The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has long been a stalwart in the mid-tier category of cards, consisting of credit cards with annual fees around $100.
For a long time, American Express had great premium cards (such as the American Express® Gold Card or the many varieties of the The Platinum Card® from American Express) but not a strong competitor to the Sapphire Preferred. When Amex announced a major overhaul to the American Express® Green Card* a few years back, with (positive!) adjustments to its benefits and bonuses, that changed.
However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has recently received a boost in benefits. Check out how the cards currently stack up.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Green Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
|American Express Green Card|
|Welcome bonus||100,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months||45,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 6 months|
|More things to know||
The most valuable part of signing up for a new credit card is often its initial welcome bonus. Instead of only 1 or 2 points per dollar spent, the initial spend on a new card can often earn 10 or 20 points for each dollar spent toward earning the bonus.
That’s no different from the welcome bonuses on these two cards. Unfortunately, comparing the welcome offers on cards can be tricky, since credit card issuers often change them over time, or you may have access to different offers based on a prior relationship with the card issuer.
Still, we’ll take a look at the welcome bonuses of the Chase Sapphire Preferred versus American Express Green as of writing to compare which card comes out on top.
The current welcome bonus on the American Express Green card is 45,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $2,000 in the first six months – and some individuals may see a 50,000 points welcome bonus targeted offer on Amex’s website.
For the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the current welcome offer is 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months (the highest the card has ever offered).
If you’re able to put $4,000 on the new card in the first three months, then the initial offer on the Sapphire Preferred is a clear winner. If your spending is lower, you might consider the lower spending requirement on the Amex Green card.
Like most Chase cards, the Sapphire Preferred is restricted by the Chase 5/24 rule, so if you’ve applied for five or more personal cards from any issuer in the past 24 months, you are unlikely to be approved for a new Sapphire Preferred card. In that case, the Amex Green card would have a huge edge for you.
Redeeming Amex Membership Rewards vs. Chase Ultimate Rewards
American Express and Chase have competing points programs with their Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards systems. Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards are widely considered to be two of the top systems of points out there.
Both types of points currencies allow you to either use your points directly for travel or transfer to a variety of hotel and airline transfer partners.
When redeeming your points for paid travel, Chase has a clear advantage. With the Sapphire Preferred, your points are worth 1.25 cents per point, and if you additionally have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can combine your points for free and redeem for 1.5 cents per point. Chase also allows you to pay yourself back for purchases in certain categories at the same 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point value.
With the American Express Green card, you can only use your points directly for travel at a rate of 1 cent per point on airfare or 0.7 cents for hotels, car rentals or cruises. The exception is if you also have The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, where you can pay for airfare at a rate of 1 cent per point but then get 35% of your points refunded to you (on up to 500,000 points per calendar year when booked through amextravel.com), making your points worth 1.54 cents per point.
American Express and Chase also feature a variety of transfer partners. Whether the American Express 20 transfer partners are better than Chase’s 13 transfer partners is a matter of opinion, depending on where you like to fly or stay.
See related: 6 worst ways to redeem your credit card rewards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card ($95) and the American Express Green card ($150) have similar annual fees, and neither is waived the first year. Neither card charges foreign transaction fees.
Some of the best perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card are its trip delay and rental car insurance. You’ll also get a $50 hotel credit each year and a one-year complimentary membership to DoorDash DashPass.
On the Amex Green card side, helping to offset the slightly higher annual fee are a couple of potential statement credits:
See related: Best credit cards for international travel
Bonus categories and everyday spend
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel (2 points per dollar on other travel purchases), 3 points per dollar on dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The Amex Green card has similar bonus categories, with 3 points per dollar on dining and travel and an additional 3 points per dollar on transit purchases.
The two cards will earn a similar amount for everyday spend, though the American Express Green card will earn more for people who have high transit spending or a high spending on travel booked directly with hotels or airlines. Whether that is enough to offset the higher sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred card will depend on your particular spending patterns.
Depending on your travel and spending habits, these cards come out pretty similarly. Your choice between these may come down to which points ecosystem you prefer – Amex’ or Chase’s. If you’re still unsure which card is right for you, you can also check out other top travel credit cards to expand your search.
*All information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.