CLOSED: November Contest: $250 Gift Card or Free Use of Award Travel Booking Service. Enter by November 18th at 5pm EST

It’s time again for an OTR reader contest, and this time I thought I’d have folks weigh in on the back-and-forth Gary from View from the Wing is having with Lucky from One Mile at a Time about the relative usefulness of the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. You can read their discussion here and here.

In short, Lucky believes Membership Rewards is pretty much useless to him now that Continental is gone from the program and Aeroplan has changed its fuel surcharge rules. Gary says there’s still plenty of value in Membership Rewards, even with the various fuel surcharges you’ll face with some partners. Again, details in links above.

For this contest: simply weigh in in the comments section to this post about which card you prefer and why, or why you like both. Or neither. You get the point. Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you.

The winner will receive their choice of either:

- The use of Gary or Lucky’s fantastic award booking service. For this prize, your choice of either of them will book you the most complex award you can think of for up to 2 people.


- A $250 gift card on Continental Airlines (maybe this will make up for some of the sadness you feel because they’re no longer part of Membership Rewards).

You can enter until Friday, November 18th at 5pm Eastern. Soon after that, I will use a random number generator from to pick the winner from the comments. I will then contact the winner about whether they want the Award Booking or the gift card as their prize. One entry per person, please. I’m the final arbiter of the rules, so there ya go.

Good luck with the contest and welcome to those you new to the OTR. If you’re new to the site, we’d love to have you back. You can grab the site’s feed here, follow our Twitter account, or subscribe to receive the feed via email and get posts delivered to your inbox.

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  1. If I keep one when the annual fee comes due, it will be the Sapphire.

  2. I vote for Chase Sapphire Preferred over Amex. Chase’s transfer partners are much better than Amex’s. I really don’t see a lot of valuable or flexible partner redemption opportunities with Amex.

  3. I prefer the Chase Sapphire. The redemption options are much better and I prefer using a Visa over Amex since it is accepted everywhere.

  4. Chase Sapphire because Lucky says so :)

  5. I like the Chase card better

  6. I’m going with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card. I travel enough that I don’t need to transfer for miles, so the hotel partners offered are fine for me.

  7. Go Chase SP, because you get better value for your reward redemptions.

  8. Not withstanding all of the above I prefer the Amex card.

  9. I’m getting a Sapphire. My MR card seems so much less useful now I moved a ton of miles to Conti and use my SPG for everything.

  10. Chase sapphire except Amex for airfare and grocery.

  11. I use both, depending on the category.

    wife & I both have both but once the freebie year ends, we’ll go from 4 cards to 2.

  12. I prefer the Chase since I hate pulling out the Amex to find it isn’t accepted.

  13. I will be keeping my Chase Sapphire and canceling my Membership Rewards. The Chase is more flexible and the Cash Back checks really are a big plus.

  14. Chase is better except for groceries and gas. AMEX really needs to get some new partners.

  15. I only have the Gold Premier AMEX card and I like it. I like the services provided by AMEX.
    But one of these days I will be getting the Chase Sapphire Card.

  16. Im a big fan of the Sapphire card right now because I just discovered that chase awards UR points before you pay your bill. I just received my card last week and I already have 250 UR points. I waited almost 2 months to get my first MR points.

  17. I’m the world’s worst cook, which means I’m dining out all the time. The 2x points on dining (and the multiple transfer partners) makes the Sapphire the card for me.

  18. I’m with Lucky on this one. I don’t see any reason to continue putting spend on my MR which, for all intents and purposes, goes to just Delta and BA for me when instead I can have the same points be used for much more valuable programs like Continental. Chase Sapphire for me.

  19. I prefer the Sapphire for their partners and their online mall.

  20. While I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and other favored ones like AmEx Starwood, I am proud to say I still lean towards my Chase Priority Club card. It boasts the no for. trans. fee feature that Sapphire is so popular for, and for me it’s a great card to hold for years because it’s annual fee is among the lowest in the game at $49, and you get free night voucher each year, of which the value easily surpasses that $49 fee.
    Plus, the PC Shopping Mall has been the ONLY online shopping portal to always, ALWAYS post my purchase points in a timely manner. I like sticking with the mall I don’t have to worry about.

  21. But my bad that I didn’t follow directions. If I have to pick between the two, I easily go with Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ultimate Rewards points. I like the partner list they’re building, like ability to transfer points to a spouse’s mileage account, and it has no for. trans fees, while AmEx can’t offer that.

  22. Chase Sapphire not just for its awesome metal design, but because bonus points post easily and seems much more can be done with those points.

  23. Amex Premier Rewards Gold because of the frequent transfer bonuses. Even if you send the points to delta, each dollar on airfare earns 4.5miles!

  24. MR is pretty useless compared to a year ago, so I’ll probably get the Sapphire the next time they have a good promotion.

  25. Chase Sapphire. Because UA miles are just the most valuable out there, especially as a 1K. I transferred 2mm MR to CO right before the deadline (emptied my MR account). Very glad I did!

  26. I vote for the Amex PRG because of 3x airfare. That is hard to beat !! and also because of great transfer bonuses

  27. Amex PRG all the way for lucrative transfer bonuses !!

  28. Chase Sapphire over Amex- Why would I have to pay $75 for just being part of the membership rewards program? That sucks for every corporate card holder

  29. They each have their uses.

  30. I’m an avid fan of the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The yearly fee is a lot cheaper than the AmEX PRG.

  31. I prefer the Sapphire. I think there are better options for transfer partners and there is a smaller annual fee than the AMEX cards.

  32. While I usually agree with Gary (and frankly, who doesn’t including Lucky), I gotta go Chase Sapphire on this one

  33. I like the extra points for travel and restaurants with Sapphire.

  34. Right now I am using the Amex Rewards more. And one thing nobody seems to mention is that you can transfer points to Hilton for 1:1.5. That’s 1000 Amex Rewards = 1500 Hilton points. Plus Amex seems to award bonus immediately whereas Chase does it by billing statements. That can be huge if you are trying to book something using a points bonus.

  35. I don’t have either, but I am considering getting the Chase Sapphire card. It just looks like a better value to me.

  36. Love the discussion. I’m a big fan of UR, but learning alot about Amex lately.

  37. AMEX. For someone heavy on USAir miles, Continental loss isn’t a big deal.

  38. I have niether but I am leaning toward the Chase card.

  39. I like the Chase card. It looks so slick.

  40. I used CO/UA and US Airways the most. So, naturally, Chase Sapphire is my preferred card now.

  41. At this point I’d probably go with the Sapphire from Chase.

  42. I don’t have the Sapphire and just recently received the AMEX Gold Card. Personally, I think Chase has the edge. And recently when I transferred membership rewards points I got hit with a small fee. Kinda annoying…

  43. Amex because Chase tracks applications too closely

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