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The American Express® Gold Card has a high $250 annual fee and earns up to 4x points on its earning categories, while offering a welcome offer worth up to $600 in redemption value based on our calculations at the time of writing. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card on the other hand requires a $95 annual fee and earns 2x points on average, all while sporting a strong 60,000 point welcome offer. Here’s a closer breakdown of these two travel cards.
The winner: American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card is the winner as it offers higher earning rates, statement credits and additional perks, offering a higher overall value even with the larger annual fee. But consider each card’s membership programs as well. How you feel about the Amex Membership Rewards program or Chase Ultimate Rewards program will likely play a larger role in which card you decide to choose.
Who should get the American Express® Gold Card?
The Amex Gold is a great pick if you’re looking for a travel card with great baked-in value, but don’t want to pay the large annual fee of The Platinum Card® from American Express. It’s also one of the essential picks for the Amex trifecta.
Who should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?
Like the Amex Gold Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great “mid-level” travel card, though the Amex Gold Card is slightly higher-end thanks to its larger annual fee. If you’re looking to dip your toes in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, this card is also a great way to do that as you’ll have point transfer capabilities with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
In terms of sheer numbers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wins out here. You get a little less than double what the American Express® Gold Card offers while spending the same amount required of the Gold. Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards are fairly comparable in terms of value, so what you see is what you get between the two cards.
Best rewards: American Express® Gold Card
Amex sports the higher-earning rates between the American Express® Gold Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, albeit up to a spending cap. You’ll earn an unlimited 3x points on directly booked flights, an unlimited 4x points at restaurants and Uber Eats, and 4x points at supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually. After that, you’ll earn 1x points, and you earn 1x points on all other categories. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns less in its categories at 2x points on travel and dining, and 5x points on the limited time Lyft category.
At first glance, it looks like the annual purchase cap might put a hamper on the earning potential of the American Express® Gold Card. But the earning cap only applies to supermarket purchases, leaving most families with more than enough room to maximize their earnings.
Note that for simplicity’s sake, we have not taken into account the recent additions to the rewards of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in response to the pandemic. For what its worth, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gained 3x points on gas, 5x points on select streaming services and 5x points on DoorDash and Tock services. The American Express® Gold Card received no comparable additions.
Best annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card features a lower annual fee at $95. The American Express® Gold Card‘s annual fee is more than double that at $250. This puts the American Express® Gold Card as closer to an “upper mid-tier” card rather than a true mid-tier card. A card in Amex’s lineup closer to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in this regard is the American Express® Green Card.
Feature-wise, the American Express® Gold Card‘s higher annual fee does bring a few additional features to the table compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Best perks and features: American Express® Gold Card
Both the American Express® Gold Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offer a smattering of travel perks, such as baggage insurance and car rental insurance, as well as access to shopping programs that can net you bonus points on select purchases. Both cards also allow you to transfer points to other to travel partners, resulting in a big boost to overall point value.
The larger annual fee on the American Express® Gold Card does however allow Amex to offer a few additional perks, such as access to The Hotel Collection perks, annual statement credits select dining, Uber Cash credits and assorted ShopRunner perks.
Compare American Express® Gold Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.
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