Anyone who holds an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card can save on the 140 annual fee and bag two free lounge passes by getting the new, near-identical credit card alternative.

Amex has stopped offering the charge card version of the card - where you MUST pay the balance each month - to new customers.

Instead, it's offering a credit card version with the same perks. The new Amex Gold credit card works like a normal credit card and you'll be charged a hideous 22.9% rep APR annual interest (57.6% rep APR including the fee) if you don't pay it off IN FULL, so ensure that you do otherwise the interest will dwarf any gain from the rewards.

The charge card will remain in place for existing customers - but if you apply for the new Amex Gold credit card (eligibility calc / apply*) you'll be eligible for many of the same perks as brand-new customers who've never had an Amex Gold card before.

For more information on Reward Credit Cards and how they work, see our Credit Card Rewards guide.

I already have a Gold charge card - what perks can I get AGAIN?

If you already have the Amex Gold charge card and apply for the new Amex Gold credit card, you get:

  • No fees in year one. After, it's 140/yr. If you've had your existing charge card for more than a year and so currently pay the 140/yr fee, you will get a pro rata refund for the rest of the year if you cancel it. You'll then have a full year with your new credit card with no fees.
  • Two MORE free airport lounge passes, whether you've already used the ones with your charge card or not.

However, you WON'T get the 20,000 point sign-up bonus - convertible into a 100 shopping voucher or 20,000 Avios points - that new customers who haven't had a Amex Rewards card can get if they spend 2,000 in the first three months (though see below for a possible trick to beat this).

A word of warning - if you do decide to sign up to the credit card and don't cancel your charge card, you'll be liable for a 140/yr fee on BOTH when each card's initial fee-free year is up.

The new Amex Gold credit card gives you the same ongoing offers as the old charge card. You get one membership reward point for every 1 spent on the card, which can be converted into 1 airline point per membership point or used to build up further entitlement to vouchers.

The new card also offers an anniversary bonus of 10,000 points per card membership year when you spend 15,000 - the same deal as the charge card. However to get an anniversary bonus you must hit the spending trigger on one card - so if you're likely to hit it on your charge card, bear this in mind before cancelling it.

Martin Lewis
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Trick to get the 20,000 point bonus if you're an existing cardholder

As Amex defines a 'new customer' are someone who has not had an Amex Rewards card within the past six months, you could cancel the card now and wait six months to reapply.

The danger with that tactic is it may change the six-month rule or scrap the perk at any time. While Amex says it has "no plans" to do so, it is a risk.

How does the card compare to other reward cards?

Despite the change from charge to credit card, the Preferred Rewards Gold card remains one of our top picks. However those unable to hit its 2,000 trigger spend within three months may be better off with the Amex Rewards (eligibility calc / apply*) card, which gives 10,000 bonus points if you spend 1,000 in the first three months.

For those who prefer cash rewards, the fee-free Amex Platinum Everyday (eligibility calc / apply*) gives 5% cashback for three months (max 100) and up to 1% after. Alternatively, the Amex Platinum (eligibility calc / apply*) gives 5% cashback for three months (max 125) and up to 1.25% after. However it has a 25 annual fee, so is only worthwhile for those spending 9,000+ a year.

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