If you’re considering a premium credit card for your luxury travel, there are probably two that have been on your radar for quite a while: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and the Platinum Card from American Express (read more). Each comes with its own perks and which you choose will depend on the kind of travel/cardholder experience you’re looking for.
However, you don’t want to make a choice on a whim. After all, both of these cards require annual fees that are hundreds of dollars. You want to make sure you’re getting top value from whichever card you choose. Which card will give you the right perks for both carrying the card and using the card?
We’re going to go over all the crucial details for both, over a two-part article, so you can make this tough decision with all the facts in hand.
Before we get into the differences, let’s clear up the similarities these two cards offer. Both of them have some of the exact same benefits. These include:
- An application fee reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
- Access to Priority Pass Select airport lounges
- 1:1 point transfers with some of your favorite travel partners
- Car rental privileges
However, these similarities aren’t cut and dry. While you get Priority Pass Select membership with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, you get additional Centurion Lounge access with the Amex Platinum Card (learn more). Arguably, the Centurion Lounge is much, much nicer than many of the Priority Pass Select lounges. Centurion Lounges are often very new and just feel more luxurious than their counterparts. There’s a reason they’ve become a luxury traveler favorite over the last few years.
Your Credit Score and Eligibility
You also want to look at your credit score to see which of these cards is even a possibility for you.
The Platinum Card from American Express is open to more applicants than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can qualify if you have “good to excellent” credit.
If you have “excellent” credit, though (above 720), you can qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.
However, keep in mind that Chase does have that pesky “5/24” rule, so if you’ve opened more than five credit cards in the last two years, you’ll most likely be turned down when applying for this card.
With our comparison, let’s start with the annual fees for both of these cards.
- The Platinum Card from American Express comes with a $550 annual fee (learn more)
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $450 annual fee
The $100 difference won’t be that much when you consider all the various perks you get, but alone, those annual fees can seem pretty hefty.
The annual fee for additional cardholders differs as well. You’ll pay $175 for up to three additional cardholders with the American Express Platinum card (learn more). You’ll pay $75 for each additional cardholder with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Now what do you get as far as an intro bonus and which is worth more to you?
The Amex Platinum (learn more) offers 60,000 Membership Reward points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. That’s a $1,140 value.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from your account opening. That’s a $1,050 value.
These are almost a tie. There’s a $90 difference in what you’re getting back, but you have to spend $1,000 extra to get the reward from the Platinum card, so that’s something to take into consideration.
Each card gives you an annual travel credit. How do they compare?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you a $300 travel credit that you can use for anything travel-related, including flights.
The Amex Platinum (read more) gives you $400 travel credit, BUT, you can use $200 of it toward air travel and $200 of it toward Uber costs. The Uber credit is also split up by month and the credits don’t roll over, so if you don’t use them every month, you lose out. However, if you live in a city where you use Uber frequently, this could be no problem whatsoever for you. Additionally, the air travel credit only covers things like in-flight purchases and checked bags. You have to dedicate your travel credit to one airline and you can’t put it toward things like the flight cost itself.
The comparison here is really in the details. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit is less, it can be used for literally anything. The Amex Platinum credit is more specific, but can be more valuable if you have an affinity for one particular airline and you use Uber on a regular basis.
Come back for the continuation of this comparison tomorrow!