Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Juan Ruiz
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Both the American Express® Green Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are 2 fantastic travel rewards cards. That said, each card is quite different in the value they offer to cardholders between their bonus categories, benefits, protections, and fees.
In this guide, we will provide a detailed comparison of everything that both cards have to offer to help you decide which is the better fit for you.
Before we do a deeper dive into how these cards stack up against each other, here’s a quick overview of the rewards, perks, protections, and fees of both cards.
|Benefit or Feature||American Express® Green Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve®|
|Welcome Bonus||Earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 6 months.||Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.|
|Travel Benefits and Protections||
|Shopping Benefits and Protections||
|Authorized User Fee||$0||$75|
While both cards offer compelling rewards and benefits, you’ll notice that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers significantly more perks — but that is to be expected given its annual fee is $400 higher than the Amex Green card.
Given that, deciding which card is the better option for you will come down to what type of perks and protections you are looking for, how much value you think you can receive from each benefit, and how much you are willing to pay for those perks and benefits.
This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.
The American Express® Green Card is an excellent all-around travel rewards card thanks to earning 3x Membership Rewards® points on eligible travel and transit purchases and at restaurants, access to American Express transfer partners, and a reasonable annual fee.
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
One of the main goals of any rewards card is to earn as many points as possible. Here’s how many points each card earns in each of its spending categories.
|Bonus Category||Amex Green Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve Card|
|Travel||3x points||3x points|
|Restaurants||3x points||3x points|
|Transit (Trains, Ferries, Buses, Subways, Rideshares, Etc.)||3x points||3x points|
|Hotels and Rental Cars Through Ultimate Rewards||N/A||10x points|
|Dining through Chase Dining||N/A||10x points|
|Lyft Rides||3x points||10x points|
|Airfare through Ultimate Rewards||N/A||5x points|
|Peloton Equipment and Accessory Purchases (over $250)||N/A||10x points|
|All Other Eligible Purchases||1x points||1x points|
The Amex Green Card is no slouch when it comes to earning points by offering 3x points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants. That said, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card matches those 3x earnings in those areas and offers 5 more bonus categories that allow you to earn 5x to 10x points.
One of the best benefits of both the Amex Green Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is that they earn flexible rewards points that can be redeemed in a variety of ways.
Those who hold the Amex Green Card can use their earned Membership Rewards points to book through the AmexTravel.com portal, transfer them to Amex’s transfer partners, or redeem them for cash-back via a statement credit, gift cards, or shopping with select merchants like Apple and Amazon.
That said, each redemption option can offer significantly different value, which is why our favorite redemption option is using Amex’s airline and hotel transfer partners. Redeeming your points this way allows you to book luxury travel experiences for a fraction of what the retail price would have set you back.
For instance, you could transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program to book a business class ticket from the East Coast to Paris or Amsterdam for as low as 53,000 miles, or even less if you combine it with a Flying Blue Promo Award. Given that these tickets regularly cost around $2,500, this gives you over 4.7 cents per point in value for your Amex Membership Rewards.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you have many of the same redemption options with your Ultimate Rewards points, including Chase’s transfer partners, redeeming for cash-back, Pay Yourself Back, gift cards, and shopping partners.
One big added perk of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is that you receive a 50% bonus when redeeming your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, allowing you to redeem your points toward virtually any travel purchase for 1.5 cents per point. With most cards (from all banks), you’ll only get 1 cent per point in value when redeeming through their respective travel portal. While you can often get more value than that by strategically using Chase’s transfer partners, the 50% bonus gives your points a baseline value of 1.5 cents each towards travel redemptions with significant flexibility and no blackout dates, which is a huge plus.
Chase offers access to one of our all-time favorite transfer partners, the World of Hyatt program. Through the World of Hyatt program, award nights at the very best properties cost between 30,000 and 40,000 points per night, which can be over 50% to 60% less than what competitors, like Marriott and Hilton, charge for top-tier hotels. Given that your Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Hyatt, you can get fantastic value at premium properties like the Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, and the Park Hyatt Paris.
No matter which card you pick you’ll need to pay an annual fee, but both cards offer statement credits to help offset that cost.
One of the best benefits of the Amex Green Card is that it offers an annual CLEAR Plus credit to receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits after paying for a CLEAR Plus membership with the Amex Green Card. This benefit alone can easily offset the $150 annual fee if you are someone who would have paid for CLEAR Plus anyway.
If you’re not familiar with CLEAR, it provides a faster security experience at select airports and stadiums nationwide using biometrics.
With the Amex Green card, you’ll also receive a $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually when purchasing lounge access through LoungeBuddy using the Amex Green Card. Depending on which lounges you choose, this credit should cover 2 to 3 visits each year.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers arguably one of the best annual travel credits of all travel rewards cards. With it, you’ll receive $300 toward any travel purchase you make with the card each year. Chase really means it when they say any travel purchase, as even items like rideshare services, parking garages, and tolls can apply, in addition to the more obvious purchases like flights, hotels, and rental cars.
Better yet, the $300 annual credit doesn’t require you to book directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and applies to any sort of travel purchase, so you can truly use it almost any way you see fit.
Chase has a variety of partnerships with grocery and food delivery services that benefit Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders.
For starters, you’ll receive a $10 monthly Gopuff credit through December 31, 2023. Gopuff is an on-demand delivery service offering snacks, groceries and other household essentials.
Beyond that, your Chase Sapphire Reserve card gets you a complimentary 1-year membership to Instacart+, which usually costs $9.99 a month and offers $0 delivery fees (on orders over $35), lower service fees, and a 5% credit on pickup orders. Plus, you’ll receive a $15 monthly credit toward orders each month through July 2024. Instacart is a grocery delivery service that allows you to order from most major grocery stores, including Costco, Wegmans, Aldi, Safeway, and more.
Lastly, the card comes with a DoorDash DashPass subscription, a $9.99 per month value, which includes $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders, along with $5 in DoorDash credits each month. DoorDash specializes in food delivery from restaurants but also offers grocery and alcohol delivery.
Wrapping up the statements credits for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is its Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS credit. The credit is offered every 4 years and can be applied to any of the 3 programs.
In our view, we think opting for Global Entry is the best option because it offers an expedited customs experience when reentering the U.S. and includes TSA PreCheck access which offers expedited security at every U.S. airport.
|Benefit or Protection||Amex Green Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve Card|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None||None|
|Rental Car Insurance||Secondary (coverage comes after your personal auto insurance)||Primary (coverage comes before your personal auto insurance)|
|Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance||Not offered||Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses|
|Baggage Delay Insurance||Not offered||Receive coverage of up to $100 a day, for up to 5 days, on bags that are delayed by more than 6 hours|
|Baggage Protection||Up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage for bags or items that are lost, damaged, or stolen||Up to $3,000 per passenger for bags or items that are lost, damaged, or stolen|
|Trip Delay Reimbursement||If your flight is delayed by more than 12 hours, you can receive up to $300 in coverage.||For flights delayed by 6 hours or more, you can receive up to $500 in coverage for expenses like meals and lodging|
|Travel and Emergency Assistance Services||Yes||Yes|
|Airport Lounge Access||$100 LoungeBuddy credit||Complimentary Priority Pass access|
|Access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection||No||Yes|
|Lyft Pink All Access Membership||No||Yes|
|Access to Reserved by Sapphire||No||Yes|
Once again the Chase Sapphire Reserve card wins out on every category here, as we would expect it to given the difference in annual fees.
Put simply, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the best cards on the market when it comes to travel protections, so when you throw in perks like complimentary Priority Pass access, access to the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, and a Lyft Pink All Access membership, it is easy to see just how much value cardmembers can receive by holding it.
With your Priority Pass Select membership, you’ll receive access to over 1,400 airport lounges and restaurants worldwide, so you’ll always have a place to relax before your flight. When you book a hotel through the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, you get perks like a space-available room upgrade, late checkout, and daily breakfast for 2. If you’re a regular Lyft user, Lyft Pink All Access really comes in handy thanks to free priority pickups, waived cancellation fees, unlimited 45-minute classic bike rides, and more.
Here is how each option keeps you covered when purchasing items with your card.
The Amex Green card offers these benefits:
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers these benefits:
The annual fee of the Amex Green card is $150 while the annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is $550. Since the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s annual fee is significantly higher than that of the Amex Green card, you’ll want to make sure that you can get enough value out from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s benefits to justify the higher cost.
When it comes to authorized users, you can add authorized users to your Amex Green card for no additional cost.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card you need to pay $75 per authorized user. Of course, authorized users don’t receive all of the benefits of the primary cardholder, but they do receive their own Priority Pass membership (which can easily be worth more than $75), and all of the card’s travel and purchase protections.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers more bonus categories, more perks, more statement credits, and better travel and purchase protections. That said, it also comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, so you’ll want to make sure you get plenty of value out of the card. For those looking for one of the best travel rewards cards on the market, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card would be a great option.
On the other hand, if you don’t travel often enough to take advantage of all of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s perks and don’t want to pay its large annual fee, then the Amex Green card could be a more pragmatic option since it still offers great points-earning bonus categories, access to the Amex transfer partners, and an annual CLEAR Plus credit, but with a more reasonable annual fee.
Read our Amex vs Chase guide to find a detailed overview of the different rewards and points offered by both credit card providers .
For the secondary rental car coverage benefit of the American Express® Green Card, Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Objectively speaking, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers significantly more perks, protections, and opportunities to earn points than the Amex Green card does. That said, it also charges a much higher annual fee, so deciding which card is the better fit for you will come down to what perks you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay for them.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn between 3x to 10x points per $1 spent in 7 different bonus categories. Additionally, you’ll enjoy perks such as Priority Pass lounge access, a $300 annual travel credit, travel protections, benefits with Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Gopuff, access to Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners, and more.
The top benefits of the Amex Green card are its 3x points earnings on eligible travel, transit, and dining purchases, an annual CLEAR Plus statement credit of up to $189, an annual LoungeBuddy statement credit of up to $100, access to transfer partners, and purchase protections.
Yes, the annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is $550.
Yes, the annual fee of the Amex Green card is $150.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.