American Express Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Reserve: Two Elite Travel Rewards Credit Cards Head to Head
Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express, Member FDIC offer premium travel rewards and benefits — but both come with a high annual fee. A rewards credit card with high annual fees isn’t necessary for most individuals, especially when taking into account the other alternatives available. However, frequent travelers may not mind the higher annual fee in exchange for all the benefits such premium cards have to offer.
To help you decide which option could be worth the high price to have in your wallet, keep reading this American Express Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve review to find out exactly what you’ll get with each credit card.
American Express Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: What Each Card Will Cost You
Both the American Express Platinum Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card carry a hefty annual fee.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee||Platinum Card from American Express Annual Fee|
|$550; $75 for each authorized user||$695; $175 for additional cards|
Besides the annual fee, there are other costs to think about, especially if you plan on carrying a balance on the Chase card. The variable APR with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is .
Meanwhile, the American Express Platinum Card does not charge interest because you are expected to pay the balance in full each month. If you don’t want to pay in full, you must be deemed eligible for the Pay Over Time feature, in which case you will have to pay interest. Use the feature as a last resort — the current APR for the convenience is a hefty APR.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. American Express Platinum: Which Card Has Better Rewards?
Both cards offer premium perks and benefits that go beyond travel. But to make the most of the rewards, you’ll need to accrue points first. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn three points for every dollar spent on travel and dining worldwide, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. To really boost your earnings, book dining through Ultimate Rewards to earn ten points per dollar spent. As for travel, you can earn five points (instead of three) if you login to the Chase Ultimate Rewards website, available for all Chase credit card holders, to book travel using cash or points.
You get the most value when you redeem your Chase points for travel, which includes airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. A bonus of 50% points is added for bookings. For example, if you have 50,000 points, the points are boosted to 75,000. That’s worth $750 toward travel in Ultimate Rewards, or $500 toward other redemption options.
The American Express Platinum Card’s rewards system strives to be a bit simpler. American Express allows you to earn five Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on flights and hotels, and one point per dollar on all other purchases.
The dollar value of points varies by redemption option. You get the most value for flights: 100 points equals $1, so if you have 50,000 points, you’ll get $500 toward airfare. American Express has a handy points calculator that can tell you how much your points are worth according to the type of redemption. Say you have 10,000 points you’d like to redeem. The points can go towards $100 in flights, $70 for hotels or car rentals, $50 for shopping or $60 towards your card’s statement balance. The useful tool can help you find ways to make the most of the points you’ve earned.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. American Express Platinum: Comparing Features
Both of these cards go beyond what’s typically offered by basic rewards credit cards, with each offering premium perks to cardholders. Here are some of the top benefits of each card:
New Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will get — worth $900 toward travel — for spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months.
To get the welcome offer bonus from the Platinum Card from American Express, spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months, and you’ll earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points. That’s equal to $1,000 for airfare and certain gift cards, but less with other redemption options.
Keep In Mind
Timing is key when it comes to any American Express welcome offers. Some users have reported earning up to 150,000 points at sign up. The fourth quarter of 2021 and first quarter of 2022 offer is 125,000 points.
If you’re an Uber or Lyft user, you’ll need to choose one card over the other. The Platinum Card from American Express has partnered with Uber. With the Platinum Card, you’ll have Uber VIP status and get $15 toward rides or meal deliveries each month, and an extra $20 in December.
Sapphire Reserve members get one year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership, plus 15% off all rides on Lyft.
Airport Lounge Access
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card includes complimentary access to over 1,300 lounges in 500 cities worldwide, but you will need to enroll in the Priority Pass Select program separately to take advantage of this perk.
With the Platinum Card from American Express, you’ll get access to all of the Priority Pass Select lounges, plus all Centurion Lounges, International American Express lounges and Delta Sky Club lounges.
Get complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out at Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties around the world with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Hotel benefits for American Express Platinum members include daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, guaranteed 4 p.m. late check-out, noon check-in when available and complimentary Wi-Fi at Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Travel credits are a good way to evaluate how much you’re paying for a premium credit card. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, each year you’ll get a $300 statement credit that can be used toward any travel purchases.
The Platinum Card from American Express goes further when it comes to travel credits. You’ll get a $200 annual airline credit to be used toward airline fees such as baggage fees and in-flight meals, a $200 hotel credit for use at Fine Hotels & Resorts and the Uber monthly credits mentioned that amount to $200.
Plus, both cards provide a credit every four years to cover the cost of TSA Precheck or Global Entry, valued at $100.
Click through to read more about luxury credit cards you wish you could get.
Which Is Better: Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Platinum
If you’re wondering which card is best, it all depends on how much traveling you’ll actually do in a calendar year. Frequent travelers will find more value in the American Express Platinum card with expanded access to airport lounges and over $600 in annual credits for airline, hotel and rideshare services. When you add up all the benefits, the high annual fee is practically covered.
However, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card shouldn’t be dismissed when you’re searching for a travel card. It’s a Visa card, which is more readily accepted worldwide, balances can be paid in monthly installments and has many similar benefits to the Platinum card for a slightly lower annual fee.
Gabriella Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.
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