American Express Gold Rewards Card Will No Longer Be Free For the First Year

It’s official. The American Express Gold Rewards Personal Card will no longer waive the annual $150 credit card fee the first year. This feature has for the last seven years been one of the hallmarks of the Amex Gold Rewards Card’ and it has contributed to its phenomenal growth in popularity among Canadians.

It was bound to happen at some point. It’s not often that a credit card company gives users the option of trying out their card for free over such a long duration. After all most of Amex’s competitors use the first year free feature as a temporary promotional tool; it’s possible that Amex will be doing the same in the future, in the same way they increase their sign-up bonuses from time to time.

But make no mistake, the card in my view is still great value for money even with the first year free annual waiver removed. There’s a reason why this card is consistently ranked as the number 1 card in Canada, and it wasn’t just about the first year free benefit.

Here’s a quick recap of the many rewards you stand to gain from signing up for the Amex Gold Card:

  • It comes with a 25,000 points sign-up bonus worth $250 when redeeming points for travel. This happens when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your card within first three months of card membership.
  • You also get an additional 5,000 Membership Rewards points for one approved supplementary card.
  • It also gives you enough points to redeem for one round-trip flight rewards to anywhere in North America.
  • It has a flexible program that allows you to transfer your points one-to-one to Aeroplan and Avios.
  • You can also earn 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores, travel purchases – including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, as well as one point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else.

Read: Points Valuation – How much are Points & Miles worth?

Other benefits

  • It has a low annual income requirement of $20,000.
  • As a card member, refer a friend and earn a bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards for each approved referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points.

You can read more about this and other Amex cards on my post Beginner’s Guide to Travel Hacking – How to Get at Least 90K Amex MR Points and 20K SPG Starpoints

If you don’t have this card yet, don’t let the fact that the first year isn’t free anymore discourage you. There’s still plenty to savour from using this card as I’ve just highlighted.

American Express® Gold Rewards Card This card is often voted the #1 Best & Most Flexible Travel Credit Card because it offers a 25,000 points sign-up bonus when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your card within first three months of card membership. That’s enough points to redeem for two round-trip flight rewards to anywhere in North America.  

It comes with a reasonable $150 annual fee and has a low income requirement of $20,000.

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