The Gold and Everyday Preferred Cards are American Express’ two mid-tier travel cards. The former solely occupied Amex’s mid-tier from 1966 to 2014 when the latter was released.

As with everything in point and miles, your mileage may vary. Someone might find the Gold better for him while their best friend mind like the Everyday Preferred better.

The format for this card war is going to be slightly different than the Sapphire war. This is because of the different natures of the two cards being analyzed. The Chase Sapphire cards are so similar that they had to be looked at by card. Whereas the Amex cards will be reviewed more like a traditional card review, category by category.

 

Sign-Up Bonus

The Everyday Preferred has a 15,000-point public sign-up bonus. It can be earned after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus has been as high as 30,000 points in the past.

The Gold Card has a 35,000-point bonus that can be earned after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. This is the highest post-revamp bonus for the Gold Card.

The Gold Card’s bonus is by far the better one despite having twice the minimum spend.

 

Earning

Both cards earn Membership Rewards (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 US Grocery Stores and US Restaurants. There is an annual spend limit of $25,000 total for both categories. In other words, if you spend more than $25,000 on dining and groceries, you will earn 1 point per dollar.

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. The Everyday Preferred wins slightly for grocery store spend with the bonus. Otherwise, the Gold Card has the edge.

 

Perks

Despite not having the numerous perks of the Platinum Cards, the Gold Card wins handily in this category. The Everyday Preferred only has standard American Express perks such as return protection. But the Gold Card comes with the standard perks and then some.

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.

The Everyday Preferred is the better card if you can’t use the Gold Card’s credits. Otherwise, you will be spending an extra $155 in annual fees for the credits.

 

Other Factors

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. The Gold Card also forces you to pay in full, which gives you financial discipline.

The Everyday Preferred is a great option if you have the credit score and income and don’t want the Gold Card.

Annual Fees

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.

Many 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. If you can use more than that, the Gold Card might be better for you.

 

Final Draw

American Express’ two mid-tier travel cards are great options for those who want to collect MR points and travel.

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.