Premium Card Face Off: Sapphire Reserve vs. Amex Platinum: Which is best for you?(Part 2) 0

This article is the continuation of our comparison of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and the American Express Platinum card (learn more). To get all the details, start with Part 1 of this two-part comparison.

Earning Points and Miles

With the American Express Platinum, you can earn…

  • 5 points per $1 spent on airfare booked directly with an airline
  • 5 points per $1 spent on airfare booked through American Express’s travel booking portal
  • 5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked through American Express’s travel booking portal
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, you earn…

  • 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases
  • 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 spent on everything else

Chase Ultimate Rewards

While Chase Sapphire Reserve may not give you as many points per dollar as the American Express Platinum, it’s helpful that Chase defines travel and dining very, very broadly. Dining does include some bars that do not serve food. In the travel category, you can find a huge array of vendors…

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Timeshares
  • Campgrounds
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies
  • Discount travel sites
  • Passenger trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Limos
  • Ferries
  • Toll bridges
  • Toll highways
  • Parking lots
  • Parking garages

That’s a ton of vendors you can earn with, and a lot of these you likely use even when you’re not traveling away from your home city (for example, how often do you use a parking garage or taxi just to go to work or an event on the other side of town?).

Of course, the best earning potential comes when you pair one of these cards with another that gives you a high return on everyday spending, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card with the Chase Freedom, and the Amex Platinum with the Amex EveryDay (learn more).

Redeeming Those Points and Miles

Amex Platinum points are redeemable at $0.01 each through the various travel partners, as well as with other redemption options, like gift cards. You can transfer points to one of quite a few travel partners, and most transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Transfer your Amex Platinum points to…

  • oneworld airlines
  • SkyTeam airlines
  • Star Alliance airlines
  • Choice Hotels
  • Hilton
  • Marriott/Starwood

The instances where the redemption rate is not 1:1 is in the case of Hilton (1:2); JetBlue (250:200); El Al (1,000:20); and AeroMexico (1:1.6).

Chase Sapphire Reserve Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents per point and you can transfer them to a handful of airline partners and four hotel partners (note that there are fewer airline partners with Chase Sapphire Reserve versus Amex Platinum).

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners include:

  • JetBlue
  • Aer Lingus/KLM
  • British Airways
  • Iberia
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hyatt
  • Marriott/STarwood
  • IHG

All of these transfer at a 1:1 ratio.

Even though Amex has more travel partners, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a somewhat higher value, which means that the transfer benefits for both cards even out.

Other Details to Keep in Mind

Other small little details to keep in mind include the elite statuses that come with each card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card gives you membership in…

  • Avis Preferred
  • National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection

Amex Platinum, on the other hand, gives you membership in…

  • Hilton Honors Gold
  • Marriott Rewards Gold Elite
  • Avis Preferred
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
  • National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive
  • American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
Hilton suite
Photo: Hilton

So which is right for you?

These are a lot of details to keep in mind. So, which of these two cards is better for you? Let’s break it down.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card does better for those who…

  • Want the flexibility of a $300 travel credit to basically spend on whatever travel-related item you want
  • Do not use Uber regularly
  • Do not visit airline lounges regularly
  • Prefer the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners to the Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners
  • Spend some on travel, but easily spend the same or more on dining
  • Have an excellent credit score
  • Don’t necessarily care about elite hotel status

The Amex Platinum card (read more) does better for those who…

  • Frequently visit airline lounges
  • Use Uber regularly
  • Spend at least $200 each year on in-flight purchases or checked bags
  • Prefer the Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners to the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners
  • Spend a lot on travel each year
  • Have a less-than-excellent credit score
  • Want elite status with a variety of hotels

It’s that simple.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *