One of the new features of the Amex Gold is the dining benefits. The banks have begun marketing cards specifically for foodies such as the Capital One Savor (learn more) and now the American Express Gold card (learn more).
Amex even goes as far as to include the word “foodie” in the advertising and on American Express Gold Card application page.
Which is only natural because who doesn’t love food? 🙂
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average household spends over $3,300 dining out. Families with kids tend to spend over $5,400 a year at restaurants.
So it only makes sense that more credit cards start offering bigger perks for restaurant spending.
Whether or not you spend thousands of dollars a year dining out, you can still take advantage of the Amex Gold’s restaurant perks. Here’s how to maximize the dining benefits of the American Express Gold card.
Amex Gold: How to Maximize Dining Benefits
The American Express Gold card (click here to learn more) offers:
- 35,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months
- 4X Membership Rewards points at US restaurants
- 4X Membership Rewards points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 a year in purchases)
- 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked through the airlines or on amextravel.com
- $100 airline fee credit
- $120 dining credit each year
- No foreign transaction fees
4X Points at Restaurants
One of the best perks of the American Express Gold Card is the dining benefit.
You get 4X points at US restaurants.
Unlike the US supermarkets perk, the restaurant benefit is unlimited. So you can earn an unlimited number of Membership Rewards points.
With the average restaurant bill of $60, at 4X points, you’d earn 240 Membership Rewards points.
If you eat out once a week, that’s 960 points a month and 11,520 points a year!
For big spenders or those who eat out often, you could earn considerably more than that.
Using the BLS findings, if you spend $3,300 a year at US restaurants you’d earn 13,200 points. Spend $5,400 a year, then you’d earn 21,600 points.
Don’t spend a lot when you eat out? Here’s an easy way to earn unlimited miles and points.
Pro-tip: Double dip and register your American Express Gold card in your favorite airline’s dining program.
You’ll earn 4X Membership rewards points and miles!
- American Airlines – AA Rewards Network
- Delta – SkyMiles Dining
- jetBlue – TrueBlue Dining
- Southwest – Rapid Rewards Dining
- United – MileagePlus Dining
20% Statement Credit
You get a 20% statement credit when you use your American Express Gold card at US restaurants during your first 3 months of card membership.
This offer applies to new cardholders who apply by January 9, 2019.
If you currently have this card then you won’t get the statement credit.
There’s a maximum of $100 back. This means you’ll get the bonus on your first $500 you spend at US restaurants.
If you aren’t going to have expensive dinners or normally wouldn’t spend that much at restaurants, here’s how you can still get the full $100 bonus.
Pro-tip: Buy restaurant gift cards.
The best time to buy gift cards is during the holidays and special occasions. Because some restaurants offer deals on gift card purchases.
Here are a few gift card holiday promo offers:
- Applebee’s – $10 bonus card with purchase of $50 in gift cards
- Black Angus Steakhouse – $10 bonus card when you buy $50 in gift cards
- Buca di Beppo – $10 bonus card with purchase of $50 or more in gift cards
- Fogo de Chao – $25 bonus ecard with every $150 in eGift cards purchase
- McCormick & Schmick’s – $20 bonus card when you $100 in gift cards
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House – 10% bonus card on gift card purchase of $250 or more
Pro-tip: Buying restaurant gift cards online may code differently. If so you might not get your 20% statement credit.
So you should buy gift cards at the restaurant. This way the charge comes through as a restaurant purchase instead of a shopping purchase.
The statement credit can take 2 to 4 weeks to post to your account.
Double, Triple, Quadruple, and Quintuple Up
You can double, triple, quadruple, or quintuple up and get up to $500 cash back from the American Express Gold Card (learn more) with one simple move…
Add additional cardmember to your account.
Because the 20% statement credit applies to the basic cardmember and additional cardmembers, each authorized user can earn up to $100 in statement credit.
There’s no annual fee for up to five additional cards.
For the sixth or more authorized user, the annual fee is $35 each.
If you expect to spend a lot dining out in your first 3 months, it’s worth adding authorized users to your card to fully maximize your dining perk and get additional statement credits.
Pro-tip: Double dip and combine the 20% statement credit with the $120 dining credit by eating at certain restaurants.
$120 Dining Credit
You earn up to $10 in statement credit each month at participating partners:
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Shake Shack (participating locations excluding locations in ballparks, stadiums, airports, and racetracks)
To get the credit you have to enroll through your Amex online account.
Only the basic card member is eligible for the $120 dining credit. Additional cardholders on the account are not eligible for the benefit.
Pro-tip: The fine print says it’s not valid on gift cards or merchandise purchases but your miles may vary (YMMV).
Even if you don’t consider yourself a foodie, you’ll love the Amex Gold (learn more) dining benefits.
The ability to earn 4X Membership Rewards points at US restaurants is a great perk.
New American Express Gold cardholders who apply by January 9, 2019, get an additional offer. You get a 20% statement credit on purchases at US restaurants during your first three months.
This extra perk applies to authorized users. This means you can add your kids to your card.
The card comes with a $250 annual fee. But if you can take full advantage of American Express Gold Card’s (click here to learn more) benefits is worth paying. There’s always the option of the fee being waived if you know how to get a credit card retention offer when it comes time to renew your card.
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Featured image courtesy: Brooke Lark via Unsplash.