cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Chase vs AMEX advise

tag
rsa85
Established Member

Chase vs AMEX advise

I have a relationship with Chase, none with Amex. I'm looking to add one personal and one business card. Pre-approved for Chase Business Premier and already have a Business Cash, but no personal Chase cards. Long story short, I have a small business thats doing pretty and finally after working hard the last few years on that, we are ready to start traveling. Very little business travel, maybe a couple times a year. Most travel will be personal time with family. Amex has always been the gold standard and want to take advantage of rewards. I'm basically using all my cards now as charge cards and leaving just a small balance each month, so might as well rack up on the rewards. Currently at Fico8 Exp 787, Eq 719, TU 752. Utilization is 6% with $97k in credit lines. Looking to book a couple flights so want to make up my mind on what to pull the trigger on. Considering Amex Gold, Platinum, Freedom Blue or Chase Freedom Unltd, Sapphire for personal. For business Amex Business Gold, Platinum or Chase Business Unltd or Business Preferred. Are the Amex perks really worth all the hype?  Anything else recommended to look in to?

        
8 REPLIES 8
TRC_WA
Senior Contributor

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise


@rsa85 wrote:

 Are the Amex perks really worth all the hype?  


No idea... but I can tell you this.  Since getting my Amex Delta Gold in May of last year my last 3 Seattle/Orlando round trip flights have been free... and 2 of them were first class.   The one I have booked for October is also free... and I have one more trip yet to purchase for Feb as soon as the schedule opens up that should also be free... currently sitting on 32k miles.

 

This is all from my SUB and monthly spend.  5 free cross country trips for using a card?  Sign me up.

FICO8 current as of : 4-17-24 EQ: 724 TU: 707 EX: 706
Hard INQs last 12 months: EQ: 5 | TU: 8 | EX: 9
Verizon Visa $8500 Amex Delta Reserve $10,000 Care Credit $18,000
NFCU CashRewards $7500 Apple Card $7000 Best Buy $8000 Amazon $5000
NFCU auto loan (2022 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands - Cactus Gray) 6.95%
NFCU motorcycle loan (2024 Harley Davidson Road Glide - Alpine Green & Chrome) 9.45%
Total CL: $64,000 --- Total CC UTI: 27% --- AAoA: 5.5 years --- Income: $200k
Last app: 4-6-24
Message 2 of 9
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise

What are your major business spend categories? And your approximate total annual business spend?

Personal spend: Amex Gold, Amex Schwab Plat., BofA PR+CCR(x2), Costco
Business use: Amex Bus. Plat., BBP, Lowes Amex AU, CFU AU
Perks: Delta Plat., United Explorer, IHG49, Hyatt, "Old SPG"
Mostly SD: Freedom Flex, Freedom, Arrival
Upgrade/Downgrade games: ED, BCE
SUB chasing: AA Platinum Select
Message 3 of 9
rsa85
Established Member

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise


@TRC_WA wrote:

@rsa85 wrote:

 Are the Amex perks really worth all the hype?  


No idea... but I can tell you this.  Since getting my Amex Delta Gold in May of last year my last 3 Seattle/Orlando round trip flights have been free... and 2 of them were first class.   The one I have booked for October is also free... and I have one more trip yet to purchase for Feb as soon as the schedule opens up that should also be free... currently sitting on 32k miles.

 

This is all from my SUB and monthly spend.  5 free cross country trips for using a card?  Sign me up.



Nice! Yeah, sign me up too. 

        
Message 4 of 9
rsa85
Established Member

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise


@wasCB14 wrote:

What are your major business spend categories? And your approximate total annual business spend?


Marketing/advertising, supplies, Dues/subscriptions, software, car...then the normal salaries, phone, etc. 

 

Roughly around $120k (not including salaries), goes up about 15% each year. 

        
Message 5 of 9
Aim_High
Super Contributor

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise


@rsa85 wrote:

 

Looking to book a couple flights so want to make up my mind on what to pull the trigger on. Considering Amex Gold, Platinum, Freedom Blue or Chase Freedom Unltd, Sapphire for personal. For business Amex Business Gold, Platinum or Chase Business Unltd or Business Preferred. Are the Amex perks really worth all the hype?  Anything else recommended to look in to?


You will probably get differing perspectives, @rsa85, since the answer depends on many considerations.  I'm more of a Chase UR fan myself.  

 

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve has a lower AF $550 versus AMEX Platinum's $695 and then a very easy $300 travel credit that automatically applies to the first travel charges on the card annually.  And travel with Chase is a wide definition including not only flights, hotels, and rental cars but things like parking, ferries, tolls, and cruises.   AMEX's very-specific credits can more than reimburse the higher AF for the right profile and lifestyle, but if the categories aren't already organic spend for you, you might find yourself weighed-down with a higher effective AF.  (Do you use UBER/UBER Eats, GrubHub, Equinox fitness, Walmart+, Sak's Fifth Avenue, digital entertainment subscriptions?)  On some cards they are also perishable; for example, the monthly credits on Gold are use-it or lose-it.
  • If pursuing an MR versus UR strategy, consider the combination of AFs and if the credits on all the cards you would want still make the proposition net-positive.  For example, Platinum earns best on airfare and hotels booked through AMEX travel.  If you want to accelerate earning on dining, you'll need to add a Gold card for 4x MR and another $250 AF.  And a Green card if you want to earn 3x on transit or general travel for another $150 AF.  Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3x on all of those for that $550 AF. 
  • Use and valuation of airport lounges is a key difference.  AMEX Platinum has the best airport lounge network, bar none.  If that is something you will use often enough and value heavily, that could tip the scales.   CSR has complimentary Priority Pass lounge access but a smaller overall network of lounges than Platinum.
  • If you value travel protections and insurance, Chase Sapphire Reserve runs circles around Platinum.  It has some of the best travel protections available anywhere.   (*See >this My FICO Thread< for more details.)  This includes primary rental car CDW at no additional fee and roadside assistance (not just dispatch) covering the first $50 of service fees up to 4x annually.  And $1 Million in AD&D Life/Accident insurance for common carrier.
  • MRs and URs can be equivalent value on the high end (up to ~ 2 cpp each if redeemed for travel by transfer to airline partners.)   So if you're sure your only redemption will be to transfer for airfare, the points systems are equivalent.  On the low end, Chase URs have a floor of 1 cpp cash value whereas MRs have a cash value of 6/10 cpp.  For gift cards, you may be able to reach between 6/10 cpp and around 1 cpp.  With a Charles Schwab Platinum, you may cash out at 1.1 cpp but that is the exception.   And in-portal, the Chase Sapphire Reserve's points are worth 50% more meaning you always get 1.5% in-portal.  AMEX points in-portal are worth 1 cpp unless you redeem with Business Gold or Business Platinum for enhanced value. (25%/35% bonus when redeeming points for flights through the portal.)   In my case, I appreciate the easier flexibility and value proposition of URs at the low-to-middle parts of the spectrum without the complications.
  • AMEX has improved their acceptance network but it still lags Visa somewhat, especially depending on where you're traveling.  With my Gold card and even just traveling around the domestic US the past couple of years, I occassionally found places that would not accept AMEX.
  • Your preference on travel partners can be a factor.  AMEX has a larger network of partners and some important differences.  MRs transfer easily to Delta/Jetblue and I see a lot of Delta loyalists in the MR camp.  Chase is partnered with United, Southwest, or Jetblue domestically.  For foreign carriers, there are similarities and differences. (Points can be transferred on either program to British Airways Avios, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada Aeroplan, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, or Emirates Skyward among others.  MRs can be transferred to Hawaiian, Quantas, Cathay Pacific, Avianca, or ANA whereas URs cannot.)  
  • Outside of the above, there are many other positive qualties that are effectively equal on premium AMEX or Chase travel cards.

All-in-all, you'll have to look between the cards, see where you find value, consider how you'll use them, and do your own math.  Either system can be a good fit for the right person.

 

I also suggest you look into the Venture X Visa Infinite as well as the US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite. 


Business Cards


Length of Credit > 40 years; Total Credit Limits >$900K
Top Lender TCL - Chase 156.4 - BofA 99.7 - AMEX 95.0 - CITI 94.5 - NFCU 80.0 - SYCH - 65.0
AoOA > 30 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Feb 2024)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 6 of 9
rsa85
Established Member

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise


@Aim_High wrote:

@rsa85 wrote:

 

Looking to book a couple flights so want to make up my mind on what to pull the trigger on. Considering Amex Gold, Platinum, Freedom Blue or Chase Freedom Unltd, Sapphire for personal. For business Amex Business Gold, Platinum or Chase Business Unltd or Business Preferred. Are the Amex perks really worth all the hype?  Anything else recommended to look in to?.

All-in-all, you'll have to look between the cards, see where you find value, consider how you'll use them, and do your own math.  Either system can be a good fit for the right person.

 

I also suggest you look into the Venture X Visa Infinite as well as the US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite. 

 

 


Really appreciate the detailed response and insight @Aim_High, very helpful. I realized I had convinced myself I really wanted Amex, but decided I should give a more thorough look. 

        
Message 7 of 9
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise


@Aim_High wrote:

@rsa85 wrote:

 

Looking to book a couple flights so want to make up my mind on what to pull the trigger on. Considering Amex Gold, Platinum, Freedom Blue or Chase Freedom Unltd, Sapphire for personal. For business Amex Business Gold, Platinum or Chase Business Unltd or Business Preferred. Are the Amex perks really worth all the hype?  Anything else recommended to look in to?


  • MRs and URs can be equivalent value on the high end (up to ~ 2 cpp each if redeemed for travel by transfer to airline partners.)   So if you're sure your only redemption is for travel, the points systems are equivalent.  On the low end, Chase URs have a floor of 1 cpp cash value whereas MRs have a cash value of 6/10 cpp.  For gift cards, you may be able to reach between 6/10 cpp and around 1 cpp.  With a Charles Schwab Platinum, you may cash out at 1.1 cpp but that is the exception.   And in-portal, the Chase Sapphire Reserve's points are worth 50% more meaning you always get 1.5% in-portal.  AMEX points in-portal are worth 1 cpp unless you redeem with Business Gold or Business Platinum for enhanced value. (25%/35% bonus when redeeming points for flights through the portal.)   In my case, I value the easier flexibility and value proposition of URs without the complications.

It's not a 25%/35% bonus. It's 25%/35% of point back.

1/.75 = ~1.33 cents per point

1/.65 = ~1.54

But there are other limitations.

 

Advertising is eligible for 4x on Amex Business Gold, though there may be exceptions I don't know about. I mostly pay contractors and buy appliances, so B Gold's bonus categories don't do as much for me as B Platinum's.

Personal spend: Amex Gold, Amex Schwab Plat., BofA PR+CCR(x2), Costco
Business use: Amex Bus. Plat., BBP, Lowes Amex AU, CFU AU
Perks: Delta Plat., United Explorer, IHG49, Hyatt, "Old SPG"
Mostly SD: Freedom Flex, Freedom, Arrival
Upgrade/Downgrade games: ED, BCE
SUB chasing: AA Platinum Select
Message 8 of 9
Aim_High
Super Contributor

Re: Chase vs AMEX advise


@wasCB14 wrote:

@Aim_High wrote:  ... AMEX points in-portal are worth 1 cpp unless you redeem with Business Gold or Business Platinum for enhanced value. (25%/35% bonus when redeeming points for flights through the portal.)

It's not a 25%/35% bonus. It's 25%/35% of point back.

1/.75 = ~1.33 cents per point

1/.65 = ~1.54


Thanks for that clarification on the business card point enhancements, @wasCB14.  I used the "bonus" term since that is how AMEX simplifies the concept in their own advertising for both cards.

A0E0D2D3-2EAC-4FBD-ADEA-7410CBEAA9CE.jpeg

 

Your example does show exactly how that works out though. And again, for these benefits to be useful, the distinctive business card credits (very different from the personal version credits) would have to be organically attainable to help offset the steep AFs. 


Business Cards


Length of Credit > 40 years; Total Credit Limits >$900K
Top Lender TCL - Chase 156.4 - BofA 99.7 - AMEX 95.0 - CITI 94.5 - NFCU 80.0 - SYCH - 65.0
AoOA > 30 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Feb 2024)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 9 of 9
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.