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

Seekers of premium travel rewards credit cards will want to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express. Both of these cards offer excellent travel benefits and perks, allowing you to travel in comfort and style. Both have hefty fees, however, so which one should you go for?

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Overall Rating
4.9

Welcome Offer
Earn 60,000 bonus points

Rewards Range
1x - 10x

Annual Fee
$550

Regular APR
22.49%-29.49%

0% APR on Purchases
N/A

0% APR on Balance Transfers
N/A

Foreign Transaction Fee
$0

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Overall Rating
4.5

Welcome Offer
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points

Rewards Range
1x - 5x points

Annual Fee
$695

Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR

0% APR on Purchases
N/A

0% APR on Balance Transfers
N/A

Foreign Transaction Fee
None

Welcome Offer

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. That’s because the Sapphire Reserve offers 50% more value for your points when you use them to book travel through Chase Travel(SM).

The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. According to American Express’s rewards calculator, these points are worth somewhere between $560 and $800, depending on how you redeem them.

You may get even more value from either card if you transfer the points to a travel partner like an airline or a hotel. However, purely on the basis of each credit card’s evaluation of its own bonus, we give Chase the win here.

Cash Back Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a $300 travel credit for travel purchases made to your card each year. You also earn 10x on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Travel(SM), 5x on flights, 3x on other travel purchases, and 1x on everything else. You can get a DoorDash DashPass subscription, Instacart benefits, and a $10 monthly statement from GoPuff. You can also earn 10x on Lyft rides through December 31, 2024.

The travel credit is automatically applied to your account when you make $300 in purchases in the travel category. Travel is a pretty broad category, according to Chase, and includes airlines, hotels, motels, campgrounds, timeshares, car rental agencies, train fares, bus travel, ferries, tolls, and parking.

Most of the value in the The Platinum Card® from American Express comes from the credits. Other than that, you’ll get 5x membership reward points on flights and hotels booked directly with American Express Travel. You also get (in no particular order):

  • $200 cash back in statement credits each year on Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection booking, with at least a two-night stay
  • $240 digital entertainment credit, up to $20 a month, with purchases of digital entertainment, including Disney Bundle, Audible, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, and The New York Times
  • $155 Walmart+ credit
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $200 in Uber cash (includes Uber Eats), up to $15 a month (Terms Apply)
  • $189 back for a CLEAR membership
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit (up to $50 twice a year)

These are great benefits–if you use them. Most people have streaming subscriptions, and if you travel through airports, the airline fee credit is a nice benefit.

Some cardholders report that the Chase travel credit is more flexible and easier to redeem. Also, while the Chase Priority Pass airport lounges are not as luxurious as the Amex Centurion or Escape lounges, there are a lot more of them. This comes down to how you spend money and which benefits you’ll use. This is a tie.

Here are the details of each card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Rewards:

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
3x points
Dining
Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
5x points
Travel
Earn 5x points on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Travel(SM) immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
10x points
Travel
10x on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel(SM) immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Rewards:  

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
1x on other purchases
5x points
Airfare
5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases each calendar year
5x points
Hotels
5x points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com

Rates and Fees

Neither card has a 0% introductory offer. Neither has any foreign transaction fees, which makes sense because both are premium travel cards.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has an annual fee of $550, plus $75 for each additional user. The Platinum Card® from American Express has an annual fee of $695, plus $195 for each additional user.

Since Chase Sapphire Reserve® is $145 less, plus the cost of any additional users is also significantly less, Chase scores the win.

Who the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is Best For

Chase Sapphire Reserve® can help you rack up points, which can be transferred to Chase’s travel partners for free flights and hotel stays. You could also redeem them through Chase Travel(SM) for 50% more value, which is a lucrative way to spend points. And those welcome bonus points are worth about $900 in travel, which more than covers the annual fee, at least for the first year.

Another advantage of this card is that the car rental insurance is primary insurance. That means when you use the card to pay for your rental and decline the collision damage waiver from the car rental company, the card can cover damages to your rental vehicle. Most credit card companies offer secondary car rental insurance, which only kicks in when the other driver’s insurance is exhausted or nonexistent. You may not have to file a claim with your insurance company if your card offers primary rental insurance. However, if you or someone else is injured, that’s still on you–it doesn’t cover liability.

Who the The Platinum Card® from American Express is Best For

Obviously, the The Platinum Card® from American Express is an expensive card. But if you want to put in some effort, you can make the cost worth your while. And you do get access to Centurion or Escape lounges, which can make travel much more comfortable. Keep in mind if you want to bring a companion, they will have to be either an authorized user or pay a fee ($50 each; $30 for children aged 2-17).

Some cardmembers report that American Express has great customer service and that if you’re ever without access to cash or credit cards in some other country, Amex can overnight you a card and provide other services as well. American Express also offers cell phone protection for up to $800 a year. If you travel at least a few times a year and can make use of a few of the benefits and credits, American Express is a great card.

But if you want solid travel benefits for less money, you may also consider the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

Does It Make Sense to Get Both Cards?

It might. Some Reddit users report having both cards because American Express has better luxury travel benefits and customer service, and Chase offers more flexible benefits that are easier to use. Keep in mind both cards will cost you over $1200, so make sure you’ll get value from both cards.

Approval Odds

The credit score data listed below comes from publicly available information in several forums. The accuracy of the information cannot be verified. Keep in mind that credit card issuers consider more than an applicant’s credit score and that underwriting standards change over time.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved04/08/2023
720
Not Provided
$10,000
Approved05/08/2023
830
Experian
$27,000
Approved02/06/2023
677
Experian
$10,700
Approved04/19/2023
806
Experian
$18,600
Approved04/19/2023
810
Equifax
$18,600
Approved04/19/2023
823
TransUnion
$18,600
Approved08/03/2023
700
TransUnion
$15,000
Approved09/30/2023
698
Experian
$25,500
Approved09/30/2023
730
TransUnion
$25,500
Approved09/30/2023
733
Equifax
$25,500
Approved09/30/2023
766
Equifax
$25,500
Approved12/14/2023
750
Experian
$10,000
Approved03/22/2023
719
Equifax
$21,700
Approved03/22/2023
752
TransUnion
$21,700
Approved03/22/2023
789
Experian
$21,700
Approved01/07/2023
821
Experian
$25,000
Approved01/07/2023
828
TransUnion
$25,000
Approved01/07/2023
838
Equifax
$25,000
Approved10/23/2023
751
Experian
$10,000
Approved10/23/2023
785
TransUnion
$10,000
Denied10/19/2023
749
TransUnion
---
Denied10/19/2023
765
Experian
---

The Platinum Card® from American Express

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved04/25/2024
649
Not Provided
---
Approved03/20/2024
800
Not Provided
---
Approved04/28/2023
812
Equifax
---
Approved04/28/2023
820
TransUnion
---
Approved04/28/2023
825
Experian
---
Approved08/16/2023
698
Equifax
$25,000
Approved08/16/2023
709
Experian
$25,000
Approved08/16/2023
728
TransUnion
$25,000
Approved12/11/2023
695
TransUnion
---
Approved12/11/2023
713
Experian
---
Approved12/11/2023
714
Equifax
---
Approved01/04/2023
696
Not Provided
---
Approved06/21/2023
700
Not Provided
---
Approved01/23/2023
675
Not Provided
$6,000
Approved11/01/2023
683
Experian
---
Approved11/01/2023
703
TransUnion
---
Approved11/01/2023
718
Equifax
---
Approved08/17/2023
737
TransUnion
---
Approved08/17/2023
742
Equifax
---
Approved08/17/2023
758
Experian
---
Approved05/29/2024
680
Experian
---

Although it’s primarily a luxury travel credit card, according to the data above, the Amex card may be willing to approve lower credit scores than the Chase card. Another thing to keep in mind is Chase’s 5/24 rule, which means Chase likely won’t approve you if you’ve opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months. If you’re close, you should probably apply for the Chase card first. If your credit scores are on the average side, you may consider the American Express card.