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Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which card is right for you in 2022?

June 5 2022
15 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current information.

It seems like almost every airline, hotel chain and credit card issuer has launched its own premium credit card, enticing customers with luxury travel perks to offset hefty annual fees. Many of these cards offer solid value, especially if you’re loyal to the underlying brand.

Despite more recent entrants like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, there are two undeniable titans of the premium card market: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

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The former built the market for premium rewards cards decades ago, while the latter is responsible for growing its mass appeal.

Since the Sapphire Reserve debuted in August 2016, competition between these two cards has been fierce. Today, we’re going to take a look at how they stack up against each other and whether you should consider adding one (or both) to your wallet.

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Welcome bonus

(Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

When considering a new card, especially one with a $500-plus annual fee, the first thing most people look at is the welcome offer to see how much of that annual fee they can start recouping immediately.

With its $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), the Amex Platinum is currently offering new applicants 100,000 Membership Rewards points after they spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.

You’ll also earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines and flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com booked by both you and additional cardmembers on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year.

TPG values American Express' Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, making the initial welcome offer of 100,000 points worth $2,000 alone. Since Amex only allows you to earn a welcome offer on each of its cards once per lifetime, it might be wise to hold off on applying for the Amex Platinum in hopes that you may be targeted through CardMatch for a higher bonus at some point in the future (offers are subject to change at any time).

Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.

TPG also values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, making this bonus worth $1,200. That’s significantly lower than the Amex Platinum offer, though the spending requirement to earn the bonus is also lower.

Winner: The Amex Platinum takes the lead in this first category, especially if you are targeted for an elevated offer through CardMatch.

Earning

Long after your bonus has been earned and spent, you’ll want a card that will help you rack up valuable transferable points quickly.

Both of these cards get that done but in very different ways. Your best option depends on which other Chase or Amex cards you currently have in your wallet and how the bonus categories on those other cards overlap with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum.

Here are the bonus categories for these two cards:

Bonus multiplier

Amex Platinum

Chase Sapphire Reserve

10 points per dollarN/ALyft rides through March 2025.

Hotels and car rentals booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase Dining purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

5 points per dollarAirfare booked directly with airlines and airfare booked with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.

Prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel.

Airfare booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
3 points per dollarN/ATravel and dining.
1 point per dollarOn other purchases.On other purchases.

Chase offers a broader range of bonus categories, including everyday purchases like travel and dining.

While the Amex Platinum does pull ahead in the short term and on most airfare purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve pulls ahead for dozens of other travel expenses, including most hotels, ride-sharing services, parking fees, tolls, tours and more. It also has an equally broad 3 points per dollar spent on dining category that the Platinum can’t match.

Winner: The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best for earning, thanks to its favorable everyday bonus categories that help you earn more points in the long term.

Redemption options

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

With Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards tied at 2 cents apiece in TPG’s valuations, it’s up to you to look at the different transfer partners and decide which ones best suit your needs.

Let’s start with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. In addition to 11 airline and three hotel transfer partners, Sapphire Reserve customers get a 50% bonus when redeeming points for travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. This gives you a minimum redemption value of 1.5 cents per point, meaning you can book a seat on any flight that’s for sale, even if there isn’t award space available.

Better yet, these bookings are treated like cash tickets, so you’ll earn redeemable and elite miles on them, further increasing your value. You can also redeem points at a rate of 1.5 cents per point on purchases at Airbnb and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) with Chase's Pay Yourself Back feature.

That said, you’ll often get a better value by transferring your points to the loyalty programs of airlines and hotels instead. All partner transfers occur at a 1:1 ratio, and most of them are nearly instant. Ultimate Rewards has a real edge for hotel bookings because of its partnership with World of Hyatt, where free nights start as low as 5,000 points per night during standard pricing or as low as 3,000 points during off-peak pricing.

On the airline side of things, popular Chase transfer options include United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Avios, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Flying Blue (Air France-KLM), though the last four also partner with Amex Membership Rewards.

Amex Membership Rewards has a whopping 20 transfer partners, including 17 airlines and three hotels, but not all of them are worth your attention. Some have transfer ratios below 1:1, or longer transfer times (which means you risk watching award space disappear), while some simply don’t have reasonably priced redemption options.

Some of the best are ANA Mileage Club, Air Canada Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles, each of which offers attractively-priced options for booking Star Alliance tickets. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Etihad Guest and Delta SkyMiles are also popular transfer options.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve comes out on top for redemption options since it offers a 1:1 transfer ratio for all of its airline and hotel partners, the Pay Yourself Back feature and more flexibility with its 50% bonus (1.5 cents per point) for travel booked in the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Perks and benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum are two of the most valuable rewards cards on the market, but they’re also two of the most expensive.

You’ll pay a $550 annual fee with the Sapphire Reserve and a $695 annual fee with the Amex Platinum (see rates and fees).

So, what do you get in exchange for those upfront costs? For starters, both cards feature airport lounge access and additional travel and food delivery credits, among other benefits. Let’s take a look below at the most popular and valuable benefits available with each card:

Benefit

Amex Platinum

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Annual statement credits and partner benefits

Up to $200 annual airline incidental fee statement credit.

Up to $200 annual prepaid hotel statement credit.

Up to $200 annual Uber Cash for eligible U.S. purchases ($15 each month, with a $20 bonus in December).

Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit ($50 Jan.-June and July-Dec.).

Up to $240 in digital streaming credits ($20 per month).

Up to $300 in Equinox membership credits ($25 per month).

$300 statement credit after purchasing a SoulCycle bike — up to 15 bikes per year.

Up to $155 in statement credits for Walmart+ memberships ($12.95 per month).

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

$300 annual travel credit.

Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership, plus a $5 monthly DoorDash in-app credit, through Dec. 31, 2024.

Lounge accessAccess to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass (excluding restaurants), Delta Sky Clubs when flying on same-day Delta flights, Airspace and Escape lounges.

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Priority Pass Select membership (including restaurants) and forthcoming Sapphire Lounges.
Travel insuranceSecondary car rental insurance.*

Lost, damaged or stolen baggage insurance.*

Trip delay insurance.*

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance.*

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Primary car rental insurance.

Baggage delay insurance.

Trip delay insurance.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

Emergency medical and dental benefits.

Hotel elite statusGold status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

None.
Hotel perks

American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts.

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck creditOne credit every four years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck.One credit every four years.
Clear membership creditUp to $189 annual Clear membership statement credit.None.
Cell phone protectionPay your monthly cell phone bill with your card and get up to $800 per claim (with a $50 deductible) with a limit of two claims in a 12-month period.*None.

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. See our complete guide to travel protections on American Express cards. The trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance and cell phone protection are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. Baggage insurance plan, car rental loss and damage insurance and extended warranty coverage are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

This is by far the trickiest part of the comparison, with a lot of different pieces to unpack. It’s also the section where your own personal preferences are most likely to sway you toward one card versus the other.

Let’s start with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

It still has an edge over Amex regarding the $300 annual travel credit. Not only is it a higher amount than the up-to-$200 airline fee credit that comes with the Amex Platinum, but it’s also much less restrictive, meaning it will automatically apply to a broad range of travel purchases. You can’t use the $200 Amex airline credit for airfare — only for select fees, such as seat assignments or checked bags — and you can only use it to cover charges from one U.S. carrier that you must designate each year.

When it comes to ride-hailing services, some people see the up-to-$200 annual (U.S.) Uber Cash (broken into $15 a month, with a $20 bonus in December) that comes with the Amex Platinum card as a cash-like credit. However, not everyone uses a ride-hailing service once a month, which means the 10 points per dollar spent on Lyft rides might be a more interesting option.

On the flip side, if you live in a smaller city or never order food delivery, you might find the DoorDash partnership to be entirely useless. The same can be said of the up-to-$100 Amex Platinum Saks Fifth Avenue credit. If you already shop at Saks: great. If not, you may find that this isn’t a real value-add relative to the annual fee, even when using the credit at Saks.com.

Amex Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia Airport. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The Amex Platinum is widely considered the most comprehensive card when it comes to airport lounge access for good reason. Although the Priority Pass Select membership that comes with this card no longer allows you to access participating restaurants (you can with a Chase-issued Priority Pass membership), the access to Amex’s growing collection of Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs on same-day Delta flights should be enough to make up for that. Another area where Amex excels is by offering Gold elite status with both Marriott and Hilton to Platinum cardholders. Chase offers no equivalent benefit. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Chase has historically been the leader in travel insurance, with a multitude of different policies and generous terms. Amex has partially closed the gap, adding a new suite of travel insurance benefits to the Amex Platinum card. You should also remember that both cards offer rental car elite status with a few programs, which you can then use to status match to other rental car programs.

Winner: Amex Platinum is the clear winner when it comes to perks and benefits, which include its $1,400-plus in potential annual statement credits, expanded airport lounge access, new travel protections and elite status with Marriott and Hilton.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum are two of the most popular premium rewards cards on the market, but they offer slightly different value propositions.

Between hotel elite status and Centurion Lounge access, the Amex Platinum is better suited for those looking to enjoy a more luxurious travel lifestyle. If you frequently purchase airfare that would qualify for the 5 bonus points per dollar earning rate, this card deserves a spot in your wallet.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve, by comparison, is a premium card that’s simple enough for beginners and pros alike to maximize. The $300 annual travel credit is automatically applied to a wide range of purchases. Plus, your 3 points per dollar earning rate on travel (excluding purchases covered by the $300 travel credit) and dining bonus categories are broad enough that you won’t be scratching your head trying to decide if you’re tapping the right card.

Some people may even find that there’s enough room for both cards in their wallets. If you can take advantage of all the annual statement credits and luxury perks, these cards can actually complement each other well.

Official application link: Amex Platinum.
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.

Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Stella Shon, Juan Ruiz and Chris Dong.

Featured photo by (Photo by The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees