The METAL Amex Gold credit card launches in Europe – coming to the UK soon?

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Regular Head for Points will know that The Platinum Card from American Express is, in the UK, now a ‘proper’ metal card.

We covered the launch of the metal Amex Platinum card here.  It wasn’t, to be honest, a hugely popular move because it came with a sharp hike in the annual fee to £575 with no real improvement in the benefits package unless you use the £10 per month Addison Lee taxi credit.

What you might not know is that American Express Gold is also being rolled out globally as a metal card.

This week it launched in Sweden, which was the first European market.   The rest of Scandinavia will follow in the next couple of weeks.

What does the ‘metal’ American Express Gold card look like?

It looks like this:

Metal American Express Gold launches in Sweden

ie quite smart!

I can tell you what the benefits package is in Sweden.  However, there is NO guarantee at all that the UK will keep the same package.  It is worth comparing though.

This is what the new American Express Gold package in Sweden gets you:

Fee-free for 3 months, then SEK 125 (£10) per month

You get SIX free annual airport lounge visits – four on the main card and two on a supplementary card

The airport lounge passes can be used across the full Priority Pass portfolio, not the slightly restricted Lounge Club portfolio as happens at present

‘Lounge on the Go’ – this allows you to claim a free meal in certain ‘local’ airport restaurants (basically, Amex is bringing back the ‘restaurant’ options in Priority Pass).  The Swedish card, for example, only includes restaurants in the Nordic region.

Hotel, car hire and restaurant benefits

You can find out more on the Swedish American Express site here.  Your web browser can translate.

I believe that the International Dollar Card has also switched to a metal Gold card although this is not yet reflected on the website.

Metal American Express Gold UK

When is this coming to the UK?

I don’t know.

Scandinavia is the first region in Europe to get the card, and Sweden was the first country in Scandinavia to launch.  I am sure it is only a matter of time before the card comes to the UK.

The only concern I would have, if I worked for Amex, is that the Gold card is the most mainstream American Express card in the UK.  Whilst I’m sure that a lot of UK customers would be keen to get their hands on a metal payment card, especially at the younger end (personally I find them heavy!) there is a risk that the market will not support the higher fee that Amex would want to cover the costs of production.

Don’t forget the 20,000 points special offer on the UK American Express Gold card!

Whilst you won’t receive a metal card yet, American Express Preferred Rewards Gold in the UK is currently offering you 20,000 Membership Rewards points (= 20,000 Avios or other miles) as a sign-up bonus.

This is a special offer which runs until 29th June.  You need to spend £3,000 within three months to trigger the bonus.

The bonus is only available to customers who have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.  Cards issued by MBNA or Lloyds Bank do not count.  Importantly, American Express Business cards do not count either – if you’ve only had Business Gold or Business Platinum in the previous 24 months then you should qualify for the Preferred Rewards Gold bonus.

Amex Gold is free for the first year and then £140 per year if you choose to continue.  Key benefits include

two airport lounge passes per year

double points on all airline spend

double points on all foreign spend

$75 in-hotel credit with 350 selected hotels worldwide

10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points on renewal if you spent £15,000 in the previous year 

My full review of American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is here.  You can apply here.

Representative APR 57.6% variable including the annual fee (free in year 1) based on a notional £1,200 credit limit. Interest rate on purchases 22.9% APR variable.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

How do British Airways household accounts work? (Avios Redemption University, Lesson 5)
When is it a great deal to use 'Avios and Money' for flight tickets? (Avios Redemption University, Lesson 4)

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Comments

  1. Bizarre almost nowhere in Sweden take Amex, outside of rental car companies and the international hotel chains.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      And Amazon, and flight/travel companies…

    • I struggled to use my Amex in Stockholm when I was last there.

    • Amex was accepted at most of the bakeries and cafes I went to. But I stopped using Amex overseas when the Lloyds Amex died.

    • Big ticket travel costs you’d be able to, like hotels/car rental, etc.. Since Amex still insist on charging a forex fee, I never use them overseas now anyway. Occasionally use one for the holding deposit when checking into a hotel or renting a car, but never settle with it.

    • My evidence is only anecdotal but I was in Sweden recently and had nowhere reject Amex until I tried to pay for my taxi to the airport when I was leaving. This included a couple of northern towns as well as Stockholm, and included small/independent operations as well as Hilton.

      Sweden has a strong reputation for fintech and digital banking—lots of places are cashless and there aren’t many bank branches—so I wasn’t surprised. I’m more surprised to hear people had problems, but I accept that maybe I got lucky over just six days.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Perhaps you never asked.

        Surprising how many places “don’t” take Amex.

        • Well, you’re right that I didn’t ask, “Do you take Amex?” before handing over my card. But plenty of places that “don'” take it will maintain that pretence unless you manage to pay without them seeing the card itself (usually via Apple Pay). But no one batted an eyelid.

  2. On the HFP advert for the gold card it says get a free £100 Amazon voucher with your 20000 bonus points – is this in addition? If not then it’s pretty misleading

    • letBAgonesbe says:

      I thought it was straightforward but maybe because I already knew that you can exchange 20,000points to £100 Amazon spend.

      The voucher is not in addition to the points. You can exchange your points to that.

    • Harry T says:

      This has always been one way to cash our your MR, if you have no idea what you’re doing or don’t have the requisite determination and patience to utilise them for redemptions.

    • Sinead raised this with Amex. She read it like you read it, eg ON TOP of the 20k. I didn’t read it that way but perhaps I am blind to the wording after all these years. It is an official Amex ad though.

      • Yeah I thought it was a wee extra bonus but couldn’t see it when I clicked thru. It’s not a good use of the 20k points

  3. I’m wondering if the gold card will come with anew shiny fee? I have kept mine for the past three years and have enjoyed it mostly due to the 10k bonus points and two lounge passes it’s JUST about justified the fee for me. If the fees increased with no new benefits I’d struggle to see the reasoning behind keeping it.

    • Genghis says:

      The existing Amex Gold can never justify the £140 fee. Less two lounge passes (2 x £20) = £100. Yes you get the offers but you get them also on the ARCC which has the same earn rate. Double points on FX and airline spend but it’d have to be some spend. We’re now doing “his and hers” every year.

      • Harry T says:

        Genghis is right (when is he not?). I like his plan and will likely steal it. Currently spending 15k on my Gold card and will cancel after the bonus points come through.

        I know some people keep one partner/spouse eligible for Amex bonuses in 24 months but I don’t think they will exist in their present form in 24 months, or they will change eligibility. Make hay whilst the sun shines.

        • Genghis says:

          I’ve written off sign up bonuses, kind of. I’ve figured the his n hers approach on Gold means a constant free card. We’ll hit the 10k bonus every year and get the small amount of referral points, though no sign up.

          I’ve figured it’s valuable to have an Amex due to the ease of chargebacks. I initiated on Monday for QR flights and monies already paid back. The dispute is still ongoing so money may be clawed back (and I’m not yet paying back to my employer; they were getting the benefit of a sale fare £400 cheaper than the corporate travel agent so I’m sure all good). Will pay back once dispute is sorted.

          This will mean we’re still eligible for BAPP sign ups every 2 years, maybe with one 241. Given the bairn (I know you live in Newcastle but not sure you’re a Georgie, Harry T, if so I thought you’d appreciate it) it’s Europe for the foreseeable, though I’m itching to get to somewhere long haul once CV is over.

          Of course everything could change, and as I always say the only constant is change, but I’m happy with my set up.

          • Harry T says:

            @Genghis
            Completely agree about chargebacks – I had to use this function for the first time due to Virgin Australia’s recent complete lack of competence, and I was surprised by how quick, easy and smooth it was. Amex CS is also consistently excellent if you ring.

            I also appreciate how simple your set up is. Sometimes simplicity is best when it comes to finances. Are you still collecting points from a non Amex card?

            I appreciate the bairn reference – guess I’m a honorary Geordie after being in and out of the region for over ten years.

            Best of luck with your travel plans. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful, interesting, safe and accessible countries on our doorstep. I will always love continental Europe and I hope Brexit doesn’t make it more difficult or expensive to visit.

          • Genghis says:

            I used to have a complicated finance set up, numerous current accounts and savings accounts with standing orders moving money around to try and get a decent return. I’ve since lowered the amount as it’s tough to get any kind of return on cash. I try to keep it simple also for credit cards, ISAs, general investment accounts and pensions, balancing return, time and cost. Each account should have a reason you keep it.

            Non-Amex cards for me personally include IHG black, HSBC Prem WE, HH barclaycard and Clarity. Wife has IHG black and a v old non points earning card for history purposes and so she can buy presents for me and I don’t find out in advance given my control over the finances. Lol.

          • I have also hugely simplified things in recent years, both with cash and cards. The time required to juggle everything became increasingly unproductive given the demands on my time from HFP and the family.

          • Harry T says:

            @Genghis
            It hardly seems worth bothering chasing savings and current account interest rates given they’ve mostly been slashed. When my FD saver and Nationwide account mature (both 5%), I’ll likely just use my Marcus.

            I’m jealous of your card inventory. I haven’t got the Black IHG or Hilton card. Think I don’t meet the HSBC premier criteria just yet. Glad you’ve allowed your wife a slither of financial independence for gifting! I’m the evil genius in my household too; girlfriend is totally on board with the game but leaves the planning to me.

            You just using Vanguard now for S&S ISA? I’m going to start looking into investing more when I’ve beefed up my emergency fund a bit (cash is king, as Monevator would say, at a time like this).

          • Genghis says:

            Yes, I like the simplicity of Vanguard. They’re not the cheapest for larger portfolios with limited trading but I like to buy once a month across a few funds so works well for me. I’ve beefed up cash on hand too given uncertainty. Should be able to live without any income for a year and a half, normally just keep 8 months on hand. I don’t like to have too much cash on hand normally as it’s not working for me.

            If you take charge of the finances, I advise you to brief your partner once a year on the set up and ensure everything is documented, including process flows, so she would know what’s going on. Spot the accountant. Lol.

          • Harry T says:

            @Rob
            Yeah, I’ve had enough of playing around with multiple bank accounts and innumerable credit cards. It’s rarely worth spending the time and energy seeking a marginal extra amount of interest or points. Depending on how you value your time of course, but there has to be a significant benefit for me to spend my precious free time and mental energy on something.

          • Harry T says:

            @Genghis
            That’s a decent wad of cash, nice work. Is there a reason you’re keeping that much in cash other than uncertainty (I usually see three to six months recommended for an emergency fund)? I suspect it may be comforting to have more of a safety net when you have children. As a doc, I don’t worry as much about job security, I must say. The pay isn’t great in this country outside of fairly exclusive private work but you are always employed and employable.

            Thanks, I will keep the girlfriend briefed, and look into Vanguard once I’ve consolidated a bigger emergency fund. Wish I had your head for numbers because I imagine financial planning and organisation is automatic for you now.

          • Mr(s) Entitled says:

            You say that is a decent wad of cash but do you know his earning? Best to have 1mth of cash at £2m pa than 12mths at £50k pa.

          • Genghis says:

            @Harry T uncertainty for working at an investment bank
            @ Mr(s) Entitled. When I said “live”, it’s expenses and not income. To take your example, I’d rather be in a position of 12 months’ expenses at £50k in total than 1 month at £2m. Money is all relative to some extent.

          • Genghis says:

            * than 1 month at c.£170k. I’m sure you got the point anyway.

        • Harry T says:

          Halifax Clarity is good – my oldest credit card account.

      • I always viewed the 10k bonus points as a straight swap for my yearly fee taking into account the passes as you have above, paying roughly 1p per point with flexibility on use. I do airline spend but hardly any due to RFS fees so the double points aren’t worth much. I think an increase will see me off. Or I’d least switch to your ‘his and hers’ approach. Although no sign-up bonus 🙁

        • Doug M says:

          Whilst minimal the 10K points do have a real cost, in keeping the account open in the fee paying period long enough to get the points credited. I have my 13th statement now with the fee, yet still no bonus points.

        • But you would still get the 10K points even if you only paid £12 of the fee instead of £140 (and the lounge passes if you could use them quickly) so why keep the card open?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Never? There are times when you would be ahead in value vs ARCC ie 10k bonus from 15k of FX spend where you claim back all cost from your employer.

        Also when is Amex removing EUR FX fees?

        • I don’t think any card issuers have removed euro FX fees, where they used to charge them.

          They just renamed them from a non-sterling fee to an exchange rate loading, or something like that. On some debit cards where the fee was 3% + £X, the fee is now just 3% for EUR transactions.

          • Virgin Money has although they are not yet advertising it so we are restricted in discussing it.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I believe latest comma from Lloyds was that they have too on my Lloyds Avios Card.

            I have the Horizon card so wasn’t planning on using that anyway. Would use my Gold though if I could.

        • Genghis says:

          “Never” when you can cancel and reapply for another free year.

        • Doug M says:

          But if you reclaim from employer that changes lots of things. If you don’t care and you have an employer that doesn’t then spending heavily on Gold abroad produces some very nice results.

          • roberto says:

            @TGLoyalty

            If your lloyds card is an “Avios Rewards Mastercard” its 2.95%. Only the “Avios Reward and Premier Avios Reward” is free but they are not available anymore. I have no idea what is what , my lloyds card is a mastercard so unsure if its an “Avios Rewards Mastercard” (obviously) or a “Avios Reward /Premier Avios Reward” (maybe – who knows!)

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I had a specific letter but as I said my interest was zero since I have the Horizon.

            I’ll test with a small transaction next time I’m abroad and see what it costs. I actually got stung (pittance really at about £8) on the FX change over last year as I forgot the date it changed and carried on spending instead of using curve.

      • Gary_Dexter says:

        ARCC has double points on airline spends etc?

        I can’t see that advertised anywhere on the card details etc.

  4. Alastair says:

    Just got my Finnish Green Card, (The value of having the Gold card here is so limited – only really just lounge access, no points bonuses at all) – hopefully this might mean a refresh of benefits for these parts in the future.
    Interestingly, the card itself arrived from the UK and the Amex ‘bank’/institution that the agreement is with is Amex Spain.
    Really impressed with Amex’s global transfer service too – I’d only been here a month and was told that it’d be impossible by my bank here to get any credit at all for at least two years – regardless of income, but applied for the Amex attaching my UK card number and had the card in hand in less than a week.

  5. Harry T says:

    Putting my head above the parapet – I like the metal finish on the Amex Platinum, and I’d appreciate a metal Gold card, especially if it’s rose gold like the US one.

    Maybe this is all because I’m a 29 year old millennial and thus easily swayed by shiny things?

    • Paul74 says:

      When I rang up to cancel my Platinum last month the agent asked if I had a metal card (I hadn’t). Apparently they’d have wanted me to post it back to them. I don’t recall if he said it was environmental or health and safety was the reason.

      • Youllnever says:

        Pretty sure it’s because it’s pretty difficult to cut up the card for security reasons rather than anything else.

        • Youllnever says:

          Ignore me. Misread your message. It is however possible that the agent either misheard your response or said that just in case it was a metal card.

          • Michael Blume says:

            I’m not convinced that metal cards are a great innovation:
            – I seldom need to hand it over to pay for things, so there’s limited show off value, if that motivates you
            – it weighs my wallet down and slides out of the card slot more easily than a plastic card
            – it took about 25 minutes to cut it up with tin snips and pliers (I ended up with two after ordering a replacement when the first one didn’t arrive, but eventually showed up)
            – In their favour, the print doesn’t seem to deteriorate or and it doesn’t suffer from that that annoying peeling at the corners that plastic cards do over time.

        • When I cancelled my UK Plat about a year ago (I think) I asked about this, and the lady I spoke to genuinely had no idea what I should do with it. I’ve still got it, more useful now in the toolbox for spreading filler and the like than it ever was for paying for things 😂

          • Lady London says:

            Nothing to beat an old plastic credit card for scraping ice off your windscreen in Southern England.

            I doubt it works up North though. So you might have to find another use for yours @Harry T? Probably need something stronger for the ice up there 🙂

    • Ashish says:

      Does millennial cover thst old? Someone told me it runs up to 39! But I didn’t believe them.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Millennials were born 1981 to 1996, but definitions will vary.
        Re the card return, I think it is for recycling as you can’t cut it up, I got a prepaid envelope with mine when it first arrived as a replacement and I am sure it mentioned this in the letter.

        • Harry T says:

          Yeah, you can’t destroy the metal card at home so they will recycle it for you. They did forget to tell me this when I downgraded to Green yesterday though.

  6. Howard says:

    Sorry off topic but what’s latest advice on cancelling 241 booking using Amex for a flight in November? I can’t do this online and I don’t want a voucher.

    • Most people, for Avios flights not yet cancelled by BA, can get the workaround in our post pinned to the top of the home page to work.

  7. Just been charged my £140 gold renewal fee and have received 10k bonus from £15k spend. Are there any partial refund policies in place for membership fees considering the current global situation? Don’t think it makes sense for me to keep the card when I can’t even use any travel benefits and moreover I am not spending as much as I might usually

    • Amex operate a pro rata refund policy in any event. Cancel now and you should get 11 months of the fee back.

  8. I’ve never really considered the hotel benefits bit of the Gold card, which incidentally is $100 on the website. If you have to book through amex travel to benefit, I suppose you lose any status benefits in the normal ‘3rd party booking’ way – in which case it might not be that practical. Can anyone who uses the hotel benefits regularly comment?

    • Waddle says:

      Booking through The Hotel Collection does lose you elite status benefits you may have had if booking a chain hotel. That said, you may find additional value if you want to book a non-chain hotel.

      With FHR through Platinum you do get your status benefits.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You can most of those benefits by booking via Emyr or other virtuoso agents.

      • …. and Emyr bookings would qualify for points. Must admit, I wasn’t aware the Amex Gold bookings didn’t, I assumed it worked like FHR.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Still no plans for a metal Plat ICC Amex?

    • Seems not, mine’s still plastic and the website makes no mention of it. Seems odd, ICC almost seems like a product Amex offer as an afterthought.

  10. How many points is it if a Gold Amex holder refers to the ARCC? How exactly does one go about it- the link to refer even logged in?

  11. Please can someone explain why a metal card is more desirable or useful than one made of plastic? I can’t think of anything sadder than someone applying for a credit/charge card because it’s made of metal.

    • Get down with the kids Ian ….. 🙂

    • Harry T says:

      It adds excitement to your day when it falls out of your wallet or cardholder…

    • Dominic says:

      I think it looks ‘cool’, but I certainly won’t be selecting a card based on whether it is metal or not.

      But yes; I suspect they will actually see an increase in customers as metal is somehow worth the payment.

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