American Express Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Which is Better? (September 2023)
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If you enjoy a credit card with valuable travel and dining rewards along with a reasonable annual fee, the American Express® Gold Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card should be at the top of your list. Both cards can boost your spending power and feature valuable benefits.
This Amex Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred comparison helps you find the best fit.
Table of Contents
Benefits at a Glance
Here is an overview of each card’s main benefits and fees.
|American Express Gold Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Authorized User Fee||$0||$0|
|Welcome Bonus||60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in 6 months ($600 value)||60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in 3 months ($750 value)|
|Purchase Rewards||4x on at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.|
4x at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 per year)
3x on qualifying flights
1x on remaining purchases
|5x on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards|
2x on all other travel
3x on dining, online grocery orders, and select streaming
1x for everything else
|Travel Redemption Bonus||None||25%|
|Notable Benefits||Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year|
Up to $120 in annual dining credits
$100 experience credit at The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel
1:1 point transfers
|$50 Anniversary Hotel Credit|
10% bonus points each card anniversary
1:1 point transfers
|Partner Benefits||ShopRunner: Ongoing free 2-day shipping and complimentary returns at participating retailers||Lyft: 5x points through March 2025|
DoorDash: 1 year of DashPass membership*
Peloton: 5x points on qualifying purchases*
*Valid through December 31, 2024
Each card charges an annual fee:
- Amex Gold: $250 for the basic card and $0 per authorized user
- Sapphire Preferred: $95 for the primary card and $0 per authorized user
The Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee is more budget-friendly and easier to offset if you cannot use the additional benefits the Amex Gold provides.
Neither card has a foreign transaction fee.
Both signup bonuses are competitive and most valuable for award travel.
The American Express Gold Card welcome offer is 60,000 Membership Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months. This bonus is worth up to $600 in award flights and select gift cards.
While the spending amount is similar to the Sapphire Preferred, you have an additional 3 months to meet the minimum.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Sapphire Preferred is offering 60,000 Ultimate Rewards by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth up to $750 in award travel but only $600 for cash back and gift cards.
Your points are worth more for award travel because of the 25% travel redemption bonus.
Earning Rewards Points
Both cards have overlapping purchase rewards categories like travel, dining, and groceries. However, your earning potential per dollar is different and you’re participating in different rewards programs.
American Express Gold
The American Express Gold Card earns up to 4x Membership Rewards:
- Restaurants: 4x points on dining worldwide. Takeout and delivery app purchases in the United States also earn unlimited 4x rewards points.
- Groceries: 4x on the first $25,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets and then 1x.
- Flights: 3x on flights booked directly from airlines or through AmexTravel.com.
- Rental Cars and Hotels: 2x when you book prepaid hotels and rental cars through AmexTravel.com.
All non-bonus purchases earn 1 point per $1.
This card is better for earning bonus points on food-related purchases. Its travel bonus categories are also attractive when you book through American Express Travel.
Further Reading: Credit Score Requirements for the American Express Gold Card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred when you want to earn the most points on travel purchases:
- Travel Bookings: 5x on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the $50 anniversary hotel credit). All remaining travel spend earns 2x points.
- Dining: 3x on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services worldwide.
- Online Grocery Purchases: 3x when buying groceries online (excludes Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs).
- Streaming Services: 3x with select streaming services (18 qualifying merchants including Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, SiriusXM, and Spotify).
Your non-bonus spending earns an unlimited 1 point per $1.
Being able to receive 5 points per $1 on any travel booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal is one of the highest earn rates among travel rewards cards.
Unfortunately, booking directly through the airline, hotel, or car rental agency only earns double points.
Further Reading: Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Score Requirements.
Travel is the most valuable redemption for either card but you can also find great value in gift cards and cash.
This table compares the maximum redemption value for each redemption option:
|Amex Gold Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Travel||1 cent||1.25 cents|
|Gift Cards||1 cent||1 cent|
|Cash Statement Credits||0.6 cents||1 cent|
|Online Shopping||0.7 cents||0.8 cents|
In most situations, Chase Ultimate Rewards are more valuable than Membership Rewards.
When comparing rewards programs, estimate your earning potential to see which card can accumulate more points. Then, you can calculate your redemption value.
Best Use of Chase Sapphire Preferred Points
Here are some of the best ways to redeem your Sapphire points:
- Award Travel: Paying with points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal makes each point worth 25% more for upcoming trips. Flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and tours are available.
- Point Transfers: You can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to over 12 airline and hotel loyalty programs.
- Gift Cards: Your points are worth 1 cent for any retail or restaurant gift card.
- Cash Back: It’s also possible to make each point worth 1 cent when you want a cash statement credit or bank deposit. You might consider this option if you don’t plan on taking a trip soon and need the cash for other expenses.
Best Use of Amex Gold Card Points
The maximum redemption value for your Membership Rewards is 1 cent. The best options are the following:
- Award Flights: Your points are worth 1 cent when booking award flights and flight upgrades. However, each point is only worth 0.7 cents for hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages.
- Point Transfers: There are approximately 20 airline and hotel transfer partners. Most have a 1:1 transfer ratio. Unfortunately, a $0.0006 excise tax applies to domestic airline transfers.
- Gift Cards: Each point is worth 1 cent for select travel, dining, and retail brands. The redemption value is between 0.7 and 0.85 cents for other cards.
Comparing Travel Transfer Partners
The ability to transfer your points directly to your favorite airline or hotel loyalty program can also be a deciding factor. You can also find sweet spots with alliance airlines to get a redemption discount and potentially avoid fuel surcharges.
Here is a head-to-head comparison of the Chase Sapphire and Amex Gold transfer partners. With a few exceptions, the transfer ratio is 1:1 in 1,000-point increments.
|Amex Gold Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Aer Lingus||Aer Lingus|
|AeroMexico (1,000:1,600)||Air Canada Aeroplan|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Air France-KLM FlyingBlue|
|Air France-KLM FlyingBlue||British Airways|
|British Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|Delta SkyMiles||Southwest Airlines|
|Hawaiian Airlines||IHG One Rewards|
|JetBlue (250:200)||World of Hyatt|
|Hilton Honors (1,000:2,000)|
The American Express Membership Rewards program has more transfer partners. As a result, it can be better if you redeem your points for international flights.
However, the Chase Ultimate Rewards domestic airline transfer partners can serve more destinations. You also won’t have to pay an excise tax of 0.0006 cents per point to domestic carriers like Amex cardholders.
Additional Card Benefits
The ways you can earn and redeem rewards points are one part of the comparison process. However, both cards offer various additional benefits that add more value.
Best American Express Gold Card Benefits
The Gold Card benefits focus primarily on dining rewards yet mix in several luxury travel benefits.
Uber Cash Credit
You will receive a total of $120 in annual Uber Cash credits for rideshares and food deliveries in the United States. The monthly credit amount is $10.
Annual Dining Credits
You will also receive $10 in monthly statement credits to these dining partners:
- Milk Bar
- Shake Shack (participating locations only)
- The Cheesecake Factory
Hotel Collection Experience Credit
You can receive an experience credit worth up to $100 when booking a minimum two-night stay within The Hotel Collection from American Express.
This credit is available multiple times per year and can be valuable if you enjoy staying at luxury resorts.
Best Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers fewer statement credits than the Gold Card, although that’s a tradeoff for a smaller annual fee.
$50 Hotel Statement Credit
You receive an annual $50 statement credit for booking hotel stays through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This benefit makes it easy to save money on mid-tier hotel brands whether you’re there for a quick overnight stay or a weeklong vacation.
10% Anniversary Points Bonus
You receive a year-end 10% bonus each card anniversary. For example, if you earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards from your annual purchases, your bonus amount is 5,000 points.
Sapphire cardmembers can be eligible for a variety of limited-time partner offers like DoorDash DashPass membership, Peloton statement credits, and earning bonus points on Lyft rides.
These offers change routinely and Chase tends to provide more opportunities than American Express.
Travel and Purchase Protection
Both cards also offer various travel insurance and purchase protection benefits.
Here are the maximum coverage amounts:
|American Express Gold||Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Trip Cancellation and Interruption||N/A||$10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip|
|Trip Delay||$300 per covered trip after 12 hours||$500 per ticket after 12 hours|
|Baggage Delay||N/A||$100 a day for 5 days after 6 hours|
|Lost Luggage Reimbursement||$1,250 per person ($10,000 per trip for New York State residents)||$3,000 per passenger|
|Car Rental Insurance|
(Collision and Theft)
|Secondary coverage up to $50,000||Primary coverage up to the actual cash value of rental car|
|Purchase Protection||$10,000 per item and $50,000 annually for purchases within 90 days||$500 per item and up to $50,000 annually for purchases within 120 days|
|Extended Warranty||One additional year for warranties of 5 years or less||One additional year for warranties of 3 years or less|
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has superior travel insurance benefits. In fact, these benefits are better than most premium travel credit cards with hefty annual fees.
The Gold Card can provide more peace of mind for retail purchases.
When to Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred can be the better option for these reasons:
- Lower Annual Fee: A $95 annual fee is easier to offset for infrequent and frequent flyers. Relatively few credit cards have a fee exceeding $100.
- 25% Travel Redemption Bonus: Your points are worth 1.25 cents when booking any award travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Amex points are worth 1 cent or less for the same award trips.
- Domestic Airline Transfer Partners: You may benefit more by transferring your miles to United Airlines and Southwest Airlines instead of Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines. Both programs support transfers to JetBlue.
- Flexible Annual Benefits: The $50 annual hotel credit and the 10% anniversary points can be easier to redeem than Amex Gold credits which are more valuable but restricted to specific brands.
- Travel Insurance: The Sapphire Preferred has more robust trip protection and car rental benefits that provide more peace of mind.
- Combine Chase Ultimate Rewards: This card may also seem like a no-brainer if you have the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex as you can pool your points. These cash back cards don’t have a redemption bonus or transfer partners.
This card tends to offer better travel rewards and you can also benefit from its dining, grocery, and lifestyle purchase rewards categories.
When to Apply for the American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card can be the better option if you want a card that balances travel and dining rewards.
Some of the best reasons to consider this card include:
- 4x Points on Dining and Groceries: Earning 4 points per dollar on dining and groceries is one of the highest rates for rewards credit cards. Earning up to 3x on flights is also lucrative.
- Annual Uber Cash and Dining Credits: If you frequent the dining partners and use Uber or UberEats, these credits can reimburse your first $20 in monthly spending. Maximizing these credits can also help you easily offset your annual fee.
- Luxury Travel Credits: The $100 on-site experience credits on qualifying hotel stays are one way you can enjoy the benefits of a premium travel credit card at a lower annual fee.
- International Airline Transfer Partners: This card can be the better option when you usually transfer your points and redeem your miles with the airline for award flights. Your redemption value can be higher than booking through the credit card portal.
- Combine Membership Rewards: You can combine Membership Rewards from your other participating American Express credit cards.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
Both the American Express Gold Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred can help you earn more points on travel, dining, and grocery purchases.
Award flights are typically the best redemption option for either card. Consider the Sapphire Preferred if you prefer the ease of booking your flights through the credit card booking site as you get the 25% redemption bonus. Although, its 1:1 transfer partners are an excellent option too.
If you tend to transfer your points or save them for international flights, the Amex Gold can be better. However, you should also make sure you can use the card’s Uber Cash and dining statement credits to cover the higher annual fee.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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