Premier Rewards Gold, SPG Amex, or Chase Sapphire Preferred?
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TPG reader Maxwell emailed me to ask:
"I currently have the SPG Amex credit card and use that for my daily spending. Did I make the right decision in picking this card over the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the new Amex Gold that earns double points on dining plus a $100 airline credit?"
This past month, American Express enhanced the Premier Rewards Gold card by adding double points on dining (a direct jab at the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which offers double points on both travel and dining), as well as a $100 airline credit and no foreign transaction fees. These new benefits come at a price, as there is a $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195, but depending on how you spend your money, this card could be very lucrative. So how does the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express compare to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?
I love my SPG Amex and I use it for spending that doesn't earn a bonus on any of my other cards, like clothing purchases. However, I do use my Sapphire Preferred for all travel and dining (minus airfare). Since Chase has a broad definition of travel, I use this card for things like tolls and parking costs.
I try to maximize category bonuses as best I can, and always use the appropriate card in order to do so. I have all three of these cards, and earned a welcome bonus for each. Just the bonuses alone may make it worthwhile to get all three cards. The public welcome bonus for the Amex Premier Rewards Gold is 25,000 points, but through the Cardmatch tool, many TPG readers have reported getting a bonus of up to 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending just $1,000 in the first three months. The annual fee is also waived for the first year.
The recent updates to the Amex Premier Rewards Gold don't go into effect until June 1, 2015, so you won't get those bonuses until later. However, I use this card for airfare, which gets me three points per dollar spent, and if you book through Amex Travel you get four points per dollar spent, which is a great value. I put a lot of my groceries and gas spending on this card, while I put my restaurant spending on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and everything else on the SPG card.
These three cards make for a very valuable trifecta, so I recommend getting all three. If you need more help figuring out which credit card to use, download TPG To Go (our very own Points Guy app), which will help you maximize each purchase.