fees

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening.

RECOMMENDED CREDIT
670-850 (Excellent/Good)

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening.

Learn How to Apply

At our partner site CardRatings

TOP PERKS

COMBINE TRAVEL REWARDS WITH RESTAURANT AND SUPERMARKET EARNINGS: Earn Quadruple Points on your first $25,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery!) as well as a steady Triple points on flights booked on amextravel.com or directly with an airline! This combination is the best in the business, in our opinion. The card earns 1 point per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

Terms and Restrictions Apply. "Enrollment Required" per Amex guidelines for benefits where enrollment is required.

WHO'S IT FOR?

The American Express® Gold Card is perhaps the best for turning the money you spend on food at restaurants and supermarkets into travel rewards. Therefore, I recommend it for both busy on-the-go folks who spend a lot at restaurants or on takeout, as well as large families with a big supermarket bill! This way, you'll rack up a ton of points that you can save up for a big vacation, for free, without spending any more money than you would already have spent on food. That's an awesome feeling.

The 60,000 point intro bonus is very solid, with Membership Rewards points bein worth up to 2 cents per point. The card also offers additional perks including statement credits on select food delivery and Uber services that can save you up to $240 a year. This pretty much offsets the $250 annual fee, makin this card a no-brainer.

Pros & Cons
Extra Details

Pros

  • Quadruple points on supermarkets, restaurants, and takeout is a massive plus for folks who spend a lot in those categories and want to transfer rewards towards travel.
  • The intro bonus is very respectable, as is the triple points on flights booked directly or with Amex Travel

Cons

  • Make sure you offset the $250 annual fee with the monthly statement credits on ride sharing and food purchases. If you forget to use these, it's a higher annual fee than other cards in its class.
  • The card has fewer travel protections or additional perks than beefier options like the Amex Platinum. That said, you can always combine multiple cards' points together when they're on the same program if you want more perks from another card!
  • You can now choose between a Gold or Rose Gold card—whichever fits your style!
  • Earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in your first 6 months as a cardholder.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards Points at Restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the US), as well as at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000/year, then 1X.)
  • 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked on amextravel.com or directly with the airline.
  • Add the American Express® Gold Card to your Uber account and automatically get $10/month in Uber Cash to use towards Uber rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. (up to $120/year!)

  • Enroll to earn up to $10/month in statement credits at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations when you pay with your Gold Card. (This can be an annual savings of up to $120!)
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees, making this a great travel card!
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000/year; then 1x) 
  • 3x points on flights booked through Amex Travel or booked directly through the airline.
  • Earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • This card is relatively weak when it comes to bonus points for travel and everyday spending. 
  • The $250 annual fee is a bit more than other travel rewards card options, and will likely only be offset by frequent travelers.
  • Few travel protections or added perks.
  • You can now choose between a Gold or Rose Gold card—whichever fits your style!

  • Earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in your first 6 months as a cardholder.

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards Points at Restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the US), as well as at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000/year, then 1X.)

  • 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked on amextravel.com or directly with the airline.

  • Add the American Express Gold Card to your Uber account and automatically get $10/month in Uber Cash to use towards Uber rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. (up to $120/year!)

     

  • Enroll to earn up to $10/month in statement credits at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations when you pay with your Gold Card. (This can be an annual savings of up to $120!)

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees, making this a great travel card!

  • Annual Fee is $250.

  • Terms Apply.

Advertiser Disclosure

Drew Binsky has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Drew Binsky and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

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