Which card offers the best deal – Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred? If you are contemplating applying for one of these cards, this review is just what you need.
Comparing and choosing between credit cards can be quite a challenge. Not because you don't know what you want, but because there are so many. Even worse, they seem to offer almost similar features and benefits.
For instance, Chase and American Express are popular banks. And their travel and dining credit cards seem to intertwine in features.
Today, we compare Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. Which one suits you best? This will all depend on your travel or dining needs and preferences. While both cards offer great features, one might just be better than the other for you.
For this reason, let's scrutinize each card and see if we can help you make the best choice. Here's a detailed side-by-side comparison of Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred:
Table of Contents
Amex Gold Credit Card
This is American Express' mid-tier travel and dining card. It comes with a $250 annual fee and earns Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases. Amex Gold is always an excellent option for US customers looking for great spending returns at US supermarkets and restaurants.
The card boasts a strong earning structure, travel perks, and other incredible benefits. And did I say that the card is made of metal? This is something that also attracts many cardholders besides its great earning potential.
But before applying for an Amex Gold credit card, here are several things you should know.
How to Use Amex Gold Credit Card
Usually, this American Express travel card rewards its users with points every time they buy travel products or dine in specific restaurants.
These points are later redeemed for incredible travel experiences such as statement credits, free hotel stays, and free airfare. Also, cardholders can use their points to shop at the Membership Rewards store or transfer them to one of Amex's airline partners.
The good thing here is anyone can use this card with ease. In other words, you don't have to be a points expert to earn and redeem points with Amex Gold. However, you should note that how you redeem your points determines how much value you'll get. For instance, the points range between 0.5 cents and 1 cent per point, depending on how you choose to redeem them.
Ways to Earn with Amex Gold
Amex Gold offers numerous ways to earn points. For instance, you get 4x points on restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x for amounts above). You also get 3x points for the flights you book directly with various airlines or on amextravel.com. And lastly, you get 1x point on all other eligible purchases.
In addition to the base earn rate, there are two ways you can further increase your points earnings:
- The $120 dining credit: You can get statement credits worth up to $10 monthly when you use your card at eligible restaurants. And this is on top of the 4x points you already earn on these purchases.
- Welcome bonus: You can earn 60,000 points after hitting $4,000 worth of purchases within your card's first six months. That's worth up to $600 in travel when redeemed through Amex Travel.
See Related: How Do Credit Card Companies Make Money?
Factors to Consider when Applying for Amex Gold
Your Credit Score Matters
Amex Gold is a charge card, meaning you must pay the full monthly balance.
In other words, if you can't handle this kind of responsibility or often carry a balance on your credit card, then Amex Gold might not be the best option for you.
The card determines your creditworthiness by checking your credit score. This number or rating shows the creditors or card issuer if you are a risky investment or not. The number is usually calculated from your financial history.
For the Amex Gold credit card, you require excellent credit for approval. This usually ranges from 690 -850. This might not be your card if you have anything less than that.
Existing Credit Cards
With the Amex Gold credit card, you receive a welcome bonus only once for a specific card. As such, if you have had an Amex Gold card before, you're not eligible for the welcome bonus when you take another card. The same is true if you currently have another American Express charge card.
That said, if you closed your Amex Gold card within the last 12 months, you are still considered a current cardholder and, thus, not eligible for the welcome bonus. The issuer also looks at the number of times you've opened and closed credit cards to determine if you qualify for the welcome offer.
Everyone applies for a card that suits their lifestyle. For instance, if you are a heavy traveler, you'll need a card that offers a high return on travel expenses. Similarly, if you spend most of your time dining out, you need a card that offers the best returns on restaurants.
The Amex Gold credit card focuses more on giving users great rewards at restaurants in the U.S and abroad. So, if you are not a big fan of dining out or traveling, you might not get the most out of this card.
See Related: How to Build Credit without a Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred
This premium travel card offers a high return on travel and dining expenses. The card offers you rewards (Ultimate Reward points) for your purchases, redeemable in multiple ways.
And while Chase Sapphire Preferred attracts a $95 annual fee, the rewards are undoubtedly worth it.
If you are looking for a card that offers more flexibility, the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be better than the Amex Gold card. With your Chase Sapphire Preferred, it's pretty easy to transfer your points to various loyalty programs, mainly from airlines and hotels. So, if you often fly with a particular airline or stay at a specific hotel chain, this card will be more beneficial to you.
However, there are several things you should know before you apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred.
How Chase Sapphire Preferred Works
Like most other travel and dining credit cards, this premium card from Chase earns you points when you make purchases. For every dollar you spend on qualifying purchases, you earn points.
These points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, or travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal at 1:1. However, if you redeem your points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you get a 25% bonus. This means that 100 points become worth $1.25 when redeemed for travel.
You can also transfer your points to Chase's 13 airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. However, some partners offer a better value than others. For instance, 100 points become worth $1.50 when transferred to British Airways.
Ways to Earn with Chase Sapphire Preferred
To start with, you get 5x points for each dollar you spend on travel, 3 points for dining worldwide, streaming services, and online grocery purchases, and 1x point for all other eligible purchases.
Also, for every $1 you spend on Lyf, you earn 5 points. But, when you make travel purchases outside Chase Ultimate Rewards, the points per dollar lowers to 2x.
The card also comes with an impressive welcome bonus. Imagine a bonus of 60,000 points if you hit $4,000 worth of purchases within your first three months as an account holder. That's worth up to $750 if you use Chase Ultimate Rewards to redeem your points.
Chase Sapphire is a great card for many reasons. But perhaps the most incredible one is the fact that you can transfer your rewards from other Chase cards to this card. This opens up more options for points redemption. However, the transferrable rewards must be from a card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: Top Differences
Now, we know what these cards are and how they work. But which card would be the best for you? Let's explore their differences to see which one comes at the top:
The two cards show a major difference regarding the account opening. For instance, to qualify for the American Express Gold card, you need a credit score of not less than 690. Now this falls under an excellent credit score category. And as such, if you have a moderate or poor credit score, Amex Gold is not for you.
However, Chase Sapphire is flexible and forgiving about credit score requirements. Subsequently, you can apply for the card and qualify with a credit score of 640. This gives Chase card applicants a better chance of qualifying.
If you don't know your credit score, you can get a free copy of your report from any of the three credit bureaus in the US- Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
See Related: Can you Buy Money Order with Credit Card?
2. Annual Fee and Interest
The annual fee for Amex Gold is $250, while that of Chase Sapphire Preferred is $95. However, this does not mean that Amex Gold is more expensive than Chase Sapphire Preferred.
You see, with the Amex Gold card, you get up to $120 in dining statement credits annually. And this almost negates the annual fee. So, in essence, you are paying $130 for the card- which greatly reduces the difference between the two.
Also, they both charge $1US or 5% on the total money borrowed (cash advance), with zero foreign transaction fees. In terms of the APRs, both cards seem to be quite similar. They both offer competitive annual percentage rates between 18.24% and 25.24%.
3. Welcome Offer and Rewards
This is where you'll see the biggest differences between these two cards. Amex Gold offers 4x points on US supermarkets' purchases (up to $25,000 annually, then 1x for amounts above that) and 3x on the flights you book directly with airlines or on the Amex travel site. You also get 1 point for every dollar spent on other acceptable purchases.
Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 5x points on travel products bought via Chase Ultimate Rewards but gives 3x points on restaurants worldwide. However, you earn just 2 points for every dollar you spend on other travel purchases made outside of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Other eligible purchases attract 1 point for each dollar.
Regarding the welcome offer, Amex Gold gives 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $4,000 worth of eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Additionally, you get up to $10 ($120 annually) in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Seamless, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Grubhub, and participating stores and locations. And if you add your card to your Uber account, you also get another $120 Uber cash annually.
On the other hand, Chase Sapphire Preferred rewards you with a whopping 60,000-points welcome bonus if you spend at least $4,000 within the first 90 days of your account opening. You can redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1.25 cents each or transfer them to one of Chase's airline or hotel partners.
This is 25% more cash if you use Chase Ultimate Rewards. For instance, the 60,000 points bonus can be worth around $750 in travel.
With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you also earn $50 worth of statement credits for each anniversary year. But, this applies only for hotel stay purchases made via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Security is a crucial feature to consider when comparing the Amex Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. And while these two cards are pretty secure for your transactions, they still have some notable differences. Let's see how each fair in security features:
Amex Gold Card
- Protection against identity theft and fraud: This card has built-in protection against fraud and identity theft. You also get real-time fraud monitoring and alerts to keep you updated on any suspicious activity related to your account.
- Purchase protection: Purchase protection ensures you don't end up paying for purchases you never made. The card has a combined security bundle of Purchase Protection, SafeKey technology, and Return protection.
- 24/7 Global Assistant Hotline: You won't have to worry even when you are far from home. The card offers 24/7 assistance when you are far from home, no matter where you are.
- Contactless Cards: American Express Gold card is fitted with a contactless feature, which makes every purchase effortless.
See Related: How to Leverage Credit Cards to Build Wealth
If you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, here are the security features you'll enjoy:
- Fraud Protection and Monitoring: The card has incredible fraud protection features, with real-time security alerts in case of card theft. The alerts are usually through an email, a text, or a phone call.
- Zero Liability Protection: As a cardholder, you are not liable for fraudulent charges, which usually leave users with huge debts to pay in case of fraud. This means your money is protected.
- Chip Security Feature: This feature protects your identity and account information from fraudsters. With the chip security feature, your information is well protected, and you won't have to keep worrying about identity theft.
5. Redeeming Points
Regarding points redemption, it all depends on what you really prefer. Both Amex Gold and Chase Sapphire Preferred offer several ways for you to redeem your hard-earned points. However, how each card allows you to redeem your points may differ.
Let's see each of these cards' redemption methods and compare them side by side:
Amex Gold Card
You can redeem your points in several ways with the Amex Gold card. You can either use them to book travel through Amextravel.com or transfer them to one of Amex's airline partners. If you are looking for more flexibility, you can also choose to redeem your points for cash back, gift cards, or shopping at various stores like Amazon.com.
With the American Express Membership Rewards, you can redeem or transfer your points to around 20 American Express partners, such as British Airways, Delta Airways, Emirates, and Avianca, for your flights. As for hotels, you can redeem your points through Hilton Honors, Marriot Bonvoy, Choice Privileges, and more.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
When it comes to Chase Sapphire Preferred, you have a few options as well. You can either book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal or transfer the points to one of Chase's 14 airline and hotel partners. You can also redeem your points for cash back, gift cards, or shopping at various stores.
Some notable Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners for flights are Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Blue Jet. And for hotels, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt get you sorted.
In addition, two more things position the Chase card better than its competitors. Firstly, cardholders earn a 25% bonus when they redeem points via Chase Ultimate Rewards. This means that users can earn more every time they make purchases.
Additionally, the card has a “Pay Yourself Back Tool.” The tool allows users to redeem points for qualifying daily purchases for cardholders who haven't traveled much lately.
Amex Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred: Which One is Better?
After evaluating these two cards, choosing a winner is difficult. While the Amex Gold card has some incredible features, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with its own perks that make it a strong contender. Ultimately, it all boils down to personal preferences and spending habits.
Do you want a card that offers more rewards for dining and shopping? The Amex Gold card is your best bet. Do you travel a lot and are looking for a card that offers better travel perks? Then the Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your go-to choice.
Both cards have great security features, so you can be sure that your money is well protected no matter your choice. And lastly, if you are still undecided, why not get both cards and enjoy the best of both worlds?
What are Chase Ultimate Rewards?
Chase Ultimate Rewards are points that you earn with certain Chase credit cards. You can redeem these points for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more. For instance, Chase Saphire preferred cardholders earn 5x points on travel, and for dining, you get 3x points for each dollar spent.
How many points per dollar do you get with Amex Gold?
Amex Gold cardholders earn 4x points on supermarkets, 4 points on dining, 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines, and a point for any other purchase. This shows that Amex leans more toward dining and supermarket purchases.
Which is the best card for online grocery purchases?
While the two cards reward you for grocery shopping in one of their bonus categories, the Amex Gold card offers a better deal. It offers 4x points on such purchases. On the other hand, Chase Sapphire Preferred 3x points for every dollar you spend on online grocery shopping.