Mobile app comparison: American Express vs. Chase

1
Bloomberg/Getty Images

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

American Express and Chase both offer some of the best travel and rewards credit cards on the market, and they’re ramping up their mobile apps to match their high standards. Thanks to technology, banking customers can do so much more using a mobile device than they ever have before. With the help of a mobile app, customers can deposit checks, pay bills, monitor their accounts and more, and all with security features that help keep their information safe.

When it comes to mobile banking apps, responsiveness, ease-of-use and convenience are all important factors consumers can use to measure value. If you’re considering a new credit card or banking product from American Express or Chase, keep reading to learn more about how their mobile apps compare.

Basic features

Both the American Express and Chase mobile apps have all the standard features you need to access and review your credit card, like statements, spending tracking and notifications.

A few common tasks you can accomplish with either app include:

  • Review recent transactions and statements and make payments toward your balance
  • Manage which accounts you make payments from
  • View rewards balances
  • Go paperless
  • See your credit score
  • Manage push notification alerts
  • Lock and unlock your card
  • Request a replacement card

Beyond their similarities, both apps have unique features that elevate their user experiences, too. You can message with an American Express representative in-app and use the Pay It Plan It feature to manage payments on individual purchases. Pay It allows you to pay down small qualifying purchase amounts as soon as they appear in your account, while Plan It lets you pay for larger qualifying purchases over time for a fixed monthly fee.

If you have a checking or savings account with Chase, you can view the account information within the app’s dashboard, as well. That makes it easy to view your overall budget and make payments to your card from those accounts automatically.

Rewards

Both issuers’ mobile apps allow rewards cardholders to access and redeem rewards points, either through American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

American Express

The Membership Rewards program from American Express is available for cardholders with select points-earning cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Gold Card and Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card, among others.

If you have one of these cards, you can use the Membership Rewards points you earn on your purchases to book travel through the Amex portal, redeem for charges or gift cards, transfer to partners or pay for online purchases with points within the app. If you have multiple cards that earn Membership Rewards, the points from each will pool into your single account.

According to The Points Guy, Membership Rewards points can earn their highest value by transferring to airline and hotel partners and the site currently values points at 2.0 cents each.

Chase

Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program allows points-earning cardholders with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ (among others) to redeem points for cash back and gift cards or redeem for travel. Chase travel credit cards also let cardholders transfer points to travel partners. If you have a Chase cash back credit card, as well, you can combine your rewards with a points-earning card to convert them to points, then redeem through the program.

The Ultimate Rewards portal is fully accessible from Chase’s mobile app and allows you to review rewards activity, redeem or transfer points and shop with partners.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are also usually most valuable when transferred to Chase’s airline and hotel partners, where points are typically valued at 2.0 cents each.

Extra perks and security features

Both apps stand out in a few areas, and they both focus on keeping your information safe in a strategic way. Here’s everything you should know about these two card issuer’s banking app perks and security.

American Express

Fairly recently, American Express updated its mobile app to include Centurion Lounge check-in for cardholders with The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, along with the American Express® Centurion® Card. Now, you can check in to the lounge from your mobile app, even if you’re not carrying the card itself with you through the airport. Amex says mobile check-in is being rolled out one location at a time.

You can also add Amex Offers to your American Express credit cards using the mobile app, which are unique offers meant to help you save or earn more points with select retailers when you pay with your card.

Unique security features you’ll find with the Amex app include purchase alerts you can set up so you’re notified when a purchase is made, instant fraud alerts when suspicious activity occurs and reminders when a payment is due. You can also use the app to verify charges made to your card with just a few clicks.

Chase

If you’re working on your budget, Chase’s mobile app offers financial health tracking tools that may be helpful to keep you on track. You can track your daily or weekly card usage, break spending out by category (food and drink, groceries, shopping and travel), view spending in summary form and track savings. The Chase app dashboard makes it easy to stay on top of your spending throughout the month. You can even use the app to add Chase Offers to your account, which can help you save money when you use your credit card to pay for purchases with participating restaurants and retailers.

And remember, you can see all your Chase accounts with the Chase app if you use them for other types of banking products. For example, you can use the Chase app to manage mortgage payments, make a payment on your car loan and more.

Meanwhile, Chase offers its own selection of security features including facial recognition or fingerprint sign-in, as well as the ability to block new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers using your mobile device.

Like American Express and other card issuers with a mobile app, Chase also encrypts your information to keep hackers and thieves from accessing your important personal information.

Amex vs. Chase mobile app: Which is best for you?

If you have credit cards with both American Express and Chase, there’s no reason to choose between these two mobile apps. You can simply download both and keep track of your important banking details with each issuer whenever you like.

But, if you don’t want more than one mobile app, or you want to know which type of credit card to sign up for based on app features, here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Pros and cons of Amex mobile app

The Amex mobile app can be insanely useful when it comes to tracking your credit card purchases, payments and rewards. However, it’s important to note that the Amex app doesn’t let you manage other financial services you use with American Express. If you have a high-yield savings account or CD with American Express, for example, you cannot use the app to do anything that isn’t related to your American Express credit cards. With that in mind, the Amex mobile app isn’t the best option if you’re hoping to use one app to manage all your accounts and money in one place.

With that being said, the Amex mobile app can be of great use if you use Amex credit cards or charge cards for everyday spending. Not only can you track your credit card purchases and rewards, but you can set up notifications so you know right away when a charge goes through or a payment is due.

Pros and cons of the Chase mobile app

Since the Chase mobile app lets you manage all your accounts in one place, and since Chase offers more banking services to begin with, the Chase mobile app is a better option if you want to do all of your banking in transactions using your mobile device. If you have a Chase mortgage, a Chase checking and savings account and Chase credit cards, for example, you could gain incredible oversight of your finances just by using the mobile app to see all your financial accounts at once.

With that being said, no app is perfect — and the Chase app is no exception. Reviewers who rate the Chase app on Google Play complain about glitches that make the app unusable, creating slow processing times and inaccurate or delayed tracking of financial transactions.

American Express Membership Rewards vs. Chase Ultimate Rewards

One major factor to consider when choosing between these apps is each card issuer’s respective rewards program. Both Chase points and American Express Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents each on average according to The Points Guy, and both programs let you transfer points to hotel and airline partners. However, they don’t have the exact same transfer partners, although many overlap. Before you choose a program, you should compare Chase transfer partners and Amex transfer partners so you know which ones might be more valuable to you.

Both of these programs also let you redeem your rewards for travel through their portal, gift cards, statement credits or “pay with points.” However, Chase points are worth more in these categories since you’ll always get one cent per point for their redemptions.

Meanwhile, American Express only offers .7 cents per point in value when you pay with points at checkout with retailers like Amazon.com and Best Buy. If you cover your credit card charges with a statement credit, you’ll only get .6 cents per point in value.

How to download the Amex and Chase mobile apps

The American Express App is available through the Apple or Android app store or by texting “mobile” to 86509. You can log in using the same account information you use on the American Express website or create a user ID and password within the app.

Similarly, you can get the Chase Mobile app through the Apple or Android app store or by texting “mobile” to 24273 to receive a download link. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can simply sign in with your Chase Online account information or create an account and register your device.

The bottom line

In line with their premium card offerings, both American Express and Chase offer premium mobile apps to suit your spending needs. If you value having all your budgeting and tracking tools in one place, Chase may be a better fit for you. If you value the customer service-oriented focus of American Express and frequent airport lounges, you may find the Amex app a better match.

If you have a card from both issuers, each app experience is worth the download. If you’re still on the fence between choosing a credit card, though, you may want to factor the app features into your decision.

The information about Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and American Express® Centurion® Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."