Is Sapphire Preferred and Amex Platinum the Best Card Combo?

May 3, 2015

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TPG reader Mark tweeted me to ask about his rewards card strategy:

@thepointsguy– “I currently have an American Express Platinum card and a Delta Amex Gold, which are the only cards I carry. Should I swap out the Delta Gold card for a Chase Sapphire Preferred, since I’m not flying Delta as much?”

Mark, what you’re suggesting is a great idea. I would definitely swap out your Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which I think is a much better complement to your Platinum Card® from American Express. You should only use the Delta card if you’re getting value out of its perks (like free checked bags). Delta SkyMiles are currently among the least valuable frequent flyer miles, and every time you use this card, you’re missing the opportunity to earn more valuable points or miles from a different card (like Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire Preferred).

While spending on the Delta card can help you avoid the revenue requirements for earning elite status, in general the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is much more lucrative. It’s also nice to have a Visa card in addition to your Amex Platinum in case you end up somewhere that doesn’t accept American Express.

Having both a Visa card and an Amex card is a good idea. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Plus, the Sapphire Preferred Card currently offers a lot of valuable perks, including a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months. You’ll earn 2X points per dollar spent on dining and travel, and the card has no foreign transaction fees.

The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year, so I think getting the Sapphire Preferred is really a no-brainer, as the bonus alone can easily get you over $500 in travel value. You can always keep the Delta Gold as well if you value the perks, but in general, I would diversify by keeping your Amex Platinum and getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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