Amex Green Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred: Which card is right for you?

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

American Express has long been a dominant player in premium cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, but is overshadowed by Chase in the mid-tier space.

However, the American Express® Green Card has a competitive set of mid-tier perks and bonus categories for a reasonable annual fee. How does it stack up against the fan-favorite Chase Sapphire Preferred? Read on to find out.

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus is an important part of any decision to apply for a new credit card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a stellar bonus of 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening, worth $1,600 according to TPG valuations. But this offer ends soon, so you’ll want to apply before 9 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on May 25 to take advantage of the current elevated bonus.

Like most Chase cards, the Sapphire Preferred is restricted by the 5/24 rule, meaning you’ll automatically be rejected if you’ve opened five or more cards across all issuers in the last 24 months.


The Amex Green is currently offering new applicants a bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening as well as 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases (up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit) in your first six months of cardmembership (see rates and fees). According to our valuations, this bonus is worth a total of $1,400 and is the best-ever offer publicly available.

TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards points equally at 2 cents apiece, so while the Amex Green card has a lower spending requirement, its welcome bonus value is also lower than the Sapphire Preferred‘s.

Remember that Amex only allows you to earn the welcome bonus on each of its cards once per lifetime. In fact, you won’t be eligible for this offer if you “have or have had this Card or previous versions of the American Express® Green Card.” Even though this isn’t the largest bonus on the market, it might be a good option for customers who’ve already earned bonuses on most of Amex’s other cards and are looking for a way to keep earning Membership Rewards points.

Related reading: For the modern traveler: American Express Green Card review

Bonus categories

One of the reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred is so popular is the simple and generous bonus categories it offers. Cardholders earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and at least 2 points per dollar spent on travel, with no annual caps. Even better, these categories are defined broadly to include things like public transit, parking garages, food trucks and other places that you might not expect to trigger the bonus points.

The Amex Green card, on the other hand, earns 3 points per dollar worldwide on travel, restaurants and transit — including flights, hotels, campsites, tours, car rentals, ride-hailing, buses, subways, third-party travel websites and This works out to a 6% return based on TPG’s valuations, and it’s worth noting that the Amex Green Card is one of the only Amex cards to offer a broad travel bonus category.

Amex has had some issues in the past with bonus points not coding correctly, especially for transactions processed by third-party payment processors such as Square and Stripe.

Still, on paper, at least, the Amex Green Card offers a higher earning rate for cardholders.

Related reading: Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review

Redemption options

Chase has a clear edge when it comes to hotel redemptions, thanks to its partnership with World of Hyatt. Transfers to all of Chase’s partners and most of Amex’s occur at a 1:1 ratio, so the loyalty programs offering the best value will have the cheapest award rates. You can get a night at a Hyatt property for just 3,500 points, and a standard room at their most premium property will set you back 45,000 points. By comparison, a night at a top-tier Marriott property (which is a transfer partner of both Chase and Amex) goes all the way up to 150,000 points.

When it comes to free flights, both programs offer the ability to transfer points to popular frequent flyer programs such as Singapore KrisFlyer, British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Air France-KLM Flying Blue. Chase’s biggest unique advantages come with Southwest and United. Although Southwest uses a revenue-based award-pricing scheme, Companion Pass holders can still get great value by transferring their Chase points to Southwest.

Manhattan Sky Suite Bedroom at the Park Hyatt New York. DONNA DOTAN/HYATT

In addition to transfer partners, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a 25% bonus when redeeming your points directly through the Chase portal. This gives you a minimum redemption value of 1.25 cents per point, and is why we say the bonus on this card is worth at least $1,000. You won’t be able to book an aspirational first-class suite this way. Still, if you need to be on a specific flight that doesn’t have any award availability, this extra flexibility can be invaluable.

Meanwhile, Amex has a few unique partners that can prove valuable. Avianca LifeMiles and Aeroplan, for example, both offer great rates on long-haul premium cabin Star Alliance awards. ANA also offers great rates on Star Alliance awards (though you have to book round-trip tickets), and it’s one of the only airlines to offer a decent round-the-world award program these days. You can also transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles to take advantage of one of that carrier’s flash award sales.

Related: Redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value


Both of these cards come with modest annual fees — $95 on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and $150 on the Amex Green Card (see rates and fees) — so you shouldn’t expect the long list of perks you’d find on more premium cards that carry higher fees. Still, they each come with some solid perks.

The best perks of the Sapphire Preferred are Chase’s incredible travel and baggage insurance policies. These are benefits you hope to never have to use, but if you do, they can save you hundreds of dollars. In addition, the card comes with a $50 annual hotel statement credit for reservations booked through Chase Travel and a complimentary year of DashPass (when you activate by Dec. 31, 2024).

Virgin Atlantic will join the SkyTeam alliance in January 2023.

The Amex Green Card offers much more focused benefits, but if you max them out each year, you’ll more than recoup the card’s annual fee. Cardmembers receive an annual credit of up to $189 when using their Amex Green Card to purchase a Clear Plus membership and another annual credit of up to $100 for LoungeBuddy access.

The Clear credit covers your out-of-pocket cost for a standard membership and can be a great tool for breezing through airport security as TSA PreCheck lines get longer around the country. Meanwhile, the LoungeBuddy credit should be good for about two passes a year, making this a great option for infrequent travelers who don’t already have a Priority Pass membership from another card.

Bottom line

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Green are mid-tier travel cards, but they’re still very different.

The Sapphire offers a much more valuable welcome bonus, while the Amex Green offers better earning rates long-term. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers great travel protections and benefits but fewer credits to offset your annual fee. Meanwhile, the Amex Green comes with up to $289 in annual statement credits, $139 more than it charges for the annual fee.

Whichever you decide is better for you, you’ll make a valuable addition to your wallet with one of these cards.

Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred with 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Apply before 9 a.m. ET on May 25.

Official application link: Amex Green Card with a best-ever bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening as well as 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases (up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit) in your first six months of card membership (see rates and fees).

For rates and fees of the Amex Green Card, please click here.

Additional reporting by Emily Thompson. 

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