Madeline Rae is the face behind Madeline Rae Away, a travel and lifestyle blog chronicling her adventures around the world. Last year, she followed her heart across the Atlantic, leaving Canada behind to settle into expat life in Malmö, Sweden.
In this post, Madeline shows how she uses her American Express Gold Rewards Card to travel all over Europe on a dime.
Let me just get straight to the point: I love my American Express Gold Rewards Card. After being persuaded by a friend to “just try it” a few years ago, I was immediately hooked.
As a self-diagnosed travel addict, the Gold Rewards Card is everything I could want in a day-to-day credit card: it enables me to rack up points on daily purchases, and use those points for heavily discounted flights.
Since moving to Sweden, I’ve been able to use my Gold Rewards Card to adventure to all my favourite places around Europe, including Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Montenegro, and Norway, just to name a few.
Most recently, I took a quick trip up to Stockholm, and to say my Gold Rewards Card was my best friend all weekend would be an understatement. I used it to book my flights, secure my hotel, and eat my way through Sweden’s capital—including some serious indulgences at Stockholm’s famed Christmas markets.
Want to know more about these adventures? Keep reading!
Here’s How I Used My Amex Gold Rewards Card On My Trip To Stockholm
#1 Booking Flights
Did you know that you earn 2 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases with the Gold Rewards Card?
This means that every time I book a flight or a hotel, I’m earning double the points!
I typically transfer these points to my Aeroplan account, and use them to buy flights from there.
And that’s exactly what I did on this trip to Stockholm. All you need to do is transfer your points to your Aeroplan account, and then use them to travel on airlines within the Star Alliance family (which includes my two favourite airlines: Air Canada and Scandinavian Airlines).
#2 Eating & Drinking
Have you heard of the Swedish concept of fika? It’s a Swedish word with no direct English translation, but it essentially means “to enjoy coffee and a sweet treat with friends.”
Fika represents taking time out of your day to catch up, bond, and just be with those closest to you. And needless to say, since I moved to Sweden, I have been fikaing all over the country (I’m almost certain that shouldn’t be used as a verb… but let’s just go with it!).
In Stockholm, there were no shortage of spots to grab a coffee, because if there’s one thing Scandinavians love, it’s coffee.
But Sweden is so much more than just fika!
I recently used my Gold Rewards Card to sip on glögg at a Christmas market in Stockholm, say “skål” (or “cheers”) with cola-flavoured craft beer in hand, and–in true Nordic fashion–eat Swedish meatballs.
I love to use my Amex Gold to pay for fika–and other meals and drinks–at cafes and restaurants across Sweden and all over the world. In fact, Sweden is nearly an entirely cashless country, which means there are plenty of opportunities to use my card, rack up points, and book more flights.
Are you starting to see a pattern here?
#3 Catching Some Zzzs
I love using my Gold Rewards Card to book rooms at some of Europe’s coolest hotels.
In Stockholm, we spent our downtime in this cozy suite in the city centre. I slept happily at night knowing that, again, I was earning 2x the points on my stay.
And, I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up to views like this one on vacation?
So how much do you have to travel for this card to be “worth it”?
When I first ordered my Gold Rewards Card, I asked myself the same question. I was convinced you had to be the always-on-the-go or travel-for-business type to get the most out of this card.
In Sweden, I don’t drive. I live in a city that’s littered with bike lanes and an abundance of public transportation options. But when I lived in Canada, I earned a large portion of my points on my weekly gas fill-ups thanks to the Gold Rewards Card’s 2x earn rate at eligible gas stations. The same went for my grocery store purchases.
The truth is, you don’t have to be a travel blogger or corporate jetsetter to reap the benefits of the American Express Gold Rewards Card. In fact, many of the points I accumulate are on day-to-day purchases–like food and gas–and on quick weekend day trips.
Okay, I’m off to fika now.
I told you I was taking this whole Scandinavian “kaffe” thing seriously…
For more from Madeline, follow her on Instagram.