World Unlocked: Amex Gold Vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred – Which Is Better?

Published on: 19 October 2023 Last Updated on: 23 October 2023

International travel is a popular contender in people’s bucket lists. Revenge travel post-pandemic has motivated several individuals to list countries they want to visit before they die. While immersing yourself in a different culture and enriching your wisdom with knowledge from other nations is exciting, it also comes with heavy financial considerations.

Travel expenses transcend flight tickets and hotel accommodations, though these take up a considerable part of the budget. The other crucial concerns that must be prioritized are food expenses, land transportation, activities, and even souvenirs. When traveling interstate, these may require a meager and fixed amount you can easily budget. Traveling to another country with their unique currency is a different story.

Some factors, including conversion rate and transaction fees, must be accounted for, especially when using credit cards. Using credit cards offers convenience, but their foreign transaction fees can eat into your budget, typically charging 3% of the purchase amount in foreign currency. Thus, the best way to optimize your travel expenses is to use credit cards designed for travel. They usually come with zero transaction fees for foreign currencies.

In this article, we will compare the two crème de la crème among all these no foreign transaction fees credit cards – Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred – and evaluate how they fare with their overall suitability for international travel.

The American Express Gold Card: A Culinary Approach to Travel

Coming in as a heavyweight contender in the premium credit card arena is the Amex Gold Credit Card. When traveling is a hobby you do only on special occasions, Amex Gold can give you so much more for your ordinary days. It shines with its generous 4x bonus reward points on your restaurant visits, takeout sprees, and everyday groceries.

On your travel days, Amex Gold also proves to be a reliable companion for your travel expenditures – especially for your gastronomic excursions. The whole American Express network has global recognition, with its card widely accepted worldwide. Using your card for your dining will even award you 4x bonus points and a 3x reward for flight tickets.

Beyond the global acceptance and generous award points, this travel credit card also offers a suite of premium travel benefits. From travel insurance, points transfer with their travel partners, and even a $100 credit for a minimum 2-night stay on their hotel collection to having access to their Global Assist® Hotline.

Their Global Assist® Hotline lets you enjoy your travel with peace of mind, knowing you will have safeguards for emergency situations. Their assistance covers a range of needs, including medical referrals, legal aid, and even lost passport replacement.

Here’s a link to a complete guide to all of Amex Gold credit card benefits:

https://fortune.com/recommends/credit-cards/american-express-gold-card-review/

With this solid range of convenience in your hands, it is only fitting that this credit card comes with a hefty annual fee and high APR for a pay-over-time feature. If you look forward to lounge access for your pre-travel experience, you will also be in for a big disappointment, as the Amex Gold card does not provide any lounge access.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: A Versatile Traveler’s Ally

Another premium travel card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, enjoyed by many cardholders for its flexibility and generous travel rewards program. With their Ultimate Rewards Portal, you can earn 5x bonus points for your flights, hotel rooms, and other travel experiences. On some promotional periods, they even offer 5x bonus points on select theme park tickets available to purchase through the portal, including Universal Studios, Legoland, SeaWorld, etc. This is especially suitable for traveling families or those who enjoy theme park activities.

Nevertheless, on your off-travel days, you can still enjoy other perks, such as their 3x bonus points offer for online grocery purchases, subscriptions to streaming platforms, and even on your restaurant indulgence. Currently, the credit card also offers 5x bonus points on your Lyft rides, so be sure to maximize your commute.

The real perk that comes with the Chase Sapphire is its flexibility with transferring points. Their 1:1 transfer partners make all your earned bonus points worth the incurred expenses. Suppose your favorite hotel line is offering a great deal on premium suites with their hotels on a desired destination. They are offering it for a minimal price of 30,000 points plus applicable taxes and fees. With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can convert your Ultimate Rewards Points into the rewards program of that hotel line to pounce on that great offer.

Find their comprehensive list of transfer partners in this article.

These great rewards also come with a price of $95 annual fee. They also do not offer any intro APR for new cardholders. Nevertheless, these financial sacrifices can be valuable with all the travel conveniences the card offers, which unfortunately can also be earned only when you book through their portal.

Overall, transaction fee concerns, although entirely erased by these cards, are just one aspect that completes the complexities of international travel. The overall cost-benefit analysis must be made on the basis of the card’s rewards program, annual fees, and other travel-related perks. The choice of a suitable credit card must be weighed on the basis of personal preferences, travel habits, and financial goals.

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