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Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which $550+ Card Should You Choose?


In today’s market, nearly every airline, hotel chain, and credit card issuer has launched its own premium credit card, enticing customers with luxury travel perks paired with hefty annual fees. These cards often offer significant value, especially for those loyal to the underlying brand.

Two titans dominate the premium card market: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The Amex Platinum pioneered the premium rewards card market decades ago, while the Sapphire Reserve has significantly broadened its appeal since its debut in 2016. With fierce competition between these two cards, let’s examine how they compare and whether you should consider adding one (or both) to your wallet.

Amex Platinum vs. Sapphire Reserve Comparison

FeatureAmex PlatinumChase Sapphire Reserve
Welcome Offer80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 in the first six months75,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee$695 (see rates and fees)$550
Earning Rates– 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly or via American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)<br>- 5 points on prepaid hotels via Amex Travel<br>- 1 point per dollar on other purchases– 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals through Chase Travel℠<br>- 10 points on dining through Chase portal<br>- 10 points on Lyft rides (through March 2025)<br>- 5 points on flights through Chase Travel<br>- 3 points on other travel and dining worldwide<br>- 1 point on everything else
Notable Benefits– Up to $200 airline incidental credit<br>- Up to $200 annual Uber cash (U.S. only)<br>- Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit<br>- Up to $200 annual hotel credit with Amex Travel<br>- Up to $189 annual Clear Plus credit<br>- Up to $240 annual digital entertainment credit<br>- Up to $300 annual Equinox credit<br>- Up to $155 Walmart+ credit annually– $300 annual travel credit<br>- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit<br>- Complimentary two-year Lyft Pink All Access<br>- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription<br>- One-year complimentary Instacart+ membership and up to $15 monthly Instacart credits

Welcome Offer

For a card with a $500+ annual fee, the welcome offer is a key consideration. The Amex Platinum offers 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 in the first six months. These points are valued at approximately $1,600. Additionally, some may qualify for a higher offer of up to 150,000 points through the CardMatch tool.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. These points are valued at around $1,538, slightly lower than the Amex Platinum offer but with a lower spending requirement.

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


Both cards offer substantial perks but cater to different user needs.

Amex Platinum Benefits

  • Up to $200 airline incidental fee credit
  • Up to $200 annual Uber Cash for eligible U.S. purchases
  • Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit
  • Up to $200 annual hotel credit with Amex Travel
  • Up to $189 annual Clear Plus credit
  • Up to $240 annual digital entertainment credit
  • Up to $300 annual Equinox credit
  • Up to $155 Walmart+ credit annually

Sapphire Reserve Benefits

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Complimentary two-year Lyft Pink All Access membership
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription plus $5 monthly credit
  • One-year complimentary Instacart+ membership and up to $15 monthly Instacart credits

Lounge Access:

  • Amex Platinum: Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (limited to 10 visits per year from February 2025), and more.
  • Sapphire Reserve: Priority Pass Select membership and access to the growing network of Chase lounges.

Travel Protections:

  • Amex Platinum: Secondary car rental coverage, trip delay protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
  • Sapphire Reserve: Primary car rental insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, emergency medical and dental benefit.

Hotel Elite Status:

  • Amex Platinum: Gold status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.
  • Sapphire Reserve: None.

Winner: Amex Platinum offers more comprehensive benefits, especially with annual statement credits, lounge access, and hotel elite status.

Earning Points

Both cards help you earn valuable transferable points, but in different ways.

Amex Platinum excels on airfare booked directly with airlines or via Amex Travel, offering 5 points per dollar. However, Sapphire Reserve provides a broader range of bonus categories, including 10 points per dollar on hotels, car rentals, and dining purchases through Chase Travel, as well as 3 points per dollar on other travel and dining worldwide.

Winner: Sapphire Reserve wins for its favorable everyday bonus categories.

Redeeming Points

With similar valuations (Chase Ultimate Rewards at 2.05 cents and Amex Membership Rewards at 2.0 cents), the key difference lies in the transfer partners and redemption options.

Sapphire Reserve offers a 50% bonus when redeeming points for travel through the Chase Travel portal, giving a minimum redemption value of 1.5 cents per point. In contrast, Amex offers only 1 cent per point for flights and 0.7 cents for hotels through American Express Travel.

Winner: Sapphire Reserve provides higher redemption value for travel.

Transferring Points

Chase offers 1:1 transfers to all its airline and hotel partners, with most transfers being instant. Notable partners include World of Hyatt, United MileagePlus, and Southwest Rapid Rewards. Amex has 21 transfer partners but with varied transfer ratios and longer transfer times.

Winner: Sapphire Reserve, for its straightforward 1:1 transfer ratio and valuable partners.

Final Thoughts

Amex Platinum is ideal for those seeking luxury travel benefits, extensive lounge access, and hotel elite status. It’s best for those who can maximize the annual statement credits.

Sapphire Reserve is more versatile for earning points on everyday purchases and offers a broad range of travel and dining categories. It’s simpler for beginners and those who want straightforward, valuable travel credits.

Ultimately, your choice depends on your travel habits and which benefits you can fully utilize.

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