Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

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We often declare that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best credit card for beginners. It’s got fantastic travel protection; it collects extremely valuable points for both travel and coronavirus lockdown-related spending; its welcome bonus is enough for at least $750 in free travel or groceries.

But it’s far from the only card that offers these benefits. Are there similar cards that will treat you better?

The American Express® Gold Card is the Amex answer to the mid-tier Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s got similar tricks up its sleeve — and more. Let’s take a look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs the Amex Gold — two of the best credit cards for travel — to determine which is better for your travel goals.

(Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Amex Gold

I want to first say that neither of these cards are “beginner” cards. They are fantastic cards for beginners in the miles and points hobby for several reasons, but they’re cards that still top the list of favorites among miles and points veterans. Read our comprehensive posts on Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits and perks and American Express Gold Card benefits and perks for all the details.

Let’s compare the most practical benefits of each card.

CardChase Sapphire PreferredAmex Gold
Welcome bonus60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account
Annual fee$95$250 (see rates and fees)

Welcome bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. We estimate Chase points value to average 1.7 cents each. They can be worth more if you understand the best ways to use Chase points. This bonus can be worth well over $1,000 in travel.

For example, you can redeem your points through valuable Chase transfer partners like United Airlines for outsized value. You can reserve a transcontinental business class flight (lie-flat seats!) for as little as 50,000 United miles round-trip. This regularly costs $1,300+, meaning you’d get 2.6 cents in value from your points — and you’ll still have 10,000 points left.

You can read our post on how to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for more details.

 Book this seat for just 25,000 miles each way between Newark and Los Angeles. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Amex Gold

With the Amex Gold, you’ll earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

We estimate Amex points value to also be around 2 cents each, though they can be worth more. The best ways to use Amex points are by transferring them to Amex transfer partners to use towards flights. For example, you could transfer 35,000 points to Singapore Airlines and fly round-trip to Hawaii on Singapore Airlines partner United Airlines. Depending on your origin and dates, that could save you $800 or more!

You can do some pretty amazing things with both of these card bonuses, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred simply has a lot more points. And its travel partners are slightly better in the opinion of many. Mark a victory for the Chase Sapphire Preferred in this category.

Earning rates

Chase Sapphire Preferred

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn:

  • 5 points per dollar on Lyft (through March 2022)
  • 2 points per dollar on travel
  • 2 points per dollar on dining
  • 1 point per dollar for everything else

Travel purchases include things like airfare, hotels, car rentals, Airbnb, Uber and lots more. Frequent travelers spend a lot on these bonus categories, so it’s a cinch to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Amex Gold

The Amex Gold earns:

  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants
  • 4  points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar)
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else
  • Terms apply

That is significantly better than the Chase Sapphire Preferred — double the points in some cases! The Amex Gold mops the floor with the Sapphire Preferred in this category. It’s actually one of the best cards for restaurant and supermarket spending.

Travel perks

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Through Dec. 31, 2021, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardmembers can register for at least a year of DashPass. DashPass normally costs $9.99/month and gets you waived delivery fees on orders of $12 or more with participating restaurants.

Amex Gold

The Amex Gold will provide you with up to $100 in airline fee credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected airline. This is useful for things like seat upgrades, seat selection, checked bags and more.

You’ll also receive up to $120 in dining credits annually. The card offers up to $10 per month in dining credit for purchases at:

  • GrubHub
  • Seamless
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
  • Participating Shake Shack locations

The credit is a little frustrating to use, as it’s given incrementally each month. Also, you can’t use it for merchandise or gift card purchases. Even so, there’s far more potential value in these credits than the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Travel insurance

Chase Sapphire Preferred

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred you’ll get:

  • Primary car rental insurance for theft or collision to your rental (when you pay for the rental with your card)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption for covered incidents up to $10,000 per covered trip
  • Baggage delay insurance for up to $100 per day for a maximum of five days when your bags are delayed for six hours or more
  • Trip delay reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket for eligible expenses when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours or requires and overnight stay
  • Lost luggage coverage of up to $3,000 per person per trip for checked or carryon luggage
  • Travel Accident insurance of up to $500,000 for death or dismemberment

Amex Gold

With this card, you’ll receive primary rental car insurance with the card when you enroll in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program for up to 42 days. You’ll need to decline the rental agency’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental to your Amex Gold Card to use the benefit.

This is more difficult than the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which automatically provides coverage when using your card. It’s saved me literally thousands throughout the years.

This card also comes with Trip Delay insurance — if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours due to a covered reason, The Amex Gold can reimburse you up to $300.

Annual fee

Chase Sapphire Preferred

$95

Amex Gold

$250 (see rates and fees)

Bottom line

The Amex Gold does come with a few more useful perks than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. But its annual fee is also $155 higher, much of the card’s benefits are a bit trickier to use, and its travel insurance is inferior. For anyone new to the miles and points hobby, we still recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred as your first card.

Let us know which of the above cards you prefer and why! And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card comparisons like this in the future.

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

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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