American Express and Chase are 2 of the most prolific banks for card rewards. These institutions have literally invested billions of dollars creating products that fit the sentiments and purchasing habits of consumers and business owners alike.
And in recent years, American Express and Chase have truly accelerated the pace with which they innovate in this space. The result? Amex and Chase have both pulled ahead of the competition, outshining other banks like Citi and Capital One.
But what isn’t so obvious is which bank between Amex and Chase has the best cards. There isn’t an all-encompassing answer for this, so what we’ve done is dive deep into research to try to get a clearer picture.
In this guide, we’ll share our findings with you and nominate a winner and runner-up in the major card segments and markets. Before we do that, we’ll be comparing the 2 banks’ rewards systems (and why you might prefer 1 over the other).
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover; let’s begin!
Comparing Amex Membership Rewards & Chase Ultimate Rewards
Amex’s award-winning rewards program is called American Express Membership Rewards and the points you earn when making purchases on Amex Membership Rewards cards are called Amex Membership Rewards points.
Chase’s equally lauded rewards program is called Chase Ultimate Rewards. Similarly, the points you earn when making purchases on Chase Ultimate Rewards cards are called Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Every card from Amex and Chase has a different points-earning structure featuring different bonus categories, earnings caps, and accrual rates.
Amex Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used for statement credits, gift cards, travel bookings (through Amex Travel or the Chase travel portal), Amazon, merchandise, and charity.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points will generally net you better value for the above redemptions. For example, you will get:
- Up to 1.5 cents per point on travel booked through Chase travel portal
- 1 cent per point on statement credits, checks, or direct deposit
- Up to 1.1 cents per point on gift cards
- 0.8 cents per point on Amazon
To compare, Amex offers the following redemption structure:
- Up to 1.53 cents per point (highest redemption value on flights with the 35% points rebate) on travel booked through Amex Travel
- 0.6 cents per point on statement credits
- 0.5 to 1 cent per point on gift cards
- 0.7 cents per point on Amazon
- 0.5 cents per point at Shop with Membership Rewards Points (the American Express shopping mall)
- 1 cent per point on charity
We very rarely recommend using your points for any of the redemptions we just mentioned. Instead, we recommend you explore the transfer partnerships that make these points so valuable in the first place.
To be specific, Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards have different transfer partners. Some transfer partners, like Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Emirates Skywards, are shared by the 2 rewards systems, while others, such as World of Hyatt (for Chase) and ANA Mileage Club (for Amex) are only partners with 1 of the points systems.
Chase maintains a consistent 1:1 transfer ratio with all partners, while Amex mostly maintains the same 1:1 transfer partnerships with a few exceptions:
- AeroMexico (1:1.6)
- JetBlue (1:0.8)
- Hilton Honors (1:2)
Both Amex and Chase have 2 of the best transfer partnership networks out there.
To offer broad generalizations, Amex Membership Rewards has the most lucrative airline partners, which will usually enable you to redeem as few points as possible for luxury premium cabin flights.
Chase Ultimate Rewards has the single most lucrative hotel partner in World of Hyatt, plus a handful of excellent transfer partners that’ll allow you to easily redeem your points for premium cabin travel (though probably not at the lowest points cost).
When all is said and done, we value Amex Membership Rewards points at around 2.2 cents each and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at around 2 cents each.
Bottom Line: Amex Membership Rewards is slightly more valuable than Chase Ultimate Rewards, thanks to an abundance of amazing airline transfer partners like ANA Mileage Club. However, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for fantastic value, too, particularly with unique partners like World of Hyatt.
Best Premium Travel Rewards Card
Getting a solid mid-tier card is the single-best way you can accelerate the rewards you earn with the least effort possible.
Both banks offer incredible premium travel rewards cards, so let’s look at our top 2 choices!
Winner: American Express® Gold Card
One of the game-changing cards out there, the Amex Gold card is probably the best card you can have if you’re a big spender in your daily life.
For a limited time, you can enjoy an exceptional welcome bonus that allows you to dip your toes in the incredible points landscape that American Express has built over the past several decades.
The Amex Gold card maintains an incredible earning structure, which is arguably the biggest benefit of holding this card:
- 4x points per $1 at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- 4x points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
- 3x points per $1 on flights purchased directly with airlines or at Amex Travel
So if you’re a big foodie, a home chef, or a jet setter, you’ll earn up to 4x points per $1. As a reminder, we value Amex Membership Rewards points at around 2.2 cents each, which means that earning 4x points is equal to an 8.8% return on spend.
The Amex Gold card also offers:
- Up to $120 per year in dining statement credits at participating restaurants, including GrubHub, Boxed, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations (enrollment is required)
- $10 in monthly Uber Cash (up to $120 per year) to use for U.S. Uber Eats orders or U.S. Uber rides. Amex Gold card needs to be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit.
Runner-Up: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the best beginner travel rewards credit card there is.
One of the biggest reasons why it’s so popular is that Chase offers you a giant welcome bonus for the Sapphire Preferred; as long as you’re a new cardholder and meet the spending requirements in the first 3 months, you should see a nice bonus of points get deposited into your account.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points in the following fashion:
- 5x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft purchases through March 2025
- 5x Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points on dining
- 2x Ultimate Rewards points spent on all other travel
- 1x Ultimate Rewards point everywhere else
Since we value Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, earning 2x points would translate to a 4% return on spend. If you take a lot of Lyft rides or make travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you could earn a 10% return on spend!
This credit card also offers immense travel protections, such as primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, lost luggage insurance, baggage delay insurance, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, and travel accident insurance.
Also, you’ll find purchase protection, extended warranty protection, zero fraud liability, no foreign transaction fees, 25% more value in statement credit redemptions via Pay Yourself Back, no fees for authorized users, and of course, access to Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners.
Bottom Line: The Amex Gold card is the more rewarding option when compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Being able to earn more than double the value on dining and grocery spending is a game-changer, and the Amex Gold card offers many other benefits. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a lower annual fee, better travel insurance, and the ability to earn 5x points on Lyft purchases.
Best Overall Business Card
There’s a lot of stiff competition when it comes to business cards.
American Express and Chase both push their own types of exceptional cards to use, and in this guide, we’ll show you the best overall business cards.
Whether you’re looking at paying for shipping, internet, travel, gas, or software, Amex and Chase both have you covered.
Winner: American Express® Business Gold Card
The Amex Business Gold card is the undisputed points juggernaut when it comes to high-spending business owners.
To give you a taste of the abundance of points you could be amassing by having this card, you’ll enjoy a hefty welcome bonus.
You’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent for the first $150,000 in combined purchases every calendar year on the 2 categories from the following list where your business spends the most every month:
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases made from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
Earning 4x points is equivalent to getting 8.8% back on your spending! But one of the coolest features of this card is that you will automatically earn 4x points on the top 2 categories every month — no need to select any bonus categories because Amex takes care of that for you.
If you maxed out the $150,000 cap every year, you’d be sitting with 600,000 Amex Membership Rewards points, worth at least $13,000 by our valuations.
In addition, this card grants access to the American Express Hotel Collection, offering a $100 property credit and a room upgrade (subject to availability) on select hotel stays of at least 2 nights.
Also, other benefits include a 25% airline redemption rebate when redeeming points for first or business class airfare through Amex Travel (1.25 cents per point value).
Other ancillary perks consist of access to Amex Offers and Amex Membership Rewards, no preset spending limit, access to Pay Over Time, the ability to use Vendor Pay.
Runner-Up: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred card is a close runner-up to the Amex Business Gold card.
This is Chase’s flagship business credit card, and it’s become known as the king of business credit cards.
One of the biggest reasons why is because of its phenomenal welcome bonus, easily worth $2,000.
As soon as you get the credit card and start using it, you will earn 3x points on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on these 4 categories:
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Shipping expenses
- Ads purchased with search engines or social media sites
You’ll also earn 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 2025.
So between the 3x and 5x earning structures, you can get a return on spend of 6% to 10% in these categories.
The Ink Business Preferred card also offers up to $1,500 in value through its acclaimed cell phone insurance protection.
As long as you charge your and your employees’ cellular phone bills to this card, you’ll be eligible for up to $600 per claim ($100 deductible per claim and up to 3 claims per 12-month period) for loss or damage (including breaking or damaging your cell phone or if it’s stolen).
This credit card also comes with top-tier travel coverage, including primary rental car insurance when renting for business, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, trip delay coverage, baggage insurance, baggage delay coverage, travel accident insurance, and more.
There are also key shopping protection benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, zero liability, fraud protection, and more.
Also, if you decide to redeem your points through the Chase travel portal, your points will be worth 25% more (1.25 cents each).
Best Ultra-Premium Travel Rewards Card
Let’s say you spared no expenses in amassing your points and had no qualms with a large annual fee, as long as it paid for itself multiple times over. Or perhaps you’re looking for the best luxury travel benefits in the world.
Whatever the case, American Express and Chase both offer ultra-premium travel rewards cards that fit this bill. We’ll walk you through the best options in detail.
Winner: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Our winner in the ultra-premium card world is the Amex Platinum card. It is the #1 card for luxury travel perks by a long shot, and the list of card benefits is literally longer than most people can even imagine.
Even with the welcome bonus alone (which could be up to 100,000 points), you will get over $1,500 of value. Beyond that, let’s talk about the different ways you can earn loads of bonus points.
Currently, can earn up to 10x Amex Membership Rewards points as follows:
- 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or at Amex Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
- 5x points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel; then, 1x points everywhere else
The Amex Platinum card comes with a swathe of fantastic statement credits, too:
- Up to $200 airline fee credit
- Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50 from January to June and another $50 from July to December)
- Up to $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your card.
- Up to $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your card on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- Up to $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- Up to $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on eligible Equinox memberships when you pay with your card. Enrollment required.
- $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
- $155 Walmart+ credit: Enjoy a monthly $12.95 credit for Walmart+
But the real highlights are with the travel benefits, featuring some unique perks you can’t get elsewhere. First, you have access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which gives you the best airport lounge access of any card out there:
On top of that, you’ll get a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement, complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, access to the famed Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection, access to the Amex International Airline Program for discounts, and rental car status (Avis, Hertz, and National).
Runner-Up: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the main ultra-premium travel rewards credit card offered by Chase, and it’s also jam-packed with value.
This credit card offers a great welcome bonus, but generally not as big as the Amex Platinum card’s bonus.
And this card comes with a rewarding earnings structure, particularly for dining:
- 10x points spent on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
- 10x points on hotels and car rentals if purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 5x points on air travel if purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x points spent on all travel and dining purchases
- 1x point spent on all other purchases
The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 annual travel credit every card anniversary year.
This card offers a Priority Pass Select membership (activation required), a TSA PreCheck/Nexus/Global Entry application fee credit, complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription when activated by December 31, 2024, and so much more.
For hotel bookings, you can use the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, which isn’t as good as the Fine Hotels & Resorts, but still a worthwhile option to consider. There’s also complimentary rental car elite status with National and Avis.
But one of the areas where the Chase Sapphire Reserve might shine brighter than the Amex Platinum card is the travel protections. In fact, you get complimentary primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, lost baggage and delayed baggage coverage, roadside assistance, and much more.
Hot Tip: See how these cards compare head to head in our article: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card vs. Amex Platinum Card.
Best Ultra-Premium Travel Rewards Business Card
So what if you’re a big spender and also own a business through which you make a lot of purchases?
Well, you might want to consider looking into an ultra-premium travel rewards business card. Luckily, our favorite card in this category is an Amex card.
Winner: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Business Platinum card boasts a fantastic welcome offer.
Additionally, you will earn the usual 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked at Amex Travel and will enjoy the same incredible lounge access benefits courtesy of the Global Lounge Collection as you would with the Amex Platinum card.
You’ll also get up to $200 in airline fee credits every calendar year, the ability to book Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, up to $400 in statement credits for Dell purchases in the U.S. (via 2 semi-annual credits of $200), a 35% rebate when using Pay with Points on airfare, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and more.
You’ll earn 1.5x points for each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more and every dollar spent on Eligible U.S. purchases in these select business categories:
Your 1.5x earning is capped on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card
So now that we’ve discussed the top travel rewards credit cards, especially those for big spenders, let’s pivot our attention to a different focus: rewards with no annual fee.
In this section, we’ll be walking you through our best choices for no annual fee credit cards.
Winner: Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card
The Freedom Flex card is, without a doubt, our favorite personal credit card with no annual fee in this showdown.
You can earn up to 5% cash-back with this credit card, which is quite a feat for a no annual fee credit card.
Here’s what the earning structure looks like:
- 5% cash-back per $1 spent on Lyft purchases through March 2025
- 5% cash-back per $1 spent on quarterly rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in spending
- 5% cash-back per $1 spent on purchases made through the Chase travel portal
- 3% cash-back per $1 spent on all dining purchases, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% cash-back per $1 spent at drugstores
- 1% cash-back per $1 spent everywhere else
This laundry list of bonus categories rocked the world of no annual fee credit cards because you can earn up to 5% cash-back on so many different types of purchases!
In fact, one of the biggest benefits is the fact that you can earn 5% cash-back on quarterly rotating bonus categories like Amazon, warehouse clubs, gas stations, and more.
You can convert your cash-back to Ultimate Rewards points at a 1% to 1x ratio if you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Holders of the Freedom Flex card get a complimentary 3-month subscription to DoorDash DashPass, plus the ability to renew for another 9 months after that period for 50% off.
Also, you’ll find an introductory 0% APR perk, secondary car rental coverage, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and cell phone protection coverage.
The cell phone protection coverage allows up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year with up to 2 claims in a 12-month period and a $50 deductible per claim.
Runner-Up: Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card
The Freedom Unlimited card is similar to the Freedom Flex card, but it offers higher non-bonused earnings instead of rotating bonus categories.
Before we touch on the bonus categories, you’ll be pleased to know that this no annual fee card also has a great welcome bonus and 0% introductory APR offer.
As you can see, the rotating bonus categories are absent here, and the substitute is the extra cash-back on all other purchases, which is why this card is one of the best credit cards for everyday purchases.
And if you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can convert your cash-back to Ultimate Rewards points.
Other benefits include secondary car rental insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, and zero liability fraud protection.
Best No Annual Fee Business Card
What if you’re looking for a no annual fee card for your business?
We’ve compiled our favorites here, too!
Winner: The Blue Business® Plus Card from American Express
The Amex Blue Business Plus card is arguably the best no-annual-fee business credit card you can have.
The reason why is because you can earn 2x Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on everyday business purchases, up to $50,000 per calendar year. That’s equal to a 4.4% return on spend.
This is one of the only cards out there that can get you access to a transferable rewards program for no annual fee. Furthermore, the ability to earn 2x points on everyday business purchases is stellar.
If you maxed out the cap, you would end up with 100,000 points that are worth around $2,200.
As far as other benefits go, your Amex Blue Business Plus card includes employee cards for no additional fee, access to Amex Offers, and the ability to redeem Membership Rewards points with travel partners (see rates and fees).
Runner-Up: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited card is one of our favorite business credit cards with no annual fee because of the huge welcome bonus you can earn and the ability to get rewards without having to pay close attention to bonus categories.
You’ll also get an introductory 0% APR offer on top of your welcome bonus. With this card, you will earn a flat 1.5% cash-back on all your purchases without caps, equal to a 3% return on spend.
While that’s not as impressive as the 4.4% return on spend from the Amex Blue Business Plus card, this credit card has no caps on bonus earnings, while the Amex Blue Business Plus has a $50,000 cap every calendar year.
The Ink Business Unlimited card includes primary rental car coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, zero liability protection, and the usual suite of travel insurance benefits like trip cancellation and interruption coverage.
Best Card for Cash-Back
If you’re trying to cut back on your daily expenses, aren’t focusing on travel rewards at all, but still want to get a solid return on your spending, we’ll show you just how exactly you can do that.
When it comes to Chase and Amex, it’s very clear which bank offers the best cards for cash-back. Let’s get into our favorite picks.
Winner: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred card is your best friend if you’re generally a very frugal person who avoids eating out and doesn’t need travel rewards at this moment.
You’ll love this card, starting with the generous welcome bonus. After that, you can earn:
- 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets and on select U.S. streaming services (up to $6,000 per year; then 1x thereafter)
- 3% cash-back on U.S. gas stations and transit (including rideshares, parking, etc.); 1% cash-back on all other purchases
Earning up to 6% cash-back is an incredible value proposition — there just aren’t a lot of cards that can give you cold, hard cash at a 6% rate.
Runner-Up: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The next-best cash-back rewards card is the Blue Cash Everyday card, which is essentially the no-annual-fee version of the Blue Cash Preferred card.
You can still get a great welcome bonus on your new card, but your cash-back rewards will be reduced compared to the Blue Cash Preferred card:
- 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets
- 2% cash-back on U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
- 1% cash-back on everything else
But a unique benefit that this card has is the introductory 0% APR benefit!
Hot Tip: Torn between our cash-back favorites? Decide which is best for you in our detailed comparison of the Blue Cash Everyday card vs. the Blue Cash Preferred card.
Best Business Card for Cash-Back
Our last category of business cards focuses on getting the most cash-back. Wouldn’t it be nice to get cash-back on your purchases that you can reinvest into your business?
We’ll show you the best cards to accomplish that here!
Winner: Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash card is our best business credit card for cash-back. This credit card is currently offering a fantastic welcome bonus and a 0% introductory APR offer.
You’ll also notice that you can earn up to 5% cash-back on select bonus categories:
- 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
- 5% cash-back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
- 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
- 1% cash-back on all other purchases
In order to maximize the rewards on this credit card, you should try to max out the bonus categories.
Also, you’ll notice that there’s a cap of $25,000 for bonus categories, which is pretty low, so you’d generally want to use this credit card if your business doesn’t have big expenses.
The Ink Business Cash card’s rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points so that your 5%, 2%, and 1% can become 5x, 2x, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points.
This credit card offers primary rental car coverage, travel insurance, and zero liability protection.
Runner-Up: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
The Amex Blue Business Cash card is a business owner’s best friend for earning cash-back.
This cash-back card is one of the best no-frills rewards systems you can get, thanks to the ability to earn 2% cash-back on all eligible purchases (up to $50,000 per calendar year), then 1% thereafter.
As a bonus, you will also get a 0% introductory APR benefit to defer interest payments and grow your business. Regular APR, as shown above, applies after the introductory period.
The coolest aspect of this card is the fact that the cash-back is automatically credited on your statement, which means you don’t have to worry about any redemptions!
This card has no fees for employee cards, and access to Amex Offers for even more cash-back (see rates and fees).
As you can tell, Amex and Chase have lots of different cards for lots of different types of customers, whether you’re a consumer, business owner, travel fanatic, or a cash-back queen.
Regardless of which bucket you fit in, there’s bound to be a great Amex or Chase card for you.
One big lesson to learn is not to be afraid of large annual fees, because by sticking with premium or ultra-premium Amex or Chase cards, you can often come out further ahead than with a no annual fee card.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of theAmerican Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.