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Forums Payment cards American Express Amex Gold – The Argument FOR/AGAINST keeping the card beyond Y1?

  • danstravel 31 posts

    What is the value proposition for the Amex Gold card beyond the first year?

    I’ve just started my 3rd year on the card and thinking about whether it makes sense to continue paying for it. My argument is that:

    a. I can (and have) easily put through £15k through it every year (so ongoing earning rate is 1.6MR per £1)
    b. Deliveroo Credit which I do use every month
    c. I put through around £1-2K airline spend on it (so double points)

    Does that justify paying for the fee? I have BA Silver and only usually only fly on BA anyway (with the odd easyjet flight) so the PP doesn’t hold much value. I’m also a solo traveller so the BAPP doesn’t make sense. I currently have the new Barclays Avios Plus Card.

    Just curious to know if there are people on here that are keeping the gold card on an on-going basis?

    Froggee 993 posts

    If you would genuinely buy from Deliveroo twice a month anyway then the £120 annual credit pretty much justifies the £140 fee.

    If you have the Barclays Avios Plus then the bonus points for £15,000 spend pretty much only equalises earning rate on Avios but with Amex you have flexibility where the points go.

    Double points on £2k would be 4,000 points compared to 3,000 on Barclays so only worth £8 at a 0.8p per Avios valuation.

    So all else being equal it doesn’t make much difference whether you keep it or not. You could undoubtedly benefit more by cancelling and then having a two year gap to get the sign up bonus again (and the first year free).

    Personally I can’t be bothered with the faff of doing this so I have kept the gold card and pay the annual fee. Very occasionally I get a good Amex offer (although I have four Amexes so the likelihood of this just being on gold is low). The best one was 15% off at Gleneagles which saved £700 on a booking we’d already made.

    So only you can know. However if you were to phone up Amex and say you’re thinking about cancelling for the reasons you outlined then they’d probably credit 10,000 points to your account and talk you through the benefits which might make you forget about it for another year!

    NorthernLass 8,274 posts

    My feeling about the gold card is that it’s terrific for the first year – over 45k avios for me this time, including the end of year bonus, plus a few cash back offers. However, it doesn’t provide anything near the level of benefits of the Platinum (even Deliveroo has hardly any footprint where I live) so once the fee kicks in all it’s doing is basically costing you and preventing you having the 2 year break for several other Amex SUBS. We tend to keep one BAPP on the go for paying BA for the triple avios so we don’t use the gold travel benefits. Now there’s the avios Barclaycard as well there are plenty of alternatives to the MR cards. But of course everyone has different circumstances which will dictate what suits them best.

    JDB 4,663 posts

    It really depends precisely how you use the card.

    I keep my Gold card for foreign spend where chargeback might become an issue when Amex is the only card which is consistently helpful for this. They got refunds from AR and AM during Covid and had previously got a big refund from AM, so happy to pay FX fee in exchange for this and receive what was 4MR/£ but now seems to be 3MR on foreign airline spend. Also, foreign hotel deposits for the same reason. I find that for the more ‘exotic’ currencies, pesos in various countries and RMB (regularly until Covid), Amex had consistently better rates than MC/Visa.

    I spend the £15k fairly exactly (then move to my wife’s PRG) so as to get the 1.66MR/£1 as described by the OP but when I add the foreign + airline bonus and the three x MR spend promotions last year, I got over 3MR/£ in 2021.

    For some strange reason, I also get consistently better and more offers on this card than on my BAPP (the only other Amex I have). The promotion tab on the desktop site is good to track all this. I got c.£800 back on my PRG from offers not on my BAPP. I subscribe to the FT full subscription which it is difficult to get discounts for but the offer flips each year between my two Amex cards, covering 2/3 of the PRG fee on its own.

    danstravel 31 posts

    Good points raised here. I have to admit, I’m at the stage too where inertia is making me not bother with cancelling etc. The deliveroo benefit I think tipped the balance as I think without it the economics makes it a little biter tougher

    Peter K 593 posts

    Personally I would cancel the card, then reapply after 2-3 months. You’ll very likely be accepted and the saving of another first year fee waiver will easily outweigh the 3 months deliveroo loss.

    Harrier25 892 posts

    This is one of the most interesting threads to date. Thanks everyone.

    pbcold 351 posts

    For me it`s incredible value simply for the 90,000 points a year on referrals.

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    For me it`s incredible value simply for the 90,000 points a year on referrals.

    That’s assuming you won’t be holding or applying a BAPP or Plat.

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 6 months ago by .
    danstravel 31 posts

    Personally I would cancel the card, then reapply after 2-3 months. You’ll very likely be accepted and the saving of another first year fee waiver will easily outweigh the 3 months deliveroo loss.

    There’s the risk that Amex won’t accept further applications if they see you cancelling and then re-applying to avoid paying the fee 😉

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,301 posts
    Harrier25 892 posts

    See https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/09/28/five-reasons-keep-amex-gold-card-after-first-year/ (which pre-dates Deliveroo)

    Thanks Rob. It was good to read that again and all the comments. 👍

    danstravel 31 posts

    Wanted to resurrect this thread given the impending changes to the Amex Gold card in October.

    Back in April, I asked what the economics are for holding the Amex Gold in Y2+. Back then, I think the argument was tipped in favour of KEEPING the card due to:

    (i) The Deliveroo Credit
    (ii) A Credit card that earns at least 1.66MR points per pound spent if £15k was spent on the card
    (iii) Bonus categories for Airlines and Forex transactions that push the 1.66MR/£ even higher
    (Iv) General inertia of cancelling the card.

    Now with the changes due to come in October, points (ii) and (iii) are no longer valid, so I wanted to canvass opinion on whether the AMex Gold card is still the best card for ongoing spend – if you had £15k of Amex spend per year to put through…

    JDB 4,663 posts

    @danstravel (ii) and (iii) haven’t gone entirely, they are just reduced to 0.5 MR extra but very annoying as we finessed the £15k on two cards. I think the 2 points on foreign purchases or hotels and 3 points on foreign airlines for Amex’s good chargeback/s75 protection is very valuable (try getting refunds out of Aeromexico, LATAM or Aerolíneas Argentinas until Amex intervenes) but that depends on each person’s spend pattern.

    I don’t use Deliveroo as we live rurally and my son who has is own PRG says it’s far too expensive to use. I do find that I get good offers, often better than BAPP or ones reported here that cover my annual fee and more, plus some really good ones like FT seem to alternate each year between the two cards – that alone paid my gold fee last year. Last year they had good extra points for spend offers so we each got well over 3 MR/£1.

    The big recent change is the PRG as the new gateway to Plat with the 40k SUB.

    danstravel 31 posts

    @danstravel (ii) and (iii) haven’t gone entirely, they are just reduced to 0.5 MR extra but very annoying as we finessed the £15k on two cards. I think the 2 points on foreign purchases or hotels and 3 points on foreign airlines for Amex’s good chargeback/s75 protection is very valuable (try getting refunds out of Aeromexico, LATAM or Aerolíneas Argentinas until Amex intervenes) but that depends on each person’s spend pattern.

    I don’t use Deliveroo as we live rurally and my son who has is own PRG says it’s far too expensive to use. I do find that I get good offers, often better than BAPP or ones reported here that cover my annual fee and more, plus some really good ones like FT seem to alternate each year between the two cards – that alone paid my gold fee last year. Last year they had good extra points for spend offers so we each got well over 3 MR/£1.

    The big recent change is the PRG as the new gateway to Plat with the 40k SUB.

    Good points made. I guess the ongoing earning rate is still equal to the BAPP and the Barclaycard Avios Plus at 1.5MR per pound so after hitting the companion voucher target, it still makes sense to channel spend to the Amex Gold due to MR points being more flexible.

    I use the Deliveroo credits, so the I consider the cost of the card to be £40 now and I more than make that back with the statement credits on the card over the year.

    As for the Gold to Platinum Upgrade assuming there is no new credit check with this? And that we can downgrade back to the Gold once we have bagged the 40k SUB?

    Harrods 123 posts

    How long does it take for the annual bonus to post usually (for spending £15k)? 60 days as advertised or a lot sooner ?

    Harrier25 892 posts

    Normally after a month following the anniversary.

    Harrier25 892 posts

    For some strange reason, I also get consistently better and more offers on this card than on my BAPP

    Since I cancelled my PRG in June, I have been getting many more and much better offers on my Green charge card than I was when holding PRG!

    danstravel 31 posts

    For some strange reason, I also get consistently better and more offers on this card than on my BAPP

    Since I cancelled my PRG in June, I have been getting many more and much better offers on my Green charge card than I was when holding PRG!

    Mostly the luck of the draw which card gets the best offers. General pattern is most offers appear across all three of my Amex cards (Gold, Marriott, BAPP), and if i use it once, it usually wont appear on that card but on the others.

    Maples 230 posts

    My Gold card barely gets offers while my Platinum Cashback Everyday card seems to get virtually all offers that come out. Usually means I have to put money on the card that’s no longer being used.

    JDB 4,663 posts

    As for the Gold to Platinum Upgrade assuming there is no new credit check with this? And that we can downgrade back to the Gold once we have bagged the 40k SUB?

    I’m not sure re the credit check, but I don’t think they do one. My wife did the upgrade this week and it is immediate, no waiting for even 10 seconds while they think about it, the card number and everything else stays the save except the card colour and the benefits.

    As for the downgrade to gold, presumably that will work, but given you have 3 months to make the spend (ie from today end November) it’s still better to wait until January to get and spend the new dining credits +£50 HN with £350 total ‘value’.

    Reney 792 posts

    Quick skim of the comments looks like no one has commented on this point made by the original poster “I’m also a solo traveller so the BAPP doesn’t make sense”

    Since the BAPP’s 2for1 can now be used by a solo person for 50% off Avios redemption, it is probably as good as the Barclays card in terms of earning rate and voucher. Lots of people would say the BAPP voucher is better as it has access to I class and 50% is better than Barclays’ upgrade voucher. I think in terms of Avios savings BAPP is better, but Barclays you can use it on other people so depends on how you want to use it. The downside is Amex is accepted in fewer places, but BAPP offers Amex offers and Barclays Avios has no similar offerings.

    I personally don’t hold any cards long-term (one of my players is holding the Plat into year 2 now, as it makes sense for the family), between the BAPP, Plat, Barclays Avios, Virgin and HSBC WE. You can cycle through sign-up bonuses continuously and as a solo person always have one voucher a year if you time the cards cycle right.

    Harrier25 892 posts

    Mostly the luck of the draw which card gets the best offers. General pattern is most offers appear across all three of my Amex cards (Gold, Marriott, BAPP), and if i use it once, it usually wont appear on that card but on the others.

    Could be wrong, but I think all the offers I was getting while owning both cards are now funneling solely to my only remaining Green card.

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