AmEx Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: Gold wins, if you can use credits
The big question: which one is better?
The answer depends on your spending habits. For those who can take advantage of its rich credits, the American Express® Gold Card, which includes an annual fee of $ 250, usually comes out on top (see rates and fees).
But if you can’t use these side benefits, it’s usually a good idea. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has an annual membership fee of $ 95.
When to choose the American Express® Gold Card
You can use all the credits
the American Express® Gold Card comes with a suite of additional benefits, including multiple credits. Among them:
Restoration credit of $ 120 (divided into monthly credits of $ 10). These monthly credits can be applied to purchases made with selected partners: Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack establishments. Conditions apply.
Up to $ 120 per year in Uber Cash. Add your American Express® Gold Card into your Uber account, and each month you will automatically receive $ 10 in Uber Cash, voucher for Uber Eats orders in the United States or Uber rides. Conditions apply.
Nerdy tip: The $ 100 annual airfare credit previously offered by the American Express® Gold card is no longer available to new cardholders. Existing cardholders can continue to use the credit until December 31, 2021. Learn more about this benefit change here.
If you can maximize both of these benefits without spending more than usual, that’s an annual savings of $ 240, negating most of the benefits of this card. $ 250 annual subscription. This could make the American Express® Gold Card a more valuable choice than the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for some people.
Of course, it’s worth noting that using fringe benefits like these isn’t necessarily easy – especially if you don’t normally spend in these narrowly defined categories. If taking advantage of these benefits would make you spend more than usual, this card is not the ideal choice for you.
You spend a lot on food in general, not just eating
Both Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Gold Card reward spending for eating and traveling in one way or another, although their bonus categories are defined differently. But the American Express® Gold Card takes it a step further, offering bonus rewards on spending in US supermarkets up to an annual cap, which might make it a more attractive choice for some.
Here’s how the two reward rates stack up.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
American Express® Gold Card
• 2 points per dollar spent on travel and restaurant meals.
• 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
• 4 points per dollar spent in restaurants around the world.
• 4 points per dollar spent in US supermarkets, on a maximum of $ 25,000 per year of purchases.
• 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com.
• 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
The value of the points on the two cards varies depending on how they are redeemed. Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal. Membership rewards on the American Express® Gold Card may be worth 1 cent each when used to book certain trips through American Express.
Do you spend a lot in American supermarkets? the American Express® Gold Card could provide more value in the long run.
When to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
You want to transfer rewards to a national airline
Both American Express® Gold Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card come with multiple transfer partners, allowing you to transfer your points earned on your card to various airline and hotel loyalty programs. Typically, you can transfer points at a 1: 1 ratio on both cards (although some American Express transfer partners have different ratios).
But when you move points of American Express® Gold Card to a US air transfer partner, you will be charged an excise tax of 0.06 cents per point, up to $ 99 per transfer. It could make your rewards less valuable.
the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does not charge excise taxes for transferring points to any of its partners, and points can still be transferred at a 1: 1 ratio. For some travelers, this might make this a better choice.
You are looking for a lower annual fee
the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a relatively modest annual membership fee of $ 95. You’ll need to spend at least $ 3,800 on the card to make up for that expense in rewards – but for those who spend a lot on travel and dining, it’s an easy bar to clear.
the American Express® Gold Card comes with an annual membership fee of $ 250, which can be harder to justify, especially if you’re not sure you can use the benefits of restore and Uber. Other than that, you’ll need to spend at least $ 6,250 per year after the first year on this card to offset the annual fee. If you can’t imagine doing this, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could be a better fit.
You want a bigger bonus
the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a large sign-up bonus, front and center, although this requires significant upfront expense: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening the account. It’s $ 1000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus, earn up to $ 50 in statement credits for grocery purchases in your first year of opening an account..
Meanwhile, the American Express® Gold Card offers a smaller welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $ 4,000 on qualifying purchases with your new card in the first 6 months. Conditions apply. It’s worth $ 350, based on NerdWallet valuations. If you’re looking for big rewards from the start, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be a better choice.
Which card is right for you?
If you like to eat and travel, choose between the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Gold Card usually comes down to one question: can you take full advantage of the credits on the American Express® Gold Card without spending more than usual? If your answer is “yes”, the American Express® Gold Card is your card. Otherwise, go for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
To consult the rates and costs of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page.