Personal Finance

Can Chase Sapphire Preferred Oust the AmEx Gold Card?

Can Chase Sapphire Preferred Oust the AmEx Gold Card?

Popular midtier travel cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the American Express Gold Card.
(Photo : by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

Popular midtier travel cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the American Express Gold Card. Although they don't require as much upkeep as their premium equivalents, they both have very moderate yearly fees that get you access to travel privileges and, in certain situations, dining advantages.

The Gold Card is marketed as the only American Express card that combines travel and dining benefits into one package. However, the Sapphire Preferred is only promoted as a credit card for travel. This distinction is reflected in the yearly fees: the Sapphire Preferred has an annual charge of $95 whereas the Gold Card costs $250 (see rates and fees).

Here are the features of each of these cards below so you can decide which one best suits your objectives and particular financial circumstances.

Annual Fees

When comparing annual fees, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card emerges as the winner. While many midtier travel cards typically have a $95 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card stands out with its competitive pricing. In contrast, the Gold Card's $250 annual fee represents a significant increase. Despite the potential benefits outweighing the fees for most users, Chase's pricing is notably more favorable compared to the Gold Card.

Welcome Offers

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, while the Gold card provides 60,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first six months. With the Gold card, spreading the spending over six months means you only need to spend around $1,000 per month, compared to approximately $1,333.34 per month with the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn the bonus. However, when considering the value of the welcome offer, the Gold card's points are worth 0.6 cents each when redeemed for a statement credit, making the bonus worth $360.

On the other hand, flights booked through American Express Travel offer the highest redemption rate at 1 cent per point, making the maximum value of the Gold Card's welcome offer $600. The Chase Sapphire Preferred's welcome offer can also be worth $600 or more depending on the redemption method. Redeeming points for cash back earns 1 cent per point, surpassing the value of the Gold card's offer. Additionally, redeeming points for travel through Chase Travel℠ provides a 25% boost on points value, potentially increasing the welcome bonus value even further.

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The comparison between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Gold Card revolves around redemption flexibility and value. The Gold Card offers higher points on dining and select categories, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred provides more versatility, with 5x points on Chase Travel℠ bookings, 3x points on dining, and a potential 25% redemption boost when used for travel through Chase Travel℠, equating to up to 3.75% back on dining and up to 6.25% back on travel, depending on redemption choices.

Travel and Other Perks

The Gold Card outshines the Sapphire Preferred in terms of travel benefits and additional perks, making its higher annual fee potentially worthwhile for those who can take advantage of them. With up to $120 in dining credits annually and $10 in Uber Cash each month, along with a $100 Hotel Collection credit for qualifying stays, the Gold Card offers substantial value beyond its rewards program.

Both cards feature no foreign transaction fees and offer some form of travel insurance, but the Sapphire Preferred's ability to transfer points to partner airlines at a 1-to-1 ratio may be particularly advantageous for frequent travelers, making it a strong contender despite the Gold Card's perks.

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The content provided on is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Please consult with a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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