Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. American Express Green Card

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

Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
American Green CardAmerican Express Green Card
Rewards rate
  • 5X points on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • 3X points on restaurants, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on all other travel purchases
  • 1X points on other purchases
  • 3X points on travel, transit and restaurants
  • 1X points on other purchases
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
Annual fee $95 $150
More things to know
  • Transfer points 1:1 to 13 travel partners
  • $50 annual hotel credit
  • Travel insurance
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $0 authorized user fee
  • One year complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • 25% bonus on points redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards portal
  • Transfer points 1:1 to 20 travel partners
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Up to $100 CLEAR credit
  • Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit
  • $0 authorized user fee

Welcome bonus

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

Comparing perks

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.

Bottom line

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.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Source: creditcards.com

Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Two of Chase’s most popular credit cards, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, have both earned high praise from savvy rewards hunters who like to squeeze as much value as possible from their spending.

Here we take a look at each card’s value and help you decide which is the best fit for you.

Freedom Flex vs. Sapphire Preferred: At a glance

Card Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Rewards rate
  • 5% cash back on rotating categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1%; must enroll)
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year
  • 5% cash back on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3 points per dollar on restaurants, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
Sign-up bonus $200 when you spend $500 in the first three months 100,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Annual fee $0 $95
Estimated yearly rewards value (for someone who spends $15,900 and maxes out the Freedom Flex rotating categories) $493 $376
Card benefit highlights
  • Cellphone protection
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Free DashPass membership for three months, followed by 50% off next nine months of membership
  • $50 annual hotel credit when purchasing with Ultimate Rewards
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Points worth 1.25 cents when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards portal
  • Points worth 1.25 cents when using Pay Yourself Back
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Free DashPass membership for one year

Which should you choose?

It depends on how you plan to use it.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is known as one of the best travel credit cards with one of the cushiest sign-up bonuses you can get without paying more than $100 on an annual fee. The card charges a yearly fee of $95 and offers 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3 points per dollar on dining purchases and 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases.

The Chase Freedom Flex card, by contrast, offers a wide array of bonus categories and no annual fee. Though it’s best known for its 5% cash back rate in everyday spending categories that rotate each quarter, such as gas and online shopping (upon enrollment, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, then 1%), it also offers 3% back on drugstore purchases. Like the Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom Flex also offers 5% on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 3% back on dining purchases.

While the Freedom Flex will likely be a better deal for many cardholders since it charges no annual fee and offers a wide range of rewards categories, there are still good reasons to consider the Sapphire Preferred, including its enormous sign-up bonus.

If you travel regularly and want to maximize your spending, consider applying for both credit cards. Chase lets you pool rewards from different card accounts, and you can get a higher point value when you redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal with the Sapphire Preferred. If you only have the Freedom Flex, you won’t be able to take advantage of Chase’s transfer partners, which is one way that you can really maximize the value you get from your points.

Best for heavy grocery spenders: Chase Freedom Flex

With the updates in mid-2021 to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, it now also comes with the 5 points per dollar on travel and 3 points per dollar on dining. Previously, those had been differentiators for the Freedom Flex. Additionally, if you now max out your bonus categories, the Freedom Flex earns an average rewards rate of 1.72 points per dollar across its bonus categories, compared to the Sapphire Preferred card’s average 2.1 points per dollar across its bonus categories.

One area where the Chase Freedom Flex shines is that it has a two-part sign-up bonus. In addition to getting $200 if you spend $500 in first three months, you’ll also get 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. That 5% back does not include purchases at Walmart or Target, but if you do your grocery shopping elsewhere, you have the chance to score a lot of points. If you max out your grocery spending to the tune of $1,000 per month, the Freedom Flex’s grocery bonus could get you 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points. That same grocery spending on the Sapphire Preferred would only get you 12,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

Best for flexible travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you want more control over how you use your points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the clear winner. The Sapphire Preferred not only offers a huge sign-up bonus (worth multiple round-trip domestic flights), but also a more flexible transfer policy that lets you transfer points on a one-to-one basis to a number of Chase travel partners.

For example, frequent flyers of Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, United and Virgin Atlantic can apply their Sapphire Preferred points to their travel loyalty programs. Frequent guests of Marriott Bonvoy, IHG and Hyatt can do the same. And along with the Sapphire Preferred card’s 25% travel redemption bonus when you book through the Ultimate Rewards portal, the card features a long list of travel partners to which you can transfer points and get even higher point values.

For example, the 100,000-point sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth around $1,250 when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, but if you transferred to United at a 1:1 ratio, your points would be worth $1,520, as we value United miles at 1.52 cents each. You could get even more value transferring to Singapore Airlines ($2,360 at a point value of 2.36 points per dollar) or World of Hyatt ($2,000 at a point value of 2 points per dollar).

For heavy travelers, this perk alone can help make up for the card’s annual fee. You’ll still want to consider whether it makes the most sense to redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or by transferring to partners.

Rewards on $5,000 annual air travel spend
Travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards Transferring points to World of Hyatt
$5,000 x 5 points x 1 cent average point value = $250 $5,000 x 2 points x 2 cents average point value = $200

See related: How to calculate the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Best for earning an influx of rewards quickly: Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also stands out because of its eye-popping sign-up bonus. New cardholders who spend at least $4,000 in the card’s first three months will receive 100,000 bonus points. Chase points are worth 1.25 cents when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, making this bonus worth approximately $1,250. The Freedom Flex card, by contrast, offers a $200 bonus (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points, worth 1 cent each) after spending $500 in the first three months.

Best for everyday purchases: Chase Freedom Flex

For cardholders who want to earn rewards on both travel spending and everyday expenses, such as dining, groceries, clothing and gas, the Chase Freedom Flex card is a clear winner. As long as cardholders don’t mind tracking the Chase cash back calendar and enrolling in rotating spending categories, they can earn a significant amount using their Freedom Flex card each time a purchase qualifies for a 5% bonus.

Let’s say, for example, that you average $300 per month on gas. If you use your Freedom Flex card to earn 5% cash back during a quarter that gas qualifies for a bonus and 1% cash back the rest of the year, you’ll earn $72 by the end of the year. By contrast, if you use a Sapphire Preferred card for the same purchases, you’ll earn around $45 worth of rewards on your gas purchases by the end of the year.

Rewards earned on $300 monthly gas spend
Chase Freedom Flex card Chase Sapphire Preferred card
($300 x 5% x 3 months) + ($300 x 1% x 9 months) = $72 $300 x 1 point x 12 months x 1.26 cent average point value = $45

Pro tip: Use them both

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom Flex rewards programs overlap when it comes to travel and dining, the cards can still make a great pairing if you want to maximize the value of your Ultimate Rewards points. You can use the Freedom Flex for much of your everyday spending and the quarterly bonus categories and save the Sapphire Preferred for one-off travel purchases outside of Chase’s portal.

Because Chase lets you pool your rewards from different accounts, you can transfer earnings from your Chase Freedom Flex card to your Sapphire Preferred card and buy travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards with a 25% bonus. You can also transfer your Freedom Flex points to other travel loyalty programs once you’ve transferred the points to the Sapphire Preferred card.

Pairing the Chase Sapphire Preferred with the Chase Freedom Flex ($15,900 annual spend)
Chase Freedom Flex card (with maxed-out 5% bonus categories)
plus
Chase Sapphire Preferred card
Average rewards rate Average point value Rewards earned minus $95 annual fee
  • 5 points per dollar on rotating categories, such as groceries, gas and department store spending
  • 5 points per dollar on Ultimate Rewards travel
  • 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 2 points per dollar on general travel purchases
1.68 points per dollar 1.26 cents $493

Chase Sapphire Reserve card instead could help you stretch your points even further: Ultimate Rewards points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase’s travel portal when using the Sapphire Reserve.

Bottom line

Savvy card users will benefit the most from using both cards. But cardholders who want to stick to just one shouldn’t have much trouble squeezing value out of either card.

Unless you’re a heavy traveler, though, the Freedom Flex card has more to offer longtime cardholders – particularly since it doesn’t charge an annual fee. But the Sapphire Preferred card’s plush sign-up bonus and flexible redemption policy make it an ideal choice for cardholders who want to earn a free trip quickly.

See related: Sapphire Reserve vs. Sapphire Preferred, Freedom Flex vs. Freedom Unlimited

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Source: creditcards.com