Table of Content
Both the American Express® Gold Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card are designed for those with good or excellent credit. Both cards also carry an annual fee. However, this is reflected in the rewards that are available. These cards are well suited to travelers, with additional rewards for flights, and dining out.
But, there are some key differences between these cards, which we will explore in more detail here to help you make an informed decision about which is the best card for you.
Compare Rewards: Which Card Gives More?
We’ve looked at many aspects of the different cards, but how do they compare when it comes to your spending habits and what rewards you can earn.
Since both of these cards are aimed at travelers, we’ll assume that you travel every month to make our comparison. We’ll also assume that you book any flights and hotels through the credit card portal, where available.
As you can see, both cards are more or less equal – the specific cards you choose is mainly depends on your preferred categories, as well as the way you redeem your points.
Spend Per Category
American Express® Gold Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$5,000 – Restaurants
$4,000 – Hotels
$3,000 – Airline
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Redemption Value
1 point ~ 0.6 – 1.6 cents
1 point ~ 1 – 1.5 cents
Estimated Annual Value
$582 – $1,552
$890 – $1,335
Editorial Note: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollments may be required for select benefits. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more
Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees
Both cards offer a generous welcome bonus. The American Express Gold Card offers 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. In real terms, this equates to approximately $1,000 in rewards.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve sign up bonus is not quite as generous. You’ll earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. However, Chase only gives you three months from account opening compared to American Express’ six. The point conversion is similar, so that introductory bonus has an approximate value of up to $750.
As a starting point, American Express has a far lower annual fee for its Gold Card compared to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You’ll pay $250 per year compared to $550 with Chase. However, Chase also charges an additional $75 for each extra authorized user. So, if you’re sharing the card with your significant other, the annual fee is even higher.
Neither issuer charges foreign transaction fees, but while Chase charges balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, while balance transfers are not permitted with the American Express Gold Card.
Compare The Perks
American Express Gold Card
- Up to $120 per year in Uber Credit, if you link your Gold Card to your Uber account.
- Up to $10 of dining credit at restaurants to each monthly statement when you order from participating partners.
- Preferred Seating at sporting and cultural events, subject to availability.
- No foreign transaction fees when you use your card abroad.
- Signature perks at upscale hotels, which are part of the Amex Hotel Collection and you book through American Express Travel.
- $100 experience credit – receive up to $100 experience credit when you reserve The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel for at least two nights.
- Baggage insurance for up to $500 for checked baggage and $1,250 for carry on, if it is lost, stolen, or damaged when you purchase your fare using your card*.
- Flexible ways to pay: You can choose to pay your bill in full, Pay Over Time to carry a balance with interest, or Plan It to split large purchases into monthly payments and a fixed fee.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
- $300 annual travel credit. You’ll receive up to $300 statement credit for reimbursement on travel purchases charged to your card.
- Access to Chase Unlimited Rewards where your points are worth more in specific areas. For example, if you use your points for travel, 50,000 points are worth $750.
- Pay Yourself Back offers, which allow you to redeem points for current offers with a higher redemption value.
- Split purchases of $100+ into fixed monthly payments via the My Chase Plan feature with no interest. This service requires a monthly fee.
- Complimentary access to VIP airport lounge access. There are over 1,000 lounges across 500+ cities around the world.
- Complimentary Lyft membership with up to 15% off rides and priority pick up.
- Travel reimbursement for lost luggage up to $3,000 per passenger and if your carrier travel is delayed for more than 6 hours, up to $500 per ticket.
Compare The Drawbacks
Of course, no credit card is perfect, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before you make your final card decision.
American Express Gold Card
American Express has some quite high fees compared to other cards on the market. For example, you’ll incur a $40 fee for a late payment or returned payment.
There are no balance transfers permitted on the American Express Gold Card. So, if you do want to consolidate your entire credit card debt on one card, this is not possible.
While the Gold Card does have some excellent travel benefits, it is important to note that American Express is not a popular card in many areas of the world. Outside of the U.K and Italy, most European countries tend to rely on Visa or Mastercard networks.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is $550 per year, which is high even for such great rewards and benefits. Furthermore, you’ll need to pay an extra $75 for each additional authorized user. So, if you want to share the card, your annual fee could quickly skyrocket.
While it is possible to qualify for an American Express Gold Card with good credit, you’ll need excellent credit for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Compare Redemption Options
American Express aims to make redeeming your card rewards as easy as possible. At any point, you can log into your account and check your points balance. You can also use the membership rewards website to explore all of your reward options.
Generally speaking, each point is worth up to $0.016, but this will depend on your choice of merchandise, gift cards, entertainment options or premium travel.
Once you choose your reward, you have two redemption options:
- Click on the reward: Once you decide what reward you would like, you can click on it and follow the website instructions to complete the redemption.
- Call: American Express has a toll free number that you can call and an agent will guide you through the process.
Chase has its Ultimate Rewards program that allows you to redeem your card rewards. Each point is worth up to $0.015. You can redeem your points for:
To claim your rewards, you simply need to log into your credit card portal or card app and select the appropriate option. There will be instructions to follow to complete the process.
How to Maximize Cards Benefits?
If you want to make the best use of your Amex Gold Card, there are some tips to help you:
- Hit the intro spending requirement: You’ll only 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. So, make sure you hit this spending figure within this timeframe.
- Link your Gold Card to your Uber account: You can earn up to $120 per year, or $10 a month in Uber Credit when you link your card to your Uber account.
- Check the at restaurants Partner list: American Express has a list of participating dining partners and if you make purchases at these venues, you can qualify for up to $10 per month of statement credit.
- Book fares with your card: If you’re paying for train, bus, or airplane tickets, be sure to use your Gold Card and you’ll get free baggage insurance for up to $1,250 if your bags are lost, stolen, or damaged.
If you want to make the best use of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, don't forget the following:
Insurance Offerings: There is no need to get separate travel-related insurance as this card offers that protection for you already. Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best credit cards for rental car insurance available.
- Pay for your flights and travel tickets with your card: You can enjoy lost luggage and delay reimbursement if you pay for your tickets with your card. You can also receive statement credit for travel purchases, so this could provide travel reassurance and add up to decent rewards.
- Make sure you spend : You’ll only get the bonus point introductory offer if you meet this deadline.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
American Express® Gold Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
App Rating (iOS)
App Rating (Android)
BBB Rating (A-F)
7 AM – 11 PM
Satisfied customers report that Amex Gold Card has very high reward earning possibilities. With up to 10x points for every dollar you spend, depending on the category, your rewards can quickly add up, particularly if you meet the spending requirement to bag the 60,000 points introductory bonus.
Other reviews also highlight that there are redemption options for a wide variety of partners.
Negative reviews report frustration that while this card is geared towards travel, there are no lounge benefits. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers VIP lounge access, this is not a feature of the Gold Card.
There are also complaints about the high Over Time costs and penalties. While this is promoted as a card benefit, the APR makes Over Time to be impractical.
Satisfied borrowers report that The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers a great reward package with plenty of additional benefits. From free memberships and discounts to upgrades, members report that the benefits package certainly negates the $550 membership fee.
Many users report getting upgrades on rental cars and get a great deal of use out of their Priority Pass. Additionally, for frequent travelers, the $300 travel reimbursement is a very attractive bonus.
Negative reviews report that the customer service could be better. There are numerous reviews complaining about long waits on call hold and delays in response to queries or issues. There are also complaints that there is no rate negotiation.
Whether your credit has improved or you’re suffering from financial hardship, the stock reply appears to be that the agent “cannot do anything”.
When You Might Want the Amex Gold Card?
The American Express Gold Card is a flexible option that could be good if:
- You frequently travel and pay for your fare with your credit card. You’ll enjoy baggage insurance and you can get higher points on your flights. Since the card has no foreign transaction fees, it is a good card to take with you providing you tend to stay in countries where American Express is widely accepted.
- You like to dine out. You’ll earn 4x points when you pay for restaurant visits with your card, so it is a great choice for foodies. You can also earn up to $10 a month in statement credit if you dine with participating partners.
- You like to enjoy the finer things in life. The American Express Gold Card package includes signature perks at upscale hotels, preferred seating at sporting and cultural events and other benefits for those who enjoy the finer things in life.
When the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Wins?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is a good choice if:
- You’re a very frequent traveler. In addition to earning 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals, you can receive up to $300 statement credit for travel purchase reimbursements. You can also access VIP airport lounges in 500+ cities around the world and enjoy reimbursement for lost luggage and carrier delays.
- You frequently rideshare: With a free Lyft Pink membership for a year and up to 15% off rides, this card offers some great rewards for Lyft users. For a limited time, you can also receive 10x points.
Like to Travel in Style: There is access to more than 1,000 VIP airport lounges across the world provided to cardholders. You also get free credits each year for the likes of TSA Precheck or Global Entry.
Both of these cards offer some great rewards that should compensate for the annual fee. You can strategically plan your purchases to maximize rewards, particularly if you tend to frequently travel. Both cards considered as one of the best cards for travel, including rental car insurance, lounge access and a lot of exclusive perks.
However, there are some key differences between the cards which will influence who they are best suited for.
Compare The Alternatives
Both cards are definitely considered as one of the best in the niche. However, there are always recommended alternatives to check out before applying:
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Capital One Venture X Rewards
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
1X – 10X 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
21.24% – 29.24% APR Variable
22.24%–29.24% variable APR
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
There is no out and out income requirement outlined by Amex when it comes to applying for the Amex Gold card, so you might not need to show proof of income.
The credit limit will usually be at least $5,000 when you get the Amex Platinum card. The exact limit depends on a number of different factors.
If you travel a lot then this is a great option for you. It offers a lot of great travel-related rewards that can boost your experience when you are on the road.
It is harder to get this card than some of the other Chase credit cards. However, if you have a credit score of at least 720 then you will be in with a good chance of getting approval.