Lifestyle

Why Chase Needs a Competitor to Amex Gold


Chase And American Express are two of the most popular card issuers. Since they offer similar products, their cards are often compared.

The American Express® Green Card to be in competition with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Cardwhile The Platinum Card® from American Express has notable competition with Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

But what about American Express® Gold Card? American Express’ mid-tier lifestyle card has no direct competitors from Chase, which I see as a missed opportunity. So here’s what Chase should do to create a worthy competitor to the Amex Gold.

The information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What is a lifestyle credit card?

This term is unofficial, but I choose to use it because in my opinion it best represents what cards like the Amex Gold are all about.

Eating out and shopping are two significant parts of people’s daily lives. The restaurants a person visits and what they buy at the grocery store are a big part of their lifestyle. So cards that offer rewards points for these purchases and statement credits at restaurants and supermarkets are aimed at consumers who spend a lot in these areas.

With that information out of the way, we can dig deeper into why Chase needs a competitor like the Amex Gold.

Why Should Chase Launch a Product to Compete with Amex Gold?

The choice to create a mid-range lifestyle card doesn’t stop at creating two sets of three competitive cards. Amex Gold has received criticism for its high $250 annual fee (see prices and fees) and “coupon book” credit. Consumers want reasonable annual fee because of the benefits the card offers, and they don’t want the hassle of using it.

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By listening to the pain points of those who are unhappy with the Amex Gold, Chase can capture a significant portion of its audience. Competition in the credit card market is good; it encourages innovation and discourages practices that are unfriendly to consumers.

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If Chase can come up with a great answer for the Amex Gold, it could encourage American Express to take a more competitive approach to new versions of the Amex Gold in the future.

Chase Lifestyle Card Annual Fees and Benefits

What might a mid-tier lifestyle Chase card look like? As Chase’s competitors with the Amex Green and Amex Platinum Card offering lower annual fees, it would continue that trend with this hypothetical card. Amex Gold has an annual fee of $250, so Chase’s competitors should aim for annual fees between $150 and $195.

In terms of benefits, Chase will need to approach this very strategically. According to Reddit, one of the most common criticisms of the Amex Gold is the way it is issued monthly. credit food report. The credit is limited to a handful of brands, including Grubhub, Shake Shack, and The Cheesecake Factory. Reddit users also reported frustration that the credit is capped at $10 per month (up to $120 per calendar year). Sign-up required; terms apply.

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Considering that, Chase should cover up to $100 credit report per calendar year for food purchases. This credit should include restaurant dining and takeout and delivery. Keep it simple; do not include any brand restrictions or limits on how much can be credited each month. As with the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve, it should also include a free DashPass subscription.

Online forum users have long complained about Chase’s lack of consumer credit cards for buy gas. If Chase offered a statement credit for gas on this card, it would set it apart from most other consumer gas cards. The card could offer up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for purchases at gas stations. Like the dining credit, there would be no branding restrictions or other gimmicks.

Based on the $150 to $195 annual fee I envision for this card, offering up to $200 in statement credits each year would allow cardholders to get a lot of value out of this card.

And, as a final perk, the card may offer a free Lyft Six-month pink membership, including priority pickup and free order cancellation.

Related: Is the Amex Gold Card worth the annual fee?

Earn points on Chase lifestyle card

When I think about the purchases that shape the daily life of the average American, the following three categories immediately come to mind: gas, Grocery And eat and drink. Suppose, I think Amex Gold provide bonus Membership Rewards Points For groceries and dining, including all three of these categories gives the Chase Lifestyle card a competitive edge.

At the very least, Chase should match the Amex Gold’s earnings on groceries at U.S. supermarkets and dining out at restaurants. That means this lifestyle card needs to earn at least 4 Ultimate Rewards Points on every dollar spent on restaurant dining and shopping at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year). If you go that route, this card could earn 4 points per dollar spent on gas to keep the categories consistent.

Assuming TPG value Chase charges 2.05 cents per point (as of July 2024), which translates to a real return of over 8% on groceries, dining, and gas.

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Another option might be to offer cardholders the option to earn 6 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries or dining each quarter. Cards like Chase Freedom Flex® offers rotating quarterly categories, but cardholders don’t get to decide which categories they earn bonus points for each quarter. Giving cardholders the flexibility to choose what they earn bonus points for makes this an attractive option.

Cardholders can maximize their earnings on gas, groceries, and dining without switching between cards. For the two categories not selected for the 6-point-per-dollar increase each quarter, the card will earn 4 points per dollar. So, for example, if you choose to earn 6 points per dollar spent on gas this quarter, you will earn 4 points per dollar spent on dining and groceries.

In both monetization models, Buy Lyft will earn 3 points per dollar and all other purchases will earn 1 point per dollar.

Related: Credit Cards with the Best Rewards for Each Bonus Type

How does this card fit into the Sapphire family?

This hypothetical card would fit between Sapphire favorite And Sapphire Reserve. The Sapphire Preferred earns points on online grocery purchases, while both the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve earn points on dining out. By introducing this theoretical lifestyle card, the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve could eliminate the grocery and dining categories and focus more on travel.

It would then make sense for the cardholder to keep both this card and the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve. To help highlight this combination, this card should also be given the “Sapphire” moniker.

That said, it should not be subject to the same application restrictions like the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve. Cardholders should be able to hold this card and one of the other Sapphire cards together, and earning a bonus on one card should not prevent someone from earning a bonus on the other.

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Compare the combination of this card and the Sapphire Reserve with Amex Gold And Amex Platinum Card shows a big difference in total cost to the consumer. Depending on how Chase prices this card, we’d see total costs of $700-$745 per year for this card and the Sapphire Reserve compared to $945 per year for the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum (see Amex Platinum prices and fees).

Related: The Power of the Chase Trifecta

Last line

It’s time for Chase to release a competitor. Amex Gold. A strategically designed mid-range lifestyle card would generate a lot of buzz and applications for Chase. Chase has a golden opportunity here that they need to capitalize on, and if they release a card like I envision, I would definitely apply.

Related: Who Should (and Who Shouldn’t) Get an Amex Gold Card?

For Amex Gold rates and fees, click This.
For Amex Platinum rates and fees, click This.

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