If you’re like me, you probably got a little bit excited over the news of the new American Express Gold card. Mine just came in the mail (I signed up the first day it became available) and I’ve already contacted Amex to confirm my sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after $2k spend and 20% back in food on the first $500 (both within the first 3 months). If you haven’t yet, read what I wrote about the card in this post first, and then see how Sriram suggests maximizing the grocery benefit.
If you are thinking about the card, make sure you apply for the 50,000 point bonus and not the inferior 25,000 point offer that other websites are pitching. Those websites are only interested in making themselves money. If you want, you can use my referral link for the 50,000 point offer.
If you just got the Amex Gold Card, or in my case the Rose Gold card (totally worth it), then there’s a few things you should remember to do as soon as you get the card.
1. Add the Card to Your Online Amex Account
American Express knows that you have other Amex cards, but they still don’t add the card to your online account by default. Make sure you first activate your card (you can do so online at americanexpress.com/confirmcard). Then, log-in to your existing Amex account. In the top right corner under the “Log Out” button you’ll see a small rectangle showing the default card on your account. Click on that, and it will open up all cards you have on your account. Then you’ll see an option to “Add Another Card.” Simply follow the prompts to add it to your account.
2. Register for Your Monthly Dining Credit
As I mentioned in my original post about this card, Amex is being customer-unfriendly by making you first register for benefits and, in the case of this dining credit, only giving it to you in $10 monthly increments. It’s our job to make sure we make the most of these credits, and you have to start by registering.
When you’re logged in to your Amex account, make sure you’re on the page for your new Amex (Rose) Gold card and then click on “Benefits” in the top menu. The various benefits will be listed in boxes (or cards), and the first one should read “New! $120 Dining Credit.” At the bottom of that should be an option to Enroll. Once you click on that it will ask you to agree to some terms and conditions, but that’ll be it. You’ll be enrolled. Now…make sure to use those monthly credits!
Note that in my screen shot below, the “Enroll” button isn’t showing since I’ve already enrolled.
3. Register for Your Annual $100 Airline Fee Credit
The other major perk of this card is the annual $100 Airline Fee Credit. You’re probably already familiar with this if you have an Amex Platinum card, but if you’re not, this is another benefit you have to register for. You have to select from a list of airlines, but all the major US carriers are on it. You enroll the same way you do the dining credit. You’ll see that I picked American Airlines in the image below, and inexplicably it still lists US Airways along with it.
Frequent Miler has a pretty good running list of “what works” for the airline fee credit. With some airlines you can get gift cards, others work for award fees, and others work on actual flights (with some price restrictions). Check out his post on how to make use of this benefit in a way that works best for you before selecting your airline. Remember, once you select an airline for this benefit you cannot change it again until January. It’s just another customer-unfriendly policy that Amex has.
Luckily this is a calendar year benefit, so make sure you use it twice before your annual fee comes due next year (assuming you plan on canceling this card).
4. Confirm Your Sign-Up Bonus via Chat
Confirming the sign-up bonus is something you should do with every credit card you sign up for. You’re fortunate if it hasn’t happened to you yet, but you’d be surprised how often a credit card company can somehow miss your sign-up bonus offer. With this card I used the “incognito” browser trick to display the 50,000 point option (I signed up before it was known that referrals get the same offer), AND I also had the Premier Rewards Gold card in the past, so it was especially important for me to confirm this. The fastest and best way to do so is by online chat, which Milenomics recommended to me (by the way, I participated in an in-depth analysis on this card with Milenomics and Bob Dwyer – check it out here). You can access the online chat by logging in to your online account, and pretty much any page will have a “Chat” button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Simply click it and say you want to confirm your sign-up bonus on the card.
In a conversation that took less than 3 minutes, I was able to confirm not just the 50,000 point bonus, but also the extra 20% off restaurant purchases up to $100. Here were the answers I got (note that he kind of talks like Yoda):
Two bonus you have
50,000 Membership Rewards points after $2,000 or more in qualifying purchases are made on the Card within the first 3 months (92 days) of Card Membership.
20% Cash back (up to $100) as a statement credit at U.S. Restaurants within the first 3 months (92 days) of Card Membership.
Again, this is good practice with any card. Chat is the best option because you can get it in writing and, if you’re as cynical as me, take screen shots to record the conversation.
5. Add Authorized Users
If you have family/friends/pets that you’d like to give free cards to, you can sign them up easily online. Sign in to your account and make sure you’re on the correct card’s page. There’s a “Useful Links” menu on the right side near the account activity section, and the first option is usually to add additional card members. Just click “Add Someone New” and follow the prompts.
Remember, if you’re considering getting an additional card for a spouse or someone else, just consider having them sign up for their own account. That way they’ll get the bonus points and other bonuses, and they can cancel the card after the first year. If you’re inclined to keep the card beyond the first year, you can get them additional cards on your account at that time.
There’s a lot to like about the new Amex (Rose) Gold card, and ultimately it was the bonuses that pushed me over the edge and made me sign up for the card. Still, I can see why some people may be hesitant to get this card at all. Many have deemed the Sapphire Reserve to be useless now, but I don’t quite see it that way.
I’ll be doing a very in-depth comparison of this new card versus many other cards to see what makes the most sense. The benefits, bonuses, and point values are so different that it makes it difficult to compare, but I’m going to take a stab at it so you can make an informed decision if you’re on the fence. Look out for that post in the coming days. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for opportunities to show off my rose gold card before everyone else gets theirs in the mail.