I owned an Amex Gold card for a while. Sometimes I tweeted about it. I was thinking about giving Serenity a card (I talked about it in my blog), too. In fact, the other day Mother’s Day 2023 to be precise, we had her “pay” for the dinner. Note the reason I used the double quotes is I still pay the credit card bill :-).
I mentioned/talked about Amex Gold Card in my other blog post: you will need to scroll down a bit to read the benefits of Amex Gold. I think for the most part, the benefits cover the annual fee of $250.
One thing I did notice recently, is that the Gold Card does not provide airport lounge access. For that access, it requires a platinum card: an Amex centurion lounge or a Delta Lounge. Btw, this video explained various airport lounges well. To summarize though, it may make sense if someone travels quite a bit (meaning probably once or twice each month). And it seems the $495 a year Amex Delta platinum card (Delta Lounge) and the $695 a year Amex Platinum (centurion lounge) are the way to go. For infrequent flyers, thinking Priority Club is worth trying via a day pass. (Update 06-13-2023) I came across another YT video that offers an interesting perspective – It’s Over: Why I’m Cancelling My American Express.
But I am happy with the other benefits that come with Amex gold, including some of the offers. Note I like the flexibility Membership Rewards offer too, e.g., I can transfer the points to my HHonors account (the Hilton family hotels, 1 Membership Rewards point = 2 Hilton Honors points), or Marriott Bonvoy (Marriott rewards program, 1 Membership Rewards points = 1 Marriott Points).
I do have another Amex card, the Blue Cash, with a $95 annual fee. And I think the benefits such as 6% grocery store cashback and offers such as the Disney bundle covers the fee as well.
Note I don’t necessarily like or appreciate some of their “offers”, again, for example, this Fiji water offer, $20 off $80, and I mentioned some of the controversy of the famous Fiji water here. Also the CNBC Jim Cramer’s Investors Club, which is a $100 off $399 offer, again I would pass.
Last but not least, I pay off the balance every month. I think with the rewards credit card, sometimes I may have over-spent. This is something I believe Mr. Zhang Xin did right, as he explained in Chinese about his personal finance tips ( 我的理財觀超級老古板，當作笑話看就可以了章新談談心，老了改不了了 ), basically, he does not use a credit card (he uses cash, I assume debit card included), and he doesn’t invest or trade stocks, as he thinks that’s a gamble.
Offers vs Promotion
I worked for a major credit card company’s rewards program for almost 4 years between 2015 and 2019. And I personally created or oversaw some of the promotions (or campaigns) when I was there. Offers are a bit different. It’s another type of promotion from the consumer’s point of view, basically, the consumer just needs to enroll in that offer, when a qualifying spend happens, the cashback or other rewards will happen automatically. Right now, I mainly use the offers from Amex and Chase credit cards, as they are fairly straightforward and easy to enroll. A good example of an “offer” is this one – #AmexGold has an offer from #Steelcase for $150 off $750, you may want to check your Amex cards if you are planning to buy office chairs from the Steelcase website directly.
PS, danger zone (stock investing) –