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What are the top 10 reasons to get American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (Amex Gold)?

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Why should you get the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card?

Today, in our ‘Top 10 Reasons’ series, I want to look at the top 10 reasons to apply for an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (Amex Gold) credit card.

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.

The serious legal stuff about Amex Gold:

You can apply here: American Express Preferred Rewards Gold application page

What does it cost? No annual fee in year 1 and £140 thereafter. You can cancel at any point.

What is the interest rate? Representative APR 56.6% variable including the annual fee (free in year 1) based on a notional £1,200 credit limit. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

The top 10 reasons to get Amex Gold:

You receive 10,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up

Amex Gold comes with a very generous sign-up bonus.  You won’t find a free UK travel rewards credit card with a more valuable bonus.

You qualify for the bonus as long as you haven’t had a personal American Express card in your name (supplementary cards do not count, cards from Lloyds or MBNA do not count) in the previous 24 months.

You need to spend £3,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

Those 10,000 Membership Rewards points convert into Avios at 1:1 – or into MANY other airline or hotel schemes

Membership Rewards are HUGELY flexible because you can convert them into lots of different things.  You aren’t stuck with Avios, Virgin Flying Club miles or whatever.  You can keep them with Amex for as long as you want and only convert them when you need them.

Click here to see what other reward programmes are Membership Rewards transfer partners.

You receive one Membership Rewards point for every £1 you spend on the card

There are a few exceptions (cash withdrawals do not earn points) but in reality virtually every £1 you spend will earn another point.

You receive DOUBLE points on all airline spending

Airline spend, as long as it is made on an airline website and not via a travel agent, earns double points – 2 per £1.

You receive DOUBLE points on foreign spending

You receive 2 points per £1 when you spend in a foreign currency.  However, American Express adds a 3% foreign exchange fee, so if you have another credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees I would still use that instead.

Unfortunately there are no travel rewards card without a foreign exchange fee.  One option is to get a free Curve Card – see this HFP article – and link it to a miles-earning Visa or Mastercard.

Another option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea. You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than Amex charges) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more by clicking here. Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.

Of course, if you are travelling on business and your company reimburses your foreign spend ….

You receive two FREE passes to get into an airport lounge

These can be used at any airport lounge in the ‘Lounge Club’ network.  There are lounges at Heathrow (including Terminal 5), Gatwick, Luton and Stansted.  Additional visits after your two free ones are charged at £20.

You receive ANOTHER two free airport lounge passes each year when you renew the card

Amex Gold is FREE for the first year

From Year 2, there is an annual fee of £140.  This won’t make sense for many people, so you should remember to cancel before the first year is up.

If you accidentally forget to cancel, you have nothing to worry about.  The fee is refunded pro-rata, so if you cancel as soon as you notice, you will get almost all the £140 back.

You get 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards if you spend £15,000 in a card year

This is a generous offer – the equivalent of spending £10,000!

You receive various special travel benefits

These include a 10% discount and free additional driver on Hertz car rentals, and special Amex rates at 350 4-5 star hotels worldwide.  These bookings come with a $75 in-hotel credit and an upgrade when booked by an Amex Gold cardholder.


American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is a very generous travel rewards credit card.  You can’t beat a package of ‘first year free’ AND 10,000 Membership Rewards points AND two free airport lounge passes!

You can sign up for Amex Gold, or find out more information, on the official website here.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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