Few of us enjoy spending over $500 in annual fees. While premium heavyweight credit cards offer heavyweight perks, for some of us, offsetting their annual fees is challenging.

That’s where mid-tier travel rewards credit cards offer the best of both worlds.

The American Express® Gold Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are two top-of-the-range mid-tier credit cards.

Lucrative earning rates on travel and dining purchases. Highly transferable points. No foreign transaction fees (see rates & fees). There’s much to like about the Amex Gold and Sapphire Preferred.

But they’re not without their differences.

Let’s look at the Amex Gold card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred to see which is best suited to your travel and spending habits.

Amex Gold Card Overview

The Amex Gold card is a stellar option for those wanting to earn on typical everyday expenses. You’d be hard-pressed to find a card that earns as much on dining and restaurant purchases as the Amex Gold.

It’s also a great card when it comes to using your hard-earned points for travel redemptions, due to the flexibility of Amex Membership Rewards points.

Depending on when you apply for the card, you can secure a competitive welcome bonus, earning you thousands of Amex points for a relatively low minimum spending requirement.

If you’re interested in an Amex card that affords you luxury travel benefits, see if you’d be better off with The Platinum Card® from American Express by reading our Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum guide.

american express gold vs chase sapphire preferred travel benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Overview

For a slightly lower annual fee compared to the Amex Gold, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a wide range of bonus spending categories. It also offers lucrative perks for travel.

From dining and online grocery shopping, to travel and select streaming service purchases, you can accelerate your point earning on a variety of spending categories.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn Ultimate Rewards points—a highly valuable and flexible rewards currency. With a wide array of transfer partners, the Sapphire Preferred will put you in an excellent position for travel-related point redemptions.

Just as with the Amex Gold, you can also earn a sweet welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire, depending on the time you apply.

If you qualify for a business card, you might be interested in business cards from Chase, such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. You can read our guide to the Chase Ink Preferred to decide if it’s the card for you.

Comparison

Here’s an overview of the American Express Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred cards:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAmerican Express® Gold Card
Annual Fee$95$250 (Rates & Fees)
Authorized User FeeNo fee to add authorized usersFirst five additional card users free of charge; $35 annual fee per additional card user thereafter
Welcome OfferTypically between 60,000 and 80,000 points, with a minimum spending requirement of $4,000. Welcome bonuses have gone as high as 100,000 points.Typically between 35,000 and 60,000 points, with a minimum spending requirement between $4,000 to $6,000. Welcome bonuses have gone as high as 90,000 points
Bonus Categories• 5X points on travel purchases made through Chase Travel℠, (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 annual hotel credit)
• 2X on other travel purchases
• 3X points on dining, including eligible takeout, delivery services and dining out
• 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs)
• 3X points on certain streaming services
• 1X point on all other purchases
• 4X points on grocery shopping at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per calendar year (earn 1X point thereafter)
• 4X points at restaurants worldwide, as well as on takeout and delivery purchases in the U.S.
• 3X points on flights booked directly through amextravel.com or directly with the airline
• 1X point on all other eligible purchases
Travel Perks• $50 worth of statement credits per account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
• No foreign transaction fees
• Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase
• 14 hotel and airline transfer partners
• No foreign transaction fees
• 20+ hotel and airline transfer partners
• $100 experience credit when you book a minimum stay of two nights with The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel (experience credit varies by property)
• Up to $120 per year in Uber Cash credits, issued in $10 monthly credits, which you can use for Uber Eats and Rides
Additional Perks• Six months of complimentary Instacart+ membership
• Complimentary DashPass subscription (activate by Dec. 31, 2024)
• 5X points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases greater than $150 with a maximum earning cap of 25,000 points (through March 31, 2025)
• Point boost every account anniversary year equivalent to 10% of your total spending the previous year
• Up to $120 dining credit, issued in $10 monthly statements, for purchases at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required)

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Overall, in the Amex Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred showdown, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes out on top. It’s slightly more well-rounded than the Amex Gold and has a significantly lower annual fee.

The Sapphire Preferred typically has a better welcome bonus with a lower minimum spending requirement than the Amex Gold and allows you to add an unlimited number of authorized users free of charge.

In terms of point earning, while the Amex Gold offers better rates on certain categories, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a wider variety of bonus spending categories, enabling you to earn more points across more purchases.

Lastly, while Amex has more transfer partners than Chase, Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to domestic airlines such as JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines free of fees. The same can’t be said for the Amex Gold card, as Amex tacks on a fee of 0.06 cents per point transferred to any U.S. airline.

amex gold vs chase sapphire preferred benefits

Annual Fees

Both cards offer relatively low annual fees compared to some of their premium counterparts. However, there’s still a significant enough difference in fees between both cards.

The Amex Gold has an annual fee of $250. You’ll be able to add up to five authorized users free of charge. For any additional users, you’ll be charged an annual fee of $35 per card.

In contrast, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee of $95. That’s $155 less compared to the Amex Gold.

You’re also free to add as many authorized users as you wish, without incurring any additional annual fees. That means you have the potential to increase your aggregate point earnings across all additional Sapphire Preferred cards, without paying additional annual fees.

That said, if you take advantage of the Amex Gold card’s $120 annual statement credit for dining purchases at select locations, you’ll effectively reduce the annual fee by almost half.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred wins when it comes to annual fees. You’ll save at least $155 with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and have total freedom to add as many authorized users as you want.

Welcome Offer

How does the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold fare when it comes to welcome offers?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a typical welcome offer between 60,000 and 80,000 points, with a minimum spending requirement of $4,000. Infrequent promotional welcome bonus offers have gone as high as 100,000 points on the Sapphire Preferred, with the same minimum spending requirement.

In contrast, the Amex Gold has a usual welcome offer between 35,000 and 60,000 points, with a minimum spending requirement between $4,000 to $6,000. Promotional welcome bonuses sometimes reach 90,000 points, with the same minimum spending requirement.

At face value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred welcome offer is better value for your money. For a minimum spending requirement equal to or even less than that of the Amex Gold, you’ll get at least the same amount of points, if not more.

That said, one consideration to factor in is the value of the different rewards currencies. Depending on your travel goals, 1 Membership Rewards point could have a greater value than 1 Ultimate Reward to you. This is a case of subjective valuation of rewards currencies.

Similarly, the Amex Gold card offers an advantage of time. Typically, its welcome bonus runs over a period of six months from the date of opening your account, while the Sapphire Preferred runs over only three months. That means you’ll have more time to hit the minimum spending requirement of the Amex Gold, which could make earning the welcome offer easier.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

In the case of welcome offers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred wins. For a minimum spending requirement equal to or less than that of the Amex Gold, you’ll get at least the same number of points if not more.

However, keep in mind that it may be easier to earn the welcome offer on the Amex Gold, given that you’ll have an extra three months to earn it compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Earning Points

Both cards are similar when it comes to earning points.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers the following bonus spending categories:

  • 5X points on travel purchases made through Chase Travel, (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 annual hotel credit)
  • 2X on other travel purchases
  • 3X points on dining, including eligible takeout, delivery services and dining out
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs)
  • 3X points on certain streaming services*
  • 1X point on all other purchases

* Streaming services eligible for earning 3X points on include: Apple Music, Apple TV, Disney+, ESPN+, FuboTV, Max, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Paramount+, Peacock, Showtime, SiriusXM, Sling, Spotify, YouTube Premium, YouTube TV and Vudu.

It should be noted that Chase has a generous definition of “travel” which makes earning 2X points on everyday travel expenses even easier. According to Chase, travel includes:

“[…] airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.”

In contrast to the Sapphire Preferred, the Amex Gold offers the following bonus spending categories:

  • 4X points on grocery shopping at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per calendar year (earn 1X point thereafter)
  • 4X points at restaurants worldwide, as well as on takeout and delivery purchases in the U.S.
  • 3X points on flights booked through amextravel.com or directly with the airline
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases

Both cards are equals when it comes to earning points. The difference lies in what you value.

If you spend a lot on grocery shopping at U.S. supermarkets as well as on dining, the American Express Gold Card is going to give you a better rewards rate on those purchases. But if your spending has a more equal spread across various categories including online grocery shopping, dining and streaming service purchases, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is going to serve you better.

Winner: Tie

Both cards offer competitive earning rates across a range of everyday purchase categories. The question of which one is better is simply a case of which card best aligns with your spending habits.

Redeeming Points

When it comes to point redemption, the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Gold will depend on your travel goals.

Both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards are valuable point currencies. But there are some differences in how you can redeem them.

Amex points can be transferred to the following 20 hotel and airline loyalty schemes:

Aer Lingus AeroclubEtihad Airways Guest
Aeromexico Club PremierHawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Air Canada AeroplanHilton Honors
Air France-KLM Flying BlueIberia Plus
ANA Mileage ClubJetBlue TrueBlue
Avianca LifeMilesMarriott Bonvoy®
British Airways Executive ClubQantas Frequent Flyer
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Choice PrivilegesVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
Delta SkyMiles®
Emirates Skywards®

In contrast, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to the following 14 partner loyalty schemes:

Aer Lingus AerclubMarriott Bonvoy
Air Canada AeroplanSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Air France-KLM Flying BlueSouthwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
British Airways Executive ClubUnited MileagePlus®
Emirates SkywardsVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
Iberia PlusWorld of Hyatt
IHG Rewards Club
JetBlue TrueBlue

While Amex has slightly more transfer partners than Chase, it’s important to consider which partners you’ll most likely be transferring to and what transfer ratios are offered by each provider.

For example, it would be unwise to transfer Membership Rewards to JetBlue TrueBlue, as the transfer ratio is 5:4. In contrast, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to JetBlue TrueBlue at a much better ratio of 1:1.

Likewise, transferring Amex points to domestic airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines or JetBlue comes with a fee of 0.06 cent per point. Amex charges this fee to cover the cost of excise tax charged by airlines for point transfers. This can add up on larger point transfers, reducing your return value.

On the other hand, using Chase Ultimate Rewards for transfers to the IHG Rewards Club is less than ideal, as IHG points have a value of about 0.8 cents per point only. Considering you can redeem Ultimate Rewards for 1.25 cents per point through the Chase travel portal, you’d be better off booking hotels this way.

Ultimately, with such a wide range of transfer partners, it’d be difficult to go wrong with either card when it comes to redeeming points.

Winner: Tie

Both Amex and Chase points are highly valuable and can be transferred to a wide range of transfer partners. For this reason, whether the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold is better comes down to how you wish to redeem your points.

amex gold vs chase sapphire preferred travel benefits

Travel Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred enables you to earn up to $50 worth of statement credits per account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Travel. You’ll also earn 5X points on all travel purchases made through Chase (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 credit) as well as 2X points on all other travel purchases. As already mentioned, Chase has a generous definition of travel, enabling you to earn on a wider range of travel purchases.

On top of this, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point when you redeem them for travel through Chase. To compare, if you redeem Amex points through the Amex travel portal, you’ll receive a value between 0.7 cents and 1 cent per point.

In terms of earning points on travel purchases, all that Amex Gold can offer is 3X points on flights booked through amextravel.com or directly with the airline. While this is certainly a strong earning rate, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes out on top as it covers a wider range of travel purchases.

Both the Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold are free of foreign transaction fees, making it easy to spend and continue earning points while abroad. However, being a Visa Signature card, the Sapphire Preferred typically has higher acceptance rates compared to an American Express card, which could be an important consideration depending on where you want to travel.

With the Amex Gold, you’ll receive a $100 experience credit when you book a minimum stay of two nights with The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel (experience credit varies by property). You’ll also receive $120 per year in Uber Cash credits, issued in $10 monthly credits, which you can use for Uber Eats and Rides.

Similarly, the Sapphire Preferred enables you to earn 5X points on Lyft rides, through until 31 March 2025.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred also has an extensive range of travel insurance and protections, including:

  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance. You’ll be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for any pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses charged to your card, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels, in the event that sickness, weather or any other covered reason interrupts your trip.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. If you decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver and charge the rental cost to your card, your rental car will have secondary coverage up to its actual cash value in instances of theft or damage. This is valid in both the U.S. and abroad.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance. For baggage delays greater than 6 hours by passenger carriers, you’ll be reimbursed for essential purchases charged to your card such as clothing, toiletries and chargers, up to $100 per day for a maximum of five days.
  • Trip Delay Insurance. For common carrier travel delays greater than 12 hours or those that require an overnight stay, you and your family will be covered for unreimbursed essential expenses charged to your card, including toiletries, meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

In comparison, Amex Gold offers the following travel insurances:

  • Trip Delay Reimbursement. If your trip is delayed due to inclement weather, lost or stolen passports, a terrorist hijacking or equipment failure on the part of the common carrier, you could be eligible for trip delay insurance. This covers you for the unexpected cost of such delays, including lodging, meals and toiletries, up to $300. You’ll also need to charge the expenses on your card to be eligible.¹
  • Baggage Insurance Plan. If you charge the cost of your common carrier fare (including extra baggage fees) to your card, you’ll be eligible for baggage insurance coverage. This covers you for up to $500 for checked bags and up to $1,250 for carry-on bags. For New York state residents, there’s an aggregate limit of $10,000 per covered trip for all covered persons.²
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance. Decline the CDW at the rental counter and charge the costs to your card, and you’ll receive secondary rental car coverage. It can cover you for up to $50,000 in eligible expenses.³

Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a slightly stronger set of travel insurances compared to the Amex Gold. This offsets the already lower annual fee of the Sapphire Preferred even further, increasing its value.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

With robust travel insurance coverage and strong earning rates on travel purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes out on top.

amex gold vs chase sapphire preferred trip cancellation benefits

Additional Perks & Considerations

Are there any additional perks offered by the American Express Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred that could tip the balance in favor of one over the other?

The Amex Gold card offers the following in the way of additional perks:

  • 90-day purchase protection of up to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year4
  • Extended warranty of one year on eligible products with manufacturer warranties of 5 years or less5
  • $120 dining credit, issued in $10 monthly statements, for purchases at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required)

In contrast, you’ll receive the following additional perks with the Sapphire Preferred:

  • Six months of complimentary Instacart+ membership. As an Instacart+ member, you can earn up to $15 in statement credits per quarter (through July 2024)
  • Complimentary DashPass subscription, giving you free deliveries and lower service fees on eligible DoorDash and Caviar orders (activate by Dec. 31, 2024)
  • 5X points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases greater than $150 with a maximum earning cap of 25,000 points (through March 31, 2025)
  • Point boost every account anniversary year equivalent to 10% of your total spending the previous year
  • Purchase protection that covers your new purchases for up to 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty protection that extends U.S. manufacturer warranties by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less

The Amex Gold stands out with its dining credit of $120, assuming you can make use of it at eligible locations. On the other hand, the Sapphire Preferred’s annual 10% point boost could be exactly what you need to rack up enough points for some sweet redemption opportunities.

In terms of extended warranty and purchase protection, both cards offer robust coverage.

Winner: American Express Gold Card

If you can make use of the $120 dining credit, the Amex Gold card certainly stands out with respect to additional perks.

Which credit card should you choose?

When it comes to credit cards, there’s never a one-size-fits-all answer.

The best credit card is the one that aligns best with your spending habits and travel goals.

With that in mind, let’s look at which card suits which type of person best.

Dining Enthusiasts

For pure dining enthusiasts, the Amex Gold card is the clear winner.

Given that the average American household spends $9,343 per year on food (including both dining and grocery purchases), you could hypothetically earn an easy 37,372 points per year by simply charging these expenses on an Amex Gold card.

On top of that, the $120 dining credit offsets the annual fee by almost half, offering significant value.

This makes it ideal for those spending on food and dining purchases.

Frequent Travelers

For regular travelers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred likely offers better value.

Firstly, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point by redeeming for travel through Chase. In contrast, travel redemptions through Amex typically have a value of 0.7 to 1 cent per point only. You’ll also earn 2X points on all other travel purchases, which is broadly defined to include a wide variety of purchases.

Secondly, the Sapphire Preferred is better for point transfers to domestic airlines such as Southwest, Delta and JetBlue, offering 1:1 transfer ratios and avoiding excise tax fees.

Lastly, with no foreign transaction fees, and as it’s a Visa Signature card, you’ll have total freedom when spending and earning points abroad.

Luxury Seekers

Both the Amex Gold and Sapphire Preferred are mid-tier cards, meaning that they offer a limited amount of luxury perks.

However, the Amex Gold card’s annual $100 experience credit for minimum stays of two nights with The Hotel Collection (when booked through amextravel.com) is a standout luxury perk. Depending on the property, you could receive a variety of luxury experiences, from fine dining to spa treatments.

Everyday Spenders

For everyday spenders, both cards offer excellent value.

If the majority of your spending is on grocery shopping and dining, the Amex Gold will likely be the better choice. However, if streaming service purchases and other transit-related purchases that are included under Chase’s definition of travel (such as buses, taxis, toll bridges and passenger trains) make up a large portion of your everyday spending, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred would be the better option.

amex gold vs chase sapphire dining benefits compared

Ready to Elevate Your Travel Game with the Right Card?

Both the Amex Gold card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred are excellent options when it comes to earning points on everyday expenses and redeeming them for travel purchases.

Whether you should pick one over the other comes down to the fine print of their benefits, as well as your spending habits and travel goals.

If you spend big on grocery shopping and dining purchases and wish to transfer your points to 20+ airline and hotel partners, the Amex Gold does the job. If your everyday expenditure includes a wider range of purchases, such as transit and streaming service subscriptions, and you want to transfer your points to domestic airlines such as Southwest, Delta and JetBlue, you’ll squeeze a lot more value out of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

¹ Up to $300 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

² Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Eligible Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a Common Carrier Vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible Account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on Baggage and up to $500 for checked Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

³ Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

4 Purchase Protection is an embedded benefit of your Card Membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect Covered Purchases made on your Eligible Card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Coverage Limits Apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

5 When an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase to an Eligible Card, Extended Warranty§ can provide up to one extra year added to the Original Manufacturer’s Warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.