Get the Amex Gold Card fee free for a year

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AmexSave £125 on the annual fee for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card and get access to some great rewards.

American Express has removed the fee on its Preferred Rewards Gold Card. This means you can effectively save £125 if you decide to take out the charge card. But why would anyone pay that sort of fee in the first place?

What you get
Well, for a start you can get 20,000 Membership Reward points as a Welcome Bonus when you spend £2,000 in the first three months. That's enough points to get two return flights to European destinations such as Paris or Amsterdam with British Airways.

This bonus works out as ten points for every pound spent in the introductory period. You earn one point per £1 spent once it's over.


You'll also get two complimentary VIP airport lounge passes every year, allowing you to travel in style.

But points can also convert into hotel stays, shopping vouchers, luxury items like an iPad2 and even fun experiences.

You earn double points on travel spending (like plane and rail fares) and nearly everything you spend abroad. Plus you get double points on petrol and major supermarket purchases for 12 months.

In addition, you get a whole load of card protection, preferential treatment at restaurants and gigs plus travel inconvenience insurance for things like flight cancellations when tickets are bought on the card.

To apply you need to have an income of at least £20,000 and have a clear credit history. Also, to be eligible for the Welcome Bonus of 20,000 points, you must not have held any other American Express Charge Card in the last six months.

Be cautious
This seems like a great deal but make sure you don't get caught out. While Amex is currently waiving the £125 annual membership fee, this is only for one year. If you keep the card after this period the fee will be charged.

You should also note that as this is a charge card, not a credit card, you are required to pay off your balance in full each month. So although there is no spending limit and no interest charges, you need to make sure you can afford what you buy every month.

Is Amex only for big spenders?
If you have a lot of money to burn on a monthly basis, this card can be hugely rewarding. 100,000 points can get you a five-night stay at a Starwood hotel resort. But what about those who are on a tight budget?

The great thing is you don't need to alter your spending habits or be super-rich to benefit. Just putting the food shop and your travel costs on the card could reap great rewards.

I spend £400 a month on food and £112 a month on travel. By using the charge card instead of using cash, in the first three months I could earn 15,360 points. After the Welcome Bonus offer ends I will be able to rack up another 9,216 points (the points are doubled because of the type of spending).

This would leave me with over 20,000 points, which I could use on one return flight to Istanbul (I just pay the taxes and fees), a £100 gift card for a spa or Bose headphones.

Even if you are happier spending less and racking up just 5,000 points, you can still get a £25 gift card for shops like Amazon, £25 voucher for a range of restaurants or one night's stay in a top hotel.

An Amex card isn't just for the super-rich, especially now its fee free. Just applying your normal spending habits can give you access to luxury rewards too.

Alternatives
Here are a few other cards that reward you for spending.

Santander 123 Credit Card - if cashback is more up your street try the 123 card. Earn 1% at supermarkets, 2% at Department Stores and 3% on travel costs. Cashback is credited monthly but you will need to pay an annual fee unless you are a 123 Current Account holder. For more on this card read Santander 123 World credit card to pay 3% cashback on train fares and for more on cashback rewards take a look at The best cashback credit cards.

AA Members Rewards Visa - get one point for every £1 spent or two for every £1 spent on fuel, motoring or AA products. Your points can get you shopping vouchers and money off motoring products. The card also offers 0% on purchases for ten months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months.

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for purchases - earn one Clubcard point for every £4 spent. The card doubles as a standard Clubcard so you'll be able to collect points on your Tesco purchases too. That means you will get five points for every £4 you spend at Tesco and on Tesco fuel with the credit card. Points can be converted into vouchers and Avios airline points. The card also features 0% on purchases for 16 months making it the longest interest-free purchase credit card on the market. Read The best 0% purchase credit cards for a round-up.

John Lewis Waitrose Partnership Card - gives you one point for every pound spent at John Lewis, Waitrose and Greenbee.com. Elsewhere you can earn one point for every £2 you spend.

Each set of 500 points gets you a £5 John Lewis/Waitrose vouchers sent out three times a year.

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