The American Express Gold Rewards card has been in my wallet for almost 10 years now. When I started using it, it was the best option for Muslim travelers to actually dip their toes into the loyalty sphere because back then the card was a charge card and it had no interest.
Sadly this changed a few years ago and now the Amex Gold in the UK is not a charge card but rather a credit card. However, I still feel it is the best credit card for Muslims or anyone in general who wants to start their journey and collect points for a better travel experience.
The only charge card at the moment is the Platinum American Express card which you need to pay every month and cannot carry a balance. But this comes with a hefty yearly fee that for many is not worth it.
If you are not looking to get a credit card then this article is not for you. Check out our budget guide on how to save when travelling.
As Muslims, we are not meant to get into interest, hence why I always suggest using these cards as debit cards and paying them off every month. Sadly in today’s world is hard to operate without a credit card especially as they offer more consumer protections than debit cards.
There have been cases where retailers didn’t want to refund me for faulty goods and by paying with my Amex card I was able to get my refund issued since bank cards are liable as well as retailers. This would have not happened with a normal debit card.
I pay my credit cards every month in FULL. It is very easy to get carried away and end up with bad debt. I certainly do not want this to happen to you or me.
Amex Gold is the card to start with on rewards points
In the UK there are very few cards that offer great and flexible benefits for Muslims or otherwise who want to collect points to be able to spend for shopping or for travelling.
I earn the majority of my points from spending on my card as well as using shopping portals. You can read more about this here.
The American Express Gold card is the easiest card to start and get your feet wet into the rewards game, simply because it is free the first year and you can cancel after that. It comes with some great benefits as well.
I have used several of them over the years and I have to say I love the Amex customer service.
First, this is the legal part of the Amex card.
The representative interest rate on the card is 69.2% APR variable after the first year. The interest rate on purchases for the first year is 26.6% APR.
My favourite benefits of American Express Gold:
- Sign-up Bonus: if you are new to Amex and have not had a card for 24 months you can receive extra points and even more if you get referred. This is enough for 2 return tickets in economy in zone one, especially during peak travel. In order to get the bonus you will need to spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of your card membership.
- The first year is FREE. Every other year is £160 per year. You can cancel any time in the paid year and get a pro-rata refund of the fee.
- Four FREE airport lounge passes per year. This can be used for you and the guests you have with you. We have used this several times without a problem. In some cases, UK airport lounges can be overcrowded and hard to get in, like Heathrow Terminal 5 but in general, I find that I use mine mostly abroad as they are better.
- Flexible reward points that can convert to many airlines. I love Amex reward points because I can use them for other airlines like Avios on Qatar Airways, KLM flights, Etihad and many more. I have converted points in pretty much every available airline.
- Travel Insurance. I have used travel insurance on several occasions, once when our bags were delayed while on Umrah and we had to buy several things and the second when I was hospitalised in Dubai and Amex paid the bill. On both occasions, we didn’t have a problem claiming back the money. The insurance covers you and your family when travelling and you have bought tickets on the card.
- Cashback offers. I love the cashback offers you can get on Amex and I have used many of them several times earning my membership back.
- Shopping protection as I mentioned above. I used this to claim for items that were faulty and the retailer refused to pay.
- Get £120 Deliveroo credit per year. Ordering a takeout? Get 2x £5 credit per month on Deliveroo when you pay with your Amex Gold card.
- Get extra points depending on your spending. You can get up to 12,500 extra points depending on how much you have spent during the year on your American Express Gold card.
- Double points on foreign spending and also Amex travel. Foreign spending comes with an extra fee so I normally don’t do that and use my Wise card abroad.
- You can also use their travel portal to earn double points and get cashback when you book through them. I have done this with the Hotel Collection and you get upgrades and other perks. Some hotels are definitely worth and before booking, I always check the travel deals there.
Where Can you use the American Express Gold card?
Many people didn’t want to get American Express because supermarkets and other retailers wouldn’t accept them. Simply put Amex charges a higher rate to retailers to use their machines.
Nowadays this is not the case, every major supermarket including Lidl and Aldi accept Amex and even my local halal butcher. So using the card and earning points on purchases that I would have made anyways is much easier.
Yes, it will take you time to accumulate the points but combine this with some of the other tips I have on this website you can definitely earn a free flight a year depending on your spending.
I subscribe to the theory every little helps.
I need to shop, pay my bills and spent money on things I need, might as well get something back.
If you want to find out more about the card and sign up please do here.
Make sure you read the small print as well since this is not financial advice but rather a personal experience with the card. We are not financial advisors.