American Express Gold vs. Platinum: 5 Key Differences to Consider

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
The American Express Gold and Platinum cards offer some similar perks — but differ in several important ways.
Updated May 10, 2024
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Young couple comparing American Express Gold and Platinum cards

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If you’re looking for a premium rewards card, the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express cards are top choices from Amex. Both options are different from typical credit cards as these Amex cards allow you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. And both come with some luxurious benefits that enhance your cardmember experience.

In this Amex Gold vs. Platinum comparison, you’ll learn about each card’s rewards, benefits, and fees so you can make an informed decision.

In this article

Amex Gold vs. Platinum

American Express® Gold Card

American Express Gold Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

Annual fee $250 (Terms apply) $695 (Terms apply)
Welcome bonus Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 6 months
Earning rate 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Redemption rate Up to one cent per point Up to one cent per point
Annual credits
  • Up to $120 dining credit
  • Up to $120 Uber Cash
  • Select benefits require enrollment
  • Up to $200 Uber Cash (terms apply)
  • Up to $200 airline incidental credit
  • Up to $200 hotel credit at The Hotel Collection (requires a minimum two-night stay) and Fine Hotels & Resorts properties
  • Up to $155 Walmart+ credit
  • Up to $189 CLEAR® Plus membership credit
  • Up to $240 digital entertainment credit for eligible subscriptions
  • Up to $300 statement credits for an Equinox digital or club membership
  • Up to $85 credit for TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years (5-year plan only), or up to $100 for Global Entry every four years
  • Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit
  • Select benefits require enrollment
Travel perks
  • Book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel to get a $100 hotel credit and room upgrades, when available
  • Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Access to the Global Lounge Collection, a network of more than 1,400 airport lounges
  • Airline fee credit of up to $200 with one qualifying airline for incidental fees like checked bags
  • Concierge service for travel assistance 
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Program offers an average of $600 in free benefits, such as daily breakfast for two and room upgrades.
  • Book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel to get a $100 hotel credit and room upgrades, when available
  • Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Complimentary membership in premium car rental programs
  • Select benefits require enrollment
Foreign transaction fee None None
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good
Learn how to apply or Read our review
Learn how to apply or Read our review

5 key differences between the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum

The American Express Gold Card and the Platinum Card from American Express are popular choices for rewards card enthusiasts, and both American Express credit cards offer access to the Membership Rewards program and allow you to transfer your points to Amex travel partners. However, there are some distinct differences you should be aware of before you submit a card application.

1. Credits

With both the American Express Gold and Platinum cards, you’ll get some valuable credits, which can help offset the cost of the card’s annual fees.

Amex Gold benefits include up to $240 worth of credits:

  • $120 enhanced dining credit: Earn up to $10 a month in statement credits when you use your card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and participating Shake Shack locations.
  • $120 Uber Cash: Receive $10 per month in Uber Cash that can be used for Uber rides or Uber Eats orders when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account.
  • Select benefits require enrollment.

When it comes to credits, the Platinum Card from American Express is the clear winner. The Platinum Card offers far more value, allowing you to earn over $1,000 more in statement credits:

  • $200 Uber Cash: You can enjoy $15 in Uber Cash each month plus a $20 bonus in December. Terms apply.
  • $200 hotel credit: When you prepay through Amex Travel for eligible stays at properties in the Fine Hotels & Resorts and Hotel Collection (requires a minimum two-night stay) portfolios, you can get up to $200 back as a statement credit.
  • $200 airline incidentals credit: Enjoy up to $200 back for baggage fees and eligible inflight purchases on a qualifying airline. 
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus credit: Get $189 back each year when you use your card to book your CLEAR® Plus membership.
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit: Breeze through airport security by applying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. You’ll get up to a $100 statement credit every 4 years for the Global Entry application fee or up to $85 for TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years (for a 5-year plan only).
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: When you use your card to pay for your Disney+, The Disney Bundle, Hulu, ESPN+, Peacock, and The New York Times subscriptions, you could get up to a $240 statement credit each year.
  • $300 Equinox credit: Cardmembers can receive up to $300 annually in statement credits for an Equinox digital or club membership.
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit: If you shop at Saks Fifth Avenue or Saks.com, you can get up to $100 in statement credits for purchases you make.
  • Select benefits require enrollment.

2. Earning rates

Both cards are rewards credit cards. With the Amex Gold Card, you can earn American Express Membership Rewards points according to the following structure: 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases.

The Platinum Card from American Express offers a different rewards structure: 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

If you travel often, you would likely earn more rewards with the Platinum Card than with the Gold Card. However, if you spend more money at the supermarket or dining out, it may make more sense to apply for the Gold Card because you could eventually earn a higher rate of return on those purchases.

3. Welcome offer

American Express Gold Card cardholders can receive a hefty welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.

With the Platinum Card from American Express, you can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 in the first 6 months of account opening. 

How you plan to spend in the first months of card membership could be the deciding factor for you between these two cards.

4. Premium travel perks

Each credit card offers some premium travel benefits, but there are a few key differences.

Lounge access

Unfortunately, the American Express Gold Card doesn’t give you access to any airport lounges. However, the Platinum Card from American Express does. You’ll gain access to the Global Lounge Collection, a network of over 1,400 airport lounges in more than 140 countries, as well as partner lounges like Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass Select. Select benefits require enrollment.

Hotel benefits

The Gold Card allows you to enjoy The Hotel Collection. Through this program, book a stay at participating properties through AmexTravel.com for at least two nights and get a $100 hotel credit and room upgrades, when available.

With the Platinum Card, you get the same benefits through The Hotel Collection. But you also can use the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which offers a $600 total average value in free perks when you stay at an eligible hotel. Benefits may include:

  • Free breakfast for two
  • Room upgrades when available
  • Property credit valued at $100
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Early check-in when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

If you prefer to stay at Marriott properties, you might also enjoy the complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status that you get as an Amex Platinum cardholder. 

Car rentals

Both the Gold and Platinum cards give you secondary car rental loss and damage insurance. But with the Platinum Card, you’ll also get premium membership to car rental programs like Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and the National Emerald Club. With your premium membership, you can qualify for upgrades and special discounts. Select benefits require enrollment.

5. Fees

When it comes to fees, the big difference between the cards is their annual fees. The American Express Platinum Card has a higher annual fee of $695, which is more than double the cost of the Gold Card's $250 annual fee.

Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee, making them good choices for traveling abroad.

If you plan on adding an authorized user to your account, it’s important to keep additional user fees in mind. With the Gold Card, there’s no annual fee for up to five additional cards. If you have to add six or more users, you’ll pay $35 for each additional card.

With the Platinum Card, you have the option of adding a complimentary Companion Platinum Card to your Platinum account. The person who you designate as a cardmember can earn rewards — however, you won’t get benefits like access to airport lounges or Uber Cash.

However, if you want to add additional users at the full Platinum level, it will cost you $195 per additional user.

FAQs

Which is better, the Amex Gold or the Amex Platinum?

The better card between the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum is the one that best suits your lifestyle and spending habits. Though both cards come from the same credit card issuer and have some similarities, there are important differences between them. For example, both cards earn valuable Amex Membership Rewards points, but the Amex Gold is more suited for earning on dining and supermarket purchases while the Amex Platinum is geared toward travel spending.

This is made even more clear with each card’s benefits. The Amex Gold offers up to $120 in dining credit each year, while the Amex Platinum offers a fee reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, complimentary airport lounge access, free elite hotel status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, and more. Select benefits require enrollment.

Is the Amex Gold card worth it?

The American Express Gold Card is worth it if you can get enough value from its rewards and benefits to offset the $250 annual fee. Since the Amex Gold provides up to $120 in Uber Cash (good for Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in dining credits each year, it’s typically not difficult to get your money’s worth from the card. And that’s not including earning Membership Rewards points on everyday purchases. Select benefits require enrollment.

Is the Amex Platinum card worth it?

With a hefty $695 annual fee, it might not make sense to have this card if you don’t travel often. But the Amex Platinum Card is worth it if you can take advantage of the card’s premium travel perks and benefits.

The Amex Platinum provides up to $200 in Uber Cash each year (terms apply), which can be used for Uber rides or Uber Eats orders, up to $100 in annual Saks Fifth Avenue credits, a $200 airline incidentals credit on a qualifying airline, plus several other valuable credits. You also get complimentary airport lounge access through the Priority Pass and Amex Centurion Lounge networks. Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors hotel elite statuses are included, and you get free travel insurance coverage when you book trips using your card, which can keep you financially protected on your travels. Select benefits require enrollment.

What credit score do you need for the Amex Gold?

The Amex Gold typically requires a good or excellent credit score to qualify, though American Express might also consider other credit factors when reviewing your application. Good credit scores can range from 661 to 780 while excellent credit scores are between 781 and 850.

What credit score do you need for the Amex Platinum?

You typically need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Amex Platinum since it’s a premium travel credit card product with loads of perks and benefits. Good credit scores start above 660 while excellent credit scores are above 780.

Which card is best for you?

If you can’t choose between the American Express Gold Card and the Platinum Card, it’s important to keep your spending habits in mind as you decide on a new card.

The Platinum Card from American Express likely makes the most sense for frequent travelers. If you fly or stay at hotels several times a year, it might be one of the best travel credit card options. You can take full advantage of all the offered credits, helping to offset the hefty $695 annual fee. But if you travel only occasionally, you won’t be able to enjoy the full value of those credits, possibly making the extra cost not worthwhile.

If you’re looking for more of a general rewards card rather than a travel rewards card, the American Express Gold Card may be a better choice. You’ll earn more points on everyday expenses, such as at U.S. supermarkets. With a lower fee, you could more quickly recoup your costs and enjoy your rewards.

Big Rewards at Restaurants

4.8

American Express® Gold Card

Current Offer

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership

Annual Fee

$250

Rewards Rate

4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Luxury Travel Benefits

5.0

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Current Offer

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$695

Rewards Rate

5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Kat Tretina Kat Tretina is a personal finance expert focusing on practical financial matters, including student loans, debt repayment, side hustles, insurance, and healthcare. Drawing from her personal experience, she aims to simplify complex financial topics and provide individuals with the information they need to make informed decisions.