Amex Gold is FREE for the first year – and an essential travel tool

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There’s a wealth of “points earning” credit cards out there, and I’m often asked which I consider to be the best for the novice. Given, among many other options, the number of American Express bonus points currently being offered on various cards, it can be quite daunting for a beginner to work out which offers best value.

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My answer is always the same – it’s the one card I’m consistently in possession of, and I’d recommend it without hesitation to both new starters and seasoned travel hackers. It’s the Amex Gold.

American Express bonus points aplenty, and free too – why we love the Amex Gold card

The American Express Gold charge card is widely seen as one of the very best value “travel-related” credit cards available in the UK.

The reasons are clear:

  • It remains free for the first year, and you can cancel without quibble at the end of this year.
  • If you spend £2,000 on it in your first 3 months, you will get 20,000 Membership Rewards points. These convert to 20,000 air miles in a number of schemes, including Avios. 20,000 Avios will get you a return flight from the UK to, for example, Moscow, Istanbul and Malta.
  • You get two free executive lounge visits each year with the card.

If you want to earn 22,000 American Express bonus points (rather than 20,000), sign up to the card via this link.

How do I spend £2,000 in three months?

One of the issues with the massive points bonuses on credit cards such as the Amex Gold is the need to make a fairly substantial spend in a short period of time – what if you don’t actually need to make that spend?

american express bonus points

That’s why gift cards can be a great option. Spend money on the gift card now, but then spend the gift card itself only when you need to. In addition, online gift card retailer Zeek offers sometimes substantial discounts on a huge range of gift cards. You can even get £3 in free credit, just for signing up.

In short, Zeek offers you a straightforward way of loading the spend on to your credit card that will earn you the American Express bonus points (or miles) that will really start to take you places.

Need an easier life? Consider the BA Amex

american express bonus points

While I don’t consider it can equal the enormous benefits of the Amex Gold, the BA Amex has a few advantages of its own:

Again, you can use the Zeek tip above to pre-load your spend. That said, while £1000 is a much more realistic spend target in 3 months, 6,000 Avios is considerably less enticing than 22,000 Membership Rewards points, which among many other things can be redeemed for 22,000 Avios.

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