The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and American Express® Gold Card are often included on lists of the best travel credit cards, and for good reason. Both cards have incredible welcome offers, cardmember benefits, and redemption options.
But which card is right for you? We’ll unpack some of the most compelling benefits of each card to help you decide for yourself.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold
Chase Sapphire Preferred
|Annual fee||$95||$250 (Terms apply)|
|Welcome offer||Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening of account opening||Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership of account opening|
|Earning rate||5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and eligible online grocery purchases; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases||4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases|
|Annual credits and bonuses||
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None|
|Credit needed||Excellent, Good||Excellent, Good|
What both cards excel at
There are several similarities between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold cards, including excellent welcome offers.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers new cardmembers the chance to earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
With the Amex Gold, on the other hand, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months.
At face value, the points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth $750 when redeemed toward travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
One of the biggest areas of overlap between these two cards is their rewards structures. For example, both Chase and Amex points can be redeemed in similar ways through their respective rewards portals, but one of the best ways to redeem points is for travel through airline and hotel transfer partners.
|Chase transfer partners||American Express transfer partners|
You’ll notice a fair bit of overlap between transfer partners, but overall, American Express has a greater number of options. Depending on which airlines and hotels you frequent, you may find that one set of partners carries more value than the other.
Additionally, many of the travel insurances and coverages for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold overlap. There’s quite a bit of nuance around terms, uses, and benefits, but overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred does have more comprehensive travel protections. Just make sure to read the issuer's terms and conditions for each benefit to make sure it works for your needs.
Lastly, both cards offer opportunities for additional savings on purchases through Amex Offers and Chase Offers. Offers come in the form of targeted spend incentives or discounts from a variety of merchants, and typically offer cash back or bonus rewards points after completing a spending requirement. Amex Offers and Chase Offers are great ways to boost your rewards or get extra savings on your purchases. Do note Amex Offers require enrollment.
3 important differences between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold
With so many similarities between the two travel credit cards, what are the key differences between the Chase Sapphire Preferred versus Amex Gold?
1. Statement balances and spending limits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a traditional credit card, with a preset credit limit and the ability to carry charges and accrue interest. However, this is not the case with the Amex Gold.
Unlike typical credit cards, the Amex Gold allows cardholders to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. So statement balances can be due in full each month, which means budgeting your cash flow accordingly (though paying balances in full is a best practice regardless of which card you have).
The Amex Gold has no preset spending limit, which gives you greater spending flexibility. The amount you can spend adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history.
So, although the Amex Gold may offer great flexibility, buying power, and short-term cash flow benefits, it comes with the added responsibility of ensuring certain balances are paid on time.
2. Annual credits vs. partner benefits
The Amex Gold wins the credits category with the fact that you can get up to $120 in dining credits each year, as well as up to an additional $120 in Uber Cash each year.
Redeeming the dining credit is straightforward: Cardmembers can earn up to $10 in monthly statement credits at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and participating Shake Shack locations. Frankly, if you live near any one of these restaurants, taking advantage of this monthly dining credit is a piece of (cheese)cake. Plus, it’s a great excuse for date night. Enrollment is required for select benefits such as the dining credit.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers up to $50 in annual statement credits for hotel stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and an annual points bonus equal to 10% of your previous year's total purchases. It also has two unique benefits:
- Bonus points on Lyft rides
- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership for a minimum of one year
- Complementary Instacart+ membership for six months and $15 in statement credits for Instacart purchases each quarter
Earning 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® is a huge standout benefit, as it is the highest spend category between these two cards.
Check out our full Chase Sapphire Preferred review.
3. Rewards for spending
Overall, the Amex Gold appears like it has greater returns on regular spending, but it depends on your lifestyle and spending habits. Here's how a few common bonus categories break down:
|Spend category||Chase Sapphire Preferred||Amex Gold|
|Restaurants||3X points per $1||4X points per $1|
|Travel||5X points per $1 on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®||3X points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com|
|U.S. supermarkets||1X points per $1||4X points per $1, up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year|
However, keep in mind that both cards have more bonus categories than what's listed in this table. Overall, both cards can help you get enough value to justify their annual fees, thanks to their elevated rewards rates.
Check out our full American Express Gold Card review.
Which is better, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Amex Gold Card?
The better card between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Amex Gold Card is the one that best suits your needs. If you want a card with a high earning potential for dining and groceries, as well as monthly Uber Cash and dining credits, consider the Amex Gold Card. Keep in mind that enrollment is required for select benefits. If you want a lower annual fee and 25% more value from travel redemptions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
What credit score do you need for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred typically requires good or excellent credit to be eligible. Good credit scores start at 670, according to the FICO scoring model. Keep in mind that having a certain credit score doesn't guarantee =qualifying. Credit card issuers, including Chase, typically consider various factors in addition to your credit score and credit history when you submit an application.
What credit score do you need for the Amex Gold?
You typically need good or excellent credit to qualify for the Amex Gold. A good credit score is a score at 670 or higher, according to the FICO scoring model. Remember that your credit score is not the only thing that matters for approval. When you apply for a credit card, American Express and other issuers also look at other factors besides your credit score and credit history.
Is the Amex Gold worth the annual fee?
The Amex Gold is likely worth the $250 annual fee (terms apply) because you can offset most of the cost with Amex Gold benefits such as the card’s annual credits. This includes up to $120 a year in Uber Cash, which works for both Uber rides and Uber Eats orders, and up to $120 a year in dining credit at participating partners. Enrollment is required for select benefits. Add in the Amex Membership Rewards points you can earn on everyday purchases and you should more than offset the annual fee.
Which card is right for you?
Choosing between the Chase Sapphire Preferred versus Amex Gold comes down to the value you place on their respective benefits, rewards, and transfer partners.
The American Express Gold Card
Earning 4X points with the Amex Gold at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets is excellent — and let’s face it, we all have to eat. If you’re shell shocked over the $250 annual fee, consider how much value you’ll get out of the dining credits. If you dine out frequently and can put that benefit to use, then the Amex Gold might not feel as expensive to you.
When it comes to redeeming rewards, American Express also has nearly twice as many transfer partners as Chase. Although more doesn’t always mean better, it’s important to know which transfer partners you value most. This will vary depending on your travel habits.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a great welcome offer, especially when you consider the 25% in extra value when redeeming points for airfare, hotels, or rental cars through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Despite earning only 3X points at restaurants versus 4X points with the Amex Gold, Chase points can go a little bit further when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Overall, if you’re a frequent traveler who dines out regularly and can make use of the dining credits and Uber Cash, the American Express Gold Card might suit your needs better than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If not, the Chase Sapphire Preferred could be a safer choice with a lower annual fee and fewer credits to worry about.
Great for Flexible Travel Rewards
FinanceBuzz writers and editors score cards based on a number of objective features as well as our expert editorial assessment. Our partners do not influence how we rate products.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and eligible online grocery purchases; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases