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

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 may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

A while ago, American Express 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®. When comparing the American Express® Gold Card versus Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card versus the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you'll notice that all three cards offer fantastic benefits.

However, 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 U.S. supermarkets.

Regardless, the American Express® Gold Card versus the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a close call for people who spend a lot on dining and travel, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® versus the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be an even tougher choice for folks who want to focus on travel rewards and benefits.

American Express® Gold Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: at a glance

American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual Fee$250 (See rates and fees)$95$550
APRSee Pay Over Time APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable16.99%-23.99% Variable
Welcome Bonus60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Estimated Bonus Value$450 to $600$1,000$900
Apply Now
Apply Now
  • On Chase's Secure Website
Apply Now
  • On Chase's Secure Website

You'll notice that the three cards vary drastically in annual fees, as well as in the rewards and benefits that they offer. In general, the higher the fee, the more generous the card's benefits. At $550, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® charges the highest fee, but also comes with luxury travel benefits — like a $300 travel credit and Priority Pass lounge access — that could easily justify the fee.

While all three cards make for strong choices, it's best to apply for the card that most closely aligns with the categories in which 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

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 grocery rewards.

The American Express® Gold Card offers a 4% rewards rate at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases each year), while both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer the standard 1% back at supermarkets.

The American Express® Gold Card also still earns you 1X on U.S. supermarket purchases 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, though more so because of its unique dining credit than its rewards rate.

The card does pack an impressive rewards rate at restaurants worldwide, allowing you to earn 4X Membership Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. However, it's actually outperformed by the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, whose 3% rewards rate on dining can actually get you an effective rate of 4.5% back if you spend those rewards on travel through Chase.

On the other hand, we think the American Express® Gold Card's annual dining credit (up to $120, enrollment required) and up to $120 in annual Uber Cash toward U.S. Uber Eats and U.S. Uber rides ($10 per month) makes up for that difference and takes the card over the top. (Note, you’ll have to add the card to your Uber app to receive the credit.)

The list of the American Express® Gold Card's participating partners for the dining credit isn't long, but it features a few standouts:

  • Grubhub
  • Seamless
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House
  • Boxed
  • Participating Shake Shack locations
  • Terms apply

If either of the two online food ordering services (Grubhub or Seamless) are available where you live, you can shop through those portals to get access to a much more robust set of options.

Best credit card for travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

A valuable annual travel credit

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a feature that's unmatched by the American Express® Gold Card and also leaves it on top when comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve® versus the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: a $300 annual travel credit, which effectively knocks the card's annual fee from $550 to $250. This $300 annual travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can be applied to many common forms of travel, including:

  • Airlines (including airfare)
  • Hotels
  • Timeshares
  • Campgrounds
  • Taxis and car services
  • Toll bridges and highways
  • Parking lots and garages
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agency services
  • Trains
  • Buses

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.
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The two travel programs allow cardholders to breeze through security without having to deal with common gripes, like removing your laptop from your bag.

In addition, cardholders get access to over 1,000 lounges through Priority Pass™ Select, 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 $300 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 (3 points per dollar multiplied by the 1.5 bonus when redeeming for travel on the Chase portal) on all travel purchases redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, compared to the 3% offered by the American Express® Gold Card (on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com) and the 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

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. And while it’s not the most rewarding of these three cards for dining or travel, its effective 2.5% rewards rate across both categories is still higher than what most other cards offer.

Great welcome bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers a strong welcome bonus: Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

At a value of around $1,250 — the offer is worth almost twice as much as the American Express® Gold Card's offer. To qualify for the welcome bonus on both cards, cardholders have to spend $4,000 in three months.

Is Chase Sapphire better than American Express cards?

When you compare the American Express® Gold Card versus Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card versus the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can see why they're often ranked as three of the best rewards cards. Whether the Chase Sapphire cards are better than the American Express® Gold Card, or other popular American Express cards, depends on your spending habits and rewards preferences.

Is there a better card than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best credit cards on the market for dining and travel, but some people might find another card is better suited for their needs. For example, looking at the Chase Sapphire Reserve® versus the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you might opt for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you don't use your credit card a lot, due to its lower annual fee. When comparing the American Express® Gold Card versus the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you might decide the American Express® Gold Card is best because you spend a lot at supermarkets. That being said, of the three cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers the longest list of lucrative perks, like airport lounge access and travel credits.

Is Chase Sapphire Reserve® better than The Platinum Card® from American Express?

You might find the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express are better for comparing since they're both premium travel cards with a similar annual fee. Both cards offer big welcome offers, VIP perks like airport lounge access and travel credits and bonus points on travel spending. The Platinum Card® from American Express will earn you more on select travel, such as flights booked directly with airlines and prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com, but it doesn't earn bonus points on dining.

What is the most prestigious Chase credit card?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is Chase's premium credit card. It comes with the most extensive perks and benefits, as well as the highest annual fee. However, comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, both are considered to be some of Chase's best credit cards.

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

Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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.

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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).