I love my American Express® Gold Card – specifically my Amex Rose Gold Card. 4X American Express Membership Rewards points on all dining and at U.S. Supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually; 1X thereafter) is tough to beat. Now, with a “sticker price” annual fee of $250 (Rates and Fees) vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred‘s $95 annual fee, it may not seem like a fair comparison. However, as I’ll explain, with monthly credits the annual fee on the Amex Gold Card is actually lower than the Sapphire Preferred’s.
And, in fact, the Amex Gold seems to sit squarely between the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Sapphire Reserve, so I owe you that comparison next.
In this article
Amex Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred: Overall Card Benefits
Sometimes you need a comparison chart before you really get started…. and this is one of those times! Let’s take a side-by-side look at the card benefits of both credit cards. Below that, we’ll drill down into each major card feature and compare how they each stack up.
|Amex Gold||Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Welcome Bonus||60,000 bonus Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 6 months.||80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months|
|Annual Fee||$250 (with $240 in included annual dining credits - Net $10) ✅||$95|
|Bonus Multiplier for Restaurants (including takeout and delivery)||4X ✅||3X|
|Bonus Multiplier for US Supermarkets||4X ✅||NA (earns 1X)|
|Bonus Multiplier for ONLINE Grocery Store purchases||4X ✅||3X|
|Bonus Multiplier for Airfare (booked direct with the airline)||3X ✅||2X|
|Bonus multiplier for all Travel besides Airfare||1X||2X ✅|
|Bonus Multiplier for Travel booked via the Chase Travel Portal||N/A||5X ✅|
|$50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards.||N/A||✅|
|Bonus Multiplier for Streaming with select streaming services||1X||3X ✅|
|Bonus Multiplier for Lyft (until March 2022)||NA (earns 1X)||5X ✅|
|10% Anniversary point bonus. Each account anniversary year, you’ll earn bonus points that equal 10% of your total spend in points from purchases made with your card during the previous account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $1 spent.||N/A||✅|
|MilesTalk Approximate Value per Point||1.70 cents per point||1.75 cents per point ✅|
|Annual perks / credits||$20 in monthly credits ($10 for Uber/UberEats and $10 for GrubHub / Seamless and other participating restaurants)||One year of DoorDash DashPass|
|Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver Coverage||Secondary||Primary ✅|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None (Rates and Fees)||None|
|Trip Delay Insurance||Yes; Must be a round trip and entirely paid for with Card. $300 max benefit, two claims max per year. Delay must exceed 12 hours.||Yes. Any common carrier travel must be paid for with the card (or with Ultimate Rewards). One way counts. $500 max per claim. Delay must exceed 12 hours. ✅|
|Trip Cancellation Insurance||None||Up to $5,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $10,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $20,000 ✅|
|Lost Baggage Coverage||Varies: up to $500 per person for carryon; $1,250 per person for checked bags. $10,000 per trip max if you live in NY. See terms and exclusions.||Up to $3,000 per insured person per covered trip. See terms and exclusions. ✅|
Amex Gold Card: $250. The card offers a $10 monthly Uber / Uber Eats credit + a monthly $10 GrubHub/Seamless (or select other restaurants) credit. If you use all the credits, your “net” annual fee is just $10.
Chase Sapphire Preferred card: $95. There is a $50 hotel credit offered, though you must book via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Assuming you use this, the net fee is $45.
Who Wins? Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred card doesn’t offer any credits for the $95 annual fee and the Amex Gold offers credits that are both easy to use and offset $240 of the $250 annual fee, the “net annual fees” are $10 for the Amex Gold and $45 for the Sapphire Preferred.
Winner: Amex Gold wins.
Welcome / Signup Bonus for a New Amex Gold or Sapphire Preferred
The American Express Gold Card is currently offering 60,000 bonus Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 6 months. Using MilesTalk’s value of American Express Membership Rewards of 1.7 cents each (the minimum value you can expect to get per point if you learn a bit about Membership Rewards), you should nab at least $1,020 in value from this bonus.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is currently offering 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months. This is worth a minimum of $1,000 when you use the points for travel or to Pay Yourself Back. Using MilesTalk’s value of Chase Ultimate Rewards of 1.75 cents each (the minimum value you can expect to get per point if you learn a bit about Ultimate Rewards), this bonus should be worth at least $1,750.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
However, keep in mind the bonus eligibility rules:
For Chase, you are only eligible for this bonus if you don’t have either Sapphire card currently and haven’t had a bonus on either in the last 48 months.
For Amex, you can have a card bonus just once per lifetime (although, in practice, you tend to be eligible if you last held the card more than 7 years ago).
Bonus Categories / Earn Rates
Amex Gold Card: Earns 4X Membership Rewards points on all dining (worldwide) and 4X points on all US supermarket spend (up to $25,000 a year; then 1X). It also earns 3X on flights booked directly with an airline or via amextravel.com. Other purchases earn 1X points per dollar. Terms apply.
Chase Sapphire Preferred card: Earns 2X on all travel and dining; 5X on Lyft (through March 2025). It also earns 3X on streaming services and 5X on airfare, car rentals and hotels (but only if booked via the Ultimate Rewards portal).
Winner: The Amex Gold Card is clearly the more powerful earner, assuming you buy a fair amount of groceries, with double the earn rate. As I’ll discuss later, American Express Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points are nearly equivalent in value, with MilesTalk pegging Amex points as worth 1.7 cents each and Chase points as worth 1.75 cents each. However, if you don’t mind using a travel portal like Ultimate Rewards (which has plenty of tradeoffs like not being able to earn or use hotel status or earn hotel points via these prepaid bookings), and book a lot of travel that way, the Sapphire Preferred could come out ahear.
What Special Perks Come with Each Card?
Amex Gold Card: While not exactly a perk, many people get pretty excited over the available Amex “Rose Gold” colored card that you can request when you apply. Or, you can stick with the “regular” or classic Gold Card flavor. Whichever you pick, the benefits are the same.
Then, you have the two sets of monthly statement credits:
- $10 monthly to use for your choice of Uber rides or Uber Eats. $10 in Uber Cash will be deposited automatically in your account (just add your Amex Gold as a method of payment). $120 total annually.
- $10 in monthly statement credits for dining, good towards any of the following: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. You must remember to enroll your card in this benefit on the Amex website after you receive your new card. $120 total annually. Enrollment required. Terms apply.
Chase Sapphire Preferred card: While it doesn’t come with any dining statement credits, the Sapphire Preferred does come with:
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
- 10% Anniversary point bonus: Each account anniversary year, you’ll earn bonus points that equal 10% of your total spend in points from purchases made with your card during the previous account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $1 spent.
The Sapphire Preferred card also comes with one pretty huge perk:
- Primary car rental collision / damage coverage. Only a handful of credit cards have primary car rental damage coverage and both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve offer this. (By contrast, the Amex Gold Card only offers secondary coverage – meaning that you have to use your own car insurance first – unless you pay $19.99 – $24.99 per rental for the premium Amex car rental coverage)
- It also offers Trip Cancellation insurance, which the Amex Gold does not. You get up to $5,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $10,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $20,000
Winner: I think this one goes to the Sapphire Preferred if you value that primary car rental coverage and to the Amex Gold if you do not.
What Credit Score Do You Need for an Amex Gold Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred card?
Amex Gold: At least a 700+
Sapphire Preferred: At least a 720+.
Winner? Too close to call.
Can You Get an Instant Card Number at Approval?
Amex often (but not always!) will issue you an instant card number that you can use right away when you are approved.
Chase will not give you an instant card number, though you can call and ask for your card to be expedited after you’re approved. You will also be able to add the card to mobile wallets after approval and before you have the physical card via the Chase app.
So Which is Better? The Amex Gold or Chase Sapphire Preferred?
Of course, it depends. But on balance, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s bonus of 80,000 points is stronger than the Amex Gold, the Amex Gold offers more ongoing value.
The ability to earn 4X on dining and US supermarkets plus 3X on airfare compared to just 2X on travel and dining with the Preferred makes it tough to see how the Amex Gold isn’t the better “ongoing spend” card.
However, if you prefer the Chase ecosystem, which includes Hyatt as a transfer partner, or if you highly value the Primary car rental damage protection, the Chase Sapphire Preferred could win out.
One last note is that while the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a traditional credit card with a credit limit which could be issued to you with as little as $5,000, the Amex Gold card comes with no preset spending limit. You’ll still have a limit, but it will be based on your spending habits and payments rather than a fixed limit.
But that Sapphire Preferred Bonus!
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned, visit the following links: American Express Gold Card Rates and Fees.