The American Express Gold Rewards Card is back in Canada — with a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 MR points, $100 annual travel credit, four annual visits to the Plaza Premium Lounge, and new trip cancellation insurance, it's a great credit card choice for Canadians.
In this post, we'll go through everything you need to know about this new version of the Amex Gold Rewards Card — we highly recommend applying for this new offer today.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card was discontinued around July 2021, but it was said that it would return at a later date.
That date has finally arrived, and we now have plenty of new information about what the renewed Gold Rewards Card has in store for us Canadians.
In this post, I'll go through all of the information you need to know about the American Express Gold Rewards Card in Canada, including the features and benefits that have been added to this renewed version.
Amex Gold Rewards Card Pros & Cons
|• Welcome bonus of up to 60,000 MR points (5,000 points for each month you spend $1,000)|
• Earn 2x points on eligible travel purchases
• Access to $100 hotel credit annually
• Receive a $50 statement credit when a NEXUS application or renewal fee is charged
• Four (4) complimentary visits per Calendar year to Plaza Premium Lounges across Canada
• 1 Free Additional Gold Rewards Card to help you earn points faster
• New trip cancellation insurance
• Comes with a complimentary membership in Priority Pass™, one of the world’s largest independent airport lounge programs
|• Reward rates aren't the most competitive|
• Annual fee is reasonably high at $250
Amex Gold Rewards Card Features & Benefits
|Welcome Bonus||• Up to 60,000 MR points welcome bonus (5,000 points for each month you spend $1,000)|
|Travel Benefits||• $100 hotel for amenities at The Hotel Collection participating properties|
• Priority Pass™ complimentary membership
|Additional Card Fee||Up to 1 free additional card|
|Points Earned Per $1 Spent||• 2X on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery|
• 2X on eligible travel & transit
• 1X on everything else
|American Express Experiences||✔|
|Travel Coverage||• $5,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)|
• $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
• Flight Delay Insurance
• Baggage Delay Insurance
• Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
• Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
• Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
• Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $1,500 per insured person, per trip, up to a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons combined)
• Trip Cancellation Insurance (Up to $1,500 per insured person, per trip, up to a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons combined)
|Purchase Coverage||• Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan|
• Purchase Protection Plan
|Eligibility||• Canadian citizens or residents|
• A valid Canadian Credit file
• An account in good standing (recommended credit score of at least 650)
|Type of Card||Credit card|
New Welcome Bonus
The old American Express Gold Rewards Card used to offer 25,000 MR points as a welcome bonus against an annual fee of $150. This made it a good Amex card, albeit far from the best.
However, this revamped version of the card has essentially doubled the welcome bonus it previously had.
A welcome bonus of up to 60,000 MR points on the Gold Rewards Card puts it in the same range as the offers the Platinum Card used to have — the Platinum Card offered 50,000 MR points before, and an incredible 80,000 points now.
This means that by getting the newest version of the Gold Rewards Card, you can get the same welcome bonus that the Platinum Card used to have for half the price.
Card Fees & Bonuses
One of the most noticeable changes to come from this revamp to the American Express Gold Rewards Card is that its annual fee has increased from $150 to $250.
However, current cardholders will also receive a $100 statement credit on the same date. This will allow them to keep the card at the previous $150 annual fee for a year before deciding whether or not to keep it.
$100 Annual Travel Credit
The Gold Rewards Card justifies its $100 annual fee raise with a new feature: a $100 annual travel credit, similar to the Platinum Card‘s $200 annual travel credit.
The $100 annual travel credit can be applied to any booking of $100 or more on the Amex Travel website. This includes air tickets, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. While other cards, like the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, focus on a specific hotel chain, this travel credit is useful at any hotel, provided you make reservations through Amex Travel.
Since the travel credit also counts on refundable reservations, it's essentially as good as cash and cuts down your annual fee back to $150 in future years.
Taking the previously mentioned $100 statement credit into account, current cardholders can use their Gold Rewards Card for at least a year while only going through a $50 annual fee, making the impact of the $100 raise considerably lower.
Metal & Rose Gold Cards
The new Gold Rewards Card will be a metal card with the same iconic colour as previous versions.
Existing cardholders will be issued a new metal card once their present card's expiration date passes or if they lose their current card.
New users of the Gold Rewards Card will have the option of selecting a new Rose Gold colour along with the regular Gold finish when it reopens.
$50 NEXUS Credit
A $50 statement credit will be given on NEXUS purchases with the new Gold Rewards Card.
When a NEXUS application or renewal fee is charged to the card, you'll receive a $50 statement credit every four years.
However, considering the NEXUS application or renewal fee is $50 (USD), this means you'd be responsible for around $15 in costs due to the exchange rate.
Plaza Premium Lounge Visits + Priority Pass Membership
The American Express Gold Rewards Card will also add airport lounge access to its list of travel benefits.
Every year, cardholders will be entitled to four visits to Plaza Premium lounges in Canada. You'll be able to use the Plaza Premium Lounges in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Edmonton (as well as the Air France Business Lounge in Montreal).
Cardholders also receive a complimentary membership with Priority Pass. However, no free lounge visits are provided, and each admission to a Priority Pass lounge is subject to a $32 USD per visit fee.
This is a less attractive Priority Pass perk than the Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card, for instance, both of which grant you unlimited access to 1,200+ lounges worldwide.
Considering that Priority Pass and Plaza Premium have parted ways, though, the Gold Rewards Card's greater lounge access benefits on the Plaza Premium side make sense, given Plaza Premium's large presence at Canadian airports.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
The last iteration of the Gold Rewards Cards had a considerable flaw in that it lacked trip cancellation insurance.
The card's relaunch has addressed this flaw as part of the update, with trip cancellation insurance recently being added to the insurance bundle, too.
Up to $1,500 per insured person, per trip, up to a maximum of $3,000 for all persons combined is covered.
The card's trip cancellation benefit supplements the existing provisions such as:
- $5,000,000 out-of-province emergency medical insurance
- $500,000 travel accident insurance
- Lost or stolen baggage insurance
- Flight delay insurance
- Baggage delay insurance
- Hotel burglary insurance
- Trip interruption insurance
- Car rental theft and damage insurance
This insurance coverage is in line with what you get with many Canadian business cards, which is impressive, making the Gold Rewards card a runner-up for the best card in Canada.
Is The American Express Gold Rewards Card Worth It?
The increased annual fee of $250 and the new $100 yearly travel credit cancel each other out — if you pay the higher annual fee of the new card in order to maximize the travel credit, you still would be paying $150 out-of-pocket.
Leaving this aside, though, the new enhancements to the Gold Rewards Card are great: obtaining an additional quadrennial $50 NEXUS credit, four Plaza Premium lounge visits per year, and trip cancellation coverage without any extra cost are excellent additions to the card.
However, the new Gold Rewards Card is still less rewarding than the Cobalt Card, considering the earning rates of the card stay the same and that they have a similar annual cost when you include the Gold Card's yearly travel credit ($150 net annual fee vs. $155.88 annual fee on the Cobalt).
The Gold Rewards Card is a great choice for existing and new cardholders alike, even if it doesn't have the most competitive earn rates.
If you have the card already, you’ll be getting all of these benefits for an increase in the annual fee that will only take effect on your next renewal date.
If you don’t currently have it and can spare $100 more per year to get access to all of these perks, then I suggest going ahead and applying for the card now so that you won’t miss out on it.