Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Kellie Jez
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
Our seasoned and experienced team brings years of expertise in the credit card and travel sectors. Committed to integrity, we offer data-driven guides to help you find the card(s) that best fit your requirements. See details on our intensive editorial policies and card rating methodologies.
Most frequent travelers appreciate the value of a premium travel rewards credit card. Having the ability to relax in an airport lounge, receiving an upgraded hotel room, and earning travel rewards make the value of having such a card clear.
Two of the best premium travel rewards credit cards available are The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Both cards are loaded with travel benefits and earn flexible points that, when redeemed for travel, deliver good value.
If you do some research, you’ll likely find that one of these cards is a better fit for your travel preferences and spending patterns. Both cards are equally impressive premium travel rewards cards, so how do you decide?
Let’s take a look at both cards, comparing benefits and earning power. These comparisons will help paint a clearer picture of which card may be a better fit for you.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®
|The Platinum Card® from American Express
|Welcome Bonus Offer
|Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
|Earn 80,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
|Top Redemption Options
|Hotel Program Benefits
|Travel Benefits and Protections
|Shopping Benefits and Protections
|Annual Fees and Authorized Users
While welcome offers change periodically, they can be a large factor when selecting which card to apply for.
Here’s a snapshot of current offers and pricing for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Amex Platinum card:
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
While welcome bonuses are only 1 element in the cards’ offerings, looking at the long-term value, in addition to the welcome bonus, allows you to pick a card that’s going to work best for you beyond the first year.
One of the benefits of a premium travel rewards credit card is complimentary airport lounge access to lounges worldwide.
Without this benefit, it’s not unheard of to see rates of $50 per person for a day pass or $700 for an annual membership. Given that paid access to these lounges can be expensive, the value of complimentary lounge access can be quite substantial.
The American Express Global Lounge Collection includes:
Both cards provide complimentary access for the cardholder to all of the card’s associated lounges. Additionally, both cards also allow 2 additional guests, at no charge, to most lounges.
The Priority Pass lounge network consists of over 1,400 locations worldwide. However, a drawback is that Priority Pass can limit access for guests, and even for cardholders, at certain peak times.
When it comes to complimentary lounge access, the Amex Platinum card not only offers access to more than 1,400 lounges worldwide with Priority Pass but also to several additional lounge networks, including the prestigious Centurion Lounges.
If you frequently stay at hotels, you know the value of an upgraded hotel room, late checkout, complimentary breakfast, and many of the other perks that come with having hotel elite status. Having complimentary hotel elite status as a credit card benefit can significantly boost your experience if you stay often at the participating hotels.
In addition to elite status with Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy, the Amex Platinum card also offers special benefits with American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts that include:
Additional hotel benefits are available when booking a least a 2-night stay at The Hotel Collection:
Chase partners with the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection to offer these benefits when booking directly through the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection at one of over 900 properties worldwide.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive similar benefits at Relais & Chateaux and Ennismore properties as well.
The Amex Platinum card clearly excels in providing airport lounge access and hotel program elite status. However, the Amex Platinum card is challenged in earning power by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card given you can earn more points in more ways with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
|Amex Platinum Card
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
|Flights and Flight/Hotel Packages
|Dining and Restaurants
|All Other Travel Expenses
|All Other Purchases
The first difference that stands out is that you can only earn big on the Amex Platinum card if you purchase flights directly through an airline or if you purchase flights and prepaid hotels through AmexTravel.com.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’re going to earn 3 points per dollar spent on all travel regardless of how you purchase.
Here’s a sample annual spending scenario:
Based on this spending mix, you will have earned 32,000 Membership Rewards points with the Amex Platinum card and 36,000 Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This calculation is based on the assumption that flights were qualifying purchases earning 5x points per dollar with the Amex Platinum card.
If all hotel purchases were qualifying bookings (prepaid hotel purchases made through AmexTravel.com), you would earn 44,000 Membership Rewards points versus 36,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
A downside to note when booking hotels through AmexTravel.com is that hotel elite status benefits typically do not apply.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, however, you’ll have the flexibility to make travel purchases from any provider. Plus, the broad definition of travel puts more of your purchases into the 3x bonus earning category. For example, purchases such as train tickets, car rentals, parking, tolls, ferries, and much more are included in the travel definition for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Both cards offer the option to earn rewards points on affiliated Amex and Chase no-annual-fee cards, then transfer and redeem with travel partners for potentially greater redemption value.
Fortunately, both cards offer good value when redeeming for travel, transferring points to travel partners, and offering additional redemption choices.
|Amex Platinum Card
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
|Redeem for Travel
|Redeem for up to 1 cent per point on AmexTravel.com
|Redeem for 1.5 cents per point on Ultimate Rewards travel portal or Pay Yourself Back when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
|Transfer Points to Travel Partners
|20 Amex transfer partners, most with a 1:1 transfer ratio; a small fee applies for U.S. airline transfer partners
|14 Chase travel partners, 1:1 transfer ratio
|Other Redemption Options Available
|Statement credits, gift cards, Amazon, Uber, Ticketmaster, redeem with shopping partners
|Statement credits, gift cards, Amazon, Apple, Chase Experiences
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s redemption rate of 1.5 cents per point results in great value when redeeming for inexpensive flights via the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, for Pay Yourself Back qualifying purchases, and also when transferring to select airline partners for premium flights.
With 17 airline transfer partners, there are more options for premium-cabin award redemptions with the Amex Platinum card versus the 11 airline transfer partners with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
When we look at hotel redemptions, transferring Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to hotel partner World of Hyatt shines as a sweet spot. Free nights at Hyatt start at 3,500 World of Hyatt points, and with a 1:1 transfer ratio, you would need just 3,500 Ultimate Rewards points for a free Hyatt hotel night.
While the Amex Platinum card’s annual fee is higher at $695, you can add authorized users at $195 per card (rates & fees). The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has an annual fee of $550, and authorized users can be added for $75 each.
Regardless of which card you select, if you can utilize the offered benefits, you’ll receive value far beyond the cost of either annual fee.
One of the card benefits that can directly offset the cost of a credit card’s annual fee is the credits you receive after making specific purchases.
If you spend money on checked baggage and other airline incidental fees, use streaming services, or shop at Saks, you’ll find value with the Amex Platinum card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s up to $300 travel credit, however, is much easier to utilize because airline tickets, hotels, taxis, and more are considered travel purchases.
The Amex Platinum card includes up to $200 Uber Cash, split up into up to $15 increments each month (except December which gets up to $35 in credit). This is added to your Uber account as Uber Cash and can be used towards any Uber ride or Uber Eats delivery in the U.S.
Likewise, you’re automatically enrolled in Uber VIP (available only in select cities) when you add your Amex Platinum card to your Uber account. This gives you access to exclusive discounts and UberX VIP and Uber Black VIP rides. When you select this option, you’re only paired with the highest-rated drivers in your city at no additional cost.
These benefits only apply to the card’s primary cardholder and not any authorized users.
Lyft purchases earn 10 points per dollar spent (through March 31, 2025) when they’re charged to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card — this means that a $10 ride would earn 100 Ultimate Rewards points!
Cardholders also receive complimentary Lyft Pink All Access for 2 years as well as 50% off the price of membership for the third year.
Hot Tip: Are you considering both of these credit cards? Be sure to consider the reasons you may (or may not) want 2 premium credit cards before deciding.
It’s nice to experience luxury travel benefits, but occasionally, things do go wrong. When they do, you may turn to your premium travel rewards credit card for coverage and assistance.
|Amex Platinum Card
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
|Car Rental Coverage
|Premium Roadside Assistance
|4 service calls per year, maximum benefit, $50 each call
|Emergency Medical and Dental
|$2,500 medical/dental coverage ($50 deductible per day), $75 per day for prescribed hotel needed due to covered loss for up to 5 days
|Up to $10,000 per trip, and a maximum limit of $20,000 per card per 12-month period
|Up to $10,000 per trip per person, $20,000 per incident
|Up to $500 for trip delays of more than 6 hours
|Up to $500 for trip delays of more than 6 hours
|Up to $100 per day for up to 5 days for delays of more than 6 hours
|Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Luggage
|Up to $3,000 for carry-on, $2,000 for checked
|Up to $3,000 per person per trip checked or carry-on
|Included, no stated limit
When comparing shopping protections and benefits, both cards offer similar coverage:
As previously mentioned, the Amex Platinum card receives up to $200 in Uber Cash that can be used towards any Uber Eats delivery or Uber ride in the U.S.
The card offers a free DoorDash DashPass subscription so long as it’s activated by December 31, 2024. This subscription is usually $9.99 monthly and includes free delivery and discounted service fees on select DoorDash orders over $12. There’s also a $5 monthly DoorDash credit available.
You will find the following benefits offered on both the Amex Platinum card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card:
Both cards are designed for the frequent traveler, but which card is best for you depends on which benefits you deem most important.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card focuses more on overall earnings, significant redemption values, and travel-related protections and insurance.
The Amex Platinum card has strengths that center on luxury travel benefits with elevated earnings narrowed to specific travel purchases. The card provides valuable no-stated-limit emergency transportation or evacuation benefits that can provide peace of mind when traveling.
Both cards offer the flexible option of transferring points to travel partners for the potential of even greater value for your points. There is no clear winner or loser here as both cards offer tremendous value for the right frequent traveler. The card that fits your spending patterns and benefit preferences and has protections/insurance you can use will be the best choice.
For the Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, the maximum benefit amount for Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For the Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
For the Baggage Insurance Plan benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Covered Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier Vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an Eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked Baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per Covered Trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each Covered Person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the Trip Delay Insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, up to $500 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For the Premium Global Assist Hotline benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can rely on Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Plus, we may provide emergency medical transportation assistance and related services. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, Card Members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
For the Purchase Protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, Purchase Protection is an embedded benefit of your Card Membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect Covered Purchases made on your Eligible Card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Coverage Limits Apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the Extended Warranty benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, when an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase to an Eligible Card, Extended Warranty§ can provide up to one extra year added to the Original Manufacturer’s Warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the Return Protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, with Return Protection, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
The best card for you will depend on your spending mix and your travel benefit preferences.
If you enjoy luxury travel benefits and spend a lot on flights and prepaid hotels you will realize the most value with the Amex Platinum card.
If you spend more on overall travel in general, in addition to hotels and flights, you may earn more rewards overall with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This is because travel, such as tours, cruises, train travel, taxis, and more are included in the broad travel definition of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Dining purchases also receive 3x earnings.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card also offers lounge access (but to a drastically lesser extent than the Amex Platinum card) and a very strong collection of travel protections and insurance.
Each card offers tremendous value for the right frequent traveler.
The value of your rewards points, when redeemed for travel, will depend on how the points are redeemed.
One option is to transfer your points to airline or hotel programs; both programs allow you to do this.
Value will vary based on the airline or hotel program. American Express has more transfer partners but Chase has partners like World of Hyatt that also provide excellent redemption value.
Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for up to 1 cent per point towards travel with Amex Travel and Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed at 1.5 cents per point for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Chase Ultimate Rewards can be worth more when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Membership Rewards may be worth more when redeemed with the right airline transfer partner.
The Amex Platinum card offers access to more properties and to higher-end lounges than the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
The Amex Platinum card’s complimentary lounge access is valid for several lounge networks including Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Plaza Premium Lounges, and more.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers lounge access to Priority Pass lounges and Chase Sapphire Lounges by The Club only.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card provides primary car rental coverage while the Amex Platinum card offers secondary coverage.
Secondary coverage means that you must first file a claim with your own auto insurance before coverage kicks in.
Additional terms and conditions apply but the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers better coverage.
Was this page helpful?
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.