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The Amex Gold Card is one of the hottest new dining cards and is a revamped version of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. One of the key features of this card is the $120 dining credit. But how exactly does this credit work and what restaurants can you use it for? This article will explain everything you need to know about the Gold Card’s $120 dining credit.
Update: Some offers below are no longer available — click here for the latest deals!
Before getting into all of the dining credits, here’s an overview of the Amex Gold Card.
- Standard public offer is for 35,000 Membership Rewards but you can find referral offers that offer 40,000 Membership Rewards Points after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Limited time offer: Receive 20% back as a statement credit at US restaurants within the first three months of Card Membership, up to $100 back.(No longer offered)
- 3X on airfare
- 4X points at U.S. Restaurants
- 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spend per calendar year)
- $100 airline credit
- $120 dining credit
The strongest point of the Amex Gold Card is the bonus earning potential which consists of 4X at US restaurants and 4x at US supermarkets. That point earning potential is what makes the card truly special in my eyes. However, if you can utilize the annual credits, then you knock the annual fee down to only $30 so it’s a good idea to know how these credits work. You can read my full review of the card here.
$100 US restaurant statement credit
As part of a limited time offer, the Amex Gold Card was offering a statement credit where you could receive 20% back as a statement credit at US restaurants up to $100. This credit automatically applies when a purchase codes as a US restaurant but note that it only applies in the 3 months after opening your account.
It’s not clear if this statement credit will be offered in future offers.
$120 dining credit
The Amex Gold Card provides you with $10 monthly dining credits. These credits work on a monthly calendar basis. This means that they will reset at the end of each month, regardless of when you originally opened your credit card.
These credits can also only be used at select establishments, such as:
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Shake Shack
Grubhub is a service you can use like Uber Eats where you can have food delivered to you from a variety of restaurants (take out is a possibility, too). Thus, this $10 credit can actually be used at a lot of different dining establishments. You can enter in your location here to see which places can deliver to you.
You’ll need to factor in potential delivery fees/tips into your orders though which can reduce the value of your credit and that’s one reason I recommend take-out as an option.
Seamless is another food delivery service that you can look into and they are part of the same company as Grubhub. You can search for what delivers near you here.
In the past, the terms and conditions stated that the prices for Grubhub and Seamless would remain the same as in-restaurant menu prices but they removed that language and now it’s possible that prices could be higher when ordering through Grubhub or Seamless so this is just something to keep an eye out for.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory operates over 210 full-service restaurants. Here’s a sample menu. A classic burger will set you back about $13 and many dishes will remain under $20. You can search for locations here.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Ruth’s Chris Steak House is an upscale chain of over 100 steakhouses across the United States, Canada and Mexico. For many steak dishes, you’re going to be shelling out $40 to $60+. You can search for locations here.
Shake Shack serves up some of the best burgers in the country for a fast food joint. Shake Shack is still growing and plans to have at least 200 locations in the U.S. and 120 globally licensed locations by 2020. You can have a single burger for around $4.85 and a double burger for about $7.40. You can search for locations here.
Note that this excludes Shake Shack locations in ballparks, stadiums, airports and racetracks.
Only valid at US locations
Many of these restaurants have locations outside the US, but per the terms and conditions, these credits are “Only valid for transactions completed in the United States of America, and US Territories.”
The terms and conditions state that the credit is “Not valid on gift cards or merchandise purchases.”
However, some people have had success with purchasing gift cards from some of these restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory and Shake Shack. Data points are still rolling in on this but if you can purchase a gift card in the restaurant, you probably stand a good chance of that transaction successfully coding.
(Grubhub/Seamless doesn’t seem to work.)
You must enroll!
In order to receive the dining credit, you must enroll your card in the program. You can easily do this by simply signing into your online account or you can call the number on the back of your card.
If the purchase is made by an authorized user, they can activate the credit. But note that you’re only given $120 worth of annual credit across all cards on a $10 monthly basis, so each authorized user does not receive their own $10 monthly credit.
When will the credits post?
Amex states, “Please allow 2-4 weeks after an eligible purchase is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account.” In reality, your credit might hit within a few days after you make your purchase.
Call the number on the back of the Card if statement credits have not posted after 4 weeks from the date of purchase
Date of purchase or date of processing?
You might be wondering what happens if you make a purchase at the end of the month but it doesn’t process until the next month… does that mean the credit applies to the month you made the purchase or the month that it processes?
Amex provides an answer for this:
American Express relies on the merchant to process transactions within the same calendar month that you made the purchase in order to apply the $10 monthly statement credit in the month that it was intended. For example, if you make an eligible purchase on the last day of the month, but the merchant doesn’t process that transaction until the next day, then the statement credit would be applied in the following month.
What about mobile wallets?
Amex notes that in most cases, you may not receive the statement credit if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party or if the merchant uses a mobile or wireless card reader to process
Are other Gold cards eligible?
No, Traditional Gold, Senior Gold, Classic Gold and Ameriprise Gold Cards are not eligible.
You can sometimes stack these credits with special Amex Offers for these restaurants so be on the lookout for those.
These $10 monthly credits are great for those who already frequent these restaurants and obviously less useful for those who avoid these places. If you’re not a fan of places like Shake Shack, you should still be able to find some place you like with the food delivery services like Grubhub and Seamless.
H-Town based Attorney turned credit card rewards expert. Founder of UponArriving.com.