Chase Sapphire Reserve vs AMEX Platinum
Side by side details on the perks and benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs American Express Platinum Card. Calculate how many points you can earn.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum Card are two of the most popular luxury travel cards on the market. The Sapphire Reserve is known for it's excellent return on travel and dining purchases, the 50% boost in point value for Chase Travel Portal redemptions, and the superb travel coverage Chase provides. The AMEX Platinum is known for it's high 5x earnings on airfare, the extensive lounge access it offers, and the many perks that are passed over to authorized users of the card. Both of these cards provides a long list of travel benefits that provides excellent value.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card features two bonus categories which are travel and dining. Spending in either category will earn you 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent. All other purchases will earn you 1 Ultimate Rewards Point per $1 spent.
Chase has a very broad definition of travel. This makes it easy to earn lots of points across multiple sub-categories featured under travel. This includes:
- Car Rental Agencies
- Cruise Lines
- Travel Agencies
- Travel Sites
- Toll Bridges
- Parking Lots
- Anything else related to travel
You can also earn 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent on the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is the only card that earns a 50% point value boost to redemptions made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. This bumps up the value of Ultimate Rewards Points to a 4.5% return. The Ink Business Preferred only features a 25% boost which is a 3.75% return. This only matters to those who plan on redeeming their points through Chase's travel portal. If you plan on transferring your Ultimate Rewards Points to airline and hotel programs, the point value boost will not matter.
Dining purchases on the Chase Sapphire Reserve will be your typical restaurants, fast food, sit down diners, and other purchases that you would expect to code as dining. This is the only Ultimate Rewards credit card that features the dining category. If you own an Ultimate Rewards Point earning card, you can convert cash back earned with Chase's cash back credit cards to Ultimate Rewards Points. This opens up four cash back credit cards you can use to earn Ultimate Rewards Points. Chase does not have any cash back cards that feature dining as a standard category, but it is usually featured on the no-annual fee Chase Freedom Card once or twice per year as a 5% quarterly rotating category. This can earn you the equivalent of 5 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent when converted.
American Express Platinum Card
The AMEX Platinum Card features three bonus categories that will earn you 5 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent. Those categories are airfare purchases made directly with an airline, airfare purchases made through the American Express Travel Portal, and hotel purchases made through the American Express Travel Portal. All other purchases will earn 1 Membership Rewards Point per $1 spent.
For purchases made directly with an airline, this is the highest amount of Membership Rewards Points you can earn per $1 spent with the next best amounts being 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on both the AMEX Gold and AMEX Green cards.
As for airfare and hotel purchases made through the American Express Travel Portal, the AMEX Business Platinum Card also earns 5 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent. The AMEX Business Platinum does not earn bonus points on purchases made directly with an airline. So if you prefer to book direct and want to earn the most points, the AMEX Platinum is your best bet.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Bonus Categories|
|AMEX Platinum Bonus Categories|
|5x||Airfare Purchased Direct|
|5x||Airfare through AMEX Travel|
|5x||Hotels through AMEX Travel|
Membership Rewards Points and Ultimate Rewards Points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners. This can be a big deal for those who are trying to decide between which program they want to devote most of their spend to. American Express has a lot more options than Chase when it comes to transfer partners, but it comes down to which partners matter to you. So in this case, quantity may not matter.
Listed below are a side by side comparison of American Express transfer partners versus Chase transfer partners. You can use the Membership Rewards Points Conversion/Transfer Calculator or Ultimate Rewards Points Conversion/Transfer Calculator to calculate the transfer of points from these programs to their airline and hotel partners.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs AMEX Platinum Bonus Categories
Membership Rewards Points can easily be redeemed for a value of 1 cents each through American Express while Ultimate Rewards Points can be redeemed for an easy value of 1.5 cents each thanks to the 50% boost in value. This makes the AMEX Platinum Card the better choice for airfare purchases as well as airfare/hotel purchases made through the American Express Travel Portal. For all other travel purchases (which includes hotels that can not be booked through the AMEX Travel Portal) and all dining purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will be the better option.
If you plan on transferring points to partners, Chase and AMEX has several overlapping partners:
- British Airways Avios
- Iberia Avios
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue
- JetBlue Airways TrueBlue
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
The calculations here are pretty straightforward. The AMEX Platinum Card is the clear winner when it comes to airfare and airfare/hotel AMEX Travel purchases as you'll earn 5 points to transfer to partners versus the Sapphire Reserve's 3 points. For all other travel purchases and all dining purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the better option.
The big battle between the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum Card comes down to the card benefits... and both cards have a lot of luxury travel benefits.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card features an annual $300 travel credit. This travel credit is good towards any travel purchase and is extremely easy to use if you plan on traveling. It's automatically triggered by any type of purchases that Chase considers to be travel. This includes airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will receive a 50% boost in point value boost for redemptions made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. This bumps the value of points up to 1.5 cents each for these redemptions. This gives you an easy way to get a 4.5% return from travel and dining purchases made with the card.
The travel and purchase coverage the Chase Sapphire Reserve provides is top notch and generally the best you'll find in the credit card world. The Sapphire Reserve comes with:
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance - up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver - reimbursement up to $75,000 (U.S. and abroad)
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement - up to $3,000 per passenger
- Trip Delay Reimbursement - up to $500 per ticket
- Emergency Evacuation & Transportation - covered for medical services and transportation up to $100,000
- Purchase Protection - 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year
- Return Protection - within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year
- Extended Warranty Protection - extension of an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less
In order to receive travel coverage and purchase coverage, you'll need to use your Chase Sapphire Reserve to make the purchases in full.
As per most luxury travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with up to $100 towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. TSA PreCheck gets you through security faster (most of the time) at the airports that provides it. Global Entry, which comes with complimentary TSA PreCheck, provides you expedited access through security when re-entering the United States. This credit triggers automatically when you use the Sapphire Reserve to pay for an application. It can be your application or it can be someone else's application.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will receive complimentary Priority Pass Select. This gives you access to more than 1,000 VIP lounges across many airports worldwide. This is a great benefit for those who don't have elite status with any airline program or who's status does not grant access to various lounge internationally.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will have access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. Booking hotels through this portal will grant you several benefits such as complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out.
Along with the above benefits you'll also receive Emerald Club status with National and the ability to save money when booking cars with National, Avis, and SilverCar.
American Express Platinum
The AMEX Platinum Card features an annual $200 airline fee credit. This airline fee credit applies to an airline that you select upon receiving the card and every January thereafter. The airlines you can choose for this credit are:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
Do note that this is not a travel credit. There are many people that compare this to travel credits featured on other luxury travel cards when that is entirely different than the purpose of this particular credit. The credit provided on the AMEX Platinum Card will only trigger on incidentals purchased made with your selected airline. This includes lounge access, checked bags, in-flight purchases, and other purchases (that aren't airfare) made with your selected airline. If you have elite status with your selected airline, this credit will be harder to use as you'll generally receive lounge access and checked bags free. So unless you plan on splurging at lounges or on in-flight purchases, you will want to map out this fee well in advance.
The best perk for many of those that pick up this card is the American Express Global Lounge Collection benefit. This card provides the most lounge access of any credit card on the market. This benefit comes with complimentary access to the following programs and partners:
- The Centurion Lounge
- International American Express Lounges
- Delta SkyClub (when flying Delta)
- Priority Pass Select
- Airspace Lounge
- Escape Lounges
- Plaza Premium Lounges
Do note that you will need to enroll in Priority Pass Select whereas the other programs/partners will merely require you to show your Platinum Card.
The AMEX Platinum Card offers complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status. This will grant you additional benefits when staying at Hilton and Marriott which includes bonus points, complimentary upgrades, and more. If you stay with either of these hotel chains don't already have Gold status (or higher), this can be a useful benefit.
The Platinum Card offers great return and purchase protection along with secondary or primary car rental protection. As a cardholder using the AMEX Platinum to pay for your entire purchase/rental, you'll receive:
- Return Protection - within 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account
- Purchase Protection - up to $10,000 for any one Covered Incident and up to $50,000 for all Covered Incidents per Card Member Account during a calendar year
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance - Secondary coverage automatic, primary coverage for extra money charged per rental (not per day)
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance are coming to the AMEX Platinum Card January 1, 2020. This will be great for those who are looking for that additional comfort when booking travel.
As a cardholder, you will receive annual credits with both Uber and Saks Fifth Avenue. You'll receive $200 per year with Uber split into $15 per month with a bonus $20 in credits for December and a total of $100 with Saks Fifth in which you'll receive $50 in credit to use January-June and $50 in credit to use July-December. All of these credits are 'use them or lose them' meaning they do not rollover into the following period.
The AMEX Platinum Card grants access to both Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection. Fine Hotels & Resorts is accessible to only those with consumer or business versions of the Platinum or Centurion cards. Booking through this portal will grant benefits such as complimentary room upgrades, daily breakfast for two people, early check-in and late check-out privileges, up to $100 credit, and more. The Hotel Collection is available to those with consumer or business versions of the Platinum, Centurion, or Gold AMEX cards that are part of the Membership Rewards Program. You'll get a $100 hotel credit and room upgrade with The Hotel Collection bookings.
As an AMEX Platinum Cardholder, you'll receive elite status with several car rental agencies. This includes the statuses of Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Emerald Club Executive. Along with elite status, you'll also receive coupons/discounts that can save you money on everyday bookings as well as for complimentary one-class upgrades.
The AMEX Platinum Card comes with up to $100 towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. As with Sapphire Reserve, this credit is tied to the card and not any individual person. So if you already have this benefit and you want to gift it to someone else, you can use the AMEX Platinum Card to pay for the application fee. Another thing about this perk is that additional Platinum cardholders will also receive their own $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit.
The AMEX Platinum has plenty of other benefits which includes the international airline program, upgrade with points, AMEX offers, cruise privileges program, shoprunner membership, and so much more.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits|
|$300 Travel Credit|
|50% Boost In Point Value|
|$100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck|
|Priority Pass Select|
|The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection|
|Car Rental Benefits|
|AMEX Platinum Card Benefits|
|$200 Airline Fee Credit|
|Global Lounge Collection|
|Marriott Gold & Hilton Gold Status|
|Uber & Saks Fifth Credits|
|$100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck|
|Fine Hotels & Resorts|
|The Hotel Collection|
|Car Rental Benefits|
|Many More Benefits|
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs AMEX Platinum Benefits
Both cards have their pros and cons. The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers better trip insurance/coverage overall, a nice $300 travel credit, and (if you're not transferring points) a nice 50% boost in point value. The AMEX Platinum on the other hand offers extensive lounge access, elite status with Marriott & Hilton, and many other benefits here & there that adds up. When it comes down to it, which card has the better benefits will depend on what you like. There are lots of people who own both cards in order to get the best of both worlds.
Sign Up Bonus
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has a standard sign up bonus of 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points can be redeemed on the Chase Travel Portal for $750 thanks to the 50% boost in point value you'll get from having the card. You can redeem your Ultimate Rewards Points for other redemptions such as cash back, gift cards, and Amazon for a value of $400 to $500. Lastly, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards Points to airline and hotel partners to possibly get a value of more than $750. Transferring to partners are all 1:1 so you'll end up with 50,000 airline miles or 50,000 hotel points.
American Express Platinum
The AMEX Platinum has a standard sign up bonus of around 70,000 Membership Rewards Points and this is usually after spending $5,000 within the first three months. The AMEX Platinum Card's sign up bonus tends to bounce around. When visiting the AMEX site (even in the same day), it's a high possibility that you'll see different sign up bonuses. The lowest standard bonus that you should settle for is 70,000 points. Special sign up bonuses of 100,000 points and even 125,000 points are occasionally seen as well. If you pull up a 100,000/125,000-point bonus, you had best apply because the likelihood of it coming to your browser again is slim. The best sign up bonuses for American Express are usually obtained by landing on their home page using incognito/private browsing.
When redeeming your points directly with American Express, 70,000 Membership Rewards Points will earn you $700 in airfare travel through the American Express Travel Portal. AMEX has a lot of redemption options such as gift cards, Pay with Points, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and more. You'll generally get between $250 and $350 in value with 70,000 points with most of their other redemptions. The best use of Membership Rewards Points will be transferring them to their many travel partners which includes airlines and hotels.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Sign Up Bonus|
|AMEX Platinum Card Sign Up Bonus|
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs AMEX Platinum Sign Up Bonus
When it comes to easy redemptions, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card's 50% boost gives Chase the upper hand in terms of travel redemptions. Chase also has the upper hand for most of the other redemptions in terms of point value as well.
In terms of transferring points to the overlapping partners that both AMEX and Chase shares, AMEX's sign up bonus will earn you 20,000 more airline miles or hotel points than Chase would.
Credit Card Fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve has an annual fee of $450. Considering that you receive $300 of that back in the form of a travel credit, I put the true value of the card at $150. With all the benefits that are stuffed in this card as well as the 3x earnings on both travel and dining, I see this card as easily being worth the fee.
The authorized user fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is $75 per additional user. Each user will receive the same travel/purchase coverage and protections that the main cardholders will receive when using the card. They'll also be able to of course earn 3x points for travel and dining purchases.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve has no foreign transaction fee which is why it's such a great card for international travel and dining spend.
American Express Platinum
The AMEX Platinum Card has a high annual fee of $550. While the card does come with a bunch of annual credits, they're not 'travel' credits so the value will depend whether or not you can use them. If you can, then the card's fee is pretty much taken care of. If you can't? Well.. there's tons of other perks on the card that can justify $550. The extensive lounge access, the complimentary hotel status, the 5x earning rates, and more. You'll have to weigh the benefits yourself, but generally what the card offers has a higher cash value than $550.
The authorized user fee to add more Platinum Cards for authorized users is $175 for the first three and then $175 per user from the 4th additional cardholder on up. This means whether you add one user or three users, it will be $175 total (so I recommend adding three if you can). Sounds expensive? It does, but each cardholder will receive the same return/purchase coverage (and soon to be trip insurance), their own personal $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, full access to the Global Lounge Collection (even when not traveling with the primary cardholder), their own Marriott and Hilton Gold Elite status, and much more. All of this for $175 for up to 3 people is a superb deal.
The AMEX Platinum Card has a 0% foreign transaction fee. It won't do you as good since the only bonus categories are airfare and hotel related, but it's still nice to know you will not incur any extra fees on international purchases.
|Authorized User Fee||-|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||-|
|Authorized User Fee||-|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||-|
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs AMEX Platinum Card Fees
Both cards can easily be worth the fee. It's a little easier to justify the fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve thanks to the $300 travel credit a 50% boost, but the AMEX Platinum is packing a lot of benefits that can easily be worth more than $550 without counting the annual credits.
You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category for both cards. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the cards based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees.
All category spend entered in the first column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site. This means you don't have to re-enter the same information over again. You can use the Copy functions under the Options menu within the Categories & Bonuses section.
Listed below are rewards credit cards that are similar to the two credit cards compared on this page. You can click on a card to learn about the bonus categories, perks & benefits, sign up bonus, and fees of the card as well as calculate how many rewards you can earn.
|Cards Similar To Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||2x travel, dining; 25% point boost; lower annual fee||Earns Ultimate Rewards Points|
|AMEX Green Card||3x travel, dining||Earns Membership Rewards Points|
|Citi Prestige||5x dining, airfare; 3x hotel, cruise line; $250 travel credit||Earns ThankYou Points|
|Cards Similar To AMEX Platinum|
|AMEX Business Platinum||5x AMEX Travel airfare/hotel; similar benefits; 35% point rebate||Earns Membership Rewards Points|
|Delta Reserve||SkyClub Membership; AMEX Offers||Earns Delta SkyMiles|
|AMEX Gold Card||4x grocery, dining; 3x airfare, AMEX Travel airfare; $220 annual credits||Earns Membership Rewards Points|
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