Travel gets expensive when you spend a lot of time on the road, but Chase and American Express offer their support—and some pretty attractive rewards—when you sign up for their travel cards. Both The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve will offer low fees, but Amex gives you the lower APR with more benefits spread out over time. If you’re looking to enjoy your benefits sooner rather than later, Chase has an abbreviated introductory rewards program. There are also cheaper annual fees if you plan on adding authorized users to your account.
Taking into account the best introductory offers, we offer a thorough breakdown of what you can expect when considering the Amex Platinum versus Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards(R) Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
|Regular APR (%)||15.99% - 22.99% variable|
|Rewards Earning Rate||Earn 5X Membership Rewards(R) Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X Membership Rewards(R) Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.|
|Foreign transaction fee (%)||0%|
Lucrative welcome offers
Plenty of travel and shopping rewards
Additional travel perks
Restricted financing with Pay-Over-Time option
Expensive annual fee
Limited rewards for non-travel items
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
|Regular APR (%)||16.99% - 23.99% variable|
|Rewards Earning Rate||Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R) immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.|
|Foreign transaction fee (%)||0%|
With slightly higher membership fees, the Chase Sapphire Reserve entices you with prompt bonus points, annual travel credits, and Lyft points to keep you on the go.
3x the reward points
Lower reward threshold
Additional annual travel credit
Extra Peloton and grocery credits
Excellent credit score required
Limited rewards categories
Higher starting APR rates
No intro APR
Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Eligibility
To qualify for either of these cards, you will need great credit. Applicants will need either good credit or excellent credit to be approved, although the Amex Platinum is more forgiving than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. While Amex recommends a credit score of 700 to 850, the Chase Sapphire Reserve looks for those with slightly better credit, typically requiring a minimum credit score of 720 or more.
Before you apply for your card, however, you should be sure that you can qualify. Chase has specific rules about how many applications you can open with the bank over a certain period of time. This means that if you fail to qualify, your chances of applying for a different card in the future could be affected. Chase typically does not approve applications for more than two personal credit cards or more than one business card per person per month. Applicants also rarely receive approvals for a new Chase card when there are five or more new credit accounts within the last 24 months.
Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Rewards and Benefits
The Amex Platinum Card is a luxury travel credit card with extra perks to make travel not just more affordable but far more enjoyable, too. After the introductory offer, your regular rewards rate includes 5x the points on eligible air and prepaid hotel purchases up to $500,000, as well as one point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
There are the usual points for travel, but there are several benefits perks that come built-in with your card. Travel suddenly becomes a breeze with access to AirSpace and American Express International lounges. You’ll also get a $200 airline fee credit toward participating airlines, plus a $15 monthly Uber credit for rides or Eats orders. There is also a $20 end-of-year Uber bonus you can enjoy with your Saks Fifth Avenue shopping credit.
When it comes time to travel, Chase has you covered there, too. There is travel accident insurance when you use your card to pay for travel, adding up to $1 million in accidental death or dismemberment coverage.
|Amex Platinum||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Signup bonus||75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on within the first six months||60,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases during the first three months|
|Additional rewards||10x gas and groceries||Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R) immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually|
|Ridesharing rewards||$15 in Uber Cash for rides or eats orders in the U.S. every month plus a bonus of $20 in December, up to $200 annually||10x Lyft points|
|Regular purchase rewards||1x||1x|
|Additional credits||$200 Airline Fee Credit for qualifying airlines Access to AirSpace and American Express International lounges Up to $100 in statement credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com, up to $50 on a semi-annual basis||Up to $120 on Peloton Digital or All-Access membership, through 12/31/2021|
Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Intro Offer
The Amex Platinum Card starts you off with a bang, offering the chance to earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend $5,000 within the first six months. During that same period, you’ll also earn 10 times the points on gas and supermarket purchases up to $15,000.
Chase offers its Sapphire customers a 1:1 point transfer, allowing for full value transfer at participating airlines and hotels. Topping Amex’s $200 airline credit, Chase offers 5X to 10X bonus points after spending $300 on air travel annually through Chase Ultimate Rewards, plus cardholders can stay fit for those upcoming trips with up to $120 in membership credit for Peloton. Instead of offering Uber credits, Chase has its partnership with Lyft. Therefore, cardholders receive 10 times the Lyft points. However, you won’t earn quite as many points on your dining and travel purchases, earning just 3x travel and dining points.
Chase Sapphire takes a different route, choosing to partner with Peloton for a credit of up to $120 for your Peloton Digital or All-Access membership through the end of the year. Additionally, you can earn up to 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months. It’s half the allotted time frame as American Express, but it’s almost as many points for a reasonable spending threshold.
Chase is also unique in its redemption value, offering a standard credit of $0.01, or 100 points per dollar. However, this increases to $.0125, or 100 points per $1.25 in redemption value, when you book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Fees
Both the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve charge the same membership fee of $550 per year. While more expensive than most cards, it’s about on par with luxury travel cards of this nature. However, there is a big difference in cost for additional users. While Chase only charges $75 for each additional authorized user on your account, you will pay $175 per user with American Express unless you upgrade to the Platinum Gold Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a full percentage point higher than the Amex Platinum, but Amex skips the balance transfer fee that Chase will charge you, either $5 or 5% of your transaction, whichever is higher.
Other than these areas, fees between the two cards are about the same.
|Fee Description||American Express Platinum||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Annual fee||$550; $175 for additional cards with no fee for Platinum Gold||$550; $75 per authorized user|
|APR||15.99% to 22.99%||16.99% to 23.99%|
|Balance transfer fee||N/A||$5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater||$10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater|
|Late payment||Up to $40||Up to $40|
|Returned payment||Up to $40||Up to $40|
Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Security
American Express security protocols are extensive and include several measures.
- Global Assist® Hotline: Long-distance travelers can benefit from 24/7 emergency support when traveling more than 100 miles away from home. This includes medical, legal, and passport referrals; emergency cash wires; and missing luggage assistance.
- Shopping protection: Amex offers SafeKey technology to protect you during online shopping. There’s also Purchase Protection, which can help protect against accidental damage, theft, and lost coverage for eligible purchases, as well as Return Protection up to $300 per item.
- Identity and fraud protection: Amex gives cardholders emergency card replacement, usually within 48 hours, if your card is lost or stolen. Plus, enjoy 24/7 fraud alerts, so you know immediately if there’s any suspicious activity on your account.
Chase doesn’t offer quite as many safety measures, but it still covers all of the most important bases. The security protections include several points.
- Zero liability protection: With this in place, you’re not responsible for transactions relating to credit card fraud. Just report the fraudulent charge to Chase, and you won’t have to worry about paying for what you didn’t buy.
- Fraud monitoring: Chase employs the latest technologies to constantly monitor your account in real time. With fraud monitoring, you’ll also get instant fraud alerts via text, email, or phone.
- Chip-enhanced security: Your Chase credit card comes with an extra suit of armor with its chip-enhanced security. The embedded chip allows for greater protections wherever your card is used, so your information isn’t left vulnerable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is It Worth Having Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Both the Amex Platinum and the Chase Sapphire Reserve deliver attractive travel perks. However, with a membership fee of $550, these cards do require an upfront investment. Therefore, they are usually best suited for the busy traveler who stays on the move.
Will Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve Waive the Annual Fee?
American Express does not typically waive its annual fee, although there may be some incentives that could lower the price you pay for membership. Chase does not usually waive its fees, either, but military members and veterans may enjoy some military discounts that could waive the annual fee. Otherwise, most members should plan on paying the fee.
Is Amex Platinum Hard to Get?
To get an Amex Platinum Card, you will need to have good to excellent credit. Generally speaking, American Express tends to prefer a minimum credit score of 700 for the Platinum Card. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for your new credit card.
What Credit Score Do You Need for Chase Sapphire Reserve?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve typically requires a minimum credit score of 720, but you are more likely to be approved when you have excellent credit. Chase also looks to see how many times you have applied for a credit card in the past, so be sure to keep your applications to a minimum if you plan on applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
How We Evaluated Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
There is much to consider when shopping for a credit card, so we take a thorough approach when comparing the Amex Platinum versus Chase Sapphire Reserve. Our detailed analysis looks at crucial factors such as pricing and fees, while also taking into account the latest introductory offers and sign up perks to keep you in the know. When you are on the road, you need to know that you are protected, which is why we consider what security and travel features each provider offers to keep you safe on the many adventures to come. We take the time to absorb the fine print so you can make the best decision for you and your family when choosing between Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
To see rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please see the following link: Rates and Fees