The American Express® Gold Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

Amex recently revamped the American Express® Gold Card, leaving many consumers wondering how the card compares to other popular premium cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. All three cards offer fantastic benefits, but we believe the American Express® Gold Card is the best card among the three for those who spend a large portion of their budgets at restaurants or at supermarkets. Regardless, the Chase cards are still worth exploring for some.

American Express® Gold Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs Chase Sapphire Reserve®: At a Glance

American Express® Gold CardChase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve®
American Express® Gold Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual Fee$250*$95**$550***
APRSee Rates & Fees17.49% - 24.49% Variable16.99%-23.99% Variable
Welcome BonusEarn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Bonus RequirementSpend $4,000 in three monthsSpend $4,000 in three monthsSpend $4,000 in three months
Estimated Bonus Value$350$625$750

*See Rates & Fees

While all three cards make for strong choices, it's best to apply for the card that most closely aligns with the categories where you spend the most money. Below, we highlight a couple of categories and list our favorite cards across each, along with a few considerations to keep in mind before applying.

Best Card for Dining and Supermarket Shopping

American Express® Gold Card

$250

See Rates & Fees

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
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Superior Rewards at U.S. Supermarkets

The American Express® Gold Card easily outperforms the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® when it comes to earning rewards at U.S. supermarkets. It offers a 4% rewards rate compared to the 1.25% offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the 1.5% offered by theChase Sapphire Reserve®. The 3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). but the card will still earn you 1% after you reach the spending cap.

Unique Dining Perks

We consider the American Express® Gold Card to be the better card for earning rewards on dining but more so because of its unique dining credit than its rewards rate. While the card packs an impressive 4% rewards rate at restaurants worldwide, it's actually outperformed by the Chase Sapphire Reserve® which has a 4.5% rewards rate on dining. However, we think the $120 annual dining credit makes up for that difference and takes the American Express® Gold Card over the top.

This list of participating partners isn't long, but it features a few standouts, such as Grubhub and Seamless. If either of the two online food ordering services are available where you live, then you can shop through those portals to get access to a much more robust set of options.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

Best Credit Card for Travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$550

16.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
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A Valuable Annual Travel Credit

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a feature that's unmatched by the American Express® Gold Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: a $300 annual travel credit, which effectively knocks the card's annual fee from $550 to $250. To its credit, the American Express® Gold Card has a $100 airline fee credit, but it's only applicable toward airline incidentals. In stark contrast, the $300 annual travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can be applied to many common forms of travel, including taxis, in addition to airlines. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card misses the mark altogether as it lacks any form of travel credit.

Breeze by Security and Relax in an Airport Lounge

Of the three cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the only one to offer up to a $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and airport lounge access. The former allows cardholders to breeze through security without having to deal with common gripes, like removing your laptop from your bag. Additionally, cardholders get access to over 1,000 lounges through Priority Pass Select, which is a great way to pass the time if you're waiting for your flight to take off. These lounges often have complimentary food and drinks, in addition to working spaces.

Top Rewards Rates on Travel

Beyond the travel credit and the lounge access, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is also just flat-out more rewarding (for travel) than the American Express® Gold Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It offers a 4.5% rewards rate on all travel purchases compared to the 3% offered by the American Express® Gold Card (on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amex' travel site) and 2.5% offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (2 points per dollar multiplied by the 1.25 bonus when redeeming for travel on the Chase portal).

Other Considerations: What About the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Still a Valuable Card

Despite the launch of the American Express® Gold Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card remains a highly rewarding credit card for dining and travel. Of the three cards, it has the most consumer friendly annual fee at just $95. It's not the most rewarding (of the three) for either dining or travel, but its 2.5% rewards rate across both categories is still higher than what most other cards offer (2 points per dollar multiplied by the 1.25 bonus when redeeming for travel on the Chase portal).

Great Welcome Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers a strong welcome bonus, which we estimate to be worth $750—about twice the value of the welcome bonus available on the $39. To qualify for the welcome bonus on both cards, cardholders have to spend $4,000 in three months.

Credit Card Comparison Tool

While we can analyze the cards across infinite categories, ultimately the most rewarding card will be the one that offers high rewards in categories where you spend the most. Our tool below allows you to input your own monthly expenses and receive an estimate on the amount of rewards each card can get you over a two-year period.

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Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).