Thursday, January 15, 2009

2008 American Express Gold Card Cashback

So I was one of the people that signed up for this card in December 2007. It was available to the public for a brief period of time. Maybe a few months? Word on the street is, it is no longer available to newbies.

It came at a perfect time for me. My primary card till then was the Citi Drivers Edge card which gives you 2% cash back towards the purchase of a car. I had just purchased a car & am planning on driving it till it can drive no more. As a result, racking up 2% towards another car didn't make sense for me since you can only carry over 5 years worth of cashback. I downgraded to the Citi Enrich mastercard that gives you 1% cashback but in the mean time was looking around for something else.

After lots of searching & reading reviews, I came across the Amex Gold Card on RedFalgDeals which has up to 2% cash back. Key word is up to. It's a tiered card where you get 0.5% on the first $2,500 spent, 1% back on the next $2,500 and 2% back on anything beyond $5000 spent! Sweet! When you work it out, you need to spend over $6250 for it to be better than a 1% cashback card. With Amex not being accepted every where, I was a little hesitant but I was sure I would spend the break even $6250 and decided to give it a go.

Well it's been a year since I've had the card & I've charged $11436 on the card! Almost double what I needed to break even with the Citi Enrich card. I do however maximize the Amex card in every way I can. I put every little thing on it, including bills. I also paid for trips, including somebody elses since we were purchasing it together. I was also pleasantly surprised that one of my misconceptions that Amex isn't accepted everywhere was incorrect. In my experience, about 90% of the places I visit accept Amex. Food Basics my local grocery store however was not one of them. If they did, I'd probably have easily put another $1000 on the card for the year.

The other good thing about the card, is they give you the cash via a credit to your bill as opposed to chq. I feel like when I get a chq, I have extra money that I hadn't budgeted for and should therefore spend it frivolously. My 2008 cashback via the Amex card *drumroll please* was a whopping $166! Almost $50 more than what I'd have gotten with the Citi Enrich card. For spending as normal, it's a great bonus.