Unarguably, the best rewards credit cards for serious points earners and free flight enthusiasts are categorized as Premium Rewards Credit Cards. The battle between these cards is usually fought between two competitors: Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum.
I personally own both of these cards and have been able to get incredible value out of both of them; however, I believe it’s only reasonable to carry one of these cards, unless you are a “full-time traveler”. Hannah and I originally booked these round-the-world tickets to 40 countries with the intent to return to America later this year. When we do return, I will be cancelling either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the American Express Platinum, and the better of the two cards will become my go-to, primary credit card.
So just a week ago, I sat down and evaluated which card would be the clear winner for me personally. I compared all benefits of both cards:
- points earnings rate
- travel credit benefits
- service credits
- hotel and airline statuses
- lounge access
- signup bonus
- and much more
In considering each of these categories, I want to share with you my honest thoughts and conclusions between these two cards. If you’re on the fence in deciding whether a Premium Rewards Credit
Chase Sapphire Reserve – 50,000 points, estimated to be worth $1,150
American Express Platinum – 60,000 points, estimated to be worth $1,260
Points Earnings Rate
Chase Sapphire Reserve – 3x on travel and dining, 1x on everything else. Travel is a broad category and includes Uber, flights, trains, etc, and even some weird expenses that you personally wouldn’t categorize as travel but will still earn you 3x points
American Express Platinum – 5x on travel, 1x on everything else. Travel here is defined as flights booked directly through an airline’s website and hotels booked via American Express’ hotel portal.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – $300 credits automatically applied every year
American Express Platinum – $200 credits applied to the airline of your choice every year
Other Noteworthy Credits
Chase Sapphire Reserve – Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
American Express Platinum – Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, $200 Uber credits every year, and $100 Saks credits every year
Chase Sapphire Reserve – Priority Pass
American Express Platinum – Priority Pass, American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Lounge access when flying with Delta.
American Express Platinum is the clear winner here. Centurion Lounges are the BEST in the world, and you can only access them with the American Express Platinum card. And if you’re flying Delta, you’ll be sure to find a Delta lounge in the airport you’re flying through. So no matter where you are, with the American Express Platinum card, you will have the MOST extensive lounge coverage of any card.
Priority Pass allows the card holder to bring 2 additional companions into 600+ different Priority Pass lounges spread across the world for free. If you’re not yet a lounge visitor, let me tell you how big of a deal this is. There’s free premium food, WiFi, comfortable seating, occasional free massages, wine
Chase Sapphire Reserve – N/A
American Express Platinum – Gold status at Marriott, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Hilton, valued at $1,000+.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – $450
American Express Platinum – $550
Don’t be scared off by the high annual fees for these cards. As you can see from the benefits above, you will recoup way more value from these cards than the annual fee will cost you. From the American Express Platinum’s side, you will recoup the $550 annual fee extremely quickly: $200 airline travel credit, $200 Uber credit, $100 Saks credit, $100 credit for
To apply for the American Express Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards, click the button below and scroll down on the page past 5 credit cards until you see a blue button labeled as “Show More Cards”. Click this button and scroll down further until you see the card offer. You may need to click “Show More Cards” more than once to see the American Express Platinum offer.