In this review I will go through the pros and cons of using American Express Preferred Rewards Gold as your credit card. The purpose of writing this review is to help others understand when it may or may not be the right choice for you.

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Who is the card for?

This card is for individuals that has the United Kingdom as their primary residence.

  • Frequent flyers / travelers.
  • High spenders – £1,250+ average monthly spending

Reward credit cards can be a great way of getting more when you shop but are best avoided if you can’t pay off your balance in full each month.

What does it cost?

The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold has an annual fee of £140.

Important tip: The first year is free but you will automatically be charged the annual fee after 12 months of membership.

If you plan on using this card for your travel abroad, please be aware that this card will charge you fee of 2.99% on any foreign transaction. This is similar to what you would find using any HSBC credit card (e.g. Classic, Rewards, Premier).

Interest rate is 59.9% APR variable which is charged on the balance. To avoid interest fees always pay the full balance on or before the due date. This way regardless of how much the interest rate is on your credit card, you will not pay any interest fees = FREE. A good way to avoid late payments is to set up direct debit. Additionally, if you like to follow your spending on your phone you can choose to download the AMEX app.

Perks & Other Benefits

In addition to earning points the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card offers the following advantages for cardholders:

  • Delivery Plus. 2 per month you can get £5 back on eligible purchases.
  • 2 complimentary airport lounge visits per year at over 1,300 airport lounges globally.

How do I earn points?

Points earned are based on 3 types of transactions:

  • 3 points for every £1 – American Express Travel.
  • 2 points for every £1 – Non-sterling transaction or directly with airlines.
  • 1 point for every £1 – Sterling currency transactions.

Tip: Frequent Flyers and Travellers

As seen above the quickest way to earn points is to go all-in with booking your travel using American Express Travel. If you are a frequent flyer/traveler then this card may be a good choice for you as long as you use the American Express Travel service. Note that this card charges a 2.99% fee on non-sterling transactions.

Yearly Bonus

Now the excitement should be starting because American Express is rewarding Gold cardholders with a yearly bonus of 10,000 when they spend at least £15,000 in each of the 12 months of card membership.

Welcome Bonus

If you have not held an American Express card in the past 24 months you may be eligible for the welcome bonus of 20,000 reward points but you must spend at least £3,000 within the first 3 months of membership. The welcome bonus points alone are worth approximately £100 of Amazon gift card. You may also use the points for something else than Amazon e.g. Airline or Hotel points.

How can I use the points I have earned using my American Express card?

There are multiple ways to spend the reward points that you have earned. The below is a list of some of them:

Reward CategoryPartners
AirlinesAsia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, SAS Eurobonus, Singapore KrisFlyer
HotelsHilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, Radisson Rewards
ShoppingAmazon, Currys, Harrods, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Waterstones
This is only a selection of the rewards partners available.

The above is only a selection of what you can use your well-earned points towards. For more information on rewards please visit the American Express website.

How much are AMEX points worth?

The list of reward partners is long so for making a simple overview I have comprised the following table to represent the value of the points earned when using then American Express Preferred Gold credit card.

Below is an illustration of how much your points could be worth:

PointsConversion (£)Calculation
5,000£22.505,000 / 1,000 * 4.5
10,000£45.0010,000 / 1,000 / 4.5
25,000£112.5025,000 / 1,000 / 4.5
50,000£225.0050,000 / 1,000 / 4.5
100,000£450.00100,000 / 1,000 / 4.5
1,000 points = £4.50.
This is based on reward conversion schemes e.g. Amazon Gift Card, and Currys.

New cardholders spending £1,250 per month earn points equivalent to £202.50 (45,000 points) and in the following years the annual value falls to £112.50.

To earn enough points to justify the £140 annual fee, you would need to earn at least 31,000 points every year. Remember, that non-sterling transactions and AMEX travel spending earns 2 or 3 points per £1.

When comparing reward points between HSBC and American Express, the latter option provides you most value:

Reward SchemePoint value in £
American Express1,500 points / 1000 * 4.5 = £6.75
HSBC1,500 points = £5

Point Calculation

This illustrates the points earned per year assuming the spend is on monthly basis.

The column “Spend GBP” illustrates the monthly spending where all transactions are made in GBP. The “Non-Sterling” column presents transactions made in a foreign currency converted to GBP. Points columns represent the aggregate number of points earned in relation to the monthly spend.

As a new cardmember the following would apply to you for the first year:

Spend GBP (£)Non-Sterling (£)Monthly Payment incl. fees (£)Points (12 months)Point Per £
25002503,0001
50005006,0001
75007509,0001
1,000*01,00032,0002.67
1,250*+**01,25045,0003
1,500*+**01,50048,0002.67
2,000*+**02,00054,0002.25
0250257.486,0002
0500514.9512,0002
0750772.4318,0002
01,000*1,029.9054,0004.5
01,250*+**1,287.3860,0004
01,500*+**1,544.8566,0003.67
02,000*+**2,059.8078,0003.25
* Welcome bonus of 20,000 points when spending £3,000+ within the first 3 months of card membership.
** Annual bonus of 10,000 points when spending £15,000+ within a 12 month period of card membership.

If you have held a personal AMEX card within the past 24 months then the following would apply to you:

Spend GBP (£)Non-Sterling (£)Monthly Payment incl. fees (£)Points (12 months)Point Per £
25002503,0001
50005006,0001
75007509,0001
1,00001,00012,0001
1,250**01,25025,0001.67
1,500**01,50028,0001.56
2,000**02,00034,0001.42
0250257.486,0002
0500514.9512,0002
0750772.4318,0002
01,0001,029.9024,0002
01,250**1,287.3840,0002.67
01,500**1,544.8546,0002.56
02,000**2,059.8058,0002.42
** Annual bonus of 10,000 points when spending £15,000+ within a 12 month period of card membership.

Summary

Do you spend more than £1,000 a month? And do you travel frequently? Then the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card is a great match as the reward points are high for people with this lifestyle – especially if you spend £1,250+ on average per month. The amount of points you earn with this card is unmatched by main street banks.

As illustrated above there is a big incentive to have the Gold card in the 1st year assuming you spend £1,000 monthly. Beyond year 1 and including individuals that have held an AMEX in the past 24 months, this card is mainly attractive where the monthly spend is £1,250 or greater due to the annual bonus.

You can apply for this card here.

If you are looking for a credit card that rewards you with points without annual fees perhaps read the article listing rewards credit cards with no annual fees.

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