TPG reader card question: Does it make sense to have both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This article is part of a column to answer your toughest credit card questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When discussing the top premium travel rewards cards on the market, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express are usually top of mind. These two popular cards are often mentioned in an either-or scenario.
Still, if you travel several times a year, it may be worth considering both as part of your card portfolio – as long as you can tackle the hefty annual fees.
Today’s reader question is about whether it makes sense to sign-up for the premium Amex Platinum card when you already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
I’m a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder and love it because I’m also a Chase banking customer so it’s easy to maintain. But, I’ve had the card since 2016 and I’m looking to see if there is a scenario where it makes sense to also get the Amex Platinum and hold both.TPG READER RYAN AGUIAR
This juggernaut combo is excellent for people willing to pay a high annual fee in exchange for a generous sign-up bonus/welcome offer, valuable earning rates, travel perks and a slew of benefits. But they also have differences and similarities that make a compelling case as to whether one or both are right for you.
Want more credit card news and advice from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter!
|Card||Earning structure (% return based on TPG valuations)||Annual fee|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||– 10 points per dollar on Lyft (20% return on spending)
– 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining booked through Ultimate Rewards
– 10 points per dollar on hotel and car rental purchases through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal
– 5 points per dollar on airline travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal
– 3 points per dollar on dining (6% return on spending)
– 3 points per dollar on travel (6% return on spending)
– 1 point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases (2% return on spending)
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||– 10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership
– 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or with American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year (10% return on spending)
– 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel (10% return on spending)
– 1 Membership Reward per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases (2% return on spending)
– Terms Apply
(see rates & fees)
TPG Reader Ryan Aguiar already has the Chase Sapphire Reserve, so he knows the card packs a punch with rewards and benefits. Currently, the Sapphire Reserve offers a 50,000 sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, worth $1,000 according to TPG valuations. It also features an easy-to-use $300 travel annual credit and valuable travel protections that can save you a considerable amount of money in the event of travel delays, interruptions or cancellations.
You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on popular bonus categories such as travel and dining purchases worldwide. On the surface, 3 points per dollar on these categories is respectable. Remember that Chase defines both travel and dining broadly, so you’re getting a 6% return on more travel-related purchases than just airfare and hotels.
Let’s say you’re spending $5,000 on both airfare and dining combined each year, $1,000 on hotels or cruises and $10,000 on non-bonus spending. That’s 28,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year, worth about $560 — enough value to offset the card’s annual fee.
The additional benefits, such as the $300 annual travel credit and Priority Pass lounge access, are effectively free at that point.
To put the Sapphire Reserve’s value into perspective, The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, says that it’s the one premium card he’d choose for all his spending.
Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve review
Ryan is wondering whether it makes sense to add The Platinum Card from American Express (winner of TPG’s battle of the premium cards) to his wallet, as the card provides a tremendous lineup of perks and benefits. New cardholders can earn 100,000 points on the welcome offer after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. The welcome offer alone is worth $2,000, according to TPG valuations. The card also offers a generous 10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined eligible purchases during the first six months of card membership.
Here’s a rundown of TPG’s estimated value of a few of the Amex Platinum’s benefits:
- Annual airline fee statement credit: Up to $200.*
- Annual prepaid hotel statement credit: Up to $200
- Annual Uber Cash: Up to $200.*
- Annual digital entertainment statement credit: Up to $240*
- Annual Clear statement credit: Up to $179*
- Annual Saks statement credit: Up to $100.*
- Priority Pass Select membership: $429 (based on the unlimited access option available for purchase).*
- Delta Sky Club access: $545 (based on the cost of membership).*
- Hilton Honors Gold elite status: $1,255.*
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status: $840.*
- Total: $4,188.
(*Enrollment required for select benefits.)
That’s more than $4,000 in annual value on benefits alone, for when you get back to traveling again and maximizing all the card’s features.
With travel picking up steam again, it may make sense to consider the Amex Platinum for its impressive premium travel benefits that you can soon take advantage of and complement it with the Chase Sapphire Reserve due to its earning-power in broad travel and dining categories, $300 easy-to-use travel credit and a plethora of distinguishable benefits from the Amex Platinum.
Related: Amex Platinum review
People often think of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card from American Express as mutually exclusive. The cards, however, actually complement each other quite well. While there may be some overlap with benefits like a Priority Pass membership and $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit every four years, they both offer a slightly different value proposition in how they earn points and deliver unique benefits.
Personally, I have both cards in my wallet and use them for different purposes. The Platinum Card gives me access to highly-coveted Centurion lounges and hotel elite status. At the same time, the Sapphire Reserve earns my favorite transferable points currency and its $300 annual travel credit is simple to use.
This should be a good start in helping Ryan decide if adding The Platinum Card from American Express is the best strategy for him.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
Additional reporting by Joseph Hostetler.
Featured image by Josh Gribben for The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees