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Premier Rewards Gold refresh: 4x USA dining, groceries, $10/mon dining credit. $250.

Old Oct 4, 2018, 1:05 pm
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Last edit by: roberto99
Faq amex: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/campaigns/gold-card/gold-update-faqs.html

For existing and new cardholders
  • Changes below are effective immediately
    • 4x US grocery (25k/calendar year), 4x US dining* (*pervasive reports that many dining transactions are not coding as 4x, including but not limited to those from Square or Toast-based POS systems. Scroll down in thread for more reports and information.)
    • $120 dining credit ($10 monthly in certain restaurants)
  • No change
    • $100 calendar year airline reimbursement
  • Other
    • $250 AF (see below for existing cardholders)
    • No 2x gas (removed, see below for existing cardholders who have it till Oct 2019)
  • Metal card (contactless)
    • Rose gold card - limited edition until Jan 9 2019
    • Regular gold card

For new cardholders (Oct 4 2018 and after)
  • You may be able to find targeted/referal 50k/$2k, but first AF is not waived
  • Signup bonus: You get 20% off restaurant up to $500 restaurant spend (3 month)
  • You do not get 2x gas (only for existing cardholders, see below)

For existing cardholders (Oct 3 2018 or before)
  • AF will change to $250 for anniversary dates after April 1 2019
  • 2x gas will be removed after Oct 2019
  • You can chat/call for the gold/rosegold metal card. AU card will get whatever primary cardholder is getting, cannot be different
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Premier Rewards Gold refresh: 4x USA dining, groceries, $10/mon dining credit. $250.

Old Oct 28, 2019, 1:31 pm
  #1561  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NYC (LGA, JFK), CT
Programs: Delta Platinum, American Gold, JetBlue Mosaic 4, Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Diamond,
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One thing that I never really got was the length that some people go through to maximize the various credits for Amex cards - ideally, the credits should offset spending that you would have done if you didn't have the card. For example, for the Uber credit, if you use Uber on a weekly or daily basis, value the credit at the full $200. If you don't, and you have to change your behavior to use Uber at all, the credit is basically worthless. Same for the Grubhub and Saks credits. If the credits don't work for you, there are many other non-Amex cards with basically equivalent spend bonuses and perks that would be better
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 1:57 pm
  #1562  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: CLT
Programs: AA EP, AA AC
Posts: 4,268
I know there are many CSR enthusiasts and I certainly get it if you just want to redeem at 1.5x, but if you want to shoot for the international business/first class type redemptions with partners, you cannot beat AMEX (and Citi is catching up IMHO). If one can maximize the grocery spend, and my grocery spend is by far my largest every week spend, it is hard to beat the Amex Gold. Add on top of that, the dining credit which can be leveraged without delivery which decreases the outlay, it is not a bad gig. As always, YYMV one size does not fit all.

Safe Travels
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 6:24 pm
  #1563  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Originally Posted by GTITAN
I know there are many CSR enthusiasts and I certainly get it if you just want to redeem at 1.5x, but if you want to shoot for the international business/first class type redemptions with partners, you cannot beat AMEX (and Citi is catching up IMHO). If one can maximize the grocery spend, and my grocery spend is by far my largest every week spend, it is hard to beat the Amex Gold. Add on top of that, the dining credit which can be leveraged without delivery which decreases the outlay, it is not a bad gig. As always, YYMV one size does not fit all.

Safe Travels
This is what I thought when I still had the Gold card. Then, when it was time to renew, I checked to see how much spend I had put on groceries on my Gold card in the previous year. It was $7K.

That really surprised me until I realized that every time I get a new card, I quit using the Gold card (and most other cards) and put all spend on the new card until I meet the MSR.

Rinse, repeat several times annually and it turns out I wasn't receiving as much value from the Gold card as I had thought.
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 6:26 pm
  #1564  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: CLT
Programs: AA EP, AA AC
Posts: 4,268
Originally Posted by Diplomatico
This is what I thought when I still had the Gold card. Then, when it was time to renew, I checked to see how much spend I had put on groceries on my Gold card in the previous year. It was $7K.

That really surprised me until I realized that every time I get a new card, I quit using the Gold card (and most other cards) and put all spend on the new card until I meet the MSR.

Rinse, repeat several times annually and it turns out I wasn't receiving as much value from the Gold card as I had thought.
I am about 4000 in on groceries since getting the card in July, so I am doing pretty well.

Safe Travels
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 6:38 pm
  #1565  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,238
Originally Posted by Happy
Here are the statistics - 36 days RTW trip, covered Venice, then Puglia region of Southern Italy (the "heel" part of the "boot"), West Australia (Perth and the coastal area south of Perth all the way to Margaret River), Hong Kong.
Hah, nice trip! Just did 12 days in Spain and used AMEX Gold almost everywhere...almost...I think I put $600 on my Amazon Visa (as I have literally zero Chase UR right now) and the rest was cash or AMEX Gold
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 7:55 pm
  #1566  
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Originally Posted by GTITAN
I know there are many CSR enthusiasts and I certainly get it if you just want to redeem at 1.5x, but if you want to shoot for the international business/first class type redemptions with partners, you cannot beat AMEX (and Citi is catching up IMHO). If one can maximize the grocery spend, and my grocery spend is by far my largest every week spend, it is hard to beat the Amex Gold. Add on top of that, the dining credit which can be leveraged without delivery which decreases the outlay, it is not a bad gig. As always, YYMV one size does not fit all.

Safe Travels
That is not an accurate statement. Many programs can be done WITHOUT Membership Reward points.
It also very much depends on how much balances you have in various programs.

The miniRTW trip we just did was with Aeroplan program which was funded 4/5 by Marriott Travel Package Redemption before the final merger with SPG, 1/5 with Membership Rewards ONLY because we want to fund AS miles from the remaining Marriott Travel Package redemption. This trip involved TAP, TK, SQ and BR, with UA being the only coach segment to bring us home. Can't avoid that unless we buy a separate domestic F ticket for a 2 hours flight. Give us aisle seats, we are fine for flights not longer than 4 hours. Hence the "compromise".

Virtually all our trips are RTW in nature, made up by multiple one-ways involving 3 or 4 programs almost exclusively flying on partners metal except the domestic segments, plus purchased tickets on intra-continent flights when cash tickets are much cheaper than redemption cost. Such was the case with the flights within South Africa when the Rand was extremely low against USD - the cash portion on the Avios redemption would almost be the same to just buy the revenue ticket. Another situation is, there is only LCCs to choose from for the most convenient routes, as in the case of visiting Puglia. We even take long distance buses in the Baltic countries as well as between Baltic and Russia. For those who do not know, those bus seats are equivalent to US domestic F seats with bigger degree of recline, equipped with seatback screen connecting to internet. There is toilet at the lower floor (the baggage hold). Coffee/Tea/Chocolate/Water are self-served. Other than long hours the bus ride is amazingly comfortable with the added bonus of seeing a lot of a country. For the main body of a trip though, they are always at least in business class and often in first class. We have long long passed the stage in life to endure long haul coach just to see the world.

Normally we dont book any R/T trip. The Aeroplan miniRTW being a rare exception for 2 reasons - 1) it may be laughable to many, it forces us to finally go to West Australia, after being in Australia 6 or 7 times. Since it only costed extra 5K miles over the US-EU-Asia-US routing, (165K versus 160K per) so why not hit West Australia? 2) the desire to take advantage of top hotels at Venice before their redemption level went too high. A good reason to make us finally put our driving trip in Puglia a reality.

With millions miles in each major program, we can use any program when availability is the best, even with a bit higher level of miles needed.

The Chase 1.5 is used to book lodgings when workable, as well as cruises again when workable. We do not use them to "buy" airline tickets except in very rare cases. Another main usage is to transfer to Hyatt when it makes sense. This Spring we had a trip to Japan where we had 2 nights in Naha and 2 nighrs in Tokyo, stayed at Hyatt properties funded by UR transfer.

This Spring we flew JL F to Tokyo then use Avios for multiple domestic flights inside Japan, including flights to / from Okinawa. That followed by 2 cruises, 1 was completely paid with UR pts. The other one we paid by CSR due to the UR portal pricing was not competitive therefore the actual saving was much less.

Agree with you, no one size fits all. I firmly believe a hard calculation on the real out of pocket cost for the Membership Reward pts or any points gathered, is really the key element to determine whether a card is a keeper.
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 7:59 pm
  #1567  
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Originally Posted by lax01
Hah, nice trip! Just did 12 days in Spain and used AMEX Gold almost everywhere...almost...I think I put $600 on my Amazon Visa (as I have literally zero Chase UR right now) and the rest was cash or AMEX Gold
Yeah it was a very leisurely trip with 9 to 10 days at each continent, plus the inevitable overnight stays when hopping from one continent to another. lol.

Good for you being able to use the Gold card in Spain. No such luck for us on our trip, unfortunately.

Have you seen the demonstrations in Barcelona?
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 8:03 pm
  #1568  
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Originally Posted by Adelphos
One thing that I never really got was the length that some people go through to maximize the various credits for Amex cards - ideally, the credits should offset spending that you would have done if you didn't have the card. For example, for the Uber credit, if you use Uber on a weekly or daily basis, value the credit at the full $200. If you don't, and you have to change your behavior to use Uber at all, the credit is basically worthless. Same for the Grubhub and Saks credits. If the credits don't work for you, there are many other non-Amex cards with basically equivalent spend bonuses and perks that would be better
Now you see how successful the card issuers have played the games to direct people's thinking... as to justify the AF charged for example.

The way AMEX designs its benefits when it is in $ term, it also counts on a lot of non-users. This once again makes Chase a better player by the much easier to use Travel Credit against the $450 fee, versus AMEX fixed airline credit that has very rigid rules to use.
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Old Oct 28, 2019, 8:28 pm
  #1569  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,238
Originally Posted by Happy
Have you seen the demonstrations in Barcelona?
I would consider us VERY lucky...we literally took a train to Valencia 24-48 hours before it all started (and I heard the protests basically shut down the trains and airports)

And then we flew out of Madrid (though we debated about going back to BCN for the return trip)
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Old Oct 29, 2019, 4:34 am
  #1570  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: CLT
Programs: AA EP, AA AC
Posts: 4,268
Originally Posted by Happy
That is not an accurate statement. Many programs can be done WITHOUT Membership Reward points.
It also very much depends on how much balances you have in various programs..
Very impressive trip!(s)!!! My point was that AMEX has more transfer partners than Chase that can be leveraged (and some of those partners have great value). Etihad, Cathay, etc. I do agree that if you have multiple FFPs with miles in them that this is likely to be better than AMEX. When Chase lost KE and UA going to dynamic award pricing, I find it quite damaging to its value proposition. Were I one that stayed at Hyatts or wanted to redeem for travel at 1.5X, I certainly see much value in Chase. As I tend to want to fly ANA, CX, AA (via Etihad), use Aeroplan, I think AMEX is superior to Chase. But I read you loud and clear. Appreciate the very thoughtful response!!!

Safe Travels
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Old Dec 3, 2019, 1:10 pm
  #1571  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: SFO
Posts: 3,902
Anyone seeing Safeway not coding properly?

In early Nov, Safeway was coding properly at 4x . Several purchases on Nov 27 and later, Safeway is coding at 1x. Transaction details are identical except the merchant is "SAFEWAY FUEL STN".
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Old Dec 3, 2019, 1:53 pm
  #1572  
mia
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Originally Posted by Troopers
...."SAFEWAY FUEL STN".
I expect Safeway has a separate merchant account for gasoline sales, and it would not code as a supermarket.
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Old Dec 3, 2019, 2:06 pm
  #1573  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: SFO
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Originally Posted by mia
I expect Safeway has a separate merchant account for gasoline sales, and it would not code as a supermarket.
Sorry I was unclear...I'm referring to the grocery checkouts inside the the store are no longer coding as supermarket. All purchases prior to Nov 27 inside the store coded correctly.
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Old Dec 3, 2019, 5:01 pm
  #1574  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 93
I didn't use my PRG but used my Amex Everyday card to pay for grocery at Safeway on Nov 27, 28 & 29. All transactions were coded correctly.
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Old Dec 4, 2019, 10:01 am
  #1575  
mia
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Originally Posted by Troopers
.... grocery checkouts inside the the store....purchases prior to Nov 27 inside the store coded correctly.
Originally Posted by joytatee
I....Safeway on Nov 27, 28 & 29. All transactions were coded correctly.
It sounds as if it is a problem at a specific store running charges with the wrong merchant account.
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