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Deciding Between Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold

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Navigating the world of mid-tier credit cards can be challenging, especially with so many options available. Today, we’re breaking down the differences between two popular choices: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Gold Card. These cards are ideal for those who find the high annual fees of ultra-premium cards unjustifiable but still want valuable travel perks and rewards.

Overview of Card Features

Both cards offer a rich array of benefits suitable for frequent travelers and diners, but they cater to slightly different preferences and spending habits.

Key Features at a Glance:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:
    • Annual Fee: $95
    • Welcome Bonus: Earn 75,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
    • Earning Rates:
      • 5x points on travel through Chase Travel℠
      • 3x points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries
      • 2x points on other travel purchases
      • 1x points on other purchases
  • American Express Gold Card:
    • Annual Fee: $250 (see rates and fees)
    • Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first six months.
    • Earning Rates:
      • 4x points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
      • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year)
      • 3x points on flights booked directly or through
      • 1x points on other purchases

Comparing Welcome Offers

Both cards provide attractive welcome offers that can add significant value, especially when planning travel or large purchases.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a higher bonus with a lower spending threshold and shorter timeframe, making it appealing for those who can meet the spending requirement quickly.
  • American Express Gold Card extends the timeframe to meet its spending requirement, which can be beneficial for those who prefer spreading out their expenses.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred, for its higher point value and lower spending threshold.

Annual Fees and Added Perks

The difference in annual fees could be a deciding factor for many:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred is significantly cheaper at $95 per year and offers perks like a $50 annual hotel credit and 10% anniversary point bonus.
  • American Express Gold Card charges a $250 annual fee but includes up to $240 in annual dining and Uber Cash credits, which can effectively reduce the out-of-pocket cost if maximized.

Winner: Tie. Choose based on which perks align best with your spending habits.

Earning Potential and Spending Categories

When it comes to maximizing rewards from everyday spending, each card has its strengths:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred shines with broad travel and dining categories.
  • American Express Gold Card excels in earning rewards from dining and supermarket purchases, making it ideal for food enthusiasts and home cooks.

Winner: Amex Gold, for its superior earning rates in key categories.

Travel and Purchase Protections

Both cards offer a suite of protections, but there are differences in the coverage details:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred includes primary rental car insurance and trip delay insurance, which are valuable for frequent travelers.
  • American Express Gold Card provides baggage insurance and hotel experience credits, enhancing travel experiences.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred, for its more comprehensive travel protection benefits.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and American Express® Gold Card both offer substantial value through their rewards programs and perks. The best choice depends on your specific spending patterns, travel habits, and how you value the benefits each card provides.

Whether dining out frequently or traveling several times a year, selecting the right card can enhance your experiences and save money. Consider both cards’ perks and costs to determine which aligns best with your lifestyle, or consider having both to maximize benefits across different spending categories.

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold stand out in the crowded field of mid-tier credit cards, offering unique advantages that can complement a well-rounded financial strategy.

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