AMEX Points vs. Chase Points: Which is Better?

Two of the most popular credit card “families” are American Express (AMEX) and Chase, and both are known for their reward points. Not only for their generous welcome bonuses but their ability to transfer points to partners, redemption flexibility, etc.

But which is the better of the two?

To find out, I’ve compared the two credit card giants using five criteria: Points offers, point transfers, points redemption options, other card benefits, and fees. It was a close race, but I managed to find a winner.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Points Offers
    1. American Express
    2. Chase
    3. Points Offer Winner: Chase
  2. 2. Point Transfers
    1. American Express
    2. Chase
    3. Point Transfers Winner: Chase
  3. 3. Points Redemption Options
    1. American Express
    2. Chase
    3. Points Redemption Options Winner: Chase
  4. 4. Other Card Benefits 
    1. American Express
    2. Chase
    3. Other Card Benefits Winner: American Express
  5. 5. Fees
    1. American Express
    2. Chase
    3. Fees Winner: Chase
  6. The Overall Winner: Chase

1. Points Offers

American Express

American Express offers five different cards providing points rewards.

In the table below, we share just four of their cards cards and each respective welcome bonus and rewards points program.

Card NameWelcome BonusRewards PointsAnnual
Fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $8,000 in purchases within your first six months of Card Membershipearn 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). You also earn 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.$695
American Express® Gold Card60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 monthsearn 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide, 4X Membership Rewards points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1X), 3X Membership Rewards points for flight booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X on everything else eligible$250
American Express EveryDay® Preferred Card$200 after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months3% at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000/year, then 1%), 3% on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000/year, then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations (up to $6,000/year, then 1%) then 1% on other purchases.$0
American Express EveryDay® Credit Card$250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months6% on U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). Finally, 1% Cash Back on other purchases$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

Chase

Chase offers three credit cards as part of its Ultimate Rewards points program. But the bank also offers points credit cards in partnership with other providers, especially airlines and hotels. For that reason, we’re including the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card as a sample of the many points Chase offers through airlines and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card as an example of one of their hotel cards.

Card NameWelcome BonusRewards PointsAnnual
Fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months$300 annual travel credit; 5X points on flights, 10X points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 3X on other travel worldwide after the first $300 is spent on travel annually; 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, 3X points on all other dining, 1X points all other purchases (cash value: $300 +1 – 1.5 cents per point)$95
Chase Sapphire® Preferred Card60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months$50 annual hotel credit; 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards after the first $50 is spent on travel annually; 3X on dining, select streaming services, and groceries; 1X points for all other purchases (cash value: $50 +1 – 1.25 cents per point)$95
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening in the .3X points on the first $150,000 spent each anniversary year on shipping, advertising, Internet, cable, phone services, and travel; 1X points on all other purchases (cash value: 1 – 1.25 cents per point)$95
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit CardCompanion Pass through 2/28/25 + 30,000 points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening3X points on Southwest purchases; 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, local transit, and commuting, including rideshare, Internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming; 1X points on all other purchases; 6,000 additional points every year (cash value: 1 cent per point)$69

Points Offer Winner: Chase

Declaring a winner in this category is a bit more complicated. American Express cards offer welcome bonuses with higher dollar value conversions than their Chase counterparts.

But for ongoing rewards points, Chase wins easily. Their dollar conversion, ranging from one cent to 1.5 cents per point, is superior to the .5 cent to one cent dollar conversion on American Express cards.

And since ongoing going rewards are continuous, Chase is the winner. The longer you own the card, the more you charge on it and the more reward points you’ll earn.

2. Point Transfers

American Express

American Express lets you transfer your points to airlines, hotels, and other partners. The points transfer ratio ranges between 0.8 and 1.2 points for each point at the transfer partner.

Here is a list of AMEX transfer partners:

Airlines:

  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Finnair Plus
  • Flying Blue
  • Iberia Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Scandinavian Airlines SAS EuroBonus 
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotels:

  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Hilton Honors
  • Radisson Rewards

Other: 

  • Club Eurostar
  • Nectar

Chase

Chase offers transfer points on a 1:1 basis on airlines and hotels as follows:

Airlines:

  • Aer Lingus 
  • Air Canada
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Air France – KLM
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Hotels:

  • Choice Hotels
  • Hilton Hotels
  • IHG 
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

Point Transfers Winner: Chase

We give a slight advantage to Chase in this category based on simplicity (the 1:1 points transfer ratio across the board) and the fact that Chase extends partnerships to Southwest and United Airlines, two of the largest airlines in America. American Express is not partnered with these airlines.

3. Points Redemption Options

American Express

American Express uses a fairly complicated points conversion scheme. Exactly what each point will be worth depends on how it’s redeemed. Overall, they offer seven different redemption options with cash conversions ranging between 0.5 cents per point to as high as 1 cent per point.

American Express offers the following reward points redemption options:

  • Statement credits: 0.6 cents per point
  • Gift cards: 0.5 cents to 1 cent per point
  • Airfare: 1 cent per point on flights booked through American Express Travel
  • Hotels and cruises: 0.5 cents to 0.7 cents per point when you book through American Express Travel
  • Online checkout: 0.5 – 0.7 cents per point at 16 participating merchants, and any time you pay elsewhere using PayPal
  • Online shopping: 0.5 cents per point
  • Airline transfers: 0.8:1 to 1.2:1

Based on the points conversion schedule, American Express cards are best used for those who plan to redeem their rewards by transferring points to participating airlines or purchasing airline tickets through American Express Travel.

Chase

Much like American Express, the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points depends on exactly how you use them.

Chase offers the following redemption options, each with its own respective points conversions:

  • Book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal (airlines, hotels, car rentals, and experiences) – 1 cent per point, but 1.25 cents per point with Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, and 1.5 cents per point with Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Airline and hotel transfer partners – 1 cent per point
  • Gift cards – 1 cent per point
  • Statement credit – 1 cent per point  
  • Cash transferred to your bank account – 1 cent per point

Points Redemption Options Winner: Chase

Chase comes up as the clear winner on points redemption options. The dollar equivalent conversions are simply higher with Chase than with American Express across the board.

American Express is competitive with Chase in redeeming points for travel, at least when transferring points to airline partners. But in most other conversion categories, Chase comes out ahead.

The most glaring example is statement credits. Chase provides conversion of one cent per point, while American Express languishes at 0.6 cents per point. In addition, Chase offers a similar one-cent conversion on gift cards and cash transferred to your bank account, an option not available with American Express. 

4. Other Card Benefits 

In our evaluation, rewards points are the primary criteria for judging the cards offered by the two credit card giants. But we also want to consider other benefits each company offers, which can be extremely valuable for travel purchases.

American Express

American Express points rewards cards come with benefits that vary by the card you select. Not surprisingly, the American Express Platinum Card, the company’s premium card, offers the most benefits. This includes a long list of annual credits.

Card NameOther Card Benefits Offered
American Express Platinum CardCar rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection,
$200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $155 Walmart credit, global lounge collection,
$200 Uber cash, $200 airline fee credit, up to $300 with Equinox, $100 Saks, $189 with CLEAR,
local dining access by Resy, $100 fee credit for global entry or TSA pre-check, cell phone protection.
The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two night stay.
American Express Gold CardCar rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, $120 Uber cash, $100 hotel credit
American Express EveryDay Preferred CardCar rental loss and damage insurance, return protection, dispute resolution
American Express EveryDay Credit CardCar rental loss and damage insurance, dispute resolution

Related: Amex Gold vs Platinum: Which Rewards Credit Card is Better?

Chase

Similar to American Express, Chase rewards points cards come with several additional benefits based on the card you select.

Card NameOther Card Benefits Offered
Chase Sapphire ReserveGlobal Entry or TSA pre-check the credit; trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, emergency evacuation and transportation, purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty protection
Chase Sapphire Preferred CardAuto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, extended warranty protection
Ink Business Preferred Credit CardAuto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, cell phone protection, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, employee cards at no additional cost
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit CardBags fly free, and no change fees on Southwest; lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty protection, purchase protection
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card15 elite night credits annually, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection

Other Card Benefits Winner: American Express

Though Chase offers many of the same benefits as American Express, including auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation, purchase protection, and extended warranties, American Express is much stronger on credits. 

This is especially true on the American Express Platinum Card, which offers no fewer than nine credits, ranging from $100 to $200 each. And since those credits reset annually, they can add up to serious money over time for regular travelers.

5. Fees

American Express

The table below presents annual fees and other fees for the five American Express rewards points cards.

These fees are accurate as of 2/28/2023 – check the card issuer’s website for up to date fees.

Card / FeesAnnual FeeOther Fees
The Platinum Card from American Express$695Foreign transactions fee: none; cash advances: > of $10 or 5%;
late/return payment: $40
American Express Gold Card$250Foreign transactions fee: none; cash advances: > of $10 or 5%;
late/return payment: $40
American Express EveryDay Preferred Card$0Foreign transactions fee: 2.7%; cash advances: > of $10 or 5%;
late/return payment: $40
American Express EveryDay Credit CardNoneForeign transactions fee: 2.7%; cash advances: > of $10 or 5%;
late/return payment: $40

Chase

The table below presents annual fees and other fees that apply to the five Chase rewards points cards.

These fees are accurate as of 2/28/2023 – check the card issuer’s website for up to date fees.

Card / FeesAnnual FeeOther Fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve$550Foreign transactions fee: none; cash advances: > of $10 or 5%;
late/return payment: $40
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card$95Foreign transactions fee: none; cash advances: > of $10 or 5%;
late/return payment: $40
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card$95Foreign transactions fee: none; cash advances: > of $15 for 5%; late/return payment: $40
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card$69Foreign transactions fee: none; cash advances: > of $10 or 5%;
late/return payment: $40

Fees Winner: Chase

On five cards offered by American Express, the annual fees range from $0 to $695. This compares with a range of $0 to $550 for the five Chase cards, with all but one having an annual fee below $100.

The two are similar when it comes to interest rates but two American Express cards have a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months or more. Chase cards have no such offers as of this writing.

But all five Chase cards come with no foreign transaction fees, which are ongoing benefits that will be especially important to those who travel extensively to foreign destinations. American Express has only three cards with no foreign transaction fees.

The difference between the two on the fee side is slim, but we’ve got to give the nod to Chase.

The Overall Winner: Chase

The Amex and Chase credit card families are excellent programs with plenty to offer. You’ll likely find your ideal rewards card among the ten offered by the two companies based on your personal spending patterns and reward preferences.

But for my money, Chase is the winner. They came out on top in four of the five categories we reviewed; points offers, availability of transfer partners, points redemption options, and fees.

American Express had the edge with other card benefits. Of course, those shouldn’t be underestimated, given that a card may contain a mix of other benefits that are a perfect fit for you.

But with the other four categories going squarely in their favor, Chase gets our nod.

I’d like to know which card family you prefer and why?

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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