Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. American Express Platinum Card – Which is Better? (September 2023)
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If you’re in the market for a premium travel credit card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express are at the top of your list. These are two of the most popular travel rewards credit cards with plenty of benefits.
This comparison guide can help you choose which travel credit card is the best for you.
Table of Contents
Benefits at a Glance
Here is an overview of each card’s main benefits and fees.
|American Express Platinum Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Authorized User Fee||$175 for up to 3, then $175 each for 4th or more card||$75|
|Welcome Bonus||100,000 Membership Rewards after spending $4,000 in 6 months ($600 value)||60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in 3 months ($900 value)|
|Purchase Rewards||5x on qualifying flights (up to $500,000)|
5x on prepaid hotels through AmexTravel.com
1x on remaining purchases
|10x on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards|
5x on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards
3x on all other travel
10x on Chase Dining purchases
3x on dining and eligible delivery services
1x for everything else
|Travel Redemption Bonus||None||50%|
|Notable Benefits||$200 Airline Fee Credit|
$200 Hotel Credit
Up to $200 in Uber Cash per year
Various retail statement credits
Global Lounge Collection
Air travel and hotel benefits
1:1 point transfers
|$300 Annual Travel Credit|
Priority Pass Select lounge access
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
1:1 point transfers
|Partner Benefits||ShopRunner: Ongoing free 2-day shipping and complimentary returns at participating retailers|
SoulCycle: $300 statement credit on a SoulCycle At-Home bike purchase
|Lyft: 10x points through March 2025|
DoorDash: 1 year of DashPass membership* and $5 in monthly credits
Peloton: 10x points on qualifying purchases*
*Valid through December 31, 2024
Both cards incur the highest annual fees for travel credit cards. Therefore, it’s vital to determine which card offers the most relevant travel and lifestyle benefits.
If you’re planning on requesting an additional card, you will need to pay extra. Both cards have a different pricing structure for secondary cards.
American Express Platinum Annual Fee
The annual fee is $695 for the primary card.
You pay a yearly flat fee of $175 for up to three additional cards. Then, starting with your fourth card, each one costs $175.
Requesting an Authorized User (AU) Gold Card instead is complimentary. However, the secondary members don’t have access to Platinum benefits like airport lounge access. Please note, the (AU) Gold Card is not the same as the American Express® Gold Card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee
The Sapphire Reserve costs $550 for the primary card and $75 per additional card.
The Amex Platinum signup bonus is currently more valuable and also has a longer spending window.
You can earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months. This bonus is worth up to $1,000 in award flights and select gift cards. It can be worth even more when transferring to a partner airline or hotel.
You will earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth up to $900 in award travel but only $600 for cash back and gift cards. Like with the Amex Platinum, the bonus can be redeemed for more value when transferring to a partner airline or hotel.
Earning Rewards Points
Both cards offer some of the highest earn rates for travel-related purchases but the Sapphire Reserve offers more bonus categories.
American Express Platinum
You will earn up to 5 Membership Rewards on purchases:
- 5x on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year, then 1x)
- 5x on prepaid hotel bookings on American Express Travel
- 1x on all remaining purchases
You will earn more points than the Sapphire Reserve when you book flights directly from the airline. However, non-flight travel purchases only earn the base rate of 1 point per dollar.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Sapphire Reserve earns up to 10x Ultimate Rewards on travel:
- 10x on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards*
- 5x on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards*
- 3x on all remaining purchases*
*Start earning points after the $300 annual travel credit.
And you will also earn up to 10x on dining purchases:
- 10x on Chase Dining purchases
- 3x on dining, takeout, delivery, and eligible delivery services
All non-bonus purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Each bonus category earns unlimited points.
Both cards offer flexible redemption options with award travel and gift cards usually being the most valuable.
Here is a glimpse at how much your rewards points can be worth for each redemption option.
|American Express Platinum||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Travel||1 cent||1.5 cents|
|Gift Cards||1 cent||1 cent|
|Cash Statement Credits||0.6 cents||1 cent|
|Online Shopping||0.7 cents||0.8 cents|
In most instances, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has more valuable points. It’s important to keep this in mind as the Platinum Card offers more exciting travel benefits.
Booking Award Travel
Your points are most valuable with either card when you book trips through American Express Travel or Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The Sapphire Reserve 50% travel redemption bonus is one of the card’s best features. Each point is worth 1.5 cents for award flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and tours.
Unfortunately, your mileage varies by travel type for the Platinum Card. Award flights and New York City taxis are worth 1 cent. But the redemption value drops to 0.7 cents for hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
1:1 Point Transfers
It’s also worth comparing the 1:1 point transfers to assess the full picture. You can transfer at least 1,000 points to these domestic and international travel partners.
|Amex Platinum||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Aer Lingus||Aer Lingus|
|AeroMexico (1,000:1,600)||Air Canada Aeroplan|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Air France-KLM FlyingBlue|
|Air France-KLM FlyingBlue||British Airways|
|British Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|Delta SkyMiles||Southwest Airlines|
|Hawaiian Airlines||IHG One Rewards|
|JetBlue (250:200)||World of Hyatt|
|Hilton Honors (1,000:2,000)|
Both programs have several overlapping domestic and international partners. Still, each 1:1 transfer partner list can cater to different travel styles.
The American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners can be better for international flights since more foreign airline programs participate.
The Sapphire Reserve transfer partners can be better for domestic travel as Southwest Airlines is an excellent discount airline. World of Hyatt has redemption values for hotel rewards that can rival domestic airlines.
Airport Lounge Benefits
Both cards offer complimentary access to participating airport lounge networks. Global Lounge Collection is one of the best Amex Platinum Card benefits.
The Platinum Card Global Lounge Collection offers access to these networks:
- Delta Sky Club
- International American Express
- Plaza Premium
- Priority Pass Select
You will need an active itinerary for that particular carrier to visit an airline-operated lounge like Delta Sky Club or Lufthansa.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve only offers access to the Priority Pass Select network. Thankfully, it’s the most prevalent network with at least one lounge or restaurant in most major airports.
Additional Card Features
The add-on benefits that only premium credit cards offer can help you squeeze more value from your daily endeavors.
American Express Platinum
The Platinum Card from American Express wins the benefits battle by a long shot. But, you must decide if you can use them to offset the $695 annual fee.
$200 Airline Fee Credit
You can receive up to $200 in annual statement credits for incidental fees on one airline of your choice. Eligible expenses can include checked bags, flight upgrades, and in-flight purchases.
Amex Platinum Air Travel Benefits
In addition to the airline fee credit and airport lounge benefits, other air travel perks include:
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: You’re eligible for a fee credit of up to $100 every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- CLEAR® Plus fee credit: You will also receive up to $189 in annual reimbursement for CLEAR® expedited security credentials.
- International Airline Program: Receive discounts on select international roundtrips in first class, business class, and premium economy.
- Premium Private Jet Program: Enjoy discounted Wheels Up Core and Connect memberships. Benefits include reduced initiation fees, initiation flight credits, and transaction fee waivers.
Amex Platinum Hotel Benefits
This card offers several luxury hotel perks to defray your on-property spending and enjoy elite loyalty benefits:
- Annual $200 hotel credit: Receive up to $200 in statement credits on qualifying stays with Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection. You must make these reservations through American Express Travel.
- Fine Hotels & Resorts program: You can also receive complimentary on-property perks like daily breakfast for two, 4PM late checkout, and a $100 experience credit. These benefits apply to the Fine Hotels & Resorts portfolio.
- Elite hotel membership status: You automatically get Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold loyalty status
Amex Platinum Dining Benefits
Your dining purchases only earn 1x Membership Rewards but you can enjoy these restaurant-related benefits:
- Up to $200 in Uber Cash: Receive $15 per month (and $35 in December) of Uber Cash credits. You can redeem this benefit for Uber rides and UberEats purchases.
- Global Dining Access by Resy: You will have an easier time getting reservations at elite restaurants. Resy offers exclusive tables to Platinum members.
- American Express Concierge: The Amex Concierge service can assist with making dining, travel, medical, and legal plans.
Amex Platinum Retail Benefits
This card also offers several shopping and lifestyle benefits that can help you save money:
- Digital Entertainment Credit: Up to $20 per month ($240 annually) for eligible purchases at Peacock, The New York Times, Audible, and SiriusXM. As of April 2024, The Disney Bundle, Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ are also eligible for the credit.
- Walmart+ Credit: Up to $155 per year ($12.95 monthly plus applicable local taxes) to reimburse your monthly Walmart+ membership fees. Plus Ups are excluded. (subject to auto-renewal)
- Equinox Credit: Up $300 per year for an Equinox+ or an Equinox club membership.
- Shop with Saks: Up to $100 annually ($50 semi-annually) in statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue.
- InCircle: Receive 1 InCircle Point per $1 at participating merchants.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve doesn’t offer as many additional benefits. Frequent flyers benefit the most from these extra perks.
$300 Annual Travel Credit
The annual $300 travel credit reimburses your first travel purchases for the year. This benefit and the 50% travel redemption bonus are potentially this card’s most valuable features.
Unfortunately, you won’t earn Ultimate Rewards on your reimbursed travel purchases.
Frequent Flyer Benefits
Additional flyer-focused benefits include:
- Priority Pass Select: Complimentary access for the primary cardholder and up to two guests.
- Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee credit: Up to $100 every four years.
Outside of the airport, travelers can also enjoy complimentary on-site benefits at the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
$5 Monthly DoorDash Credits
Cardholders are now eligible for $5 in monthly DoorDash credits. To activate, add your Chase Sapphire Reserve card number as a payment method in your DoorDash account. Credits expire after three months and are automatically applied to your next order. See our guide on how to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve DoorDash credits.
Travel and Purchase Protection
Both cards also offer competitive travel insurance and purchase protection benefits.
Here are the maximum coverage amounts:
|American Express Platinum||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Trip Cancellation and Interruption||$10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip||$10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip|
|Trip Delay||$500 per covered trip after 6 hours||$500 per ticket after 6 hours|
|Baggage Delay||N/A||Up to $100 per day for 5 days after 6 hours|
|Lost Luggage Reimbursement||$3,000 per person ($10,000 per trip for New York State residents)||$3,000 per passenger|
|Car Rental Insurance|
(Collision and Theft)
|Secondary coverage up to $75,000||Primary coverage up to $75,000|
|Roadside Assistance||N/A||Up to $50 per service for up to 4 claims per year|
|Emergency Evacuation||Up to 100% of total cost||Up to $100,000|
|Purchase Protection||$10,000 per item and $50,000 annually for purchases within 90 days||$500 per item and up to $50,000 annually for purchases within 120 days|
|Return Protection||$300 per item and $1,000 annually for purchases within 90 days||$500 per item and $1,000 annually for purchases within 90 days|
|Extended Warranty||One additional year for warranties of 5 years or less||One additional year for warranties of 3 years or less|
|Cell Phone Protection||Up to $800 per claim after a $50 deductible||N/A|
When to Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the better card option when you prefer these features:
- 50% Travel Redemption Bonus: Each point is worth 1.5 cents for any award travel you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. This redemption value can be higher than booking directly through an airline or hotel.
- Airline transfer partners: United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, World of Hyatt are exclusive Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.
- $300 Annual Travel Credit: The annual travel credit can be easier to redeem than the various Amex Platinum statement credits with more restrictions.
- Primary rental car insurance: Having primary rental insurance instead of secondary coverage makes it easier to decline the rental car agency’s coverage.
- Lower annual fee: A $550 annual fee is better than the Platinum Card’s $695 annual fee when you cannot use the other Platinum’s additional benefits.
Learn more: Check out our Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Preferred comparison.
When to Apply for the Platinum Card from American Express
You might prefer the American Express Platinum Card for these situations:
- Numerous statement credits: There are multiple travel and lifestyle statement credits that minimize your out-of-pocket expenses at your favorite brands.
- Airport lounge benefits: Being able to visit several lounge networks at no additional cost is a valuable perk if you’re regularly in airport terminals.
- Luxury travel benefits: Automatically getting an accelerated hotel and car rental loyalty status can be beneficial. The private jet and premium cabin international flight discounts can also help minimize travel costs.
- Fly internationally: Both cards can be a good match for international flights. However, the American Express 1:1 transfer partners provide more opportunities to book overseas travel with points.
- Higher Signup Bonus: The Amex Platinum welcome offer is currently more valuable. It’s also an easy way to earn more Membership Rewards if this is your preferred credit card points program.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Platinum Card from American Express each make it easier to unlock luxury travel opportunities your typical travel rewards card won’t offer. Either card may seem interchangeable to casual travelers. However, there are distinct differences between each.
Consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve when you want the extra bonus categories and flexible redemption options. You might also consider this card when you won’t benefit from the additional Amex Platinum travel and retail benefits.
The American Express Platinum Card is ideal for maximizing airline and hotel travel through benefits instead of rewards points. This card sports many benefits which can be a gold mine of enjoyment if you frequent the participating brands like Uber, Marriott, Equinox, and the airport lounge networks.
As you choose the winner, compare the rewards programs and premium features to the annual fee.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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