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TravelChase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold: Which mid-tier favorite is right for...

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold: Which mid-tier favorite is right for you?


For many, the $500-plus annual fees that come with ultra-premium travel cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express aren’t justifiable. If you aren’t traveling regularly and utilizing the full lineup of perks and credits, it may not be worth adding those cards to your wallet.

However, both Chase and Amex have excellent travel cards that fall under their premium versions — the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Gold Card.

While both of these cards act as sister cards to their luxury counterparts, there are many differences between them. Today, we’re walking through a side-by-side comparison of these cards to help you determine which is right for you — or whether both deserve spots in your wallet.

Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold comparison

Here’s a quick overview that compares the key perks on the two cards (note that enrollment is required for select benefits):

Card Chase Sapphire Preferred Card American Express Gold Card
Welcome bonus Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership.
Annual fee $95 $250 (see rates and fees)
Earning rates
  • 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase Travel℠ portal
  • 5 points per dollar on Lyft (through March 2025)
  • 3 points per dollar on dining
  • 3 points per dollar on select streaming services
  • 3 points per dollar on online groceries (excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2 points per dollar on travel
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else
  • 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4 points per dollar on U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar)
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly from the airline or amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else
Point valuation 2.05 cents 2 cents
Perks
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Chase Travel
  • Cardmember anniversary bonus — earn 10% of your points back each year
  • Up to $120 annual dining statement credit (up to $10 monthly)
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash ($10 monthly credits)
  • $100 hotel experience credit with a two-night minimum stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel
Travel protections
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Baggage insurance*
  • Trip delay reimbursement**
  • Rental car insurance^

Point valuations are calculated by TPG, not the issuer.

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

**Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

^Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold welcome offer

The Sapphire Preferred offers a compelling limited-time sign-up bonus for first-time applicants. You’ll earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2.05 cents each, making this bonus worth $1,538.

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The Amex Gold Card currently has a welcome offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in purchases in the first six months of account opening. TPG values Membership Rewards at a flat 2 cents each, so this offer is worth a slightly lower $1,200, according to our valuation. However, you have three more months to earn the Amex Gold’s offer than with the Sapphire Preferred.

Plus, you could be targeted for a higher welcome offer on the Amex Gold through the CardMatch tool or through a referral link (offers subject to change at any time).

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Sapphire Preferred bonus offers 15,000 more points, and Ultimate Rewards points are valued slightly higher than Membership Rewards points.

Related: The best time to apply for these popular travel cards based on offer history

Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold benefits

In exchange for a $95 annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred offers many travel perks, including a $50 annual hotel credit for bookings through Chase Travel and a 10% points bonus on your cardmember anniversary.

Other benefits include protections like rental car insurance, trip delay and cancellation insurance and baggage loss and delay insurance. These are a great safety net while you travel, but they don’t do much to enhance your day-to-day life when everything goes according to plan.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

For more than double the Sapphire Preferred’s annual fee ($250 vs. $95), the Amex Gold offers several excellent perks (enrollment is required for select benefits):

  • Up to $120 annual dining statement credit: Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Amex Gold Card at participating dining partners, including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations.
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: Get up to $10 in Uber Cash monthly for Uber Eats and Uber rides in the U.S. You must add the card to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit. This perk is a monthly credit similar to the Uber Cash on the Amex Platinum.
  • Up to $100 in hotel credits: Cardmembers who use their card to book a stay of two nights or more through Amex’s The Hotel Collection receive up to $100 on-site experience credit for qualifying activities. Depending on the property, this could include dining, spa treatments or other activities.

Amex Gold cardmembers also receive travel and purchase protections.

Winner: Tie. The Sapphire Preferred is a good value for the price, but the Amex Gold Card costs less out of pocket if you can maximize its Uber and dining credits.

Related: Why you’ll want to pay the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s $95 annual fee

Earning points on the Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold

The Sapphire Preferred offers useful bonus categories, but the real highlight isn’t just the categories themselves but how broadly they’re defined. With it, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on a few notable categories:

  • Dining, including not just restaurants but many bars, breweries, food trucks and even meal delivery services
  • Select streaming services, including Apple+, Disney+, Max, Netflix, SiriusXM, Spotify, and YouTube TV
  • Online grocery stores, which include Instacart and many meal delivery services but exclude Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs

You’ll also receive 2 points per dollar on purchases Chase categorizes as travel, which includes hotels, airfare and rental cars, as well as things like Uber, parking meters and limousine rentals. This jumps to 5 points per dollar for travel when you book through Chase Travel (excluding hotel reservations that qualify for the $50 credit).

Additionally, the Sapphire Preferred earns 5 points per dollar on Lyft (through March 2025).

These are solid rates on a wide range of purchases.

THOMAS BARWICK/GETTY IMAGES

Still, the Amex Gold may shine brighter when it comes to its earning structure:

  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.)
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar)
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel
  • Terms apply.

Winner: Amex Gold. Its higher earning rates on dining and at U.S. supermarkets, as well as on flights booked directly with an airline, give it the upper hand.

Related: Why the Amex Gold is the perfect ‘in-between’ credit card

Redeeming points on the Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold

Both of these cards are similar in that they earn some of the most valuable transferable points currencies around.

The Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points that you can redeem for travel through the Chase Travel portal or for other items such as gift cards and even as a statement credit. You’ll get a 25% bonus when redeeming points for travel through the Chase travel portal. But you’ll get the most value by transferring your points to one of Chase’s 14 valuable hotel and airline transfer partners, including United, Southwest, Hyatt and British Airways.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The Amex Gold earns similarly valuable Membership Rewards points, which you can redeem for travel directly through AmexTravel.com or for gift cards and statement credits. Again, you’ll get the best value from your points by transferring them to one of 21 hotel and airline partners. This includes some that overlap with Chase — like Air Canada Aeroplan and British Airways. However, some are different, including Delta SkyMiles, Avianca LifeMiles and ANA Mileage Club.

Winner: Tie. Both cards earn transferable rewards and give you a wide range of valuable redemption options.

Transferring points on the Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold

TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards at 2.05 cents and Amex Membership points at 2 cents, but your travel habits might make one currency better than the other for you.

DANYAL AHMED/THE POINTS GUY

For example, if you live in a Delta hub, you might get more value out of transferring your Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles, while those who have a coveted Southwest Companion Pass can get some incredible value by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest Rapid Rewards.

Managing editor for credit cards Matt Moffitt utilizes his Sapphire Preferred often by transferring points to British Airways Executive Club to take advantage of sweet spots on American Airlines flights.

Winner: Tie. Both cards transfer to various partners, all with their respective redemption options and sweet spots.

Related: Why transferable points are worth more than other rewards

Should I get the Sapphire Preferred or Amex Gold?

If you spend most of your budget on groceries or dining and can utilize its monthly credits, the Amex Gold is likely your winner. However, the Sapphire Preferred is a better fit if you prefer Ultimate Rewards points and want to earn bonus points on general travel expenses. Still, remember that it doesn’t have to be a “this or that” decision; there’s room for both of these cards in a well-developed points strategy.

Bottom line

The Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold are two of the most valuable mid-tier cards on the market. Both can provide excellent value, and the question of one card versus another largely depends on how you derive value from your credit cards. However, they’re one of our top card pairings, so it might be worth having both in your wallet.

To learn more, read our full reviews of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold.


Apply here: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Apply here: American Express Gold


For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.

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