Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

More details
Current
Learn More
Terms Apply
Rate hikes mean you can earn more - earn 4% APY on up to $6,000 ($2,000 per "Savings Pod")
Credible
Learn More
Terms Apply
Compare student loan refinancing rates without impacting your credit score - it's free and easy to use
One of the longest 0% intro APR offers plus, no annual fee
Rocket Mortgage
Learn More
Terms Apply
Our top pick for those with lower credit scores - their Fresh Start program can help boost your credit
New $350 statement credit welcome offer after meeting spending requirements
Select is editorially independent. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners. Read more about Select on CNBC and on NBC News, and click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Gold: Which is the best rewards credit card?

Which is the best rewards card for your wallet?

Share
Erdark | E+ | Getty Images
Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners.

When it comes to travel and dining rewards, two credit cards stand out above the rest: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Gold Card. With reasonable annual fees — $95 and $250 (see rates and fees), respectively — and a range of redemption options including flights, hotels and a host of other travel experiences — there are plenty of reasons to sign up for one or, even both cards, depending on how much you travel, order delivery, shop for groceries, use Uber more than Lyft or if prefer certain transfer partners over others.

Below, Select walks you through a comparison of both cards, so you can choose the one that provides the most benefits for your spending habits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold

Benefits Chase Sapphire Preferred American Express Gold Card
Annual Fee$95$250
APR16.74% - 23.74% variablePay Over Time APR is 17.49% - 24.49% variable, see terms for more info
Rewards5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases; 5X on Lyft rides through March 20254X Membership Rewards points for dining at U.S. restaurants; 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1X); 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com; 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months of card membership
Credits$50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit $120 annual dining credit ($10 a month) at participating restaurants; $120 annual Uber credit ($10 a month)

Terms apply.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs American Express Gold Card

Annual Fee

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee. The American Express Gold Card's annual fee is slightly higher at $250, which still isn't bad when you consider other travel rewards cards can garner annual fees up to $550.

The Amex Gold Card comes with a variety of credits that can help offset the annual fee. Cardmembers can take advantage of a $120 Uber Cash annual credit ($10 per month) for rides and dining via Uber Eats (you must add your Amex Gold Card as a payment method in the Uber app in order to enroll). You can also benefit from a $120 annual dining credit ($10 per month) to use with certain delivery services like Seamless, Grubhub and, as well as restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required). The credits are awarded at the beginning of every month and must be used that month or they expire.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred. Unless you're going to be making full use of the American Express Gold Card's dining and Uber monthly statement credits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred's $95 annual fee is a better choice considering the range of benefits and overall value in travel rewards you'll be getting.

Rewards

While both cards are ideal for avid travelers, their earning opportunities vary. You can earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Now through March 2025, you'll also be able to earn 5X points on all Lyft rides.

The American Express Gold Card gives you 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually, then 1X points afterward), 3X points when you book flights directly through the airline or via amextravel.com and 1X points on other eligible purchases. 

Winner: American Express Gold Card for a more all-around pick, since it rewards you for grocery shopping as well.

Redemption

As far as the best card for redeeming your hard-earned points, it all comes down to your personal preference. Chase Ultimate Rewards has 13 transfer partners to choose from, including World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy and IHG Rewards Club for hotels and United Airlines, Southwest and JetBlue for airlines.

Amex Membership Rewards offers 19 transfer partners, including Delta, Avianca, British Airways, Emirates and Etihad for airlines and Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors and Radisson for hotels. 

Two things make the Chase Sapphire Preferred really stand out in this category. First, cardholders can score a 25% bonus by redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, bringing their value up to 1.25 cents per point. Secondly, points can be redeemed for recent purchases through the Pay Yourself Back tool, a nifty option for those who haven't been traveling much lately.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers more redemption options through the Pay Yourself Back tool, and a 25% bonus for booking with points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Welcome bonus

Both cards offer generous welcome offer bonuses. You can earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, while the American Express Gold Card is offering 60,000 bonus points, and you get six months to meet the $4,000 minimum spending requirement from the day your account opens.

If you're using your 60,000 points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, or wish to redeem them for eligible purchases through Chase's Pay Yourself Back feature, they're worth 25% more, or $750. If you're redeeming them for cash outright, their value drops to $600.

If you're booking flights and hotels through American Express Travel, or redeeming them for cash back, your 60,000 Amex Rewards points would be worth about $600 or $420, respectively.

Note that you're only eligible to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you don't currently have another Chase Sapphire card, and you haven't received a cardholder bonus for a Chase Sapphire card in the last 48 months. Also be aware of Chase's 5/24 rule, which means you're more likely to be denied approval for a new Chase card if you've already opened five credit card accounts in the last 24 months. At the same time, you're only eligible to receive the 60,000-point welcome bonus for the Amex Gold Card if you haven't already had the same card or a Premier Rewards Gold Card in the past.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred, because the bonus is worth more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Additional perks

Consumers with either card can benefit from:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Auto collision damage waivers for car rentals (primary insurance for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, secondary insurance for the Amex Gold Card)
  • Baggage insurance and trip delay insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services

Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders enjoy these added perks:

  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • A complimentary one-year subscription to DashPass by DoorDash when you enroll by December 31, 2024
  • 1:1 transfers to partner airlines and hotels when booking award travel
  • The option to split larger payments over $100 into no-interest fixed-fee monthly payments via My Chase Plan
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, zero liability protection

American Express Gold Card holders enjoy these added perks:

  • $10 in Uber Cash each month, a total of $120 per year, to use toward rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. when you link your Gold Card to your Uber account (you have to enroll first to use this program)
  • A $10 statement credit per month, up to $120 per year, when you enroll your Gold Card and order from Grubhub, Seamless or other participating restaurants and food delivery services
  • The option to pay your bill in full each month, keep a balance with interest or break up larger purchases over $100 into fixed-fee monthly payments with Plan It and the card's Pay Over Time benefit
  • $100 in credits toward spa treatments, dining and other activities when you book through The Hotel Collection via American Express Travel
  • Amex Offers, which lets you earn limited-time rewards for things you're buying anyway whether you're shopping online or at the store (enrollment required and offers vary depending on location)
  • Early access to ticket pre-sales, preferred seating and members-only events from sports and concerts to Broadway shows, as part of American Express Experiences

Winner: American Express Gold Card, for going above and beyond and offering travel and dining benefits that are more in line with premium rewards credit cards.

Bottom line

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred, but it's really close.

While the American Express Gold Card picked up points in the rewards and added perks categories, the Chase Sapphire Preferred stole the show when it came to the annual fee, welcome bonus and redemptions. 

There's more flexibility to redeem points for a host of travel experiences and recent purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, however, if dining, groceries and Uber are your main focus, the American Express Gold Card may be a better fit. 

In the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences — as far as favorite airlines and hotel chains you'd like to redeem points for — and spending habits, though each card offers enough travel and dining perks to satisfy every traveler.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase’s secure site
  • Rewards

    $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    16.74% - 23.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

 

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    17.49% - 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 


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

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.