Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
The big question: Which one is better?
The answer depends on your spending habits. For those who can take advantage of its rich credits, the American Express® Gold Card, which carries an annual fee of $250, generally comes out ahead (see rates and fees).
But if you can’t use those side perks, it's usually a good idea to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has an annual fee of $95.
Here's a look at the cards' main features, side by side:
At a glance
$250. Terms apply.
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
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®.
4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide.
4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per year in purchases.
3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com.
1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
5 points per dollar spent on travel booked through Chase.
3 points per dollar spent on eligible dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services.
2 points per dollar spent on all other travel.
1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
$120 dining credit ($10 per month), which can be applied toward purchases made with select partners. See the list below. Terms apply.
Up to $120 a year in Uber Cash ($10 per month), good toward U.S. Uber Eats orders or Uber rides. Terms apply.
Transfer partners, including Delta, Hawaiian, Hilton, JetBlue, Marriott and more. Terms apply.
A $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards®.
Each account anniversary, card members will earn bonus points equal to 10% of total purchases made the previous year.
Transfer partners, including United, Southwest, JetBlue, Marriott, Hyatt and more.
When to choose the American Express® Gold Card
You’re able to use all the credits
The American Express® Gold Card comes with a suite of souped-up benefits, including multiple credits. Among them:
$120 dining credit (split into $10 monthly credits). These monthly credits can be applied toward purchases made with select partners: Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and participating Shake Shack locations. Terms apply.
Up to $120 a year in Uber Cash. Add your American Express® Gold Card to your Uber account, and each month you'll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash, good toward U.S. Uber Eats orders or Uber rides. Terms apply.
Previously, cardholders also received an $100 airline fee credit, but this perk was eliminated in 2021. Even without this added credit, the dining credit and Uber Cash credit add up to an annual $240 in savings, effectively canceling out most of this card’s $250 annual fee. That could make the American Express® Gold Card a more valuable choice than the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for some.
Of course, it’s worth noting that using fringe perks like these isn’t necessarily easy — especially if you don’t normally spend in these categories, which are narrowly defined. If taking advantage of these perks would drive you to spend more than usual, this card isn't the ideal choice for you.
You spend a lot on food in general, not just dining
Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Gold Card reward spending on dining and travel in some way, though their bonus categories are defined differently.
But the American Express® Gold Card goes a step beyond, offering bonus rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets up to a yearly cap, which could make it a more valuable choice for some.
When to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
You want to transfer rewards to a domestic airline
Both the American Express® Gold Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card come with several transfer partners, allowing you to move your points earned on your card to various airline and hotel loyalty programs. Generally, you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio on both cards (although some American Express transfer partners come with different ratios).
But when you’re moving points from the American Express® Gold Card to a U.S. airline transfer partner, you’ll have to pay an excise tax of 0.06 cent per point, up to $99 per transfer. That could make your rewards less valuable.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t charge excise taxes for transferring points to any of its partners, and points can always be transferred at a 1:1 ratio. For some travelers, that could make it a stronger choice.
You’re looking for a lower annual fee
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a relatively modest annual fee of $95. You’d have to spend at least $3,800 on the card to make up for that fee in rewards — but for those who spend plenty on travel and dining, that’s an easy bar to clear.
The American Express® Gold Card comes with an annual fee of $250, which may be harder to justify, particularly if you’re not confident you can use the dining and Uber benefits. Those aside, you’d have to spend at least $6,250 annually after the first year on this card to make up for the annual fee. If you can't picture doing that, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be a better fit.
You want to redeem points for travel directly
The value of points on both cards varies, depending on how they're redeemed. Chase Ultimate Rewards® points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through Chase's travel portal. Membership Rewards on the American Express® Gold Card can be worth 1 cent each when used to book select travel through American Express, while other travel bookings will only yield 0.6 cents per point.
Which card is right for you?
If you're all about dining and travel, deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Gold Card generally boils down to one question: Can you take full advantage of the credits on the American Express® Gold Card without spending more than usual? If your answer is "yes," the American Express® Gold Card is your card. If not, go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
» MORE: Best rewards credit cards