This Card Is Best For
- Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categoriesRewards Strategist
- Dines out regularly while traveling or in home cityFrequent Diner
- Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchasesHead of Household
- Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each monthDriver/Commuter
The American Express Gold Card is best suited to people who eat out and fly enough to justify the card’s $250 annual fee through its generous dining and airline rewards and credits. With rich rewards on supermarket spending, the card is also a fine choice for those who spend heavily on groceries. However, it’s also a card for those willing to master the use of points in rewards programs, as opposed to the simpler solution of receiving money in your account by using a cash back card.
On average, American households spent $7,316 on groceries and eating out in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With that spending alone, youd earn 29,264 points per year with this card. That annual spending could be worth a few hundred dollars, and possibly more depending on how you use or transfer those points.
A Good Income And Low Monthly Bills Helps Too
Having a good income and reasonable rent or mortgage expenses are desirable too. Amex has been issuing cards for decades and can predict how often most cardholders use their Amex card.
The bank wants to make sure you have the income to pay your monthly balance if your spending trends are similar to current Amex Gold cardholders.
Like other banks, you will answer several personal questions about your current finances. Amex crunches the numbers to make an application decision.
How Charge Card Payments Work
You likely wont notice a difference between a charge card versus a credit card when you swipe it or insert either payment method into a chip reader to pay for a transaction. But when your first charge card statement shows up in your inbox or mailbox, a few features might surprise you if youve only used credit cards in the past.
Unlike credit cards, which feature minimum payments and give you the option to roll a portion of your balance over each month, charge card issuers expect you to pay your full statement balance by the due date. Its a good habit to pay your statement balance in full anywayregardless of whether youre using a charge card or credit card. However, if you opt to use a charge card, paying in full is typically not optional.
Its worth noting that certain cards, such as some offered by American Express, might give you the option to pay over time with interest on some purchases. If you elect to take advantage of such an offer, your charge card bill may behave more like a credit card, especially in terms of interest charges.
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Full Review Of American Express Gold Card
Exceptional points rewards on flights, dining, and supermarket purchases
Dining and airline fee credits largely justify the cost of the annual fee
Redemption options include 1:1 transfers to many airline and hotel partners
Payment flexibility with Pay Over Time and Plan it features
The annual fee is more than double that of many other cards
American Express isn’t accepted as widely as Visa and Mastercard
Superstore and warehouse-club purchases don’t earn supermarket rewards
Which Credit Bureau Is Used The Most
There is not necessarily one credit bureau lenders use the most. Instead, lenders will typically look at a consumers FICO credit score, which all three major credit bureaus provide. This being said, individual lenderslike American Expresswill often have a specific credit bureau and scoring model they use more often. If you are unsure about your credit standing, research which reports a lender will most likely base its decision on in order to focus on strengthening those reports and maximizing your chances of approval.
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Should You Use American Express Pay It Plan It
Amex Pay It is a simple way to reduce your overall card balance throughout the month, and may even help you boost your credit score by lowering the utilization Amex reports to the credit bureaus when your billing period ends.
Plan It is most useful for paying down a large expense over time without taking on high interest debt. When you enroll in a plan, youll know exactly how much youll pay in fees and how long youll have to pay the balance off upfront.
For example, lets say an unexpected car repair costs you $2,000, and you charge it to a credit card with a variable APR of 22%. If it took you 18 months to pay it down, youd pay an additional $368 in interest over that time.
But with Plan It, you could qualify for an 18-month repayment plan that costs a total of $301.50 in fees. Thats more than $366 in savings, and the benefit of having a fixed monthly repayment plan with an end date.
Just keep in mind that the savings depend on your individual circumstances and your cards terms. If your credit card APR is already low, the Amex Plan It plan fee may be more than the interest you would pay. Using the above example, if you paid the same $2,000 balance off over 18 months with a card carrying a 13% APR, youd pay just $212 in total interest charges much less than the $301.50 total plan fee over the same period.
What Happens If You Have A Card That Doesnt Report To All Three
If you have a card that doesnt report your activity to any of the three credit bureaus, youll get no benefit from using it responsibly. And if it reports to only one or two, the credit benefit of using the card will be limited.
For example, lets say you have a credit card that reports to Experian and TransUnion, but not to Equifax. Over time, youve used your card responsibly and established a good history on your credit reports with those bureaus.
But if you go to apply for a loan or a new credit card and the lender calculates your credit score based on your Equifax credit report, it will be as if you never had the credit card. Again, youll get no benefit.
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Is The American Express Gold Card Worth It
The American Express® Gold Card can prove extremely lucrative for anyone who spends a lot on travel and food. It’s a great middle-of-the-road card for anyone who wants premium perks and bigger rewards, but isn’t ready to pay for the steeper annual fee on a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express.
To get the most value out of this card’s rewards system, though, you have to redeem your points for flights through the Amex portal or transfer them to one of Amex’s airline partners. This means that the American Express® Gold Card is best for people who want to earn rewards that can be redeemed for flights otherwise, you’re probably better off with a rewards program that’s a little more flexible.
Who Is Eligible For An American Express Gold Card
You have to be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident to apply for the American Express® Gold Card. Your application will be reviewed largely on the basis of your credit, so you’ll need a good credit score for the best chance at approval. Make sure you understand the Amex application rules before applying.
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Which Credit Report Does American Express Pull
American Express has long been known as a premium credit card provider that gives cardholders a wide variety of perks. Given its reputation, wanting to apply for a card from American Express is not unusual.
When you apply for an American Express credit card, the company will almost always check your with Experian. In some very rare cases, American Express will check with a different credit bureau. Remember that all three credit bureaus get their information from the same place: your financial life. That means there isnt a big difference between them, so which report is pulled doesnt usually matter. However, there are some cases where knowing which bureau is pulled.
We found out that American Express primarily works with Experian by reviewing 337 consumer-reported credit inquiries from January 2016 through December 2017. That information showed that American Express works nearly exclusively with Experian.
What Is A Charge Card
A charge card is similar to a regular credit card in that it provides the ability to make purchases and pay for them later. You can also earn points and/or miles on these purchases like you would with a rewards or travel card, plus other benefits too.
However, charge cards have two big differences: 1) There’s no preset spending limit and 2) you can’t carry a balance month to month.
While other credit cards assign , charge cards don’t. This can provide you with more buying power, since your balance is able to fluctuate every month. But doesn’t mean you can spend whatever amount you want.
For instance, Amex describes its spending limit policy:
“No preset spending limit does not mean unlimited spending. Purchasing power adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record and financial resources known to us, and other factors.”
In other words, you don’t receive a maximum spending limit when you’re approved for the card. Rather, the charge card issuer adjusts your credit limit from month-to-month based on your behavior and history as a cardholder and it’s constantly in flux.
As a general rule, cardmembers tend to have few issues when using their charge cards for predictable, everyday spending. But to avoid your card being declined, there are ways to double check that your card will be approved for big purchases, trips or business expenses ahead of time. This will save you hassle and help you plan accordingly.
Requesting A Federal Tax Id
Once your business is incorporated, you can request an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service . You’ll need this number to file both your federal and, if applicable, state business tax returns each year, as well as your state sales tax returns. You can apply for an EIN online here.
Up To $120 In Uber Cash
American Express® Gold Card members also get up to $10 per month in Uber Cash that can be used to pay for U.S. Uber rides or U.S. Uber Eats purchases. Your Uber Cash will automatically show up in your Uber account each month once you add your American Express® Gold Card to the app. If you don’t use the full credit by the end of the month, you’ll lose it. However, if you’re able to maximize the American Express Gold Uber benefit, that’s up to another $120 in savings.
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Capital One Savorone Card
Designed with foodies in mind, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores . Although the bonuses are fewer than the Amex Gold Card, the lack of an annual fee makes this an interesting alternative, especially if you find cash back more appealing than travel rewards. On the downside, the card doesnt offer much in the way of perks.
Which Credit Bureau Is Most Accurate
There are three major credit bureaus in the U.S.: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These companies are responsible for providing consumer credit reports to organizations, authorities and other companies who then use the information to predict risk. The industry turns a hefty profit each year from selling credit information, which has been voluntarily provided to them by banks, lenders and other data furnishers.
No credit bureau collects the exact same information on a consumer. A report drawn from one credit bureau may have slightly different information compared to one drawn from another, for a variety of reasons. This makes it impossible to determine which credit bureau is the most accurate. Most credit bureaus will rate your credit based on a standardized system, called your FICO credit score. Major U.S. lenders are most likely to check this score when assessing your credit and to base their decision on your rating.
Though credit bureaus may differ slightly on the exact number of your FICO credit score, since each score falls within a range , extreme differences between FICO scores issued by credit bureaus are unlikely.
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Does American Express Report To Credit Bureaus
If youre looking to build your business credit, having one or more business credit cards could help you build it, but it depends on whether or not the creditor actually reports your activity to credit bureaus.
American Express only reports only negative activity to Dun & Bradstreet . They do report to the Small Business Financial Exchange .
How Do Charge Cards Affect Your Credit Score
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Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.
With all the hype surrounding the Platinum Card® from American Express and the recently refreshed American Express® Gold Card, its easy to forget that these arent actually credit cards but charge cards. TPG reader Nodisha wants to know how using an Amex charge card will affect her credit score
I just got approved for the new rose gold Amex. I understand that this is a charge card how does that appear on your credit report?
TPG reader Nodisha
Nodisha is spot-on with this question. Its important to understand the factors that affect your credit score so you can avoid violating the ten commandments of travel rewards and damaging your credit.
About 30% of your is calculated based on your utilization, which is simply your total balances divided by your total credit. The lower your utilization, the higher your score.
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Chip Lupo Credit Card Writer
The American Express® Gold Card reports to the credit bureaus monthly, within days after the end of a cardholders monthly billing period. The Amex Gold card reports the cards credit limit, account balance, payment history, and more to all three of the major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. American Express may use a specific credit bureau more than another, depending on the applicants home state, and other factors.
Once the Amex Gold card reports your account information to a credit bureau, it may take a few days before the updates appear on your credit report. New Amex Gold cardholders may not see any new credit account info on their credit report for one or two billing periods after getting a card.
If youd like to review your up-to-date and TransUnion credit report, you can on WalletHub. That way, youll be able to check every day to see if theres any new information about the Amex Gold card on your credit report.
American Express reports to credit bureaus once per month, typically updating Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion within 5 days of a cards billing cycle ending. Since Amex billing cycles are usually based on the opening date of cardholders accounts, there is no set day on which American Express reports to credit bureaus.read full answer
How Does It Work
You can only use Amex Pay It through the American Express mobile app, so youll need to download it and log in using your online account information. From there, you can select purchases under $100 and pay them off any time throughout the month. The payments you make then reduce your total account balance by that amount.
Paying off small purchases like this helps keep your credit card bills and balances lower than they would be if you waited to pay everything off once a month. If you typically use a debit card for everyday spending and budget as you go, but want to enjoy the rewards and consumer protections of using a credit card, Amex Pay It can help you get the best of both worlds.
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Who Reports To Credit Bureaus
Author: Sean P. Egen
A is a bit like an academic report card, only instead of reporting how one is doing in school, it conveys how ones doing managing their credit. It does this by reporting account information supplied by creditors, similar to the way instructors supply grades that represent how well a student is doing in their courses. But instead of assigning a letter grade or numeric grade point, creditors report account activity to the consumer . Information such as payment history, how long an account has been open, credit limit, account balances, account opening and closure dates, and more.
Potential creditors use the information in credit reports to make better-informed decisions about whether to extend applicants credit, similar to how a university admissions department might use a students high school report card to help decide whether to offer a student admission. But not every business or service provider you deal with has a say in what appears in your credit reports. There are specific rules and regulations regarding what can and cannot be reported, how information should be reported, and strict requirements that must be met by any entity wishing to become a data furnisher.
REPORTING IS 100% VOLUNTARY
WHATS IN IT FOR DATA FURNISHERS?
ENTITIES THAT TYPICALLY REPORT INFORMATION TO CREDIT BUREAS
Here are some typical data furnishers that are likely to report customer account information and activity:
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