In the rewards game, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and American Express Gold Card are both solid credit card accounts to have. Both give you points to spend on eligible purchases such as travel, shopping, and dining.
Both regularly offer generous welcome bonus incentives of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within a certain amount of time after account opening, and sometimes even more points with special signup promos.
Both also have valuable transfer partners, so you can redeem points for hotel stays and flights. The only problem is which credit card you should choose.
We’re taking a look at the Amex Gold Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred and detailing the points-per-dollar value, the annual fees, how best to redeem points, the benefits, and the transfer partners of each credit card.
Then you can decide which card—Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Amex Gold—deserves a place of honor in your wallet based on your personal spending habits. Whichever card you choose, make sure you have an acceptable credit score before applying.
About the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The annual fee for this card is a relatively low $95, and it still offers the super-robust Chase Ultimate Rewards service as well as other perks.
You may be approved for a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card if you have a minimum credit score of 640. But other factors, such as employment, credit history, and annual income, are also considered in the application process.
Cardholders can earn rewards quickly in a variety of spending categories. Travel protection is available, too (although we’re partial to SafetyWing for its comprehensive travel insurance products).
The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer an intro APR or balance transfer promo, however. Also, the best rewards for travel are for bookings made through Chase rather than directly with travel companies.
Perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:
- 60,000 bonus points as a welcome gift for spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, which is worth up to $750 when used through the Chase Ultimate Rewards service
- 25% in increased value when travel—including hotels, flights, cruises, and car rentals—is booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; that’s how the 60,000 bonus points translate into $750
- 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x points on dining (including delivery and takeout), online grocery shopping (Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs not included), and select streaming services
- 2x points on travel booked elsewhere
- $50 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit annually
- DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service, for unlimited deliveries for free and other reduced service fees
- Pay Yourself Back program where your points have 25% more value when applied as statement credits.
- Purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
- No foreign transaction fees
To maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, consider pairing the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with another Chase Ultimate Rewards card. This way, you can cover all the gaps and have the ability to pool your points.
Watch the annual fees, though, to make sure it’s worth the added expense.
As a cardholder, you’ll also get 10% in bonus points awarded upon your anniversary. And if a travel purchase isn’t in your foreseeable future, you have the option to turn your points into gift cards at $0.01 per point.
As for travel purchases, any way you move around the world counts. So, you can also earn points for traveling by bus, train, limo, and taxi.
Chase’s transfer partners include:
- Southwest Airlines
- Air France
- British Airways
- Air Canada
- Aer Lingus
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- World of Hyatt
- Marriott Bonvoy
Tolls, ferries, parking, and garage fees will also earn you Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Your Chase Sapphire Preferred card protects your travel purchases, too.
You may be eligible for reimbursement in case of travel cancellation, interruption, or delay. If your baggage is delayed, you may be covered for toiletries and clothing.
And don’t worry about purchasing additional rental car insurance. If you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card as payment for your rental car, you’ll have collision and theft coverage.
For other eligible purchases, you’ll enjoy purchase protection against damage or theft for 120 days, and it extends the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by one year.
Redeeming points earned through eligible purchases on your Chase Sapphire Preferred card is really easy, too. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is best for people looking for a low annual fee and still want multiple ways to collect points.
There are other Chase cards that have better rewards programs, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred is easy to use without wading through complicated terms and conditions.
About the Amex Gold Card
Since 1966, people have relied on the American Express Gold Card for traveling and everyday purchases. To this day, it’s still considered the premier rewards card. It also comes in your choice of gold or rose-gold metal. That’s so metal.
American Express also sends member-exclusive offers, saving you money at participating retailers when you use your card for purchases.
You’ll need a higher credit score, a FICO score of 670 at a minimum, which means your credit history has to be good or excellent.
The Amex Gold Card doesn’t have a set spending limit, either. The amount you can spend flexes with your payment and purchase history. You’ll be required to pay certain balances on time, too.
This credit card doesn’t offer a balance transfer fee because transfers of balances from another card, presumably to pay them off at a lower interest rate, aren’t allowed.
The annual fee for the Amex Gold Card is a heftier $250, but in exchange, you get one of the highest point-earning rates available.
Membership Rewards points earned on your American Express Gold Card can be transferred to a long list of travel partners, and you can have up to five users without paying an additional annual fee for them.
However, there are no airport lounge benefits with this card. It’s also difficult to carry a balance if you need to, and the APR can be high.
Perks of the AMEX Gold Card:
- New card members can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after they spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first six months of account opening
- A choice between a gold metal Gold Card or a rose-gold metal Gold Card
- Get 3x points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through the Amex travel site
- Get 4x points per dollar at restaurants and U.S. grocery stores, including online grocery purchases, up to $25,000 each calendar year, then earn 1x
- 1x points on other purchases
- Receive a $10 dining credit each month when you use your Gold Card at Grubhub, Wine.com, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Milk Bar, and participating Shake Shack locations; after enrollment, this perk amounts to $120 per year
- Receive a $10 Uber Cash credit monthly when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account for Uber rides and UberEats orders, for an annual Uber Cash total of $120
- Free ShopRunner membership for free two-day shipping from a list of over 100 retailers including Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s
- Refunds on purchases returned within 90 days in case the merchant refuses up to $300, capped at $1,000 per year
- No foreign transaction fees
Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the American Express Gold Card is easy to use, with straightforward ways to collect and redeem rewards points. Plus, the 4x Amex Membership Rewards points for restaurants and grocery stores are pretty sweet.
You’d have to weigh that against the annual fee of $250, but it may be worth it. Also, if you have five authorized users, you can hook up your whole family and rack up those points. The points are incredibly flexible to use, too.
Determine how much your points are worth with the company’s points value calculator. Additionally, you can transfer your Amex points to about a dozen airline frequent-flyer programs that are on the Amex transfer partner list, including:
- Asia Miles
- Delta SkyMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Finnair Plus
- Air France Flying Blue
- Iberia Plus
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Scandinavian Airlines SAS EuroBonus
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Most of the time, the value of each Membership Reward point is 1:1, but American Express often offers transfer bonuses, so your points can be worth even more.
If you prefer, you can turn points in for gift cards for retailers, travel companies, and restaurants. By doing this, the value ends up between $0.005 and $0.01 per point.
There are some retailers that will also take your points, such as Amazon, where you can purchase travel gear like this portable charger for your next trip.
Just to make things as easy as possible, American Express allows you to book flights through their travel page at $0.01 for each point. Often, you’ll even earn points on these flights because the airlines consider them “cash” purchases. You won’t find any blackout dates, either, and your points never expire for as long as you have the account.
Other travel benefits include access to the Global Assist Hotline 24/7 for medical, legal, and financial coordination services.
If you book two consecutive hotel nights through American Express Travel, you’ll receive a $100 credit to use at the property for dining, spa, and resort activities.
Further, you can get upgraded upon check-in, based on availability, and if your bags are lost or stolen, you may be eligible for reimbursement with American Express Baggage Insurance.
You may also qualify for insurance for car rental loss and damage when you pay with your American Express and decline the rental company’s collision damage insurance option.
The American Express Gold Card is good for people who plan to pay their entire balance each month and can justify the high annual fee with the rewards structure.
See Related: Best Rental Car Booking Sites
The Differences Between the Amex Gold Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred
The biggest difference between these credit cards is the annual fee, which goes from $95 for the Chase Sapphire Preferred to a hefty $250 for the American Express Gold. Both cards have a variable APR between 18.24% and 25.24%, which is tied to the Prime Rate and set based on creditworthiness.
The base APR offered by each card when you apply is something to consider when weighing one annual fee against the other.
When comparing rewards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x points per dollar on dining, online grocery shopping, and select streaming services
- 2x points on other travel purchases
- 4x Membership Rewards points for dining in U.S. restaurants, but enrollment is required
- 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (capped at $25,000 each calendar year, then 1x)
- 3x points on airfare booked directly with airlines and through the American Express Travel website
- 1x points on other purchases
When comparing credits:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
- American Express Gold Card offers a $120 annual dining credit–or $10 per month–at select restaurants and a $120 annual Uber credit–or $10 per month
When redeeming points:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards offers over a dozen transfer partners including World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy, Southwest, United Airlines, and JetBlue. Cardholders get a 25% bonus when they redeem their points through the travel portal
- American Express Membership Rewards also offers about a dozen transfer partners, including Delta, British Airways, Avianca, Etihad, Emirates, and Marriott Bonvoy
When considering the welcome bonus:
- Both cards offer 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases; however, Chase requires this spend within the first three months, while Amex gives you six months
- Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth more when they are redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal, while Amex runs signup promotions that award up to an additional 30,000 points on top of the 60,000
The Amex Gold Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: The Similarities
Here’s where both Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold perform the same:
- Purchase protection
- Extends U.S. manufacturers’ warranties
- Neither one charges foreign transaction fees
- Baggage and trip delay insurance
- Auto collision damage waivers for auto rentals (insurance is primary for Chase Sapphire Preferred and secondary for the American Express Gold Card)
- Travel and emergency assistance services
How Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Better?
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will enjoy:
- The lower annual fee of $95
- The Pay Yourself Back program
- The $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
- The 1:1 transfer value when booking travel rewards
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance and zero-liability protection
How Is the American Express Gold Card Better?
Amex Gold members will enjoy:
- $10 in Uber Cash monthly for a total of $120 per year to use on rides or Uber Eats when you add your Amex Gold to your account (enrollment required)
- $10 credit monthly for a total of $120 per year when you use your Amex Gold Card for orders from Grubhub and other places
- $100 to use for spa treatments, dining credit, and other resort activities when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel
- Exclusive discounts at participating retailers when you use your credit card for purchases
- Free ShopRunner membership to receive two-day shipping at no additional charge for online purchases at select major stores
- Early access to pre-sales of tickets, special seating, and member-only events, concerts, and shows
Who Should Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?
The card’s annual fee of $95 is hard to beat, especially if you don’t think you would use the Uber and dining credits the American Express Gold Card offers. But consider your own spending habits.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also good for people who aren’t avid travelers because of the Pay Yourself Back program that allows cardholders other ways besides travel to redeem their points at the same high conversion rate.
The value of points redeemed through Pay Yourself Back can be up to $0.015 cents for Airbnb, dining at restaurants, takeout, and delivery services, and donating to select charities.
Even though the categories seem limited, this program shouldn’t be overlooked.
If you had 15,000 points, you could redeem them on an eligible purchase, and instead of being valued at $150, they would have a value of $225.
That’s the same as if you had redeemed them for travel through Ultimate Rewards. It’s also much better than if you opt for cash back.
Who Should Get the Amex Gold Card?
Opt for the Amex Gold card if you can justify the much higher annual fee of $250. This may be easier than you think.
Amex Gold rewards you for using your card at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets ($25,000 annually, then 1x points afterward).
You also get an Uber Cash benefit and food delivery credit if you like to use these types of services.
Bottom line, if you love to travel, Amex Gold may be the best credit card for you, particularly for the hotel credits and extensive list of travel partners with frequent bonus periods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does it make sense to have both the Amex Gold and Chase Sapphire Preferred?
At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you whether you need two credit cards. While both cards offer certain benefits that the other doesn’t, you’re going to find yourself with two annual fees, two separate contracts, and, of course, two separate bills. At the end of the day, picking just one of these reward credit cards may make the most sense.
Can you switch from the American Express Gold Card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
While you can technically transfer your balance from your American Express Gold Card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, it will not help you save money. You’re better off paying the balance on your Amex before opening your new Chase credit card.
Why? Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer a 0% APR incentive on balance transfers, and customers will find themselves owing interest on their transferred debt immediately at the prevailing APR plus transfer fees. Ouch!
Can you transfer points from the American Express Gold Card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
While you can’t simply transfer your points from one card to the other, there is a way to pool them together. Several partnership programs work with both American Express and Chase, including Aer Lingus, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club, and Marriott Rewards, all of which allow transferring points, so you can aggregate your rewards points.
Don’t have quite enough points to get a great discount on flights? Subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights to get the best deals delivered right to your inbox while you’re waiting for your points to accumulate.
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