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Late in 2018, the American Express® Gold Card tweaked its benefits to become an extremely solid rewards card that deserves a spot in many wallets, including mine.

The card retained its annual up to $100 airline fee credit, doubled its earning rate at restaurants — and made it for dining worldwide — and U.S. supermarkets to an impressive 4x points (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x for the latter) and introduced up to $120 in dining credits each calendar year — all with a snazzy metal design.

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(Photo by Eden Batki / The Points Guy)Source: The Points Guy

The Amex Gold has a public welcome offer of 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months and an annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees). Based on TPG's latest valuations, that bonus is worth $700.

However, there are also two targeted welcome offers — 60,000 or 75,000 points — after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening through the CardMatch Tool (offer is subject to change at any time).

Enroll in the $120 annual dining credit

People Dining at a RestaurantSource: The Points Guy

With the Amex Gold, you are eligible for up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you use card at participating dining partners.

These partners include: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations. This statement credit functions similarly to the Saks credit on the Platinum Card® from American Express in that it isn't allotted all at once, but is $120 spread out across the year in monthly installments. You need to enroll your card for this perk on the Amex site under "benefits," so do that as soon as you get your new card.

Claim your annual $100 airline fee credit

One of the best perks of the Amex Gold is its annual up to $100 airline fee credit valid at one of nine different U.S. airlines.

Since you get this credit every calendar year, you can use it twice during your first year as a member, but you must first register for the airline of your choice. This credit gives you the potential for an up to $200 return in the first 365 days. The airline fee credit can be used toward airline lounge passes, checked bag fees and much more.

Related: Why Amex should make its airline credit as easy to use as Chase and Citi

Delta ATL Terminal F Biometric Boarding Baggage DropSource: The Points Guy

Technically, you can't purchase airline tickets or use the credit for gift cards or award taxes/fees; however, depending on how the airline codes your purchase, you may get reimbursed.

You can choose your airline while logged in to your Amex account under the "benefits" section as shown below. Note that while you're technically limited to the airline you select for the entire calendar year, reports indicate that you might be able to change your selection by contacting customer service.

Select Airline Fee Credit Amex Gold.jpgSource: The Points Guy

Add Amex Gold as payment with Seamless and Grubhub

If you use the food delivery services Seamless and Grubhub, be sure and set your payment card with them to the Amex Gold, not only to earn 4 points per dollar on dining but also to get the up to $10 per month statement credit at those eligible dining partners.

Closeup shot of a courier making a delivery to a customer (image by Getty Images / katleho Seisa)Source: The Points Guy

Memorize the 4x bonus categories

The American Express Gold Card is sitting at the top of the pack for spending on both dining worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets.

The card earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and on the first $25,000 spent per calendar year at US supermarkets (then 1x, terms apply). These 4x points per dollar equal to an 8% return on spending based on our current valuations.

The card also earns 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, which isn't bad, but isn't our all-time favorite card for booking air travel.

Bottom line

There aren't as many tasks to complete when you get your Amex Gold as there are when you get an Amex Platinum, but there are still at least four things to do in order to reap the maximum rewards.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please clickhere.

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

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