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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs American Express Gold Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs American Express Gold Card

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This article was last updated Sep 13, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you travel frequently or dine out often, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and American Express® Gold Card can both be lucrative credit card options. Each card offers a generous amount of rewards on certain travel purchases and at restaurants. However, one card also offers bonus points at U.S. supermarkets, while the other offers bonus points on a broader range of travel purchases.

When deciding which of these cards is best for you, there are several factors to consider. But, essentially, it comes down to the following:

  • Consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you frequently make travel-related purchases other than just airfare, such as hotel stays, taxis, ferries, trains, cruises and more.
  • Consider the American Express® Gold Card if you often purchase airline tickets directly from the airline and spend a substantial amount on groceries each year.

See how the cards compare side-by-side in the table below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs. American Express® Gold Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card American Express® Gold Card
Introductory bonus/Welcome Offer Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
Rewards rate 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide 3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Intro APR on purchases N/A N/A
Regular purchase APR 17.74% - 24.74% Variable See Rates & Fees
Annual fee $95 $250
Foreign transaction fees $0 None

Ultimately, the right card for you depends on how you plan to use the card and how much you want to pay for an annual fee. For example, if you want to earn bonus points on a broader range of travel purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be best. But if you spend a large amount on dining in and/or eating out, the American Express® Gold Card may be the better choice. But note that the American Express® Gold Card’s annual fee is much higher at $250, but it does include a $100 airline fee credit and a $120 dining credit, which can substantially offset that fee when you use those credits.

Read on to see the pros and cons of each card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card pros and cons

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

Pros

Valuable sign-up bonus. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That is valued at $600. However, when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals or cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll get 25% more value — making the sign-up bonus worth $750 toward travel.

Bonus points on travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers bonus points on a vast range of travel purchases. Cardholders earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

The travel category includes airlines, discounted travel sites, hotels, car rental agencies, timeshares, cruise lines, taxis, ferries, toll bridges, parking lots and more.

Transfer points at a 1:1 rate. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1:1 to 10 airline partner programs, including British Airways Executive Club, JetBlue TrueBlue and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, and three hotel partners, including World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club and Marriott Bonvoy.

Annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a considerably lower annual fee than the American Express® Gold Card. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll pay $95 each year, compared to the American Express® Gold Card, which charges $250 per year.

Additional benefits. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a number of travel benefits, including $0 foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and more.

Cons

Lower rewards rate. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a lower rewards rate than the American Express® Gold Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide, while the American Express® Gold Card offers 3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).

Low bonus rewards on groceries. If you prefer eating in rather than dining out, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may not be a good fit, since it offers only 1 point per dollar on all other purchases, including spend at U.S. supermarkets.

American Express® Gold Card pros and cons

  • 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.*

  • Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X*

  • Up to $100 per year for incidentals*

Highlights
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.

See additional details for American Express® Gold Card

More Info

Pros

Bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets. In addition to dining and certain travel purchases, the American Express® Gold Card offers a generous rewards rate at U.S. supermarkets. Cardholders earn 3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).

$100 airline fee credit. Select one qualifying airline, and receive up to $100 in statement credits each calendar year to cover incidental fees, such as in-flight food and beverage purchases, baggage fees and more.

$120 dining credit. You will earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits each month when you use your American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations. Enrollment is required.

Transfer points at a 1:1 rate. Along with redeeming points for gift cards, travel, merchandise and more, the American Express® Gold Card lets you transfer points to 19 airline and three hotel partner programs – typically at a rate of 1:1. Travel transfer partners include Delta SkyMiles, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, JetBlue TrueBlue, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.

Hotel perks. When you book at The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel and stay at least two consecutive nights, you will receive a $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities. You will also receive a room upgrade upon arrival (when available).

Additional benefits. The American Express® Gold Card offers a variety of benefits, including travel discounts and amenities through The Travel Collection by Travel Leaders Group, baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, premium roadside assistance, purchase and return protection, ShopRunner membership and much more. As for foreign transaction fees? There are none.

Cons

Annual fee. The American Express® Gold Card’s $250 annual fee is considerably higher than that of theChase Sapphire Preferred® Card. However, you can easily cover the fee each year simply by taking advantage of the $100 airline fee credit, the $120 dining credit and the $100 hotel credit.

More restrictive bonus rewards. While it is possible to earn more points on some airfare purchases with the American Express® Gold Card compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the bonus category is much more restrictive. The American Express® Gold Card only lets you earn bonus points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, by contrast, lets you earn bonus points on a wide range of travel purchases, including hotels, flights, taxis and more.

Additionally, the American Express® Gold Card limits the amount of bonus points you can earn on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (you can only earn the bonus rate on up to $25,000 per year). However, unless you spend around $2,000 each month on groceries, you won’t reach the spending cap.

That said, if you do spend the maximum amount each year ($25,000) on U.S. supermarket purchases, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus points by the end of the year.

Which card is right for you?

If you purchase the majority of your airfare directly with airlines and have few non-airline travel purchases, the American Express® Gold Card may be your best option. Additionally, the card is ideal if you spend a large amount at U.S. supermarkets each year.

But if you travel frequently and you’re most likely to purchase airfare through discounted travel sites, such as Travelocity and Priceline, in addition to making other travel-related purchases, such as hotel stays, transportation and more, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be the better choice.

Along with offering bonus points on a broader range of travel purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives you 25% more value from your rewards when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.


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