July 26, 2021

Model Desac

It’s Time to Fly

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Green

6 min read

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There are a lot of travel rewards credit cards on the market. Deciding which one, or ones, to choose can get overwhelming. 

Right now, though, there is a clear winner among cards with lower annual fees: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Sapphire Preferred, with an annual fee of $95, is currently offering an exceptionally high sign-up bonus of 100,000 points, which makes it our pick for the best travel rewards card with an annual fee under $100. 

But it has a direct challenger in the American Express® Green Card, with an annual fee of $150 and attractive rewards earning rates.     

American Express and Chase cards often compete directly; beginners in the world of travel rewards cards can find from either one a great card to get started and earn rewards that can be turned into free travel. 

The Amex Green is no slouch in terms of rewards earnings for people who spend relatively more on restaurants and travel, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s current sign-up bonus tilts the scales in its favor.    

Here’s how the two cards stack up against each other.         

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $150

  • Regular APR:

    See Rates & Fees

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Green at a Glance

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Green are solid beginner- to mid-level travel rewards cards. They can both help you earn bonus points on dining and travel that you can later redeem for free travel, paying only taxes and fees, including airfare and hotels.

That said, they differ slightly in terms of annual fees, perks and credits offered, and bonus points that you’ll earn on various spending categories.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Amex Green
Annual Fee $95 $150
Welcome Offer 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months 45,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in the first six months
Bonus Points 2x on dining and travel 3x points on travel and at restaurants; 1x on other purchases
Credits $60 towards eligible Peloton memberships and a complimentary 12-month DoorDash DashPass membership (otherwise $9.99 per month). Up to $100 Clear credit; Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit

Welcome Offer Comparison

In the world of travel rewards credit cards, a welcome offer (sometimes called a sign-up bonus) means that if you spend a certain amount of money on your new credit card in a certain amount of time, you’ll earn a certain amount of points. Welcome offers can vary from issuer to issuer and even card to card.

In this case, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has the Amex Green card beat. In fact, now is the best time to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: It’s offering a whopping 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

The Amex Green card features a welcome offer of 45,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in the first six months. That’s still a solid chunk of Amex points, but a far cry from the 100,000 Chase points the Preferred card is offering.

Either way, it’s important to not spend more than you can afford just to hit the minimum spending requirements to earn the bonus points. You should never pay more than you would have by using cash or a debit card when using a credit card, and you should also pay your bills on time and in full every month. Not doing so can negate any of the rewards or perks you’ll receive from a travel rewards credit card.

Rewards Comparison

Another important factor to consider in a credit card is its rewards rate. You’ll want to find a card that closely matches your spending habits to maximize how many bonus points you can earn, andlater redeem for free travel.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all dining and travel — this includes airfare, hotels and even rideshares and train tickets. It earns 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Pro Tip

Now is the best time to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred, as it’s currently offering a 100,000-point bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

Meanwhile, the Amex Green card earns 3 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar on travel and at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. In this case, the Amex Green card out-earns the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

APR Comparison

As with all travel rewards credit cards, it’s important to pay your bills on time and in full as to not negate the value of any rewards that you do earn because of paying a high interest rate.

That said, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a variable APR rate of 15.99 – 25.99% and the Amex Green has a variable APR of 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR.

Fee Comparison

Both of these cards come with annual fees.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has an annual fee of $95 and the Amex Green card has a $150 annual fee. Neither card charges foreign transaction fees, making either a great pick for any upcoming international travel.

Deciding Between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Green Cards

The good news is that you can’t go wrong between these two cards. Both will reward you for your spending, particularly in travel and dining, and help you accrue points that you can later use for travel.

Both cards have a solid bonus points structure for travel and dining: the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per dollar, and the Amex Green earns 3 points per dollar. These cards are designed for travelers who also spend a good chunk of their budget on dining, whether at home or abroad.

If you are an avid Peloton and/or DoorDash member, you might be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. However, if you value travel perks more, you’ll likely enjoy the Amex Green card — it comes with up to a $100 annual credit for Clear, which can help you breeze past security, and up to a $100 credit for LoungeBuddy. You can use this program to purchase lounge access in airports around the world directly from the LoungeBuddy platform.

Another important consideration is the annual fee; the Amex Green card is over $50 more annually than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. While credits towards Clear and LoungeBuddy can certainly help to offset the price, you’ll want to make sure those credits match your travel preferences and spending habits. 
All things considered, though, the current 100,000-point bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is hard to overlook. The many travel opportunities you can unlock with 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points clearly make the Sapphire Preferred the better choice right now.   

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