Mobile app comparison: American Express vs. Chase

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American Express and Chase both offer some of the best travel and rewards credit cards on the market, as well as mobile apps that match the high standards set for their cards. With the help of these apps, customers can pay bills, monitor their accounts and more, plus security features that help keep their information safe.

Responsiveness, ease-of-use and convenience are all important factors consumers can use to measure the value of mobile banking apps. If you’re considering a new credit card or banking product from American Express or Chase, keep reading to learn more about how these 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 account, 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 the similarities, both apps have unique features that elevate their user experiences, too. You can message with an American Express representative within the app and use the Pay It, Plan It features 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. This makes it easy to view your overall budget, and you can set up automatic payments to your card from those accounts.

Rewards

Both issuers’ mobile apps allow cardholders to access and redeem rewards, 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 your Membership Rewards points to book travel through the Amex portal, redeem for statement credits or gift cards, transfer to partners or shop with points at partner merchants. Note, according to The Points Guy’s monthly valuations, Membership Rewards points can be worth up to 2 cents each when transferred to airline and hotel partners.

Chase

Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program allows points-earning cardholders, such as those holding the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Freedom Flex℠, to redeem points for cash back, gift cards or 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 an Ultimate Rewards points-earning card, then redeem through the program for added value.

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 up to 2 cents each.

Extra perks and security features

Both apps stand out in a few areas and have a focus on keeping your information safe. Here’s everything you should know about these apps’ perks and security.

American Express

The American Express app includes Centurion Lounge check-in for cardholders with the Amex Platinum Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the Centurion Card from American Express. 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.

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

Additionally, you can send money to friends and family using Venmo or PayPal within the app, and you won’t have to pay the fees that Venmo and PayPal typically charge on credit card transactions.

Security features you’ll find with the Amex app include purchase alerts (notifying you 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. You can track your daily or weekly card usage, break spending out by category (food and drink, groceries, shopping and travel), view a summary of your spending and track savings. The Chase app dashboard makes it easy to stay on top of your spending throughout the month. You can also 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 at participating restaurants and retailers.

And, remember, you can see all your Chase accounts with the Chase app. For example, you can use the app to manage Chase mortgage payments, make a payment on your car loan and more.

Chase also 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 encrypts your information to keep bad actors from accessing your important personal data.

Lastly, you can send and receive money for no fee using Zelle (available within the Chase app).

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 if 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 the Amex mobile app

The Amex mobile app can be incredibly useful when it comes to tracking your credit card purchases, payments and rewards. However, it’s important to note that the Amex app hasn’t widely rolled out the ability to manage other Amex financial services within the app. If you have a high-yield savings account or CD with American Express, for example, you cannot use the app to manage those accounts. So, the Amex mobile app isn’t the best option if you’re hoping to use one app to manage all your finances in one place.

That said, the Amex mobile app can be very worthwhile if you use American Express 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 using your mobile device. If you have a Chase mortgage, checking account, savings account and Chase credit card, for example, you could gain convenient oversight of your finances just by using the mobile app to see all your financial accounts at once.

Still, no app is perfect—and the Chase app is no exception. Reviewers who rate the Chase app on Google Play sometimes complain about glitches that make the app unusable, frequent updates, required password changes and problems logging in.

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 Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points hold a value of up to 2 cents each when used toward partner travel. 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, exchange them for gift cards or statement credits or use them to “pay with points.” However, Chase points are worth more in these categories since you’ll always get 1 cent per point in value.

On the other hand, American Express only offers 0.7 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 0.6 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. But if you value the customer service-focus of Amex’s app and frequent airport lounges, you may find the Amex app a better match.

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