Edited by: Stella Shon
& Kellie Jez
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the American Express® Green Card are both popular picks for a starter travel rewards card. While neither offers the rewards or benefits of their respective premium versions, both are very solid cards in their own right.
Each card offers a rich rewards ecosystem, great bonus categories, and perks to help offset its annual fee and provide value to cardholders. That said, there are quite a few unique differences between the 2 cards that we’ll get into today. In this post, we’ll provide you with a full breakdown of each card to help you determine which one is right for you.
Let’s start with an overview of what each card offers before diving into a deeper comparison section by section.
|Benefit or Feature||American Express® Green Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card|
|Welcome Offer||Earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 6 months.||Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.|
|Shopping Benefits and Protections||
|Authorized User Fee||$0||$0|
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 fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
Now let’s dive into how the cards’ earning rates compare against each other.
|Bonus Category||American Express® Green Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card|
|Travel Portal Purchases||n/a||5x points|
|Travel||3x points||2x points|
|Dining||3x points||3x points|
|Transit (Trains, Ferries, Buses, Subways, Rideshares, Etc.)||3x points||2x points (categorized as travel purchases)|
|Lyft Rides||3x points||5x points|
|Online Grocery Store Purchases||1x point||3x points|
|Select Streaming Services||1x point||3x points|
|All Other Purchases||1x point||1x point|
As it stands, the American Express® Green Card is definitely the better option when it comes to general travel purchases (unless those purchases are made through the Chase travel portal), other travel purchases with the exception of Lyft rides, and of course transit purchases.
Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is better for Chase travel portal purchases, Lyft rides, online grocery store purchases, and select streaming service purchases. Fortunately, both cards offer a solid 3x points on dining purchases, including takeout and delivery.
One added benefit that sets the Chase Sapphire Preferred card apart is that it offers bonus points on your account anniversary each year equal to 10% of the amount you spent on the card in that year. For example, if you spend $24,000 on your card, you’d receive 2,400 bonus points.
Hot Tip: Consider which card’s bonus categories better suit the purchases you already spend the most on when deciding which is likely to suit you better.
Fortunately, both the American Express® Green Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred card earn flexible rewards points, giving cardholders quite a few options when it comes time to redeem.
With the American Express® Green Card, your redemption options include utilizing the Amex transfer partners, bookings through the Amex Travel portal, cash-back via a statement credit, gift cards, and shopping with select merchants like Amazon.
However, our favorite use of your Amex Membership Rewards points is using the program’s airline and hotel transfer partners. With this strategy, you can often receive significantly more value out of your points when redeeming them for business-class flights and luxury hotel stays for a fraction of the cash price.
For Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders, you have virtually all of the same redemption options with a few tweaks.
It is no surprise that our favorite way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points is also through the transfer partners that Chase offers, and it includes some fan favorites like World of Hyatt and United Airlines.
However, 1 unique feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the ability to receive a 25% bonus in value when you redeem through the Chase travel portal. Now, these redemptions are seldom higher value than using transfer partners, but cardholders can easily use their points at a rate of 1.25 cents per point towards virtually any travel purchase without dealing with the headaches of location airline award space or dealing with blackout dates.
Since both cards charge an annual fee, one great way to help offset that fee is through statement credits.
With your American Express® Green Card, you receive annual statement credits to both a CLEAR Plus membership and LoungeBuddy visits.
While many cards on the market offer a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, the American Express® Green Card stands out with its CLEAR Plus credit. With it, you’ll receive a faster security experience at select airports and stadiums nationwide.
This CLEAR Plus credit gives you up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits, which will fully cover the cost of an annual membership. This is a huge annual benefit, and The American Express® Green Card is currently only one of a handful of credit cards that offers such a large CLEAR benefit.
Cardholders also receive an annual LoungeBuddy credit of up to $100, allowing you to pay to enter any of the 300+ lounges in the LoungeBuddy network in 50+ countries. Depending on which lounges you visit, this credit could get you 2 to 3 complimentary lounge visits each year.
To help offset its annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a $50 annual hotel statement credit towards hotel stays made through its native Chase travel portal. You can use the credit on any and all hotels bookable through the Chase travel portal, with no minimum purchase required or certain stay lengths.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also includes a monthly GoPuff credit. GoPuff is an on-demand delivery service specializing in snack items and household essentials. With your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you receive a $10 monthly credit towards GoPuff orders through December 31, 2023.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with a complimentary 6-month membership plus up to $15 in statement credits each quarter for Instacart purchases. This benefit must be activated by July 31, 2024.
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders receive a 1-year membership of DoorDash DashPass, offering complimentary delivery and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more. The standard price of a DashPass subscription is $10 per month, giving you $120 in value from this single benefit.
|Benefit||American Express® Green Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None||None|
|Rental Car Insurance||Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance*||Primary|
|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 Insurance Plan||Baggage Insurance Plan*||Not offered|
|Trip Delay Insurance||If your flight is delayed by more than 12 hours, you can receive up to $300 in secondary coverage||For flights delayed by 12 hours or more, you can receive up to $500 in coverage for expenses like meals and lodging|
|Travel and Emergency Assistance Services||Yes; access to Global Assist hotline||Yes|
When it comes to travel card protections, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card wins out in nearly every category. This is an important consideration as, while you hope you never have to use any of these perks, they certainly come in handy when things go wrong during your travels.
Here is how each option keeps you covered when purchasing items with your card.
The American Express® Green Card offers these benefits:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers these benefits:
As discussed, the respective annual fees of the American Express® Green Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred card are $150 and $95. Since the American Express® Green Card comes in at $55 more than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll want to make sure any added benefits you’re receiving are worth that additional expense. If you use the annual CLEAR Plus credit and/or spend a lot on travel, then this is more than justified in our opinion.
Fortunately, there is no added cost to add authorized users to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, and authorized user cards are also complimentary for the first 5 cards with the American Express® Green Card, and $35 per card thereafter.
On both cards, authorized users receive all of the benefits and the same rewards on purchases as the primary cardholder, but do not receive additional statement credits.
Both the American Express® Green Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred card are great all-around travel rewards cards for those looking to earn transferable rewards and solid perks for a reasonable annual fee.
If you’re trying to decide which card is better for you then you’ll want to consider which card’s reward ecosystem seems more rewarding for your goals, along with which card perks and protections you prefer, and which bonus categories would earn you the most points on your monthly expenses.
*Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions and exclusions. For full Terms and Conditions, see americanexpress.com/CRLDIterms. If You have any questions about a specific vehicle, please call Us at 1-800-338-1670, if international, collect at 1-303-273-6497.
*Baggage Insurance Plan is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions and exclusions. For full Terms and Conditions, see americanexpress.com/BIPterms. If You have any questions about a specific item, please call Us at 1-800-228-6855, if international, collect at 1-303-273-6498.
*Extended Warranty is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions and exclusions. For full Terms and Conditions, see americanexpress.com/EWterms. If You have any questions about a specific item, please call Us at 1-800-228-6855, if international, collect at 1-303-273-6498.
*For the Global Assist Hotline benefit of the Amex Green card, you can rely on Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
*Purchase Protection is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Subject to additional terms, conditions and exclusions. For full Terms and Conditions, see americanexpress.com/PPterms. If You have any questions about a specific item, please call Us at 1-800-228-6855, if international, collect at 1-303-273-6498.
*For the trip delay insurance benefit of the Amex Green card, up to $300 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Both cards are relatively similar in their offers, so which is better will come down to which card’s bonus categories and benefits feel like they would benefit your situation more.
The top benefits of the Amex Green card are its bonus categories, with 3x points on travel, transit, and dining purchases, along with an annual CLEAR Plus statement credit of up to $189 and annual LoungeBuddy statement credit of up to $100, plus travel and shopping benefits.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll earn between 2x to 5x points in 6 different bonus categories, receive a $50 annual hotel statement credit and monthly GoPuff credit, along with top-notch travel protections.
Yes, the annual fee of the Amex Green card is $150.
Yes, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card annual fee is $95.
No, the Amex Green card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
No, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
Was this page helpful?