The American Express Gold and Everyday Preferred Cards are the issuer’s two mid-tier travel cards. The former solely occupied Amex’s mid-tier from 1966 to 2014 when the latter was released. Both American Express cards are fantastic options for travelers. But they earn in different categories and have different perks and sign-up bonuses to outweigh their annual fees.
As with everything in point and miles, your mileage may vary. Someone might find the Gold better for him while their best friend might like the Everyday Preferred better.
The Everyday Preferred has a sign-up bonus worth 15,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points. It can be earned after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Conversely, the Gold Card has a bonus worth 35,000 MR points. It can be earned after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
Of these two American Express cards, the Gold Card has the better bonus despite having twice the minimum spend. However, the Everyday Preferred has the better bonus for lighter spenders.
Both cards earn MR points and are part of the Amex “ecosystem”. Points earned from either card can be transferred to any of Amex’s transfer partners.
The Gold Card earns 4x points at Restaurants worldwide and Grocery Stores stateside. There is an annual spend limit of $25,000 total for both categories. Therefore, you will earn 1 point per dollar if you spend more than $25,000 on dining and groceries.
The Everyday Preferred earns 3x points at US Grocery Stores and 2x points at US Gas Stations. The kicker with this card is its 50% points bonus that can be earned after using your card 30 times per month. You can earn up to 4.5x at US Grocery Stores and 3x at US Gas Stations with the bonus.
International purchases of all sorts earn only 1 point per dollar. This is unfortunate given how many points can be earned from either card stateside.
The Gold Card is the better earner for those who dine out often. It’s also the better card for those who have multiple cards and might not use their card 30 times per month. The Everyday Preferred is better for those who use their card often. It’s also the clear winner for those who spend heavily at the pump and the grocery store.
Despite not having the numerous perks of the Platinum Card, the Gold Card wins handily in this category. The Everyday Preferred only has standard American Express perks while the Gold Card comes with more.
The Gold Card’s signature perks are its credits. You receive $100 in airline incidental credits and $120 total in dining credits. The airline credits are designed for bags, in-flight fees, and checked bags. But people have used them for gift cards. The dining credits are for select restaurants and come as 12 $10 monthly credits. This division makes them hard to use.
The Gold Card also comes with other perks such as Premium Roadside Assistance and the Amex Hotel Collection.
I normally rate individual credit cards based on sign-up bonuses, earning structure, redemption methods, and perks. But there are other factors involved when selecting between multiple cards.
Credit Limit and Income
The Everyday Preferred is a traditional revolving credit card. It comes with a set limit and can be hard to get approved for those with lower credit scores or incomes. This card lets you keep a balance, despite my recommendation for not doing so.
The Gold Card is a charge card which does not have a pre-set limit. In other words, Amex has an internal limit for your card that can change each month. If you want to make a large purchase, I suggest calling Amex customer service to alert them about the purchase. Oftentimes they will tell you to proceed. You must pay your card in full each month (which I recommend doing anyway).
The Gold Card is the better card for those with lower income or credit scores because it’s a charge card. It also forces you to pay in full, which gives you financial discipline. Conversely, the Everyday Preferred is a great option if you have the credit score and income and don’t want the Gold Card.
The Everyday Preferred has an annual fee of $95 while the Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. Neither card’s fee is waived the first year.
Some people argue that the “net” annual fee for the Gold Card is just $30. This argument assumes that you will use the $100 airline incidental credit in full each year. It also assumes that you will use all 12 of the $10 monthly travel credits.
The Everyday Preferred is the better card if you can’t use more than $155 of the Gold Card’s total credits. Otherwise, the Gold Card is the less expensive option.
The Amex Gold Card and the Everyday Preferred Card are great options for those who want to collect MR points and travel. But each has its strengths and weaknesses:
Despite its high annual fee, the Gold Card has a better sign-up bonus, concrete bonus category earning rates, and more perks. The Everyday Preferred is a solid alternative for those who don’t want to spend $250 for the Gold Card. It also packs a punch at the grocery store and pump, especially with enough use.