American Express has been best known for its premium cards, but has not had a strong competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. That changed when it rolled out the revamped American Express Green Card. Here’s how these two rewards cards compare to one another.
Some of the offers below are no longer available and may be out of date.The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has long been a stalwart in the mid-tier category of cards, consisting of credit cards with annual fees around $100.
American Express has been best known for its premium cards (such as the American Express® Gold Card or the many varieties of the The Platinum Card® from American Express), but has not had a strong competitor to the Sapphire Preferred.
That changed recently when it announced a major overhaul to the American Express® Green Card, with (positive!) adjustments to its benefits and bonuses. With that in mind, let’s compare the revamped American Express Green card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred to see which might make sense for you.
See related: Weighing the value of special card rewards deals
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Green Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
American Express® Green Card
|Welcome bonus||60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months||30,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 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 the writing of this article to compare which card comes out on top.
The current welcome bonus on the American Express Green card is 30,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
For the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the current initial offer is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Conveniently, the welcome points and the spending requirement are both doubled when comparing the Chase Sapphire Preferred to the American Express Green card. 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.
See related: 6 worst ways to redeem your credit card rewards
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 types 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.
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 both feature a variety of transfer partners. Whether American Express’s 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.
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.
On the Amex Green card side, helping to offset the slightly higher annual fee are a couple of potential statement credits:
- Up to $100 credit toward the cost of CLEAR
- Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit
See related: Best credit cards for international travel
Bonus categories and everyday spend
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per dollar on both dining and travel, and 1 point 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.
There’s no doubt that the Amex Green card offers better value for everyday spend – whether that is enough to offset the higher sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred card will depend on your particular spending patterns.
I hope this review of the American Express Green card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has helped you see which one might make sense for you. Good luck and happy travels!