Using rewards credit cards can help you make the most of each dollar you spend. And choosing the right card can help you earn the most cash back, free travel, and other perks.
Two cards to consider when moving forward are the Amex Green Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. They both feature extra earning for travel purchases and flexible redemption programs. However, there are a few key differences between them.
Here’s what you need to know about the Amex Green Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Amex Green Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred
- What both the Amex Green Card and CSP are great at
- Best for annual fee
- Best for statement credits
- Best for transfer partners
- Best for value of points
- Best for welcome bonus
- Which card should you choose: Amex Green Card vs CSP?
- FAQs about the Amex Green Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Bottom line on CSP vs Amex Green Card
Amex Green Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred
Before you make a choice about whether to choose the Amex Green Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred, let’s look at a comparison of their benefits and features. Seeing these cards side-by-side can help you figure out which is most likely to provide you with the experience you’re looking for.
|Welcome bonus||Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months||Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months|
|Earning rate||3X points on eligible travel and at restaurants worldwide||5X on Lyft rides, 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases|
|Redemption methods||Redeem for travel, experiences, gift cards or a statement credit. It’s also possible to transfer to partner hotel and airline programs at a 1:1 rate.||Redeem for travel, experiences, gift cards or a statement credit. It’s also possible to transfer to partner hotel and airline programs at a 1:1 rate.|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None|
|Credit needed||Excellent, Good||Excellent, Good|
What both the Amex Green Card and CSP are great at
Both of these cards offer flexible membership rewards programs with 1:1 transfer partners — meaning both can give you a lot of value when it comes to booking travel. With the Amex Green Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred, it’s possible to find a variety of options when it comes time to redeem your rewards. Both offer the ability to transfer your rewards points to various airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 rate.
On top of that, both cards offer elevated earning on travel and dining purchases. The Green Card offers 3X points on on eligible travel and at restaurants worldwide, though, while the Sapphire Preferred offers 2X points on eligible dining and travel.
Both cards also offer extended warranty and purchase protection, so you know that you have some additional layers of protection for your purchases. Additionally, the trip insurance and rental car insurance coverage are similar with both cards.
Finally, both cards offer entertainment perks and special access to events and offers. Amex and Chase each have their own offerings — American Express Experiences and Chase Experiences — providing you with the ability to get early access to concert tickets, enjoy special events, and participate in VIP experiences.
Best for annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Amex Green Card charges an annual fee of $150, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred charges $95.
The bottom line: Because of the statement credits (more on that next), it could make sense to pay the higher annual fee of the Amex Green Card. On the other hand, if you’re looking for basic perks, and might prefer different credits, the cheaper fee from the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be the better deal.
Best for statement credits: Amex Green Card
When looking at statement credits offered by the Amex Green Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred, there are some important differences.
The Amex Green Card comes with a $100 statement credit for CLEAR membership. This membership can help you get through security lines faster — and the Amex Green Card makes it more affordable. An annual CLEAR membership normally costs $179, so the statement credit brings your expense down to $79.
Additionally, the Amex Green Card comes with a $100 statement credit when purchasing airport lounge access through LoungeBuddy. There is no annual fee to use LoungeBuddy, but you can use the app to find lounge locations and purchase a day pass.
On the other hand, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers DoorDash benefits. You can receive a complimentary DashPass membership for 12 months, which provides you the ability to save on delivery and service fees on certain orders. It’s possible to save up to $5 per order with DoorDash.
The bottom line: The statement credit benefits with the Amex Green Card are more valuable than those with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you know you’ll use the travel perks offered by the Amex card, it might be worth the higher annual fee.
Best for transfer partners: reader’s choice
There are some differences in transfer partners when you look at the Amex Green Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred. For example, both offer 1:1 transfers to the Marriott Bonvoy program. But Chase’s transfer partners also include the World of Hyatt and IHG Rewards Club, while Amex focuses on Choice Hotels and Hilton Honors.
It’s worth noting that Amex Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:2 rate with Hilton Honors. Amex’s transfer partners include more airlines than Chase too. However, not all of Amex’s airline transfers are at a 1:1 ratio, so you might not get the same value once you examine the math.
Before you choose between these cards, you should carefully compare the available transfer partners. For example, if you fly Delta frequently, Amex might be a good choice, since there’s a direct transfer to SkyMiles. However, with Chase, you might have to transfer your miles to another SkyTeam member, like KLM, and then try to book Delta through that roundabout method. On the other hand, Chase has United as a transfer partner, while Amex doesn’t.
The bottom line: Figure out which travel partners are most likely to benefit you before you pick which card to apply for.
Best for value of points: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Both the American Express Green Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred allow you to earn extra points on travel and dining purchases and then flexibly redeem them. However, the Amex Green Card offers 3X points on on eligible travel and at restaurants worldwide, while the Sapphire Preferred offers 2X points on eligible dining and travel.
Chase has a partnership with Lyft, though, that can result in earning 5X points on Lyft rides. This makes it the better card to earn points with rideshare spending, because you can only get 3X points on rideshare with the Amex Green Card.
Finally, Chase offers a bonus when you redeem points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. While you can find good deals with Amextravel.com, Chase offers you a 25% increase in value. So each Chase Ultimate Reward is actually worth 1.25, not 1 when you use them in their travel portal. This can make travel earning and redemption more valuable with Chase.
The bottom line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers better earnings for rideshare and a more valuable redemption for travel.
Best for welcome bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a bigger welcome bonus of 60,000 points, as compared to the 30,000 points bonus offered by the Amex Green Card. On top of that, because of the 25% bonus that comes with the Chase Sapphire Preferred when booking travel, that bonus can be even more valuable.
For example, you can use the 60,000 with Chase to book up to $750 in rewards travel through the portal. With the Green Card, the 30,000-point bonus translates to $300 for a flight or $210 when reserving a prepaid hotel room.
However, you do have to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months to earn the bonus with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, while you only need to spend $2,000 in the 3 months for the Amex Green Card.
The bottom line: If you’re in it for the welcome bonus, and aren’t as concerned about the other benefits and perks, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the more valuable choice because of the bigger welcome bonus — especially if, with your regular spending, you can meet the higher threshold.
Which card should you choose: Amex Green Card vs CSP?
When choosing a rewards card, it’s important to first consider what’s most likely to fit your spending style and needs. Both of these cards offer increased rewards for travel and dining, so if you spend a lot in those categories, either of these cards can be a good choice.
However, when it comes to travel redemption, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can be more valuable, just because it has that 25% bonus. On the other hand, the Amex Green Card offers more points per dollar spent on travel and dining. So you may need to do some math to figure out which pencils out to be more valuable monetarily for you.
It’s also a good idea to compare perks. If you like the convenience of getting through airport security quickly, the Amex Green Card’s annual fee might be worth it to save $100 on a CLEAR membership. Plus, the $100 LoungeBuddy credit can be useful for frequent travelers.
On the other hand, if you already have something like TSA PreCheck to help you cut down on time in the airport line, and you’d prefer to save money on frequent meal delivery, the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be a better choice with it’s DashPass benefit.
In the end, it’s about weighing the rewards earning potential against the benefits and perks, as well as considering whether it’s worth paying an annual fee. Consider what you’re actually going to use and run the numbers to determine what works best for you.
FAQs about the Amex Green Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred
What is the difference between American Express Green Card and Gold Card?
The American Express Gold Card comes with more perks, but also a higher annual fee. The Amex Green Card has an annual fee of $150, while the Gold Card has a fee of $250. Rather than having a CLEAR credit and LoungeBuddy credit, the Gold Card comes with the following credits:
- Up to $100 airline fee credit
- Up to $100 hotel credit
- Up to $100 credit on activities during vacations of more than $3,000
- Up to $120 dining credit
If you’re a frequent traveler and know you’ll use all these credits, the extra annual fee of the Amex Gold Card can be worth it. This is especially true if you dine out and want elevated earnings for groceries. The Amex Gold Card offers 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and at restaurants worldwide, 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases.
What credit score is needed for American Express Green Card?
In general, you need good to excellent credit to qualify for the American Express Green Card.
What credit score do you need for Chase Sapphire?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred generally requires good to excellent credit.
Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred pay for Global Entry?
No, the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t cover the cost of Global Entry. However, there are other benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred that can make it worthwhile.
Is it worth having an American Express Green Card?
The American Express Green Card makes a solid beginner travel card. With the ability to earn on travel purchases and flexible rewards, it can be a good choice. Plus, as long as you use the credits offered, it is relatively easy to offset the $150 annual fee.
Bottom line on CSP vs Amex Green Card
Carefully consider your credit card usage as you compare the Amex Green Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred. What works best for you will depend on your habits and how likely you are to use each card’s rewards.
The American Express Green Card can be a good choice for frequent travelers who want to earn points on travel and dining and who want more opportunities to transfer points to airline loyalty programs. Additionally, if you value convenience at the airport, the statement credits for CLEAR and LoungeBuddy can make this card a good choice.
On the other hand, if you want to focus on a bigger welcome bonus and the increased redemption value per point, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card might be the way to go. If you want to save money on the annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can offer you the chance to start with some travel perks and redemption options without spending as much.
Figure out what’s most likely to fit your style, budget and situation, and then choose the card that offers you the best benefits.
#1 Travel Rewards Card
- 60,000 point sign-up bonus
- 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
- 3x points on grocery purchases — up to $1,500 per month (ends June 30, 2020)
- 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Premium travel protection benefits