Gold credit cards are a step up from standard credit cards, offering benefits that range from more points per $1 spent to higher credit limits, complimentary travel insurance and purchase insurance cover. Some gold credit cards also come with introductory bonus point or balance transfer offers that can help you get more value when you sign up.
Use this guide to compare gold credit cards and learn more about the different benefits and features available. We also go through what to consider before you apply for a card and the eligibility requirements so you can decide if a gold credit card is right for you.
American Express Charge Card Offer
American Express Gold Business Card
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points
Offer ends 29 July 2020
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
American Express Charge Card Offer
A business card that offers 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points and up to 1.5 points per $1 spent.
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,000 within the first 4 months
Annual fee of $169 and optional enrolment in the Membership Rewards program for $80 p.a.
Up to 99 additional cardholders at $119 p.a. each
Extend your cash flow for up to 51 days
Complimentary transport accident cover, travel inconvenience cover, travel cancellation cover and more
Compare the features of the gold credit cards below.
American Express Gold Business Card. A gold business card from American Express which offers 50,000 bonus points when you meet the spend criteria. Plus, complimentary insurances and a no pre-set spending limit.
Gold credit cards are a premium option that build on the features of standard credit cards by offering greater benefits. Some of the most popular gold credit card features include:
Complimentary international travel insurance
Purchase security cover
Extended warranty insurance
More rewards points per $1
Higher rewards points caps
Other travel benefits such as airport lounge access
Gold credit cards also have higher minimum credit limits than standard credit cards, which can be convenient if you use credit a lot.
How to compare gold credit cards
The benefits of a gold credit card should be worth more than the costs associated with it. This is where comparing the features, costs and limitations of gold credit cards can come in handy. To help you determine which card is right for you, here are the factors that should come into your comparison:
Purchase rate. This is the standard rate of interest applied to new purchases made on the card, so the lower it is the better.
Cash advance rate. This rate is applied to transactions such as ATM withdrawals and there is usually less variation between cards (but even a fraction of a percentage could make a difference).
Interest-free days on purchases. If you pay your balance in full every month, look for a card with a high number of interest free days so you have more time to pay off purchases without being charged interest.
Annual fees. Ongoing gold credit card annual fees range from $0 to $169, so make sure you check the price to save money on the card.
Credit limits. Minimum credit limits for gold credit cards give you an idea of how much credit you will have access to and are usually around $4,000 to $5,000.
Additional cardholders. Some gold credit cards charge extra for additional cardholders and others offer them free, so check this feature if you would like to have someone else linked to your account.
Special offers with gold credit cards
Banks offer promotional benefits with credit card offers to sweeten the deal when you apply. We’ve broken these down into four key benefits.
Promotional interest rate offers
0% purchase offers. If you plan to spend a lot of money on your gold credit card when you first get it, this type of offer can help you avoid or reduce interest charges.
Balance transfer offers. If you want to transfer debt from an existing credit card to a new gold credit card, look for balance transfer offers that have lower interest rates and a long introductory period so you can save money on interest and pay off the debt faster.
Bonus points offers. You can boost your reward points balance by getting a gold credit card that offers bonus points to new customers. Look at both the points offered and the requirements to get them to find a good gold card option for you.
Frequent flyer/rewards points earnings rate. Reward programs vary between gold credit card options and there are also different point rates depending on the type of card, with American Express cards usually earning the highest amount of points per $1. Some cards have both an AMEX and a Mastercard to offer flexibility with different point earning rates.
Uncapped/capped rewards points earnings. A points cap limits how many rewards you can earn in a month or year, but doesn’t always affect cardholders. You can work out if a capped or uncapped reward card is right for you by looking at your average monthly credit card spending and comparing it to the points you would earn; if you spend less than the cap then it should be fine.
Travel benefits and insurance
Gold credit card insurance. The insurance offered on gold credit cards varies, and could include international travel insurance, flight inconvenience insurance, purchase protection cover, extended warranties and refund protection. Although most gold credit cards include international travel insurance, make sure you check for particular types of coverage in the card’s features, and read the specific details if it is an extra you want to use.
Foreign transaction fees. There are three types of foreign transaction fees to look at when comparing gold credit cards:
Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee (typically charged by the overseas bank). Charged when you withdraw cash from an overseas ATM.
Overseas Cash Advance Fee. Fee for withdrawing cash from your account when overseas.
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC). Charged when you make a purchase in a currency other than AUD either online or overseas.
Even a small variation in the charges applied by different gold credit cards could save you a lot of money when you are travelling.
More gold card benefits
Concierge service. This service can help you with travel plans, restaurant bookings, entertainment options and more.
Global support. If you have issues when travelling, or lose your card, global support services can help you sort things out.
Lounge passes. Some gold credit cards offer access to airport or airline lounges with complimentary passes, which can be great if you want a bit of luxury when you travel.
Mastercard Privileges and Priceless Cities. A gold Mastercard credit card gives you access to both local and global benefits for travel, dining, retail and entertainment experiences.
Visa Entertainment. Get a gold Visa credit card and you can sign up for exclusive Visa Entertainment offers such as pre-sale concert tickets and theatre deals.
American Express Experiences. An American Express gold credit card connects you to this program offering deals on stadium shows, cinema screenings, theatre events and dining experiences in partnership with Ticketmaster.
Things to consider before applying for a gold credit card
If you want to get a gold credit card, there are three important considerations that will help you find a card that works for you:
1. How much you are spending per month?
The goal with choosing a gold credit card should be to redeem rewards that are worth more than the annual fee. The more you use a gold credit card (both for spending and for the other perks) the greater the value you can get out of it. This value needs to be weighed against the cost of the annual fee if you want to save more than you spend on your credit card.
For example, let’s say you got a gold reward credit card with a $100 annual fee. The goal would be to earn enough reward points to get at least $100 value out of the reward program (i.e. a $100 gift card).
So if you knew you would spend an average of $2000 per month, and earned 1 point per $1, over a year you would get 24,000 reward points. You can then check the redemption catalogue or website for the card’s reward program to make sure that those points will get you at least $100 value in rewards so that the annual fee is worth it.
2. Are you using all the available benefits and does it suit your lifestyle?
When you’re choosing a gold credit card, it’s important to be realistic about what benefits you will and won’t use so that you can work out the value of the card for your individual lifestyle.
For example, if you get a card with travel insurance but never use it, this benefit will be worthless to you. On the other hand, if you knew you would use that travel insurance regularly, you could save hundreds of dollars buying insurance directly, which would offset the cost of the annual fee.
3. Is the credit limit suitable for your current finances?
Gold credit cards have higher minimum credit limits than many standard options. While this feature is great if you use credit a lot, it can be risky in some circumstances.
In particular, people who struggle to pay off their balance in full every month, or those that have existing credit card debt can end up with an even bigger balance if they get a credit card with a higher credit limit. So before applying for a gold credit card, think about how much access to credit you need and whether or not one of these cards will work for your circumstances.
What conditions do I need to meet to apply for a gold credit card?
Gold credit cards have a range of requirements that need to be met before your application can be approved. These include:
Age. You must be at least 18 years of age to get a gold credit card.
Credit history. You’ll need a good credit history that shows a sufficient income and ability to repay your bills on time you receive approval.
Income. You must have a regular income to apply for a gold credit card. Some of these cards also specify a minimum income amount, which typically range from $30,000 to $50,000.
Employment. Most credit card issuers prefer full-time employment but there are exceptions. If you are self-employed, retired or on a pension but have a regular income, then you could still be eligible for a gold credit card. Check the application requirements for each card you’re interested in, and contact the issuer if you are unsure.
Required documents. During the application process, you will need to supply a number of required documents, including:
A copy of your driver's licence, or another official document with your address (i.e. a utility bill)
A copy of your passport or Medicare card
Proof of employment/income, such as two payslips less than 60 days old, a letter of employment or your most recent tax statement from the ATO
Contact details for your employer or accountant
These documents can usually be attached to the application, submitted later via a secured web-form, or posted to the bank and are essential for the application to be fully processed.
How to apply for a gold credit card?
Apply for a gold credit card using these easy to follow steps.
Look at the range of gold credit cards available and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Click on the ‘Go to site’ button, which will send you to the bank’s secure application page.
Read over the eligibility criteria and application terms.
Fill out the application with as much detail as possible and include supporting documentation when requested (see below).
Submit the application. You should be notified of the initial outcome within a few minutes via the webpage or your email.
If you receive conditional approval, follow the steps outlined by the bank to complete the application process.
How long will it take to receive the credit card?
The time it takes from getting your credit card application approved to receiving it varies depending on the bank or issuer. Most credit cards are received within 5-10 business days from the time of application approval, but it’s a good idea to check with the bank for specific time frames as some can take up to 21 days.
Gold credit cards offer a greater range of complimentary extras and rewards than standard credit cards, as well as the prestige of being a more exclusive option. So if you want to get more value out of using a credit card regularly, have good credit history and earn enough to meet minimum income requirements, then there could be a gold credit card on the market that suits your needs.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, these complimentary insurance covers come into effect only after you use your gold card to pay for travel expenses.
A platinum card could offer an even higher credit limit, it could come with additional insurance covers, and it should give you access to a 24/7 concierge service.
This depends on the gold card you use. There are some credit cards which allow you earn frequent flyer points directly.
Amy Bradney-George is the acting editor for Finder X and a senior writer for credit cards and Finder Green. She has more than 13 years' experience as a journalist and writer, with bylines in publications including The Equity Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News and produce industry website FreshPlaza. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Drama from Griffith University, and when she’s not putting (virtual) pen to paper, she spends her time as an actress.
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