Let me show you how to get your first $695 credit card annual fee waived in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards course
The Amex Gold card is annual fee waived for military. It's even better than the Amex Platinum for everyday spending on dining and groceries.
Military Money Manual has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Military Money Manual and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Thank you for supporting my independent, veteran owned site.
The American Express Gold card military benefits include a $250 annual fee waiver. This card easily upgrades to an additional American Express Platinum card, with all the recurring benefits that come with that card. (rates and fees)
In June I picked up the American Express Gold Card with no annual fee due to my active duty military service.
- Learn how to apply for the American Express® Gold Card
- $250 Annual Fee waived for US military and spouses (rates and fees)
- Earn 60,000 Membership Reward Amex points after spending $4000 in the first 6 months of account opening
- Rose Gold is back! Choose between the Gold or Rose Gold version when you apply.
- 4x points on all restaurants, including takeout and delivery
- 4x points on US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) – includes OCONUS Commissarries
- 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or on amextravel.com
- No foreign transaction fees – great for the 4x on restaurants when travelling for fun, OCONUS TDY, or PCS!
- $120 annual Uber or Uber Eats cash. Combines nicely with Amex Platinum Uber credit. Earned as $10 per month.
- $120 per year credit at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House or Shake Shack
- Read my full review of the Amex Gold card for military, terms apply
American Express significantly increased the value proposition of this card. They added great new spending category bonuses and an increased welcome bonus. This card now deserves a place in your wallet right next to the military annual fee waived AMEX Platinum.
The AMEX Gold Card also waives the annual fee for military servicemembers. Here are the features making this card worthwhile.
Amex Membership Rewards
Membership Rewards are one of two of the most flexible credit card reward systems. Other than Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Membership Rewards allows the most valuable transfers to airline and hotel partners. This allows you to book awesome business and first class tickets on great airlines.
You can also use the points for Amazon purchases, booking travel through AMEX's portal, and buying gift cards. Usually though, you should save your points up for a transfer to a travel partner for the most valuable redemptions. MR points are frequently valued at 1.5-2.5 cents per point or 100 points = $1.50-2.50.
4X Points at Restaurants and Grocery Stores
This is an awesome benefit. You can get 4 Membership Reward points for every dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and US grocery stores. DECA Commissaries OCONUS qualify for the “US” grocery store category, because of the way they process credit card transactions.
The 4X points at restaurants is great when you can find a place that takes AMEX internetionally. Most places I have seen overseas definitely take Mastercard and Visa but AMEX is not as widely accepted.
If you're travelling internationally better have the Chase Sapphire Reserve in your wallet as backup and receive 3X Ultimate Rewards. The CSR recently updated it's military policy and now has no annual fee for military members and spouses.
$100 Airline Credit w/ AMEX Gold Card Military
Similar to the $200 airline credit offered on the AMEX Platinum, this card offers a $100 airline credit. The fine print says it's not good for airline gift cards, but check the FlyerTalk forums and Reddit for data points.
Many cardholders report airline gift cards ARE reimbursed by a statement credit within 3-4 days after purchasing the gift card. This is my experience as well. This year I purchased a $100 Southwest gift card on March 2 and received reimbursement on March 7.
Combined with a few AMEX Platinum card airline credits, you could rack up a significant number of gift cards on a single airline.
Upgrade (Product Change) Gold Card to a Platinum
The best part of the Gold Card is one year after you open the account you are eligible to upgrade to the American Express Platinum card. This is true even if you already have another AMEX Platinum.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
- Annual fee of $695 waived for US military personnel and spouses (rates and fees)
- Best Ever Public Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus (valued at $2000+) when you spend $6000 in the first 6 months
- Earn 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US up to $25,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months (an extra 250,000 points potentially!)
- Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com up to $500,000 per calendar year
- Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
- $200 annual Hotel Credit: Get $200 statement credit on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or the Hotel Collection booked on Amex Travel and paid for with your Platinum Card
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credits: Up to $20 in monthly statement credits when you use your Platinum card to pay for: Peacock, Audible, Sirius, and the New York Times. Enrollment Required.
- $200 Uber Cash: Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on Uber Eats and rides
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at 1 qualifying airline
- $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards
- 40 Centurion Lounges and 1200+ Priority Pass airport lounge access for free
- $179 CLEAR Credit: Get through airport security faster with CLEAR
- No foreign transaction fees
- Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
- Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply
As long as you keep the Gold Card on a separate login for your AMEX online account, you should be offered the upgrade link online. Even if you added the card to your current login on AMEX, you can drop the card from your login and create a new login to manage the card.
As long as the AMEX online account doesn't have another Platinum card attached to it, you should be able to upgrade your card.
This is an awesome way to add more AMEX Platinum cards to your inventory. Since military servicemembers pay no annual fees on AMEX cards, you can stack all the benefits on the AMEX Platinum.
Amex Platinum Benefits for Military Members
Let's say you and your spouse each have a “vanilla” (regular) AMEX Platinum, a Schwab Platinum, and an upgraded AMEX Gold Card to Platinum. That's six AMEX Platinum cards with no annual fees, saving you $3300 in annual fees.
You'll also get all the welcome bonuses for these six cards as you build your Platinum Portfolio, which could be worth 300,000+ MR points.
But wait, there's more. Since each Platinum card comes with it's own benefits, every year you'll get:
- $1200 in Uber credits (6 x $200), also valid on Uber Eats
- $1200 in airline fee credits (6 x $200)
- $600 in statement credit at Saks Fifth Avenue (6 x $100)
- Free Priority Pass access to airport lounges and Centurion Lounges
- 2 Free Global Entry membership ($200 value)
- Free Hilton Honors and SPG Gold Statuses
This is free money you're leaving on the table by not building your Platinum card collection as a military member. Start building your collection today with the American Express Gold Card and pick up the easy welcome bonus now. Then, after a year upgrade the card to a Platinum and reap the Platinum benefits.
If you have upgraded your Gold Card to a Platinum, let me know in the comments! Marcus upgraded his Gold Card and described how easy it was in the comments below.