Dreaming of your next vacation?
A good travel rewards credit card can help you get there for less. These credit cards can offer lucrative sign-up bonuses that allow you to score free flights, hotels and more.
Two heavy hitters in this category are the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. These two trusted standbys are coveted by travel lovers and offer a host of benefits.
So who wins in the battle of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card? Read on to find out.
At a glance: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|Annual fee||$0 intro, $195 after first year||$0 intro, $95 after first year|
|Welcome bonus||25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account||50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account|
|Rewards||3x points for flights purchased directly from airlines; 2x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; 1x point for other purchases||2x points on travel and dining purchases, 1x points for all other purchases|
|Point value||Usually 1 cent per point or less, depending on how you redeem||Usually 1 to 1.25 cents per point, depending on how you redeem|
|Variable APR||N/A (no interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month)||16.99 to 23.99 percent|
|Foreign transaction fees||None||$0|
|Notable perks||Up to $100 in statement credits per year for baggage fees and other incidentals for a qualifying airline of your choice||Cardholders get up to 25% more value in points when redeeming for travel using Chase Ultimate Rewards®|
|Other benefits||Car rental loss and damage insurance for covered vehicles, roadside assistance and personalized travel service||Trip cancellation insurance (up to $10,000 per trip for certain travel expenses), auto rental collision damage waiver and baggage delay insurance|
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
1. The winner: Why we prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
2. Counterpoint: Why you might want the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express instead
3. Heads up: What to consider when applying for a travel rewards credit card
4. Bottom line: Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card right for you?
On the surface, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card have a lot in common. They’re both aimed at savvy travelers looking for the best perks around, and they come with similar rewards.
When it comes down to it, though, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wins this battle in travel rewards credit cards.
Why? For one, travel lovers looking to get the most bang for their buck can take advantage of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card‘s lower annual fee ($0 intro, $95 after first year) and higher sign-up bonus – worth up to $625 when redeemed for travel using Chase Ultimate Rewards®. From a purely financial standpoint, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the clear winner.
On top of that, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card‘s rewards program is easy to use and flexible to boot.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also brings a new level of sophistication and sexiness to travel rewards credit cards. Made out of metal with a sapphire hue, the card is sleek and thicker than most credit cards, making it a memorable addition to your wallet.
In the battle between the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the cards go toe to toe when it comes to travel perks.
“Both cards have no foreign transaction fees (and they each have) baggage insurance and car rental damage waivers, which are attractive benefits for the frequent traveler,” explains Lee Huffman, travel blogger at BaldThoughts.com. “The points you earn can be redeemed for cash, used to purchase travel or transferred to partner airlines and hotels.”
Though we prefer Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for its affordability and accessibility, there’s one big reason you might want to consider the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express instead: the minimum spending requirement for the welcome bonus.
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express requires you to spend $2,000 within the first three months in order to receive the 25,000 bonus points. On the other hand, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card requires you to spend double that amount — $4,000 — in order to reap the rewards bonus.
If you’ll struggle to meet the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card‘s spending requirement, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express may be a more affordable option.
Just be aware that you’ll end up paying around double the annual fee ($0 intro, $195 after first year) to reduce your spending requirement by half.
The Premier Rewards Gold Card’s airline fee credit can help offset the annual fee, though. You can receive up to $100 in statement credits to cover pesky baggage fees and other incidentals for one qualifying airline of your choice.
Additionally, the Premier Rewards Gold Card has a slight advantage over the Chase card when it comes to the rewards rate.
“You can earn three points per dollar with the Premier Rewards Gold Card when purchasing travel directly from airlines compared to two points with the Chase card,” says Rosenberg.
On top of that, the Premier Rewards Gold Card can earn you more at the pump. The card offers two points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, which is double what the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers.
So if you’re looking for more rewards on spending, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express may be a good fit for you.
If you’re looking for a travel rewards credit card, these two options are at the top of the tier. But there are things you should consider before applying for a new travel rewards card.
First, premium travel rewards credit cards are typically geared toward people with good to excellent credit.
You’ll want to evaluate the annual fee versus the welcome bonus. Ask yourself:
- Is the annual fee in your budget?
- Can you meet the spending requirement with ease?
- Does the welcome bonus convert into rewards you’ll actually use?
- Will those rewards make up for the annual fee?
Look for the eligibility requirements and beware of any restrictions or limitations, especially regarding redemptions. Pro tip: Pay special attention to the time frame for the spending requirement, so you don’t miss out on the welcome bonus.
If the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card isn’t already in your arsenal of travel credit cards, then it’s definitely one you should consider adding to your stack.
Of course, this is if you can meet the spending requirement for the bonus. Not only does the card offer great rewards that can be redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, but you can redeem points for cash back or statement credit, too. The card is great for travelers looking to scoop up rewards for their next adventure.
At a glance: Other travel rewards cards to consider
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card||Best no-annual-fee travel credit card|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||Best travel rewards for everyday purchases|
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|Best travel reward perks and bonuses|
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