Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. The Platinum Card From American Express: Clash of the Premium Travel Rewards Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. The Platinum Card From American Express: Clash of the Premium Travel Rewards Cards

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is best for luxury travelers while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card will be the better option for everyday consumers.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Best forTravelers looking for high earning rates & travel perksFrequent travelers who want high-end airport lounges & luxury travel benefits
Welcome offerEarn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Annual fee$550$695 (See rates and fees)
Earnings rate5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.
Annual air/travel credit$300Up to $200 (enrollment required)
Air/travel credit can be used for…Travel purchasesIncidentals only (one airline per year)
Rewards rate1.5% - 4.5%1% - 5%
Foreign transaction fee$0None (See rates and fees)
NetworkVisa InfiniteAmerican Express
Credit Background750-850720-850
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express are two of the most popular luxury cards in the U.S. With largely similar features and comparable annual fees, it can be challenging to know which premium card is best for you. While The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a number of credits and luxury travel perks, including things like complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required) and a $200 hotel credit, it's missing the high earning rate on everyday spending categories that make the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card so valuable.

From luxury travel perks to maximizing your rewards, we'll outline the primary differences between these two cards to help you make the best choice for your lifestyle.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earning rate

Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. 1X Membership Rewards points on all other purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card lets you 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Compared with The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a more flexible and lucrative earning rate.

We used U.S. Bureau of Labor and Skift spending data to estimate how many points per $1 the average consumer would earn with each card, and multiplied that by our estimated value of Amex and Chase Ultimate Rewards points to come up with the following rewards rates. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes out ahead for the average consumer.

Rewards earned per $1 spent

$0.03
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
$0.023
The Platinum Card® from American Express

Tip: The primary goal of those looking for a premium credit card typically isn’t to earn rewards points, but rather to reap the benefits of luxury travel perks. If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck with a low or no annual fee card that offers a higher rewards earning rate, consider choosing a non-premium cash back or rewards credit card instead.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Welcome bonus

Winner: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Welcome bonuses can be a good way for premium credit cards to offset the cost of their high annual fee. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a generous welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. According to our current Membership Rewards points valuation, that comes out to about $2,000 when transferred to Amex's loyalty program partners, which is well over its annual fee of $695.

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

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® lets you Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. By our estimates, that's a $1,200 value toward travel when you transfer points to Chase's loyalty program partners. While the value of that sign-up bonus alone is more than double the card's annual fee, it only amounts to around half of what the The Platinum Card® from American Express offers.

Card
Requirements
Value
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.$1,200
The Platinum Card® from American Express100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.$2,000

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Annual fee

Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Platinum Card® from American Express charges a $695 annual fee while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® charges a $550 annual fee. While both fees are steep, you won't need to pay quite as much annually with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card.

Note, too, that both cards offer a number of credits, bonuses and travel perks that help to offset these annual fees. For example, the value of the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, including things like credits and access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, far exceed its annual fee.

However, Amex's credits typically come with a number of limitations that can make them challenging to use. For instance, the Uber cash benefit of up to $200 for U.S. that comes with the The Platinum Card® from American Express comes in $15 monthly increments (good for U.S. Uber rides and eats once you add the card to the Uber app), so you'd have to use Uber on a regular basis in order to appreciate its full value. This card also offers up to a $200 airline fee credit, but it’s limited solely to incidental airline fees on one airline that you have to designate at the beginning of the year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee$550$695
Credits
  • Travel credit = $300
  • Global Entry credit = $100
  • Hotel credit = $200
  • Airline fee credit = up to $200*
  • Equinox credit (up to $25/month) = $300*
  • Uber Cash ($15 monthly/$20 in December for U.S. rides and eats) = $200*
  • Digital entertainment credit (up to $20 in statement credits/month when you pay for eligible purchases with your card) = $240*
  • Saks Fifth Avenue credit = $100*
  • Global Entry credit = $100
  • Terms apply
Value of credits minus fee($150)$645

*Enrollment required

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Lounge access

Winner: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is notorious for its Centurion lounges, some of the most exclusive airport lounges in the world. Cardholders will have access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes 1,300+ airport lounges in over 500 airports around the world (including the Priority Pass network).

The overall network also includes:

  • Delta SkyClub
  • Air Space
  • Plaza Premium
  • International American Express Lounges
  • Priority Pass, Escape Lounges
  • The Centurion Lounges.

Amex Centurion lounges are renowned as top-notch lounges that only certain Amex card members (including The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders) can access.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, on the other hand, only comes with a Priority Pass™ Select membership. Cardmembers will have access to 1,300+ VIP airport lounges worldwide. The primary difference between Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express lounge access is that Amex simply offers access to more lounges. Amex lounge access includes the Priority Pass™ Select lounges offered by Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Transfer partners

Winner: It depends

The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® belong to their own flexible travel card rewards programs. Each has their own set of airline and hotel transfer partners that allow users to maximize the value of their rewards points.

Amex Membership Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards®
CardThe Platinum Card® from American ExpressChase Sapphire Reserve®
Airline / Hotel Transfer Partners
  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France / KLM
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Finnair
  • Iberia Plus
  • jetBlue
  • Qantas
  • SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Choice Privileges (Hotel)
  • Hilton Honors (Hotel)
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • IHG (Hotel)
  • World of Hyatt (Hotel)
  • Marriott Bonvoy (Hotel)

Determining which program is more valuable for you will depend on which airlines and hotels you typically prefer to travel with. With either program, you can boost the value of your points by transferring them. (We estimate an average value of around 2 cents per point.)

Which card should you get?

Best for everyday spending: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® consistently ranks on our best credit cards list. The combination of above-average rewards rates on travel and dining coupled with the $300 annual travel credit are just some of the elements that make this card extremely valuable. As mentioned above, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders will earn Ultimate Rewards points, which offers significant redemption flexibility and increased points value.

However, missing from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card are brand-specific luxury perks. For example, other premium credit cards tend to throw in elite status with a particular airline or hotel chain, which can be invaluable to travelers. The Platinum Card® from American Express, for instance, gives their cardholders automatic Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required).

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earns Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • Luxury travel perks and credits
  • $550 annual fee
  • No brand-specific elite status

Best for luxury travel: The Platinum Card® from American Express review

The Platinum Card® from American Express has long been one of our favorite premium travel cards. Packed with credits and luxury travel perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express nearly justifies its $695 annual fee. The card offers a generous welcome offer and a strong rewards rate on American Express travel purchases. However, it lacks a significant earning rate on day-to-day spending.

Ultimately, this card will be best for those who can make use of the luxury travel benefits that characterize it. These include things like access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, up to a $200 airline fee credit (enrollment required), up to a $200 hotel credit, up to a $240 digital entertainment credit (enrollment required, up to $20 in statement credits per month when you make eligible purchases with your card) and more.

  • Earns Membership Rewards points
  • Superior luxury travel perks
  • Fantastic global lounge access
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required)
  • Strong welcome offer
  • Terms apply
  • $695 annual fee
  • Poor earning rate for everyday spending

While both cards are great options for consumers, if you still haven't found what you're looking for, consider other premium credit cards or rewards credit cards instead.

FAQs

Is it worth having both Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express?

Depending on what you're hoping to gain, it may make sense to have both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express. Though both cards have high annual fees, they offer credits and travel perks that make up for them. With these premium travel cards, you'd have twice the earning power and would enjoy a wider range of travel perks and benefits.

Is Chase Sapphire better than Amex?

Chase Sapphire will be better than Amex for consumers who prefer to earn higher rewards in everyday spending categories. While very similar overall , the The Platinum Card® from American Express only offers elevated rewards on Amex travel purchases.

Does The Platinum Card® from American Express have more lounge access than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®?

The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer comparable lounge access, with the Amex Platinum offering access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes 1,300+ airport lounges in over 500 airports around the world. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers Priority Pass™ Select membership, which includes 1,300+ VIP airport lounges worldwide. Though similar, American Express Centurion Lounges tend to be more luxurious and sophisticated overall than the Priority Pass™ Select lounges.

Are Amex or Chase points worth more?

When transferred to particular travel partners, Amex points are worth more than Chase points. American Express Membership Rewards points are worth about 2.2 cents per point while Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth around 1.25-1.5 cents per point.

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

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).