Wow: Amex knocks it out of the park with new 4x dining / $120 credit benefits…

Update 10/4: The new card benefits are now live (and with “enhanced” annual fee):
  • The card has been renamed to “American Express Gold Card
  • New benefits:
    • 4X at US Restaurants
    • 4x at US Supermarkets on up to $25K per calendar year in purchases (then 1x)
    • 3x flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com (unchanged benefit)
    • No more 2X gas at US gas stations
    • $120 dining credit: $10 per month credit for spend at GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and Participating Shake Shack locations
    • $100 Airline Fee Credit (unchanged benefit)
  • Note that these changes only apply to cards previously called “Premier Rewards Gold”.  Terms state: “Traditional Gold, Senior Gold, Classic Gold and Ameriprise Gold Cards are not eligible.”
  • The annual fee will remain the same ($195) is now $250. The new fee will go into effect for current Premier Rewards Gold Card Members beginning April 1, 2019 on their account renewal date.
  • The new welcome bonus is 25K points after $2K in spend plus 20% back as a statement credit on purchases at U.S. Restaurants, up to $100 back.  $250 annual fee is NOT WAIVED first year.

Original post follows:

If you have logged into your Amex Premier Rewards Gold account today, you might have been surprised to see an awesome new set of benefits — including 4x at US Restaurants4x at US Supermarkets on up to $25K per calendar year in purchases (then 1x) and 3x flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com.  The current benefit of 2X gas at US gas stations will no longer be available. There is also a new $120 annual dining credit split up monthly (similarly to the way Uber credits are split on Platinum cards). This is an amazing list of changes that suddenly makes this card incredibly relevant. Note: Not all users are seeing these new benefits. We do not yet know if these are going to roll out to all cardholders, though we expect they likely will. We will update with a new post if and when that happens.

The Deal

  • Existing Premier Rewards Gold customers are reporting a new set of benefits in their online logins, though these benefits do not show up on the application page yet

Quick Thoughts

We’re not positive whether this will only take effect for existing cardholders, but at least one member of the Frequent Miler team has a Premier Rewards Gold card and saw these new benefits when logging in to their PRG account. We expect these benefits will likely get rolled out shortly for new applicants and all US cardholders, but we can’t be certain at this point. We will certainly update with a new post if and when we see that change.

As noted above, the new bonus categories show as following:

  • 4x US Restaurants
  • 4x US Supermarkets (on up to $25K per calendar year in purchases, then 1x)
  • 3x flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com
  • 1x on all other purchases

Earning 4x Membership Rewards at US Restaurants sounds awesome and might make these the top-of-wallet dining card for many readers. Earning 4x on up to $25K per calendar year at US Supermarkets is also awesome for the generous cap. Amex is certainly making a play for this to become a daily driver card. Additionally, the card now carries a $120 annual dining credit in addition to the annual $100 airline incidentals credit that is unchanged. The new dining credit is split up as up to $10 per month in automatic statement credits when you pay with the Premier Rewards Gold card at:

  • GrubHub
  • Seamless
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
  • Participating Shake Shack locations

Again, that’s awesome as I’m sure that many readers will find it pretty easy to hit $10 per month, especially with the inclusion of food delivery services GrubHub and Seamless. If you have never used GrubHub before, you can get an additional $10 off your first order when singing up through a referral link. Here are ours:

Bottom line

These are awesome, massive changes to the Premier Rewards Gold card that will immediately shift it from being a card you might have considered just to earn a welcome bonus to being a long-term keeper that could get a significant portion of annual spend from many readers. Considering my post the other day about the Strengths Membership Rewards has over Ultimate Rewards, this new set of benefits looks very attractive indeed.

H/T: US Credit Card Guide

Last updated on October 4th, 2018

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

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Mark
Guest
Mark

I am an existing PRG card holder and I don’t show these earning rates.

Brian C
Guest
Brian C

I do not see this on my PRG card when i log in and review the benefits page…

AAH
Guest
AAH

Just logged in and I don’t see any updates to my benefits, but hopefully it kicks in soon!

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Personal only?

Erika
Guest
Erika

Not on the business card though. . . ;-(

Rob
Guest
Rob

It could be a targeted test. I wouldn’t apply for this card yet based on the expectation the terms are about to change. They may just want to try the new benefits out on a subset of cardholders for a while to see how it affects behavior/costs.

P-nope
Guest
P-nope

They’ll raise annual fee?

I got excited when I read this at DDG, but just logged in and I don’t see these benefits. I wonder if it’s targeted or a slow roll out. I also wonder when exactly the 4x will start – today or next billing or next year.

Bill
Guest
Bill

I canceled this card 2 days ago because my annual fee was due. Does Amex allow accounts to be reopened?

AAH
Guest
AAH

I called the Amex retention line a couple of weeks back to inquire about the fee and stated I was interested in cancelling (although I really wasn’t), they gave me a $150 credit to offset my annual fee. In the future it may be valuable to go that route vs cancelling.

Samantha
Guest
Samantha

You might be able to reopen the card so call AMEX and see. If not you can reapply but you won’t get the bonus since it’s a “once in a lifetime” bonus.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Not seeing this benefit either. I must say that a grocery store 4X up to $25K spending is a damn good bene.Hope it arrives.

Naomi
Guest
Naomi

Another existing PRG card holder (personal version) – not seeing this in my benefits page. Sounds great though – hope they roll it out to everyone soon!

Zach
Guest
Zach

you think they will do this for the platinum? This could be a game changer and compete directly with the sapphire reserve.

Nick Tan
Guest
Nick Tan

I saw it earlier, then it disappeared. Accidental leak?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Wow, same here. I’ll try different browsers and the old interface to see if I can find it again…. And.. nope. It’s gone from all of the places I’ve looked.

Platinum
Guest
Platinum

Nada

Nick Tan
Guest
Nick Tan

I guess they removed 2x on gas stations/fuel? Not a fan of that.

Jags
Guest
Jags

Does it really matter? You get 2x on BBP already. These changes would make me seriously reconsider being pretty much all in with Chase. If only I could get another PRG bonus.

Can you downgrade a cobranded Platinum card (Schwab, Ameriprise) to PRG?

Nick Tan
Guest
Nick Tan

Eh, probably doesn’t matter or make a significant impact but every little bit counts!

Could see this absolutely crushing Chase Sapphire Preferred. Just my thoughts.

chop
Guest
chop

The Preferred earns 2x on a broadly defined travel category. The PRG doesn’t.

Nick Tan
Guest
Nick Tan

Good point. Also… US based spend only which is bad for some.

I think PRG would prove more well rounded to the occasional traveler market though – which is a big block of CSP users. Big travel spenders are already on CSR and are a separate beast.

Per usual, depends on individual spend patterns I suppose.

klanfa
Guest
klanfa

Maybe they planned an announcement but then accidentally leaked it beforehand?
Nothing on my account, but I do see ‘dining’ tab under benefits which I believe was not there.
Also SO’s account shows benefits(23), and lists 21.
Fingers crossed it will be for all accounts and that the issue right now is that they released it too soon.
Will we see AF go up though? Hmm

Fly for free
Guest
Fly for free

I have my Gold cards from Platinum as a AU. Would that qualify or is this for paid Gold card only?

Rob
Guest
Rob

With AMEX five credit card limit, maybe time to get rid of ED and EDP as PRG is more rounded card?

AAH
Guest
AAH

My understanding is that the 5 card ‘limit’ only applies to credit cards, not charge cards such as the PRG

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

Nada, and rep knows nothing about it

P-nope
Guest
P-nope

Amex is smart with this move. Some people cancel the card and some people MS tens of thousands each month on groceries. People like me who can’t MS that much or don’t see a lot of value on MS-ing on 2x only on grocery spend go back and forth between keeping or canceling the card. But with higher earning, I’ll definitely keep the card even if I can’t exceed the 25k limit. So, as a result maybe more people will keep their card, giving more annual fees to Amex.

Parts Unknown
Guest
Parts Unknown

I was planning on cancelling mine when the AF hit, if this is real it becomes a no-brainer keeper instead.

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I love the amex Hilton ascend; 6 points on each dollar in restaurant, supermarket and gas. Every day expenses. Spend $15000 a year and get a free night in any Hilton brand inc Waldorf Astoria

Mike
Guest
Mike

I agree…but if these changes turn out to be true then you could earn 4 points per dollar on the PRG at restaurants and grocery stores, transfer them to Hilton at the current 1:2 ratio and come out ahead of the Ascend (not that I think that’s the best use of MR).

Utahshane
Guest
Utahshane

This is terrible news for the MS world.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

How?

Utahshane
Guest
Utahshane

I’ll just say this, compare the old category earning rates and spending caps to the new category rates and caps.

Bo knows
Guest
Bo knows

absolutely agreed….no way to accumulate a lot of membership points once the capping is in place….capping is always a bad thing

P-nope
Guest
P-nope

It looks like we killed this before it even started. If Amex is reading the forums and the blogs, they know we like and want this. Now, they will NEVER give it to us! 🙂

AnameOfaguy
Guest
AnameOfaguy

Can we not call it a $120 dining credit? It’s really misleading. It’s a $10/mo credit at two food delivery services and a couple of limited-presence chains. Nice to see the 4x, but the monthly credit is worth about nil unless you’re a regular user of GrubHub.

Yuri
Guest
Yuri

Expect AF increase to $220-250

Austin
Guest
Austin

For what it’s worth, I called in today and the rep said the benefits would go live in October.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Is the best play to get the prg now, unless the new benefits come with lower sign up offers or higher annual fees?

Brian
Guest
Brian

I was thinking the same thing. Lock in the 50k sign up and keep card for grocery purchases after they convert.

MikeL
Guest
MikeL

I’ve been considering adding a premium AMEX card to my wallet for a while now….

What are AMEX points valued at compared to Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you have the Reserve card at 1.5% bonus value?

And this is a points game right? 25k sign up bonus seems low?

Also, I fly 99.9% United… For flying United, does any of the AMEX (Platinum or Gold) products compete well (or complement) the CSR?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Amex points (mostly) aren’t great to use to pay for travel through Amex Travel. When you do that, you’ll usually get 1 cent per point value or less. There are two significant exceptions to this:
1. If you have an Amex Business Platinum card, you get 35% of your points back when you redeem points through Amex Travel for either a First or Business class flight on any airline, or for any flights with your selected airline. This makes your points worth slightly over 1.5 cents each.
2. If you have the Schwab Platinum card you can redeem points for cash (deposited to your investment account) at a value of 1.25 cents per point.

The best use of Amex points, though, is to transfer to airline partners to use for high value awards. Nick wrote about some of the best uses here: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/09/18/stengths-membership-rewards-has-over-ultimate-rewards/

25K signup bonus: yes, that’s low. Look for a targeted 50K offer. They’re common with this card.

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[…] Wow: Amex knocks it out of the park with new 4x dining / $120 credit benefits… […]

escot
Guest
escot

So you’re advertising your web site — which doesn’t permit questions and discussion. So I got one for ya, how the heck is this knocking anything out of the park? What exactly are you getting for your unwaved massive $250 annual fee? How many tens of thousands do you need to spend on “groceries” (ahem, gift cards with high fees) before you break even? Will Amex RAT teams ruin the party (as they often do) when they start revoking points earned with cash equivalent purchases? Honest bloggers not selling cards would dare to do the math — Drew TIF style. I’m not buying the hype.

Roy
Guest
Roy

I have a Platinum and a Preferred Cash Amex and the Cash Amex gives 6x grocery store purchases up to $4k or $6k I think. I hope they extend the restaurant benefit to Platinum card holders too, that would be awesome.

Lee @ BaldThoughts
Guest
Lee @ BaldThoughts

Amex must be feeling the pressure from the refreshed Capital One Savor Card, which earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment and 2% cash back on groceries.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

The changes described in this post are now official and live. One big difference is that the annual fee has increased after all. It was $195, but is now $250 for new cardmembers. Also note that the new welcome bonus is worse than we would have predicted since the first year annual fee is not waived.

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[…] As we reported earlier, the card formerly known as Premier Rewards Gold now has a new name and new benefits: […]