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Will TPG readers keep both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum?

Feb. 09, 2020
8 min read
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We recently asked our TPG Lounge members who have both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express to share whether or not they'd be keeping or dropping the CSR as a result of the higher annual fee. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

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The case for keeping both cards

For many TPG Lounge members, each premium travel card was valuable enough in its own right, whether for the travel credits, redemption value, transfer partners or other perks like rideshare discounts and hotel status that they're most likely to use on a regular basis.

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"Keeping both! The benefits, privileges and perks of both cards far outweigh the $1,100 annual fees.‬" — Artur R.A.

"‪I'm keeping them both for now. The $300 travel credit is key; if Chase Sapphire Reserve lowers or removes it, I'm gone. The periodic credits I get from American Express for using FedEx and various credits they offer throughout the year cover the majority of my annual fee on the Amex Platinum card. Their customer service has always been great with me as well, and that extended warranty has saved me years in annual fees.‬" — Harold M.

"We use the Centurion Lounges a lot, as well as my Uber and Saks credits. Those alone make the Amex Platinum worth it for me. I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Unlimited much more and the $300 travel credit made the $450 annual fee a no brainer. I’m not thrilled about the increase but we already used DoorDash and Lyft so won’t be hurt by the change.‬" — Doug D.H.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

TPG's Card Comparison: Amex Platinum versus Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which card is right for you?

If you have both cards, the rideshare world is your oyster. (Photo by d3sign/Getty Images.)

"‪I am keeping both. I like having both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards points. Both have their merits. I have the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express card and that 35% points rebate* is hard to give up!‬" — Julie B.

"‪Really YMMV (your mileage may vary). If you are in a place well serviced by United or Southwest, the Chase Sapphire Reserve makes the most sense. If you are in a place well serviced by Delta or you frequently stay in Hilton or Marriott properties, Amex Platinum makes the most sense.‬ ‪I travel all the time to Atlanta, New York and Washington D.C. for work and stay in Marriotts so Amex Platinum is the natural choice, but I have a colleague who is always in Houston and Chicago so the CSR is his go-to card.‬" — Chris C.

*up to 500,000 points per calendar year

Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve versus Amex Platinum: Which card is better for airfare purchases?

Fans of the American Express Platinum

Several TPG Lounge readers wrote in swearing their loyalty to American Express, with many saying they'd be downgrading their Chase Sapphire Reserve cards to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as a result of the annual fee increase.

"‪Keeping both for now, however if the time comes, I’ll keep the Amex Platinum and downgrade the CSR. Delta lounge access alone is worth it for me.‬" — Gregg K.

"‪I’m keeping the Amex Platinum and downgrading my Chase Sapphire Reserve to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. I’ll put my round-trip flights on the Amex Platinum and any one-ways on the CSP.‬" — Randall C.W.

"American Express has Hilton and more airline partners.‬" — Austin M.

Related: Who should (and shouldn't) get the Amex Platinum

For some TPG Lounge members, it's all about the partner hotels. (Photo by Samantha Rosen/The Points Guy.)

"Keeping the Amex Platinum. Downgrading my CSR to CSP next year when I get hit with the increased annual fee. Amex Platinum provides far greater lounge benefits, plus 5x points on flights. Restaurants already go on my American Express® Gold Card for 4X points and now general travel will be on American Express® Green Card for 3x points. The loss of the additional 0.25 cents per point on the portal will be unfortunate but then again I shouldn’t be settling for 1.5 cents per point anyway. All of that doesn’t leave much of a place for the CSR anymore.‬" — Mike Z.

"Keeping the Amex Platinum and thinking of downgrading the CSR. We’re in Houston, which is a United hub but transfer partners are better for us with American Express because United award seat availability has been abysmal. The only downside is American Express isn’t that widely accepted overseas, so will probably get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for that and car rentals.‬" — Shereen W.

"Keeping Amex Platinum for now but downgrading my Chase Sapphire Reserve in December at renewal. Part of it is the Membership Rewards points are more useful for me than Chase Ultimate Rewards for the transfer partners I use.‬" — Peter H.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Maximizing benefits with the Amex Platinum Card

Sticking with the Chase Sapphire Reserve

For some TPG Lounge members, benefits like the $300 annual travel credit, primary car rental insurance and a preference for certain travel partners made it worth keeping the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

"I'm keeping both for now. If I were to keep only one I'd keep the CSR‬. For me, my primary rationales for preferring the CSR over the Amex Platinum are as follows: I'm more invested in the Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem. I prefer the earning bonus categories on the CSR (dining and a very broad definition of travel)‬. I strongly, strongly, strongly prefer the CSR's handling of the travel credit. It is infinitely better than Amex Platinum's credit (worth more, easier to use, there's more variety and you don't have to worry about things suddenly not counting)‬. Visa is more widely accepted than American Express.‬" — Anthony I.W.

"‪I'm struggling with this myself. I think I'm going to ditch the Amex Platinum because I have a hard time using the $200 travel [airfare incidental fee] credit* since I mostly fly on Southwest and I don't Uber much. I like the status at Hilton and Marriott but can get that with lesser cards if I want. I like the ease of the Chase Sapphire Reserve's $300 travel credit, primary insurance on rental cars and the ability to transfer points to Southwest. Now I just have to figure out where to transfer my Membership Rewards points before I cancel it at the next renewal cycle." — Elizabeth H.

*Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: 6 little-known benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Featured image by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy.

Featured image by (Photo by Josh Gribben for 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.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

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Annual Fee

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Recommended Credit

670-850
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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 Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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 Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases