The Amex Gold card is the card I pull out of my wallet the most often. We love eating out and the 4X benefit is our choice for dining. Combined with my Schwab Platinum card it’s like getting 5% cashback or 4 points to transfer into a huge list of partners. There are several competitors to this card for dining, but none have caught my fancy.
I’ve got the Hilton Aspire card with 7X on dining but at a value of .5 cents per point this falls way short of the Gold card
I used to carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for dining and travel at 3X with a value in my mind of 1.5 cents per point. I recently product changed back down to the Sapphire Preferred card at 2X dining as I have enough cards with travel credits and at a net cost of $150 when you take away the $300 travel credit, I think I’m getting more out the Gold card.
I’ve got the Citi Premier card which is the cheaper cousin to the Citi Prestige card that pays a full 5X dining and travel. Again, I don’t need any more big annual fee cards and with the recent addition of transfers from the Citi Double Cash Card to Thank You points with the cheaper Premier card at $95 annual fee, I’ve got a reasonably priced method of adding to my Thank You points balance. This is not my primary program. I’m an Ultimate Rewards guy followed up by Membership Rewards into cash.
But I May Let this Card Go?
How can it go from a favorite to losing a spot in my wallet? The great thing about the Amex Gold card for me was the additional benefit of getting 4X on grocery purchases up to $25,000 per year. I did not spend $25,000 solely on groceries but wording has been added to the terms and conditions that bring the ability next year to buy a gift card or two each week into jeopardy. We don’t have a definitive outcome yet but with a fee of $250, I’m constantly looking for data points on that information. I could easily justify the fee if I could take advantage of the $120 dining credit at $10 per month through Grubhub/Seamless (limited options in my location). And somehow I need to find a way to spend the $100 airline travel credit which makes sense to us. We never check bags and gift cards appear to be on the way out according to the terms and conditions. If I can conquer those two benefits, the $250 fee is a no brainer.
The welcome bonus on this card seems to vary greatly and is subject, in most cases, to the once in a lifetime rule. I’ve seen sign up bonuses as small as 35K and as large as 60K. As always, Shop Around or Wait for a Big Limited Time Offer
As I’ve said and felt many times before, there is no perfect answer to what cards you should hold and use. To some, this could be the worst choice for your dining spend. I just like the cashback option at 5% very, very much.
Source: frugal travel guy