American Express Gold Rewards Card Canada Review: The Amex Gold Is One Of Best For Canadians
The American Express Gold Rewards Card is one of the most popular and highly recommended travel rewards cards in Canada. The 25,000 point sign-up bonus, earning potential and flexibility of redemption make the Amex Gold one of the best credit cards for Canadian travel hackers.
It’s a card that I’ve used and can wholeheartedly recommend as one of the premier rewards credit cards in Canada.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card is technically a charge card. This type of card brings with it a higher interest rate (30.00%) and heightened necessity to pay the balance in full each month. So any travel rewards benefits are mitigated if you don’t end each month with a zero balance.
However, for disciplined and studious credit card users this won’t be an issue if you stick to 3 basic rules:
- A vow to not carry a balance – the benefits of earning rewards and points is washed away if you’re paying interest on outstanding balances.
- A system to pay off your balances with automation – reminders to pay before due dates, instant payments on due dates, etc. – don’t let human error cost you.
- Have a good credit score, like 700+ – opening each new credit card can drop your credit score a few points. If you’re planning a major purchase, like a house, in the near future it’s best not to open a handful of new cards beforehand. You want that mortgage lending interest rates as low as possible, a higher credit score will help that. Check your credit score and report for free with Borrowell.
With that said, let’s dive into this American Express Gold Rewards Card review and highlight why it’s one of the top options to keep in your wallet. The card brings with it a number of benefits, perks and value to easily offset the $150 annual fee.
Amex Gold Canada Benefits
The biggest benefit headline for the American Express Gold Rewards Card is definitely the 25,000 sign-up bonus after spending $1,500 within the first 3 months. That’s a great welcome offer that will offset the annual fee by 3-4x (or more) depending how you use it.
Essentially that 25,000 bonus is one of the best on the market for any rewards card in Canada. It equates to a long-haul flight to almost anywhere in Canada or the United States. Plus with the transfer flexibility that American Express is famous for you can get even more value if you move those outside the Amex system.
So what are the overall benefits of the Amex Gold Card in Canada?
Here’s a quick summary of all the value this card delivers:
- 25,000 Welcome Bonus of Membership Reward Points after spending $1,500 in first 3 months
- Earn 2x points for every $1 spent on grocery, travel, gas and pharmacy
- Earn 1x points for every $1 spent elsewhere
- Transfer points 1:1 to Aeroplan plus other partner networks
- 1 free additional Golds Reward Card ($50 value)
- Extensive travel insurance and purchase protection package
- Access to American Express Fixed Points Travel Program
The 2x earning on key categories like grocery, travel, gas and pharmacy will give you coverage across most spending.
As noted above the flexibility of transfering your Amex Gold points outside of their system to a partner network is another great benefit. We will touch on this a later in the section on redeeming your points from the American Express Gold Rewards Card.
I’ve been a fan of this card since the first time I read about and then starting using the American Express Gold Rewards Card.
Amex Gold Canada Travel Insurance & Coverage
American Express always provides their Canadian cardholders with an extensive collection of travel insurance and other protection coverage. That holds true with the Amex Gold Card and is just another reason why it’s one of the best rewards cards in Canada.
You can travel with confidence knowing you have access to a great baseline of insurance.
If you book travel or relevant charges in full to your American Express Gold Rewards Card you have the opportunity to receive the following benefits:
- Emergency Medical Insurance: Coverage for eligible emergency medical expenses incurred while traveling outside your Canadian province or territory of residence, for the first 15 consecutive days of each trip, up to a maximum of $5,000,000 per insured person.
- Trip Interruption Insurance: Coverage for the non-refundable unused portion of your prepaid travel arrangements, as well as transportation up to $1,500 per trip per insured person.
- Lost Or Stolen Baggage Insurance: Covered for loss or damage to your checked-in or carry on baggage and personal effects while in transit for up to a maximum of $500.
- Car Rental Theft & Damage Insurance: Automatically covered for damage or theft of your rental car with an MSRP of up to $85,000.
- Hotel Burglary Insurance: Automatic coverage of up to $500 against the loss of most personal items if your hotel.
- $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance: Up to $500,000 of Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance covers you, your spouse and dependent children under the age of 23.
However, one of the missing elements from the American Express Gold Rewards Card is trip cancellation coverage. In the end that’s not going to make or break a decision to use this card. Personally, I’ve never had to use cancellation insurance but if that’s something you highly value on a travel card unfortunately the Gold doesn’t check that box.
American Express Gold Rewards Card Purchase Protections
In addition to the travel insurance, the Amex Gold helps support you as a consumer with various purchase protections. These are similar to other cards from American Express and other providers. However, they’re still extremely beneficial should the situation arise when they’re required.
The protections you have access to with the American Express Gold Rewards Card are:
- Buyers Assurance Protection Program: Automatically doubles the manufacturer’s original warranty up to one additional year (ex. Samsung TV has a year manufacturer warranty becomes two years if purchased in full on Amex Gold).
- Purchase Protection Plan: Automatically insures your eligible purchases against accidental physical damage and theft.
Additional American Express Gold Perks For Canadians
Similar to the other American Express rewards cards, the Amex Gold gets you access to other member perks. I personally have used the Front of the Line program and other member offers to access concert tickets and discounted movie premiere packages.
You might never take advantage of these if they aren’t of interest to you but it’s just another way Amex tries to make you feel valued as a member.
The additional perks of the American Express Gold Rewards Card include:
- American Express Front Of The Line Program: Access presale tickets or make reservations to concerts, theatre productions, restaurants and special events. They have an email to keep you updated as new offers are released.
- Other Unique Offers: American Express provides their members access to movie premieres, special in-store shopping experiences at partner stores, an online retail network of discounts and more.
- Amex Customer Service: Amex offers 24/7 support, fraud protection, travel booking agents and other expertise concierge services.
- Hertz Car Rental Benefit: Rentals through Hertz with your Gold Rewards Card give you one car class upgrade on rentals of 5 or more consecutive days. Plus have the fee-waived for when you want one additional driver.
Redeeming Your Points From The American Express Gold Rewards Card In Canada
After you’ve accrued points from using your Amex Gold and receiving your 25,000 welcome bonus, you might be ready to redeem your points.
Consistent to other providers, American Express has an online retail and product portal. You can exchange your points for various items (electronics, home items, sporting goods, etc.). Another option is to use your points towards a statement credit to offset expenses you’ve put on the card.
However, these are not the most optimal ways to spend your points and your ROI is diminished. You likely got the American Express Gold Rewards Card to travel hack. So what options do we have?
- The American Express Fixed Points Travel Program
- Transferring Points To A Partner Provider
Fixed Points Travel Program
The American Express Fixed Points Travel Program is Amex’s internal booking system for user’s who collect Membership Rewards.. Members with the Gold Rewards Card, Cobalt or Platinum Card can access this service.
American Express has put predetermined values on different flights depending on the length, location and popularity. No matter what time of year it is, that flight will also hold a consistent point value for redemption.
This provides opportunity to get a higher rate of return. I used the Fixed Points Travel Program to book a flight to Vancouver for 40,000 points for a flight that would’ve cost me $695 (before taxes and fees). This gave me a points value of 1.73 cents per point ($695 / 40,000).
The goal you should always target is a value above 1.00 cents per point. Otherwise, you might be able to find a more beneficial option by transferring the points out of the Amex system or just paying the full price and holding onto your points.
If you want read more about maximizing your Fixed Points Travel redemptions, check out this article from Greedy Rates. The chart below highlights the different point values and tiers of flights available from the Fixed Points Travel Program.
Transferring Points To Other Travel Programs
The American Express Gold Rewards Card earns you Membership Rewards. These points are flexible and can be transferred to other travel programs in order to maximize value and options for your ideal travel scenario.
You can transfer to Aeroplan and Avios at a 1:1 ratio without any additional fees. You can also transfer your points to programs like Delta SkyMiles (1:0.75), Starwood Preferred Guest (at 2:1) and many others.
One of the benefits of transferring to Aeroplan or Avios are the bonuses that Amex offers you at times. You can get a 25% bonus when transferring 20,000 points as they will offer you an additional 5,000 points for free.
This flexibility gives you access to a broad network of flights, hotels and vacation packages. It’s just another reason why I’m a big fan of Amex and the American Express Gold Rewards Card.
As with the Fixed Points Travel Program, run the cents per point analysis to determine the value you’re getting by transferring these points. If you’re booking by transferring to other providers, you’ll have to use the archaic American Express Tripflex Program platform to finalize your travel reservations.
Pros & Cons Of The Amex Gold Rewards Card
To help summarize this American Express Gold Rewards Card Canada review, let’s compile some of the key pros and cons of the card.
Overall, this is one of the best rewards cards in Canada in my opinion. I recommend it highly for anyone looking to travel hack.
- Sign Up Bonus For The Gold Rewards Card Is Great: The 25,000 point bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months is a sizeable bonus.
- 2x Points On Key Categories: Earning 2x points on eligible grocery, travel, gas and pharmacy are competitive.
- Flexibility & Transferability Of Points: Whether you combine your Membership Rewards with another Amex card, use the Fixed Points Travel Program or transfer to another provider, the Gold Rewards Card opens the door the flexible travel opportunities.
- Extensive Coverage On Travel Insurance & Other Perks: Similar to other Amex cards, the Gold offers you the necessary travel coverage. Plus you can access other perks and benefits outlined above.
Overall, this is one of the best rewards cards in Canada in my opinion. I recommend it highly for anyone looking to travel hack. But what are some of the potential drawbacks of the American Express Gold Rewards Card?
- The Amex Gold Annual Fee: A $150 annual fee is higher than some (lower than others). However, you easily offset that value with your welcome bonus.
- No Cancellation Insurance: If cancellation insurance on travel is a high priority for you, the American Express Gold Rewards Card will come up short in that area.
Final Verdict: Sign Up For The American Express Golds Reward Card
If you’re ready to apply for the American Express Gold Rewards Card and start earning points with one of the best travel cards in Canada, you can sign up in 60 seconds or less.
What does it take to be qualified? You have to be a Canadian resident, have a Canadian credit file on record and be the majority of age in your province or territory.
SIGN UP FOR THE AMERICAN EXPRESS GOLD REWARDS CARD TODAY
Other Top Amex Travel Rewards Credit Cards In Canada
Want to explore the benefits of other American Express travel rewards cards for Canadians? Thankfully, Amex continues to deliver new offers and benefits in Canada for those looking to travel hack and earn rewards.
American Express Cobalt Review
The Cobalt has been dubbed the ‘millennial rewards card’ for Canadians. Why? You can earn 5x points on grocery, restaurant and bar purchases.
That’s not all though.
American Express has created a unique monthly bonus offer (2,500 each month when you spend $500) with the Cobalt and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular rewards cards. I use it as my preferred credit card for any grocery and restaurant spending while I churn other cards like the Gold, Platinum, SPG and so on.
Want to learn more? Check out this full American Express Cobalt Review for Canadians.
SPG Amex Canada Review
Another mainstay for Canadian travel hackers is the updated SPG Amex card. This Starwood Preferred Guest credit card gives you access to thousands of hotels globally plus carries the same flexibility to travel to other airlines or travel programs.
Did I mention it includes a 50,000 welcome bonus?
It also includes a free night at a SPG affiliated hotel every year. I will be keeping this card in my wallet and paying the annual fee just to get that benefit (and the many others it provides).
Read this full SPG Amex Canada Review.