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American Express has recently reconfigured how the American Express® Gold Card works. Where there used to be a $195 annual fee (with the first year being waived), new cardholders will have to pay $250 every year with no waiver in the first year. This change leads to the obvious next question: why? Well, Amex has added in a couple of huge new benefits to the card, making it a food and dining powerhouse. Not only will cardholders enjoy 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide, but also equivalent points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 a year; then 1X points).
This, however, is just the appetizer. They have also added a $120 dining credit that can be used towards dining purchases at merchants like Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. The credit cannot be applied all at once, however, but works through $10 monthly statement credits. Once enrolled, each month that you make a purchase at one of the participating merchants, American Express will give you a $10 statement credit. If you eat at least once a month at these restaurants or services, you'll bag yourself $120 in credits every year.
How do I sign up?
The $120 Dining Credit program does require you to enroll, but thankfully American Express makes that process super easy. Log in to your account on the American Express website. Once you are logged in, make sure that, in the case you have multiple cards with Amex, you choose the American Express® Gold Card. You do this by selecting it at the top right part of the page. After you are sure you have your Gold Card selected, navigate to the top menu and click on More and then Benefits.
On the benefits page, the $120 dining credit option can normally be found as one of the first options. If not, simply scroll through the page until you find it. Once you locate it, click on Learn More and you will be prompted to enroll.
That's it! You'll be taken to a screen with the Enrolled label checked. You'll also be shown some details of how the program works as well as some restrictions such as the inability to earn the credit by purchasing gift cards or merchandise from participating merchants.
Automatically maximized rewards
Remember, not only will you earn the statement credit once enrolled, but you'll still be racking in 4X points at all of these services and restaurants as well, so each time you eat with these merchants you'll be double dipping on rewards. Not only that, but purchases at these merchants by authorized users of your card will also trigger the statement credit as well. They won't get their own credit, but they can help you get yours.
The $120 dining credit is a solid offer that piggybacks nicely on the new upgraded rewards of the American Express® Gold Card. If you're a frequent patron of these establishments, it more than makes up for the increased annual fee of the card.
For the foodies
American Express® Gold Card
Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required. $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline. No Foreign Transaction Fees. Annual Fee is $250.
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