Amex Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which One Should You Get?

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Our Pick
Good for Added Premium Benefits
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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The Platinum Card® from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Good for Maximizing Travel
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Rewards rate:

Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
  • Intro offer:
    Earn 100,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $695
  • Regular APR:
    See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Rewards rate:

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

  • Intro offer:
    50,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    17.24% – 24.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Rewards rate:

    Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Valuable welcome offer
  • Tiered rewards structure
  • No foreign transaction fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • Travel perks including lounge access and airline fee credits
Cons
  • Very high annual fee
  • Relatively high APR
  • Not great for rewards outside travel categories
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Valuable welcome bonus
  • $300 travel credit and other added benefits
  • 50% points value boost when redeemed for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Metal card
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • High APR
  • Not a great choice if you travel infrequently
Additional Card Details
Additional Card Details
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $240 in digital entertainment credits (up to $20 per month) on eligible purchases and subscriptions with: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required
  • Up to $155 annual Walmart+ membership credit
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card
  • $179 annual statement credit for a Clear membership
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash to use on rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. annually ($15 per month and a bonus $20 in December), plus Uber VIP access
  • $300 in annual statement credits (up to $25 per month) on eligible Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness app
  • Up to $100 in annual statement credits toward purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com (up to $50 every 6 months, per calendar year)
  • Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection including Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs (when flying same-day Delta Air Lines flights)
  • Access to Fine Hotels & Resorts program, plus credits and benefits during your stay, including $100 credit towards eligible onsite activities
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status enrollment
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status enrollment
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • American Express preferred seating and presale access
Additional Card Details
  • 50% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Up to $100 credit every four years toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
  • Complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select membership
  • 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash subscription through 12/31/24
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections
NextAdvisor’s Take

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum cards are among the most premium travel cards with high annual fees and valuable rewards for frequent travelers. They’re both geared toward travelers seeking to save money on and add comfort to frequent trips. But for the price, the Platinum Card offers the most comprehensive suite of benefits and perks to offset the costly annual fee. If you already spend your monthly budget on airport lounge access, Uber, digital entertainment subscriptions, hotel and airline reservations, and more, you can quickly outpace even this card’s cost in savings.

In the world of premium rewards travel cards, two names reign supreme: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. They each offer a variety of travel perks, ranging from lounge access to airline and hotel credits and plenty of other benefits. 

And despite the high cost, which can be hard to justify for some, both cards come with perks that can offset the cost of their annual fees if you use them wisely. 

As with any card, the “best” premium travel credit card is the one that helps you achieve your personal finance goals, and offers the most value for your spending. And with either one, you would have to exercise the same financial discipline, making sure that you pay your balance off every month in order to avoid paying the hefty interest that credit cards charge.   

To help you choose between the two, we’re diving into how these cards stack up against each other. We’ll take a closer look at their pros, cons and overall benefits, to help you determine if either of these cards is the best fit for your needs. 

Amex Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Reserve at a Glance

These two premium cards share some similarities, but differ greatly when it comes to the perks they offer. Here’s how they measure up against each other in terms of bonus points, welcome offer and notable benefits.

Amex PlatinumChase Sapphire Reserve
Annual Fee$695 (See Rates & Fees)$550
Welcome Offer100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening
Bonus Points5x on flights booked directly with airlines or at American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year); 5x on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1x on other purchases10x on Lyft rides (through March 2025); 3x on travel and dining; 1x on everything else
CreditsUp to $200 airline incidental fee credit; up to $200 Uber Cash annually for U.S. rides and eats; up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit (up to $50 semi-annually); up to $200 hotel credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel; $240 annual Digital statement credit (up to $20 per month) on purchases or subscriptions with Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock; up to $179 annual statement credit for a Clear membership; $300 in annual statement credits (up to $25 per month) on eligible Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness app$300 travel credit; Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership through 12/31/24 (activate by 12/31/23)
Travel PerksAmerican Express Global Lounge Collection access; Delta SkyClub access; Gold Status with Hilton and Marriott; up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement creditPriority Pass Select membership; Lyft Pink status; up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit every 4 years
Credit Score Required670-850 (Good to Excellent)740-850 (Excellent)

The Platinum Card®️ from American Express

The Amex Platinum Card is primarily designed for frequent travelers that can regularly use the travel perks such as lounge access, Uber credits, and more. 

The Amex Platinum card now has a $695 annual fee, but a slew of benefits can help you save money on travel and more.

Here are some of the most notable benefits of the Amex Platinum card:

  • Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash ($15 per month, plus a bonus $20 in December)
  • Up to $100 annual statement credit to Saks Fifth Avenue (up $50 every six months per calendar year)
  • Up to $200 in airline incidental credits, such as for checked baggage or change fees
  • Up to $200 in annual credits credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel
  • Up to $179 in annual statement credits for a Clear membership
  • Up to $240 in annual statement credits for purchases or subscriptions with Audible, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock (up to $20 per month)
  • Up to $300 in annual statement credits for eligible Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness app (up to $25 per month)
  • Lounge access, including Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs (when flying Delta same-day)
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Global Entry Credit every four years, or TSA PreCheck credit every four and a half  years (only one of the two, but Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck)
  • Access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts Collection

The Chase Sapphire Reserve®️

Similarly to the Amex Platinum card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is also geared towards frequent travelers. Here’s a closer look at some of the card’s top perks:

  • $300 travel credits, which can be used for hotels, airfare, rideshares, train tickets and more
  • You’ll also earn 10 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on Lyft rides (through March 2025)
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership (activate by 3/31/2022)
  • Priority Pass Select membership, providing access to Priority Pass lounges at airports worldwide plus a $28 credit per visit at participating airport restaurants worldwide
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Emergency medical and dental insurance
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit once every four years
  • Access to Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
Learn More externa link icon
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
Learn More externa link icon
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    50,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    17.24% – 24.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    740-850 (Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
Learn More externa link icon
American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)

How to Decide Between the American Express Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve

We understand choosing between one of these two cards can be a big decision. The good news is that you can’t really go wrong with either — as long as you plan to use the card and its perks regularly, you will likely more than make up for the hefty annual fee.

Here are some potential factors to consider, though.

Lounge Access

Do you fly Delta Air Lines frequently and want access to its swanky SkyClubs? Or want to relax in an Amex Centurion Lounge — an even more posh option, at least in the 14 airports that currently have them? If that’s the case, you’ll be better off with the Amex Platinum.

Conversely, if you value Priority Pass membership — restaurants included — more, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will likely be a better pick. Priority Pass lounges are in general less luxurious than SkyClubs or Centurion Lounges, but they are found in far more locations, especially outside the U.S.   

Transferring Points to Airlines and Hotels

With both cards, you’ll earn what’s known as “transferable points,” meaning points that you can transfer to hotels and airlines to use for free travel. Amex points are called Membership Rewards points, and Chase points are called Ultimate Rewards points.

Each issuer has a handful of “transfer partners,” as in hotels or airlines that you can transfer those designated points to. For example, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Delta and Marriott, and you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United and Hyatt. If you intend to fly on a specific airline or stay at a specific hotel, make sure that it’s a transfer partner of the card you choose.  

Both cards also give you access to what’s known as travel portals, where instead of transferring points to an airline or hotel, you can redeem them directly through the card issuer’s site. It’s relatively easier than transferring, but you’ll usually get somewhat less value out of your points by doing this.

Travel Credits

Both cards come with travel credits that you can use to help offset the cost of a future trip.

In this case, the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s $300 travel credit can be used broadly — towards hotels, airfare and even train tickets.

Conversely, the Amex Platinum up to $200 airline fee credit is much narrower. You can only use it on incidental charges, such as checked bag fees. It doesn’t count for airfare. You’ll also have to pre-select the airline you want to use the credit on. But the Platinum Card also comes with $200 in hotel credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel, and up to a $179 statement credit toward a Clear membership.

Food Delivery Benefits

Each card comes with some complimentary food delivery perks, which can be a great way to save money when ordering takeout or delivery. The up to $200 yearly Uber Cash ($15 monthly in Uber Cash, plus $20 in December) can be applied to U.S. Uber Eats orders, making this another way to see those savings add up.

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, on the other hand, will get a complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership for a minimum of one year (activate by 3/31/2022). With the DashPass membership, you’ll get $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on all eligible orders over $12.

Lifestyle Perks

Both cards also offer cardholders a range of lifestyle perks: the Amex Platinum comes with up to a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit (up to $50 every six months per calendar year), $240 in annual statement credits on eligible digital subscription services, and up to $300 in annual statement credits on eligible Equinox memberships.

The Reserve comes with 10x total points on each Peloton Bike and Tread purchase over $1,400 through 3/31/2022 (with a maximum earn of 50,000 total points).

Depending on your lifestyle habits, this is another important factor to consider.

Card Offers

While this isn’t listed as an official benefit, with the Amex Platinum, you’ll get access to the Amex Offers program. Here, you can get discounts (or bonus points) to some top retailers such as Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus, Glossier and more.

Chase also has a similar program, but its offers are far fewer than Amex’s robust program. 

Credit Score Required

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum are premium travel rewards credit cards, with high annual fees and a slate of high-end benefits designed to appeal to people who tend to travel a lot. Not surprisingly, they both require relatively high credit scores for a successful application. While your credit score is only one of the factors credit card issuers use when deciding whether to give you a credit line, it’s one of the most important ones.

You likely will not get approved for a Chase Sapphire Reserve if your credit score is below 740 on the FICO scale, while the Amex Platinum may be attainable with a score of 670 or higher.

Why the Amex Platinum Card Is My Choice

Like we’ve said throughout this story, there is no “best” or even better card — it’s all about which card is best or better for you. Both cards offer strong benefits, especially within the travel space, and are very solid picks for advanced credit card users looking for more perks and benefits out of their cards.

I personally have both cards and use them fairly regularly, especially before the pandemic. I was traveling pretty regularly and used perks from both cards, such as lounge access, travel credits and more. In fact, I found the cards actually complemented one another pretty nicely.

If I could only choose one, however, I’d go with the Amex Platinum. 

I use Amex Offers frequently, so being able to save on everyday purchases is a strong selling point for me, since it really helps offset the $695 annual fee

I tend to fly Delta more than other airlines, at least domestically. That’s part of why I prefer using American Express Membership Rewards points for travel. I can easily turn those points into Delta’s own SkyMiles to book free travel; I could not do that with Chase, which does not transfer points to Delta.  

Although the Platinum’s up to $200 airline incidental credit is smaller in amount and narrower in scope than the $300 travel credit from the Reserve, I still find ways to maximize it. For example, one of my favorite ways is using it to cover award fees on Delta Air Lines flights when I book using SkyMiles.

Having access to both Delta SkyClubs (when flying Delta) or Amex Centurion Lounges is another major benefit for me, one that will make travel more pleasant once it’s safe to do so freely.

I also like having access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program — I get complimentary breakfast, free upgrades (when available) and even late checkout, depending on availability. I’ve also found that the hotels participating in this program are more in line with my preferences than the ones in the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.

I do order takeout and delivery fairly often, and although I try to order directly when I can to support restaurants, services such as Uber Eats offer good discounts. With the addition to the $15 per month in Uber Cash I get as a perk of the card, I’m able to significantly reduce the cost of some of my orders.

I also shop online a lot, and there are few things I love more than a good deal. Like I said, I regularly use Amex Offers to get even more savings on my purchases. I also use the Saks credit to discount purchases even further — and combine that with the cash back I can get from sites like Rakuten to maximize savings.

Of course, these strategies make sense for people who tend to travel more often than the average, and these cards are aimed squarely at frequent travelers, even though they’ve adjusted their perks to remain appealing during the pandemic. 

But keep in mind that, while the $695 fee for the American Express Platinum or the $550 fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve are both steep, it could make sense for you if you are able to extract more value from either card than the admittedly high cost of having it in your wallet.  

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express, click here

For rates and fees of American Express Gold Card, click here

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