which is the best overall card- SPG Amex or Sapphire Preferred card ?

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by whenzuc, Jul 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. I have been a fan of the SPG Amex card for years using an AA visa or MasterCard when AMEX is not taken. I have been told that Sapphire Preferred card is a better overall card given a free 2nd airline ticket. Can someone compare the benefits of the 2 programs? Which one wins out?
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I cannot answer for everyone. I just closed an SPG American Express and opened a Chase Sapphire. I try to have as few cards as I can, so if I open one I close one also.

    The Sapphire had a superb opening and activation promotion that made me look, but the attraction for staying is for me no FX fees, easy customer service, 7% annual bonus points and points conversions to several airline programs, cash or whatever.
    http://credit-card-review.toptenreviews.com/rewards-credit-card/chase-sapphire-review.html this summarizes my views, but you can probably have a better promotion than the one discussed here. There is lots of discussion about that in this thread.

    The SPG American Express was a pretty good deal, but the benefits are obviously directed to SPG, so they are not as flexible. Most American Express cards are now eliminating the FX fees, but they still applied when I had my card.

    I am interested in other views, although I have already acted on my preference.
     
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  3. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I did a comparison of Chase Sapphire with some other cards recently
    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewf...-current-credit-card-to-put-your-spending-on/

    Chase Sapphire is a good Visa/Mastercard. It's hardly the best card. I'd rate SPG Amex, Amex Premier Rewards Gold, and Asiana Amex as better. I'd say Chase Sapphire is a card to consider to supplement Amex for places that don't accept it. Or for foreign currency spend. I personally like the BA Visa better but Chase Sapphire is a reasonable Visa/Mastercard for non-Amex spend. But it's not the best card out there for general spend.
     
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  4. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Don't be confused. It IS an FX fee. They call it "international transactions fee" because the fee is charged whether the transaction is in US$ or not. That is true for virtually all issuers, regardless of brand or bank. The reason is that some non-US acquirers (the bank that deals with merchants) have merchants why charge in US$ from their non-US location. When they do that you still will be charged the fee. That is the same for every issuer. Some issuers have some cards exempt from the fee. Just to make it more confusing there is no brand that is consistent in this respect.

    So there is no FX fee for Sapphire Preferred but is for the plain Sapphire. That is correct.
     
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  6. Mountain Trader
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    Mountain Trader Silver Member

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    I carry both the SPG Amex and the Chase Sapphire Preferred and I think the SPG card is far superior. I don't pay forex fees by using a card I keep mostly just for that (the old Schwab Visa). My view on the rest of the benefit is that the airline transfers available with SPG are far greater, and those cash and points awards at Starwood properties can save a lot of money.

    The Chase card airline transfers are CO and BA-I have yet to read if UA is expected to be added when CO disappears. While adding UA would take some business from the MP Visa card, Chase has that too so it wouldn't seem to make much difference to them (other than the 7% rebate).
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    And that is why both co-exist and thrive. People evaluate benefits quite differently. I like choice!
     
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  8. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    The biggest advantage of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the ability to transfer to United/Continental. They also promise a real person answering the phone from the US. For companion fare offers, also consider the Alaska Airlines card as well as the US Airways card.
     
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  9. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    I strongly disagree. The number of airline transfer options is, AFAIK, higher than for any other card, including Sapphire Preferred or the various Amex MR products.

    Of course, flexibility isn't especially useful if the exchange ratios are disadvantageous, and I would be remiss in not noting the unattractive 2:1 SPG:UA/CO transfer ratio. But the base ratios for other major carriers -- including *A members US and AC -- are 1:1, and then you have the 25% bonus for 20K transfers and the periodic promotions by individual carriers (such as the additional 25-75% bonus by US recently). So if you want to fly the tulip Death Star on an award ticket, SPG gives you a fairly advantageous way to do that.
     
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  10. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    The two I use most: well, three, sorry:

    SPG Amex, HHonors Surpass Amex, C1 Venture Visa Sig.

    HHonors for gas, grocery, and pharm (6 points per $) and HH properties. SPG for most all other expenses. C1 for Visa Sig offers, C1 bonus offers (like 7 points per $ last quarter at Subway and Applebees) and wherever Amex isn't accepted. My only gripe is never remembering to bring one of my Mastercards with me when going to Sams Club :/
     
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  11. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    Don't forget Internet & wireless service expenses. In our household, that easily tops drugstore spending, and probably runs close to our monthly gasoline outlay.

    Not entirely irrelevant aside: Target is coded as a grocery store. Who knew?
     
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  12. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    Oops, forgot to mention that as well. I switched my VZW cell payment to that card and now pay my Comcrap and DTV with it, as well. Unfortunately my utilities dept doesn't accept Amex.

    I remember the good 'ol days when WM was coded as grocery
     
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  13. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    The Sapphire Preferred offers a 50,000 point bonus which is most valuable when transferred to airline partners such as Continental or British Airways or redeemed for expensive Park Hyatt hotels. However, the regular earning rate is 1 point per $1 spent

    The SPG card offers a 25% bonus when you convert Starpoints to miles so it is more valuable for everyday spending if you reach the 20,000 point level required for to earn the 25% transfer bonus since you will earn 1.25 miles per $1 spent.

    I compared the cards here, and concluded that the Sapphire Preferred wasn't the best card for everyday spending. It is a good card for the sign-up bonus, though!
     
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  14. Besdies the benefit of the upfront points for a new card is anyone using this successfully for the discounted ticket feature on all tickets and the 2nd ticket free? Interested if the ticket feactures are better than SPG milesage transfer to let's say AA? Thanks!!
     
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  15. kenbo
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    kenbo Silver Member

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    Is the Sapphire Preferred a Visa Signature card?
     
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  16. DannyTW

    DannyTW Member

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    The Sapphire Preferred is a Signature card, as is the Capital One Venture that was mentioned a few posts ago (but I'm not sure about those cards' little brothers, the Sapphire and the Venture One). I have both of the Signature cards and they both say "Signature" on them.
     
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  17. kenbo
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    kenbo Silver Member

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    Thanks!

    I was a little worried because I read a review of the Preferred card somewhere and the writer said that the card is available in Visa, Visa Signature, Mastercard and World MC and that credit worthiness decides which card you get. While my credit is fine, I don't like the idea of Chase, or any company for that matter, deciding which type of card I am "worthy" of. If I apply for a card, I want to know exactly what I'm getting when I apply.
     
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  18. notbgates
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    notbgates Silver Member

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    FWIW, cellphone bills paid with the Pentagon Federal CU visa (free CC) provides free cellphone insurance ($50 deductible).
     
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  19. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Are you sure that these are benefits of that card? I have not heard of either.
     
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  20. druiddation
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    druiddation Gold Member

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    When I'm not trying to complete a minimum spending requirement for a bonus or topping off miles in a certain account for one reason or another, Amex has always been my favorite card simply because I've found their customer service to be great in the past (particularly when I've really needed them). While I haven't dealt with them much, so far I have been really impressed with the Chase Sapphire customer service. And having an easy to understand CSR on the phone when I call them without having to navigate a phone tree or enter my account # is a nice touch.
     
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  21. upgrademe
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    upgrademe Active Member

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    Sorry for the off-topic question, but where do you find out about bonus offers?
     
  22. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    which offers are you talking about, specifically? sign up offers or business-specific offers directly related to a card?
     
  23. upgrademe
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    upgrademe Active Member

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    I have the card too and was wondering about business-specific offers. Thanks.
     
  24. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    go to "explore rewards" or whatever the option is under your account. it opens a new window and shows what you've earned reward points on and you can also search for which retailers off "x" amount of bonus points. 95%+ are all click-through/online. you can search by retail/physical store, which will only yield about a dozen B&M stores for your zip code. I believe Subway is still on there. Applebees was last quarter. I've noticed a lot of businesses in Colorado are on there too. Kinda bull**** that that area gets a lot more perks, honestly.
     

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