Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: Which Is Better?

Posted on April 1, 2021 in Credit Cards

There are plenty of similarities between the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the American Express Gold Card. For example, they both have large rewards for travel and dining, transferable points, and even flashy metal exteriors. But which one is better? That answer will depend on you and your specific spending habits

If you are able to take advantage of the several perks, the Amex Gold may be the better option for you. However, if you aren’t able to adequately use the perks, then perhaps the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the superior choice. Here is a more detailed comparison of the two credit cards.

A Comparison Overview

The Amex Gold and the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards are not the ultra premium tier of their respective companies, but they still come with some hefty rewards. Here is a comparison of the perks and bonuses that you will be granted after signing up.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • Welcome Bonus: 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening the account
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Earning Rates: 5x on Lyft through March of 2022, 2x on dining, 2x on travel, 1x on everything else
  • Point Value: Up to 2 cents per point
  • Perks: One years of complementary DashPass membership with DoorDash
  • Travel Protections: Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary car rental insurance, baggage insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services

American Express Gold Card

  • Welcome Bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first six months after opening the account
  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Earning Rates: 4x on dining at restaurants worldwide, 4x on U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x), 3x on flights booked directly from the airline or via Amex travel, 1x on everything else
  • Point Value: Up to 2 cents per point
  • Perks: Up to $120 in annual dining credits, up to $120 in annual Uber Cash ($10 monthly credits)
  • Travel Protections: Baggage insurance, trip delay insurance, secondary car rental insurance, Global Assist hotline

Sign Up Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers one of the most valuable sign up bonuses on the market, earning 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account. If utilized correctly, this will equate to a bonus of roughly $1,200. 

Not to be outdone, Amex Gold is currently offering 60,000 of their own Membership Rewards points for anyone spending $4,000 in purchases within the first six months of opening their account. This will also equal roughly $1,200 if the points are used to their full extent. While these offers are basically identical in reward points and value, you will have twice as long from Amex to spend the required money to receive the bonus. 

Winner: Amex Gold. The offer is virtually identical, but you will have twice the amount of time to spend the same amount of money before you receive the bonus.

Annual Fee

While neither of these cards are in the ultra premium tier for their respective companies, they both will require an annual fee to use them. The Amex Gold is a significantly higher annual fee than the Sapphire Preferred, well over double the price in fact. It will cost you $250 every year for the Amex Gold, but only $95 for the Sapphire Preferred. 

However, the Amex Gold will come with higher earning rates and more perks that can help to offset the cost of the fee, but if you aren’t spending enough to offset the cost using these perks, the Sapphire Preferred may be the better choice. 

Winner: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card only charges a $95 annual fee, which is one of the better options for a mid tier credit card.

Earning Rates

The Sapphire Preferred offers fairly simple and useful bonus categories with unlimited 2x bonus points on all travel and dining purchases. That will roughly end up being around a 4% return. The real boost isn’t necessarily the categories themselves, but how broadly they are defined. For example, travel can mean the standard hotels and airfare of most rewards programs, but it will also include Uber, parking meters, limousine rentals, and several other accommodations as well. This is also true for the dining aspect as well, with everything from bars and restaurants to food trucks and meal delivery services being eligible to earn you double points. In addition to these rates, Chase also comes with 5x the points when using Lyft (through March of 2022). However, Amex Gold really shines brightly when it comes to their earning structure. This card offers 4x at restaurants worldwide, 4x at U.S. supermarkets (with some restrictions) and 3x on booked flights (with some restrictions). 

With their Membership Rewards points worth roughly 2 cents per point, these bonus categories will translate into an 8% return on the restaurants and supermarkets, and a 6% return on the flights. Now the supermarket rates will only be 4x up to $25,000 spent in a year, then they will drop to 1x. In addition, the flights must be booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel in order to get the maximum rate.

Winner: Amex Gold. Any card that earns rewards when used on groceries and dining at restaurants is a very important card to have in your wallet. The fact that the Amex Gold also earns at a higher rate has it winning this category by a landslide.

Redeeming

Both of these cards are fairly similar in that they will earn some of the most valuable transferable points currencies on the market. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are well beloved, thanks to having 13 valuable hotel and airline transfer partners, including United, Southwest, Hyatt, and British Airways. American Express Membership Rewards also has its own set of valuable partners, including Delta, Air Canada, Avianca, and British Airways. While both of these loyalty currencies are valued at roughly 2 cents each, your travel habits might make one currency more valuable than the other. 

For instance, if you live in a Delta hub, you might be able to get more out of Amex Membership Rewards points, but if you own a Southwest Companion Pass then you would get some incredible value out of the Chase Ultimate Rewards. There is one clear advantage that may settle this debate. The Sapphire Preferred cardholders will get a 25% bonus whenever they redeem points for travel, making their points worth 1.25 cents each. While it isn’t much, it will add up and be more beneficial over time.

Winner: The Chase Sapphire Preferred by a nose. The 25% bonus on travel gives it a slight edge, but there are many scenarios where the Amex Gold would be more valuable. 

Travel Protections And Other Perks

In exchange for the $95 annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred will offer many travel perks in the form of protections. These perks will include rental car insurance, trip delay and cancellation insurance, baggage loss and delay insurance, and other smaller benefits. These can be a great safety net for when you travel, but they won’t do very much to enhance your day to day life when everything is going smoothly. Thanks to a partnership with DoorDash, Sapphire Preferred cardholders will also get a year of DashPass, the food delivery service’s membership plan. While the Amex Gold card has a much higher annual fee of $250, which is not waived for the first year, it will also offer up to $240 in annual statement credits. They will break down as follows:

  • Up to $120 in annual dining credits. Cardholders will receive a $10 monthly credit that can be used at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, or Shake Shack.

  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash. Cardholders will receive a $10 monthly credit that can be used on Uber rides and UberEats orders. 

Cardholders will also receive travel protections such as baggage loss and damage insurance, trip delay insurance, secondary car rental insurance, and access to the Global Assist hotline.

Winner: While Chase Preferred is a good value for their price, Amex Gold will end up costing much less out of pocket if you are able to capitalize on the Uber and dining credits. 

The Takeaway

Ultimately it will come down to your personal spending habits, but the Amex Gold is arguably the better option. 

There are plenty of pros and cons for both of these cards depending on your specific spending patterns and redemptions goals. While the Sapphire family of cards will include some of the most valuable rewards on the market, the 4x bonus categories for the Amex Gold beats just about anything else Chase has to offer. However, these cards can be very valuable when used correctly, and it may be worth having both in your wallet.

SOURCES:

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/21Q2/sapphire/dual?CELL=6RRW&jp_cmp=cc/Sapphire+Preferred_Brand_Exact_Sapphire+Preferred_SEM_US_NA_Standard_NA/sea/p56274819573/Chase+Sapphire+Preferred&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1253080&gclid=Cj0KCQjwmcWDBhCOARIsALgJ2QeyAHw5gCuWomGb7EXLbZn3am2gcFrav2vX8qFS6GKc-SjrC_dAxasaAnJPEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0711/credit-cards-should-you-ever-pay-an-annual-fee.aspx

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card/gold-card/

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