Should You Upgrade Amex Gold Card to Amex Platinum? 2020

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Upgrade Amex Gold Card

If you follow the site or Youtube Channel you know that I've always been a big fan of the Amex Platinum Card (also that I have a few more than I need), so it may surprise you that I am going to upgrade Amex the Gold Card to another Platinum. Here's the relevant info: I paid the annual fee for the Amex Gold Card in January of this year. The annual fee for the American Express Gold Card is $250. While the annual fee for Amex Platinum is $550.

Guide: Downgrade Options and Rules for Amex, Citi and Chase Reward Credit Cards

Why Upgrade Now?

When you upgrade an Amex card, they give you a pro-rata refund of the annual fee based on the day. So if I paid the annual fee on January 28th, I'll get approximately 1/3 of my fee back (since it's not the end of July), let's call the refund $85 for simplicity. I'll then be charged a pro-rata share of the annual fee for the Platinum card based on the January 28th renewal date so $550/3 is $183.33 (which we'll round up to $185.) Basically this is going to cost me an extra $100 out of pocket if you're only considering the math from the annual fee angle.

Also Read: How Reserve, Platinum and Aspire Credits Derailed My Plans and Cost Me $$$

Amex Gold Benefits

I've already used my $100 Gold Card Airline benefit as well as my $10 credit this month for Grubhub. I use the credit each month so I've gotten $80 in food credits this year as of today. As you can see the $180 credits I've earned are $15 more than the amount I've paid for the annual fee after the refund.

Upgrade Amex Gold Card

Sporting my new jumpsuit, paid for with my Platinum Saks credit.

Amex Platinum Benefits

Additionally the American Express Platinum card will give me a fresh $15 Uber Credit for July, a fresh set of airline credits in the amount of $200 and a $50 Saks credit. It's amazing to me that Amex gives you a full $200 credit. I value the Saks and Uber credits at full value since I do a lot of Uber Eats orders and shopping at Saks. Since the credits renew at the beginning of each month I'll receive the following credits if I upgrade to a Platinum Card.

$130 Uber Credits $15 Credit July-January (plus $20 December Bonus)

$100 Saks Credit $50 June-December, January-June

$120 Cell Phone Credits $20 July-December

$120 Streaming Credits $20 July-December

$400 in Airline Credits $200 Credit for 2020 and 2021 (Should be able to maximize the platinum airline credit using my Covid Strategy)

$710 Total Credits (less $60 Grubhub credits Aug-Jan + $100 Gold Airline Incidental Fee Credit for 2021)

Check out my Youtube Channel

Verdict: Is it time to Upgrade Amex Gold to Platinum ?

To sum it up, basically I'm paying Amex about $100 for $710 in value. Also, with all the grocery and restaurant benefits available right now on other cards that are at least equal to if not better than the 4x Membership Rewards Points for grocery and restaurant spend have made the Gold card superfluous for those spending categories (at least for now.)

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2 Comments

  1. Paul LoBo

    I got shot down for a retention offer for my Platinum this spring. Retention agent pointed out that “you spend a lot in supermarkets. The Gold would be a very good deal for you.” So, I did. And gave myself a 100k retention bonus when I upgrade back next month.

    Reply
    • Bethany Walsh

      Awesome! Good stuff. I’ve also been batting zero on retention offers but after all these credits I think I’m gonna move the majority of my spend/rewards focus elsewhere

      Reply

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