Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card Increases Publicly Available Sign-up Bonus!

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The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card now increased their publicly available sign-up offer from 15,000 to 25,000 Membership Reward points.  While 25,000 points almost sounds ho-hum in the day of 50,000 point sign-up offers, this is still a card that is very much worth considering for families since it comes with some pretty solid family-friendly bonus point categories.

First, a little bit more about the improved offer.  American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card. The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card awards 25,000 Membership Rewards points after $2,000 is spent on the card in the first three months.  The $175 annual fee is waived the first year.  This offer was previously available by referral only, but considering how many problems I had and heard about with the referral system, I am very glad to see this offer go public.  I wish the sign-up bonus were even higher, but Amex has been pretty conservative on the non-targeted sign-up bonuses for a while, so at least 25K is better than 15K.

The two reasons that I think this is a solid card to consider are the bonus point categories and the Membership Rewards transfer bonuses.  The Premier Rewards Gold card awards 3X points on airfare, 2X points on gas and groceries in stand alone gas stations and grocery stores, and 1X points on everything else.  I absolutely love the 3x on airfare.  I have recently started getting 3x by putting airfare on my Business Gold Rewards Amex and it really does add up quickly.  For families, 2x on gas and groceries is great.  Those are both very large and unavoidable expenses at my house, and earning bonus points on things I have to buy anyway is fantastic.  While this is slightly off-topic, earning 5x Ultimate Reward points this quarter when we fill up our car and truck at the gas station by having the Chase Freedom Visa and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and/or Ink Bold Business almost makes buying gas fun.  So while I don’t yet have the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card (though my mom does), I can vouch for the awesomeness of earning extra points for otherwise boring purchases such as gas.

If you choose to put a decent amount of spending on this card each year, you will receive 15,000 additional Membership Reward points after charging $30,000 on the card annually.  That is a pretty decent bonus and in my mind offsets the annual fee by itself, assuming you can hit that spending threshold.

While Amex hasn’t been perfect to me lately, one of the main reasons why I still like Membership Reward points are the transfer bonuses that they periodically run to hotel and airline partners.  Last year’s 50% transfer bonus to British Airways was a very popular transfer bonus around my house.  Membership Rewards has historically had some very solid transfer promos to Delta as well.  Of course, there are no guarantees about what the future will hold with transfer bonuses, but I know I don’t want to be left on the sideline if/when the next one comes along!

I hope to add this card to my credit card collection at some point this year to fill during the quarters that gas and/or groceries are not bonus categories with my Freedom card.    Do you have this card (or hope to get it in the near future)?  What do you think about the bonus categories and bonus points that come with this deal?

Disclosure:  Some of the credit card links used in this post do provide me a commission if you are approved for the cards by using my links.  As always, I only link to the best available offer that I am aware of.  Your support is always very much appreciated.

Comments

  1. My mom actually contacted me today and said she wanted a referral now. The referrals obviously expired on 2/13/12, but is there any way to get a referral now? I don’t see the offer in my Amex credit card portal. All there is now is an offer for 5,000 SPG points on the SPG portal to refer the SPG Amex. I looked through all my sent items to see if I could find an old referral link, but couldn’t find one that I can send her.

  2. Michael,

    That stinks in terms of timing for you! I think some people can still refer, but I know both my Amex account and my mom’s both show it as “We’re sorry, but that promo has expired” when I try to do referrals. It could obviously come back at any time, so she could wait if you want to refer her possibly in the future.

    She can apply from the link in this post to get the same deal, but of course that isn’t as good for you as being able to refer her. 😉 Good luck to you finding a way to refer and good luck to your mom with her application!

  3. Personally, I don’t find PRG that appealing at 25K. I value the cost of an Experian or Equifax credit inquiry at $500 and 25K MR is worth less than that in my book. I’d hold out for a better offer unless you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. I’m surprised a lot of bloggers are bullish on this card at 25K. 3x airfare is OK but most airline cards give you 2x as does Sapphire Preferred. 2x on groceries is nice but how much do you really spend on groceries in a year? There is also no spend bonus for big spenders, so you need to compare how much more you’d get on other cards if you put the grocery and airfare spend on them. Then there is the issue of what to do with your MR when your PRG is up for renewal. No way I’d pay the annual $175 fee for this card. The other thing to watch out for is AMEX is getting more strict with allowing folks to churn. When I got my 75K bumps last year I was told I wouldn’t qualify for another AMEX bonus in the future. Most of these offers state they are for first time cardholders only. As such, you need to factor in opportunity cost and risk.

    Similarly, I don’t think Freedom is worth the opportunity cost of a Chase application or inquiry which I value closer to $625. Again, depends on whether you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. Also as Frequent Miler pointed out, you may be able to do just as well with Ink Bold buying gift cards at some office supply merchants to effectively get 5x in the categories you would normally earn 5x with Freedom. Not only that but you aren’t capped at $1500 of spend each quarter like you are with Freedom. If you have the Ink Bold I’d say skip Freedom and pick a more lucrative Chase offer.

    • @Hiker T, since the bonus on the card increased today from 15K from 25K, I am sure most of the blogs will be covering that increase. 25K isn’t huge, but percentage wise it is a decent increase over 15K. It does have a bonus for spending 30K, so that is nice for “big spenders”. 😉 I think it is a solid card, but then again my family spends a bunch in the bonus categories. Groceries, gas, and airfare for a family really can add up over a year. Of course, it won’t be the right card for everyone and I wish the sign-up bonus was a bit higher.

      In terms of the Freedom, I actually converted an existing older Chase to a Freedom. No sign-up bonus, but it made sense in my case. However, 30K UR points plus the quarterly benefits of the Freedom for an annual fee-free card is a pretty decent deal for many. Again, no card is for everyone. Always good to have options and increased sign-up bonuses are always better news than decreased sign-up bonuses. 😉

  4. You’re right, I couldn’t find the 15K PRG bonus for spending 30K listed anywhere on the application but do see it listed when I log in to my AMEX account. Definitely makes sense for big spenders then. BTW, you have an errant ” at the end of the PRG link. Doesn’t seem to affect the link but may want to fix it.

    Same here for already having the Freedom by default. Had an older Chase card that was converted into Freedom.

  5. @HikerT, who wrote “I’m surprised a lot of bloggers are bullish on this card at 25K.”. I suspect that, in the days before high referral fees from affiliate programs, most bloggers would have said to wait or just pass on this. Of all of the “credit card” bloggers, there are just 2 left who have not mentioned this deal! 🙂 As for me, I’m holding out for new 50K deals!

    • @Bluecat, I hear where you are coming from, but most of the posts I have read are pretty upfront that 25k isn’t earth shattering, but it is an increase, so it is worth mentioning. Amex has also been a bit stingy with the public offers, so 25k from them may be as good as it gets on this car for a while (unless you are targeted).

  6. In the past you could easily churn AMEX Gold cards. What’s the consensus is with PRG? If you can churn it, 25K isn’t so bad. The public offer page states: “25,000 Points: Offer not available to existing consumer American Express Card members…” If Sapphire Preferred stays at 50K I don’t see how AMEX can compete offering 25K – I would not be surprised to see it go higher if Chase continues to lure their customers with better offers.

    • @HikerT, the general consensus I have heard on Amex is that they are perhaps churnable after a couple years, but I have not done that myself. I sure do hope that the better Chase offers force Amex upward eventually, but Chase has been above Amex for quite a while now with sign-up offers. Heck, the Amex business version of this card doesn’t even have a sign-up bonus and hasn’t since around November even though the Ink Bold has been sitting at 50K. I’m all for a sign-up bonus war though! 😉

  7. Let’s hope that the card companies are not backing off the 75k offers we’ve been seeing the last couple of years. 25K is definitely a lame offer for this card. I received 75K for the Amex Gold personal & business cards last year.

  8. Someone posted in Flyertalk that the actual referral link still works, although only for 5,000 points. I just tried it to send it to my mom and it seems to work just fine. The link actually says that referrals are allowed through 12/31/12 and recipient must apply by 1/10/13. You can receive 5,000 points for each approved referral, up to 250,000 points if my eyes are not playing a trick on me. So that means you can refer up to 50 people and get points for each one of them.
    The link is http://www.americanexpress.com/refermygold

    If anyone is looking to apply for the card and needs a referral, feel free to send me an email at mikecpa07@yahoo.com

    Good luck and have fun!

  9. Just reporting that this works just fine. I used the link on #11 above to refer my mom, she got approved this weekend and I just received the 5,000 points. So far of the people that I referred under the old 10,000 MR points offer, Amex has been apparently right on the money about giving me the bonus, so I haven’t had any issues with them.

    • @Michael, yeah my ability to refer just started working again within the last few days. Seems to come and go for me, but it is great that it has worked well for you!

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