The battle between American Express and Chase continues to go on, especially in the premium card arena. The Chase Sapphire Reserve just destroyed the offerings by American Express and Amex’s continued improvements still do not warrant a switch from the Chase Sapphire Reserve to the Amex Platinum – for most people. In fact, when you look at the cards in both issuers portfolio, Chase beats Amex on most cards (for now, the SPG card is still a champion).
One Way That American Express Beats Chase
But, there is one way that American Express beats Chase for those of us that like getting several cards! True, both issuers have pretty stringent rules regarding “churners” and limit most of us from getting their valuable bonuses due to those limits. Here are both rules for the issuers, as of right now:
Very quick, here is the Chase policy as it pertains to card “churners” – the people (like us) who get cards for the bonuses, and do it again (and again, and again). If you have had 5 or more new accounts in the last 24 months, you are unable to get a new Chase card (for most Chase cards, especially the Ultimate Reward earning cards). You will be declined.
The Amex policy is that if you have ever held a particular Amex card before, you are not eligible to get the bonus – ever again. That is definitely the tighter policy of the two.
So, How Does American Express Beat Chase?
If you are like me, you have had every American Express card with one or two exceptions. That means you are not able to get those bonuses again (though they do make exceptions with some targeted offers).
But, you can get American Express cards again when you have had them before. With Chase, if you are over 5/24 and you want to sign up for one of the Chase cards covered by that bonus policy, you will be denied and not able to even get the card.
This means that you can get American Express cards again and again – just not the sign-up bonus on the card. You cannot do that with the Chase cards.
Why Would You Want An American Express Card Without the Bonus?
That is a good question and one many people might ask. The answer is that some of the Amex cards do provide some great benefits besides the sign-up bonus.
SPG Card Example
For example, the SPG cards come with 2 stays and 5 nights credit towards elite status each calendar year. That means that you could have the personal and business versions and automatically have 4 stays and 10 nights towards elite status. If you are going for Platinum status, that means it puts you at 16% of the stays you would need (you need 25 stays in a calendar year) or 20% of the nights you would need (you need 50 nights in a calendar year – you only need nights or stays, not both). In such a situation, having the SPG cards would save you having to spend more money/time getting those qualifying nights/stays.
Platinum Card Example
It can also apply for cards like the American Express Platinum. Having that card will give you $200 in airline reimbursements each calendar year – meaning $400 in the first year. Combined with the $100 Global Entry, you could get $500 in value the first year for paying the $550 (as of March 30) fee. That is besides things like the 5X points on airline purchases, the Uber credit, the lounge access, SPG Gold status and more. Even without the sign-up bonus, it can make sense for some people to get the Amex Platinum (especially if they get the no-fee-first-year Ameriprise Amex Platinum card!).
Basically, there are many reasons that customers would want to get the same card again even without the sign-up bonus. Those cards can give benefits (like free nights, spending bonuses, more award availability, free bags, etc) that could make the application and fee totally worth it – even if you cannot get the sign-up bonus. But, Chase will not give you their cards (that are under 5/24) at all while American Express will let you get the cards again.
Yes, you can convert some cards to other cards but that is not possible across some co-branded cards to other cards. So, if you have an Amex charge card, you will not be able to convert it to a credit card. Also, you cannot convert a business card to a personal. Finally, there are some c0-branded ones you cannot convert to another card – like switching the Chase Hyatt card to the Chase IHG card.
American Express loses out to Chase on many fronts but the ability to at least get a card again for its benefits is a big plus for many people – against Chase’s policy that will not let you even open the card if you are under their 5/24 rule. This may not work for everyone but if there are benefits on particular Amex cards that you would like to take advantage of, at least you know you are not blocked from getting the card and benefits – even if you do not get the sign-up bonus again.
Is there a Chase or American Express card you would get just for the benefits?