American Express Gold Rewards Card Review: Earn 25,000 Aeroplan Miles Fast!

If you’re looking to earn 25,000 Aeroplan Miles fast, then signing up for the American Express Gold Rewards card is a must. After spending $1,500 in the first three months of having the card, you’re instantly given 25,000 American Express Member Rewards (Although it can take up to 10 weeks for these points to post to your account).

With these Member Rewards, you can convert them to Aeroplan or Avios points on 1:1 basis. There are other Aeroplan cards that also give you 25,000 signup points. 25,000 Aeroplan Miles are enough for a roundtrip ticket to anywhere in Canada and the continental United States which has a value of up to $600. This is a great card for anyone looking to earn Aeroplan points fast or want a travel rewards credit card. Read my American Express Gold Rewards card review now to find out what other benefits you should apply for this card now.

American Express Gold Rewards Card Review

American Express Gold Rewards card benefits

  • 25,000 sign-up points after charging $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • First-year annual fee waived ($150 value)
  • Transfer your points to Aeroplan or Avios on a one-to-one basis
  • Earn two points for every $1 spent on travel, grocery, drug stores, and gas purchases. One Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 1 Free supplementary card ($50 value) +
  • Travel medical, trip interruption, and lost or stolen baggage insurance included

Keep in mind that the American Express Gold Rewards card (referral link) is a charge card which means you need to pay the full balance at the end of each month. Failure to do so will result in a 30% annual interest rate. No rewards are ever worth paying that much interest.

One important thing to note, and it’s the biggest knock against American Express is the fact that it’s not accepted at all merchants. To be honest, more and more merchants aren’t accepting AMEX these days, so I use this card as a quick way to earn points.

Points breakdown

The American Express Gold Rewards card is the best option for people who are looking to earn Aeroplan points fast. As mentioned, you only need to spend $1,500 to earn your full sign-up bonus. Once you’ve earned those points you can immediately transfer them to Aeroplan or Avios at a 1:1 rate.

25,000 Aeroplan Miles will get you a return flight to anywhere in Canada and the continental U.S.A.- that’s a value of up to $600. Obviously, the further you go, the more value these points have, so flying from Vancouver to Toronto or Toronto to Los Angeles will give you the best bang for your buck.

Every so often American Express offers a transfer bonus to Avios (British Airways). These promotions usually offer an additional 25% giving you a 1:1.25 transfer ratio when going from American Express Points to Avios.

There are other rewards programs that you can transfer your points to a ratio below 1:1 including Alitalia MilleMiglia, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Delta SkyMiles, InterContinental Hotels Priority Club, Hilton HHonors, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

If you decide not to convert your points, they can still be claimed on any type of travel including travel agencies, airlines, hotels, trains, and car rentals, but you only get a 1% return. If flexibility is your #1 priority, then choose a different rewards program.

Earn more Aeroplan Miles by referring your friends

One of the major benefits of being an American Express cardholder is the ability to refer friends. With the American Express Gold Rewards card, you get a bonus 5,000 points for every referral you make.

Think about how easy it is for you to rack up points this way especially if you travel with a partner. You can rack up 55,000 points for “free.” How’s this work?

You sign up first on your own (or use my referral link). After the minimum spend, you get your 25,000 points. Well, you can make referrals immediately, so use your own referral link and invite your partner. That works out to 55,000 points (25,000 signup +5,000 referral + 25,000 signup for your partner).

You can refer anyone you want, so you can simply tell your friends everything that I’ve explained in this blog post, but use your own referral link after you’ve signed up.

How applying for another credit card affects your credit score

One worry that many people have about applying for another credit card just for points is how it’ll affect their credit score. Whenever you apply for a new credit card, a hard inquiry will be applied to your credit history which means you’ll take a hit of 10 points.

If your credit score has always been high, then a hit of 10 points won’t make a difference. As long as you pay your bills on time and in full, your credit score will go back up just in a few months.

That being said, I wouldn’t recommend applying for 5 credit cards right before applying for a mortgage since lenders will wonder why you need so much credit. But, rest assured that your overall credit score won’t be damaged when you apply for a new credit card.

Final word

Overall my American Express Gold Rewards card review is positive, but only if you plan on converting your points to one of the other rewards programs. The AMEX rewards program offers full flexibility, but at a return of 1%, you’re better off using a different rewards program. The other positive of this card is the often overlooked insurance benefits. Travel medical, trip interruption, lost or stolen baggage, hotel burglary, and auto rental insurance are all included. This package of insurance is similar to other comparable travel rewards credit cards.

Use my American Express Gold Rewards card referral link now to earn a quick 25,000 points.

American Express Gold Rewards Card Review referral

By | 2017-06-20T15:30:25+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Budget Travel, Credit cards, Personal Finance, Travel|

9 Comments

  1. Kate March 21, 2016 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this review! I’ve been debating applying for this card for a while now, I’m drawn to the flexibility of the points, the sign up bonus, and the insurance perks you mentioned.

    Why do you say it’s a positive review only from a churning perspective? I’m not looking to churn (don’t want to hurt my credit score? I think that hurts it?) just looking for a good travel rewards cards with perks like insurance (especially if there’s a $100+ annual fee). Any alternatives you’d recommend comparing this card to?

    • Barry Choi March 21, 2016 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      Kate,

      When I say from a churning perspective, what I mean is it’s best if you’re converting the points to Aeroplan or Avios. The AMEX points do offer flexibility but they work out to only be a 1% return. If you want full flexibility with a slightly higher return, take a look at the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. The insurance that AMEX offers is pretty good.

      In regards to your credit score, when you apply for a new card you take a credit hit of about 10 points, but that goes back up after a few months (assuming you’ve made your payments on time). It’s perfectly fine to apply for multiple credit cards, I just wouldn’t do it before applying for a mortgage.

      The only other travel credit cards worth looking into are the TD Rewards – TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card and the BMO World Elite MasterCard

      The TD card is good because you can earn extra points when you book via Expedia while the BMO card gives you airport lounge access (but less of a signup bonus compared to the Capital One card).

      • Kate March 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much for the reply Barry! I appreciate you explaining the effect on your credit score and the card recommendations, I’ll definitely compare those. 🙂

      • Stacee January 4, 2017 at 6:37 pm - Reply

        This is helpful, thanks. Barry, is there a reason you wouldnt recommend the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card? Thats the card that I have and am looking at other options. Thanks!

        • Barry Choi January 4, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

          Hi Stacee,

          The RBC Avion card as a premium credit card doesn’t quite stack up to other cards in the same category. The travel insurance offered is excellent, but there is a redemption cap depending on which zone you’re flying too.

          The 15,000 points are nice, but not worth as much as the 25,000 points (including the Amex Gold card). Plus there’s an annual fee.

          It’s not a terrible card, but there are similar cards that are better and come with a higher sign up bonus and no fee for the first year.

  2. Jay January 15, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Barry, you have a typo. Also you’re not mentioning how few merchants accept amex nowadays. Even visa is starting to be limited. I do churning so I can’t get this card again just yet.

    “That being said, I would recommend applying for 5 credit cards right before applying for a mortgage.”

    • Barry Choi January 15, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Hey Jay,

      Good catches on both. I’ve just updated the post to address those issues. Much appreciated!

      As for churning, since AMEX has a once per lifetime rule, I won’t be reapplying for this card =(

  3. Vickie B January 16, 2017 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Make sure as well that you are using the card after a year..they take away miles if you haven’t used your card in a year( even though most are from merchants who are members, that paid for the miles you earned) Happened to my niece – she didn’t use her card – didn’t even think of it- when her mother died suddenly from a brain bleede, and she not only had to deal with the grief and shock of losing her mother & best friend – but the distribution of her assets, sorting out her finances, ( mother was a single working mom, and still had a mortgage, credit cards, car loan, etc., and no will – she was only 57 & thought she had more time) Anyway, after getting the sale of her house & car, plus all the other stuff- time flew by & she decided to take a trip using her Aeroplan miles. ( she had last used the card when she took her mother on a trip the year before – in November) Well, she had no miles left. They had expired 10 days before she called.

    I do not have any love for a company that treats people so shabbily ( there is a class action against them for this reason) If you can exploit them, and take them for more than you give- go for it.
    But when they can do this to a person in pain, with no conscience about it- I’m done with them.

    Also, are you able to earn the referral miles from people who sign up on the link you provided on this blog?

    Some places do not allow you to earn referral fees from posting your link on a website or blog..

    • Barry Choi January 16, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi Vickie,

      You’re right that Aeroplan points expire after one year, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep using the credit card. You just need to earn at least one Aeroplan point every year which you can do at participating merchants.

      American Express Membership Rewards never expire, so if you plan on transferring them to Aeroplan, you can wait until you need them.

      I do indeed earn referral miles from people who use my signup link

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