The Gold and Platinum are two of the most popular American Express cards, but what you may not be aware of is that their benefits vary by country. For example, a Gold Card issued in the U.S. will be quite different than a Gold Card issued in Canada. So that brings us to the question… how do Canadian-issued AmEx cards measure up?
As an example, let’s take a look at the popular Gold Card…
The Canadian American Express card gives you 1 Membership Reward point per dollar on regular spending and 2 reward points on travel, grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores. Compare this to the U.S. Gold Card (standard version) which only gives 1 point per dollar across the board.
Winner? Canada clearly has better rewards!
In Canada, the annual fee is waived for the first year, then $150 after that. The U.S. version is also waived for the first year, but is only $125 after that.
Winner? It’s a tie. Right now the CAD to USD conversion is pretty close to a 1 for 1 ratio (0.98 at time of writing). But even though the Canadian version is more, I think most people would agree paying $25 extra is definitely worth it for the added rewards. Furthermore, on a historical basis, $150 CAD is usually pretty close to $125 USD.
Although the Canadian and U.S. versions have slightly different names for some of these benefits, they are more or less the same. Both will double the manufacturers warranty on purchases made with the card for up to one extra year. They both protect purchases against accidental damage and theft up to $1,000 per claim. The only notable AmEx Gold Card benefits I don’t see listed for the Canadian version are Return Protection (a benefit where AmEx will accept a return if the store won’t) and the Bonus Points Mall for online shopping.
Winner? It’s very close, but I guess I have to give this one to the U.S. since they have the return protection benefit.
Now I found this interesting… in Canada the card comes with up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance, but the U.S. version only gives up to $100,000 in coverage. Other perks for Canadians is they get flight delay insurance, trip interruption insurance, hotel burglary insurance, and 15 day out-of-country emergency medical insurance… none of which are offered on the American version to the best of my knowledge. Both do include rental car insurance (but coverage/exclusions do vary a bit). The remaining benefits, like luggage insurance, seem to be comparable.
Winner? This category is definitely a strong win for Canada!
The one perk that really stands out on the American version is the annual $100 credit for booking a trip, flight, hotel, etc. through American Express Travel Services. Most of the other perks appear to be very similar, however I have heard that there seems to be a better selection of pre-sale tickets available for concerts and sporting events in the U.S.
Winner? The American card get this one for that $100 annual travel credit.
Who’s the ultimate winner, the Canadians or the Americans?
Let me put it to you this way… I want to move to Canada and get their version of the American Express Gold Card! The travel insurance coverage is so much better it’s not even funny. The fact that Canadians get double points on all those categories makes it even more attractive than my beloved American Express Plum Card (a charge card with a $185 annual fee that’s only available in the US). I would choose your Gold Card over my Plum Card in a heartbeat. I guess this is just yet another reason why I should consider moving to Canada
Author Bio: This post was written by guest blogger Mike D. from CreditCardForum.com, where he writes credit card reviews as well as articles related to all things credit.