Which is Better in 2021? Chase Ultimate Rewards vs. American Express Membership Rewards

Which is Better in 2021? Chase Ultimate Rewards vs. American Express Membership Rewards

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American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards are two of the most popular rewards programs, and for good reason. Both offer high-value points that are incredibly flexible, saving frequent travelers hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of dollars per year.

At first glance, the AmEx and Chase rewards programs might appear virtually identical. Both programs offer:

  • Points that can be accumulated through their respective rewards credit cards and redeemed for a wide variety of items, with a focus on travel.
  • A long list of transfer partners to which you can transfer your points.
  • Travel cards that give you access to additional travel perks and protections and the ability to earn rewards faster: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Airport lounge access, travel credits and certain forms of insurance when you travel through their premium travel cards.

However, American Express and Chase have key differences in redemption options, point value, cards and travel perks. The choice between these rewards programs depends on which program's unique benefits best meet your travel needs. Here’s everything you need to know in order to compare AmEx versus Chase rewards.

Note that terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Amex points vs. Chase points: How much are they both worth?

The value of AmEx and Chase points will vary widely depending on how you redeem them. Overall, Chase points are worth slightly more than AmEx points. This is largely because the value of travel portal redemptions — usually the easiest and most common way to redeem — is much higher for Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program than it is for the AmEx Membership Rewards program.

If you’re desperate to redeem your points and don’t have any travel planned, you’ll earn 1.0 cents per point from Chase by redeeming for gift cards, cash back or paying with online checkout, whereas you’ll often only get 0.5 cents to 0.7 cents per point by redeeming AmEx points that way.

AmEx point value
Chase point value
Travel portal redemptions0.7 to 1.0 cent each1.25 to 1.5 cents each
Transfer redemptions1.0 to 5.0 cents each1.0 to 4.0 cents each
Gift card redemptions0.5 to 1.0 cent each1.0 to 1.1 cents each
Pay with points at checkout0.7 cents each0.8 cents each with Amazon, 1.0 cent each with Apple
Cash-back redemptions0.6 cents each1.0 cents each
Shopping portal0.5 cents eachN/A
ExperiencesN/A1.0 cent each
Average value1.75 cents each2.0 cents each

The one area where AmEx points shine is transfer redemptions. Both Chase and AmEx offer a long list of transfer partners, but the list is longer for AmEx, and you can take advantage of promotions that give you bonuses on transfers to certain partners.

Redemption options

While Chase offers a better overall value than AmEx, the actual value you’ll get depends on how you redeem your points as well as how and where you prefer to travel. Here, we’ll go into detail comparing each of the AmEx vs. Chase redemption options.

AmEx Membership Rewards redemption options

The American Express Membership Rewards portal offers many of the same redemption options as Chase Ultimate Rewards.

American Express portal
Screenshot taken from the Amex website, January 2021

1. Pay with points at checkout

AmEx lets you pay with your points at checkout while shopping at a wide variety of online retailers. These include Amazon, Best Buy, Expedia, GrubHub, NYC Taxi, Rite Aid, Saks Fifth Avenue, Staples, Ticketmaster, Walmart and more.

This option is convenient: If you link your Membership Rewards account to your Amazon account, for example, you can automatically pay with your AmEx points every time you shop on Amazon. However, the value you’ll earn is very low, at 0.7 cents per point.

AmEx rewards points
Screenshot taken from the American Express website, January 2021

2. Gift cards

You can also redeem your AmEx points for gift cards, but again, you’ll generally get the low value of 0.7 cents to 1.0 cent per point when doing so. At the time of writing this, you’ll need 5,000 points for a $50 gift card to places like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Crate & Barrel, making each point worth 1.0 cent. However, you’ll need 7,143 points for a $50 gift card to Target, making each point worth just 0.7 cents. You can also redeem your points for American Express gift cards, but you’ll only get 0.5 cents per point for that redemption.

Redeeming points for gift cards
Screenshot taken from the American Express website, January 2021

3. Cover your card charges

This option functions like cash back — you can select recent charges and cover them using points, essentially erasing them from your bill. But while this is the most flexible redemption option, it is also one of the lowest values, as each point will only be worth 0.6 cents. For example, you would need 1,667 points just to cover a $10 charge.

Covering card charges with American Express points
Screenshot taken from the American Express website, August 2019

4. Booking travel

Both AmEx and Chase allow you to use your points to book travel through their travel portals at a standard rate of 1.0 cent per point. In reality, though, these redemptions offer significantly less value with AmEx points than they do with Chase points.

AmEx offers a standard redemption rate of 1.0 cent per point, but it only applies to flights. You’ll only get 0.7 cents per point when redeeming for hotels, rental cars and cruises. You also won’t have as many options with the AmEx travel portal, which doesn’t include activities and tours.

Booking travel on the American Express portal
Screenshot taken from the American Express website, January 2021

5. Transfer points

AmEx has the same number of hotel transfer partners as Chase, but more airline partners. In total, AmEx lets you transfer your Membership Rewards points to 19 different airlines and three hotel partners. The standard rate for most of these partners is 1:1 — however, there are a few exceptions, and AmEx regularly runs promotions that boost your transfer rate for certain partners. All of this is explained in detail in the section below on transfer partners.

American Express Travel Partners

Airline partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  • Avianca
  • Alitalia
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • El Al
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotel partners:

  • Choice Privileges Rewards
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

6. Shop with points

If you want to shop for products with your points through the Membership Rewards portal, you’ll only get 0.5 cents per point, making it the lowest value redemption. The catalog offers a wide range of items from clothing and electronics to appliances and home goods. The redemption value is low, but AmEx runs promotions occasionally for more valuable redemptions — at the time of writing, they’re offering 25% off select back-to-school items. That being said, you’d still only get 0.67 cents per point.

Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption options

Chase offers very similar redemption options to AmEx. But while Chase doesn’t have a product catalog like AmEx, it does allow you to redeem points for experiences such as concerts and exclusive events.

Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
Screenshot taken from the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, January 2021

1. Amazon and Apple

Much like the AmEx option of paying with points at checkout, Chase allows you to pay with your points for Amazon and Apple purchases. You’ll get 0.8 cents per point when you pay on Amazon with Chase points, and with Apple, you’ll get 1.0 cent per point.

Shop Apple on Ultimate Rewards
Screenshot taken from the Chase website, January 2021

2. Cash back

Chase offers a much better cashback redemption rate of 1.0 cent per point. While this isn’t a great value compared to travel redemptions, it’s nice to have this option in the event you need to redeem your points and don’t want to make any travel purchases. You can redeem your points for a statement credit or have the cash back deposited into a bank account.

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards for cash back
Screenshot taken from the Chase website, January 2021

3. Experiences

You’ll also get a value of 1.0 cent per point when you redeem your points for experiences, which include VIP tickets, concerts, private dinners, exclusive access to sporting events and more.

4. Gift cards

Chase points get a higher value on gift card redemptions of 1.0 cent per point. Featured gift cards frequently come with a 5% or 10% discount, meaning you can get up to 1.1 cents per point. The Ultimate Rewards portal offers gift cards for most major retailers, such as Sephora, iTunes, Target, Starbucks and Best Buy.

5. Transfer points

Chase lets you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to a list of 10 airlines and three hotel partners at a 1:1 rate. Unlike AmEx, Chase doesn’t run regular promotions that boost your transfer rate with certain partners.

Chase Travel Partners

Airline partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotel partners:

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

6. Booking travel

The Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal offers more value per point and a wider range of redemption options than AmEx. The value you get by booking travel through the Chase portal will depend on which Chase credit card you have.

Chase travel portal
Screenshot taken from the Chase website, January 2021
Card
Point value
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card1.25 cents per points
Chase Sapphire Reserve®1.5 cents per point
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card1.25 cents per points

In addition to booking flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises at these values, you can also book vacation rentals and activities. The activities section includes everything from tours and attraction passes to shuttles and day trips.

Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal vs. points transfer to Chase's loyalty partners

When it comes to booking travel with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you may wonder whether you should book through Chase's travel portal or transfer your points to Chase's loyalty partners instead. Both are fantastic options, and the right answer for you will depend on the scenario.

For instance, we take a look at this one-way business class ticket from Casablanca (CMN) to New York (JFK). In cash, this flight would have priced out at a hefty $2,213.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a 25% point redemption bonus when booking the flight through Chase's travel portal. Even with the redemption bonus, you would need 177,107 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book this flight.

Chase redemption portal example

In contrast, Flying Blue was charging only 53,000 award miles for the same flight. So, transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue would be a much better deal. You would effectively get a value of 3.5 cents per Ultimate Rewards point, which is a significantly better value than 1.25 cents per point.

Flying Blue redemption

This is just one example of the benefits of transferring your points over to frequent flyer programs. More often than not, you'll snag a better deal with your hard-earned points leveraging these loyalty partners. However, in instances where Chase does not partner with a certain airline, you may find a better deal booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Transfer partners

AmEx and Chase rewards both offer the ability to transfer your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs. There’s a little overlap, but for the most part, the list of transfer partners is different between the two programs, as is the transfer rate.

AmEx transfer partners
Chase transfer partners
AirlinesAirlines
Aer Lingus: 1:1Aer Lingus: 1:1
AeroMexico 1:1.6Air France KLM Flying Blue 1:1
Air Canada 1:1Air Canada 1:1
Air France KLM Flying Blue 1:1British Airways 1:1
Alitalia 1:1Emirates 1:1
All Nippon Airways 1:1Iberia Plus 1:1
Avianca 1:1JetBlue 1:1
British Airways 1:1Singapore Airlines 1:1
Cathay Pacific 1:1Southwest Airlines 1:1
Delta Air Lines 1:1United Airlines 1:1
El Al Israel Airlines 50:1Virgin Atlantic Airways 1:1
Show All Rows

As you can see, AmEx offers a significantly longer list, including most of Chase’s airline partners. The AmEx rewards program includes Delta Air Lines, which offers high-value redemptions and gets you access to SkyTeam airlines, as well as a few airlines that offer some of the best business class products in the industry at a great value, in ANA, Cathay Pacific and Emirates. You also have Avianca, which means you can book with Star Alliance airlines.

However, Chase’s transfer partners include Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, which do add value to the Chase rewards program. Southwest miles are worth quite a bit, and United miles can be easily redeemed with a long list of Star Alliance and other partner airlines.

When it comes to hotel partners, both AmEx and Chase offer three. Generally speaking, though, you get less value from transferring to hotel partners than airline partners. If you need a few thousand extra points to redeem for a hotel stay, it isn’t a bad option. However, transferring a large quantity of Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards can significantly reduce their value.

In general, both programs offer a standard transfer rate of 1:1 for the majority of their partners, though AmEx’s promotions make many of their transfers more valuable. AmEx offers these promotions regularly, while Chase does so very rarely.

Overall, AmEx comes out slightly ahead of Chase when it comes to transfer partners — not only does AmEx offer a much longer list of partners, but its promotions offer more value.

Earning points with AmEx vs. Chase credit cards

Both AmEx and Chase offer a range of credit cards, from basic to premium, that help you earn points. However, Chase credit cards tend to offer bigger sign-up bonuses and higher rewards rates, making Chase points easier to accumulate than AmEx points.

Top AmEx rewards credit cards

American Express® Gold Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

$250

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Rose Gold is here to stay. Card Members can choose between a Gold or Rose Gold Card.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • 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 and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Unlike typical credit cards, American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.

Chase rewards credit cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

$550

16.99%-23.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 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
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99%-20.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account

AmEx welcome offers vs. Chase sign-on bonuses

AmEx welcome offer
Chase sign-up bonus
American Express® Gold Card - 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
The Platinum Card® from American Express - 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Chase offers more generous welcome bonuses than AmEx, making Chase points much easier to accumulate. The sign-up bonus on the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is arguably the highest-value sign-up bonus of any rewards credit card on the market.

AmEx vs. Chase rewards rate

AmEx tends to offer a higher rewards rate on bonus categories, but its bonus categories are also more narrow. For example, you’ll get 3 to 4 points per dollar spent in the bonus categories on the American Express® Gold Card and 5 points per dollar in the bonus categories on The Platinum Card® from American Express. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s bonus categories offer just 2 points per dollar spent, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offer 3 points per dollar on bonus spending categories.

The American Express® Gold Card offers a bonus on dining worldwide, but supermarket purchases only receive a bonus within the U.S., and both the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express only award flights and hotels booked directly or through the AmEx Travel website.

On the other hand, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards credit cards offer bonus points on all travel spending worldwide, including flights, hotels, rental cars, tours and many forms of transportation, regardless of whether or not you book directly. You’ll also earn bonus points on dining worldwide.

Referral bonuses

Chase
AmEx
Earn 15,000 bonus points for each Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card referral, up to 75,000 points per yearEarn 15,000 bonus points for each The Platinum Card® from American Express referral, up to 55,000 points per year
Earn 20,000 bonus points for each Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card referral, up to 100,000 points per year

Both AmEx and Chase have refer-a-friend programs that award you bonus points each time a person you refer is approved for one of their rewards credit cards. Chase’s refer-a-friend offer is slightly more generous than AmEx’s offer; however, Chase doesn’t currently offer a referral program for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

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

You’ll get other perks and benefits from AmEx and Chase cards aside from just earning points. The two cards stacked with the most perks are the issuers’ premium travel cards: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Here’s how they compare.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • 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 and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

$550

16.99%-23.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 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
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Airport lounge access

Both The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer complimentary airport lounge access through the Priority Pass program (enrollment required). While both cards offer a free Priority Pass Select membership, there are some differences between the two programs.

The Platinum Card® from American Express includes access to the Global Lounge Collection, which includes more than 1,300 lounges in 140-plus countries. AmEx lounge access includes a few types of lounges you can’t access with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®: AmEx Centurion Lounges, International American Express Lounges and Delta SkyClub Lounges if you’re flying with Delta. Centurion Lounges are known for being particularly luxurious, but the Centurion network is also limited to 40+ locations.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, on the other hand, gets you access to restaurants in the Priority Pass collection, a benefit that was eliminated from American Express cardholders in 2019. This used to be the only difference until American Express eliminated restaurant credits with Priority Pass for AmEx cardholders. Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders now have an advantage when traveling through the U.S. where it can be hard to find a lounge. The restaurant credits program gives Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders up to two $28 restaurant credits (one for the cardholder, one for a travel companion) at nearly 50 airport restaurants around the world.

If you like to dine out and you travel within the U.S. often, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® might offer better airport lounge perks. On the other hand, frequent international travelers and Delta flyers will probably get more use out of The Platinum Card® from American Express’s airport lounge benefit.

Travel credits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the clear winner when it comes to the annual travel credits offered by the two cards. Chase offers a $300 annual travel credit that can be used on a huge range of travel-related purchases, including flights, hotels, rental cars, tours, cruises, transportation, tollways and parking lots. Almost anyone should be able to take full advantage of this perk.

The travel credits offered by The Platinum Card® from American Express are far more confusing and difficult to use. The Uber card offers yearly Uber Cash with a potential annual value of $200 if you load your card into the Uber app. However, you only get up to $15 per month, with an extra $20 in December. On top of that, it only works for Uber rides and Uber Eats within the U.S.

The card’s airline fee credit is also notoriously difficult to use. You can only spend it on one preselected airline that you enroll in at the beginning of each year from a list of nine major U.S. carriers. In addition, the credit doesn’t apply to airfare, gift cards upgrades or the purchase of airline miles. It only applies to incidental fees charged separately from your airline ticket, such as checked bags, change fees, seat assignment fees (if reserved separately from when you purchase the flight), airport lounge passes and in-flight amenities. While a frequent traveler could probably find a way to use up this credit each year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® travel credit is much easier to use.

Travel insurance

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers extensive travel insurance, including an emergency medical/dental benefit, medical evacuation coverage, trip cancellation and interruption protection, trip delay reimbursement and lost or delayed baggage insurance. The limits are generous for each of these benefits, which is enough reason to book your flights and hotels using the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

The Platinum Card® from American Express as of Jan. 1, 2020, also offers comprehensive travel insurance, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, travel accident insurance and lost luggage protection. Each of these coverages are incredibly helpful in case your travels become derailed.

Between the two, the coverages are nearly identical. Here is the breakdown of each policy and what they cover.

Coverage
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Rental car insuranceCoverage is secondary to your primary car insurance policy, and it covers up to $75,000 for damage or theft of a rental vehicle.Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
Delayed baggageNoneReimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier, up to $100 a day for 5 days.
Lost luggageUp to $3,000 per covered person, for lost luggageUp to $3,000 per covered person for lost or damaged luggage.
Trip delay protectionUp to $500 per covered trip when travel is delayed more than 6 hoursUp to $500 per ticket when travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay
Travel accident insuranceUp to $500,000 in coverageUp to $1,000,000 in coverage
Trip cancellation & interruption insuranceUp to $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period.Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip

Final take

There’s no clear winner when it comes to AmEx vs. Chase. The right rewards program for you will depend on your travel and spending habits.

Chase points are worth more than AmEx points on average, its travel portal offers a wider range of redemption options and its perks and benefits — from the annual travel credit to travel protections — are generally easier to use. Chase points are also significantly easier to stockpile than AmEx points, which makes Chase an excellent option for beginners and advanced rewards junkies alike.

However, plenty of experienced credit card points collectors will find more value in AmEx points, particularly those who enjoy premium international travel. AmEx’s long list of transfer partners is particularly attractive if you’re familiar with the details of more obscure rewards programs like Avianca and ANA. The card also comes with some fun luxury perks, like access to Centurion and American Express lounges.

In the end, these are two of the best rewards programs out there. Both offer points that are high in value and extremely flexible. Whichever program you choose, you’re bound to save a significant amount of money on travel.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

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

The information related to the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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).