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Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express
Amex offers raw value power, while Chase offers excellent flexibility.
Updated . What changed?
However, starting January 1, 2021, your 5x points on flights with the Amex Platinum will be capped on up to $500,000 annually, reverting to 1x points after that.
The winner: Tie
The cardholder perks on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express are both mighty valuable. And while it’s worth considering the limited-time bonus categories added to each card when making a decision, these bonuses will presumably go away once the US economy returns to a state of normalcy. Between the two titans, you’ll want to make your choice based on the card’s base features, your way of spending and which perks you think you’ll use most.
If you’re not in the market for a top-tier luxury card though, keep comparing travel cards until you come across the one that you fall in love with. With so many unique credit cards out there, you should be able to find the perfect piece of plastic with the help of our head-to-head comparisons.
Who should get the Chase Sapphire Reserve®?
Consumers who value flexible earning capabilities more than pure earning power will find a lot to love with the Sapphire Reserve. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is also the final piece of the puzzle for the Chase trifecta earning strategy.
Who should get The Platinum Card® from American Express?
If you value utmost earning power and doing a little extra work to gain those points, the Amex Platinum Card is the card for you. This is also the card of choice if you love an unmatched smorgasbord of highly valuable perks.
Summary of card features
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months of card membership. This is worth $750 if you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
- Earn rewards points. Earn 3x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1x points on all other purchases. The 3x points can be worth 4.5% back if redeemed on travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards. You also earn 10x points on Lyft purchases until March 2022. This can be worth up to 15% back in travel purchases via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Annual travel credit. Get $300 in statement credit as reimbursement for your travel purchases every year on your card account anniversary.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Membership reward points. Earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked directly through Amex Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, your 5x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
- You can use your points toward gift cards, travel rewards, statement credit and more. If you redeem these points for the highest valued rewards, you'll get 10% back. On all other eligible purchases, you'll earn 1x points.
- Welcome offer. Get 75,000 membership rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of card membership. You'll also earn 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months. These two welcome offers combined can earn you up to $4,500 worth of rewards when transferred to travel partners.
- Airline fee credit. Select a qualifying airline and receive a $200 airline fee credit each year to cover incidental charges, such as checked bags or in-flight purchases.
Best for annual fee: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Typically, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express both have an annual of $550. However, Chase has recently lowered the annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® down to $450 to help cardholders who might not be able to make up for the card’s cost through travel. Both Amex and Chase have also allowed you to earn each card’s travel credit on purchases besides travel as well, helping to make up for the card’s costs.
Best for rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® ekes a win out over the Amex thanks to some temporary earning bonuses. In addition to standard earning bonuses, Chase cardholders currently earn 10x points on Lyft purchases through March 2022, 3x points on Instacart and gas station purchases, and 10x points on streaming services until September 30, 2020. While some of these bonuses end soon, Chase is likely to cycle them out for similar bonuses for the duration of the pandemic.
While Amex has also introduced measures to help cardholders maintain card value through the pandemic, you won’t find these measures in the Platinum’s rewards categories as of this writing.
Best for features and perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Both The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve® are chock-full of features and benefits perfect for travelers. These include various statement credits, access to airline lounges, travel protections and more.
Amex has also incorporated some assistance for those traveling less due to the pandemic. They’re currently offering bonus statement credits on streaming and wireless phone services, up to $20 a month on each category through December 2020. Combine this with a few unique features available on The Platinum Card® from American Express, such as gold elite status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, and access to the premier Centurion Lounge and Amex pulls ahead.
Best for welcome offer: The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Platinum Card® from American Express sports one of the leading general travel card welcome offers on the market as of this writing. While some cobranded cards might offer a higher number of points, Amex Membership Rewards points are valuable on their own and can be stretched even further if you transfer them to a partner airline.
Compare Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express
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