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Who wins, the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs American Express Platinum battle in 2020? These two credit card reviews are two of the top personal travel rewards credit cards, so today I’ll be comparing them to see which popular travel card adds more value.
Chase Sapphire Preferred or American Express Platinum Best Welcome Bonus:
You’re eligible to receive the bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you don’t currently hold the product, and it’s been at least 24 months since you last received a bonus on the card. Also, if you’ve applied for more than 5 credit card products in the last 24 months, you most likely won’t be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred with a credit score of under 670. You can compare the Sapphire Preferred with the other top Chase credit cards in this post.
American Express Platinum
Currently, the public offer on the Platinum card from American Express is 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in 3 months. Usually, the best offers for American Express products are targeted. You can see all the best Amex credit cards here.
The offer terms for the Amex Platinum card from the application page state:
“This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had a Platinum Card® account enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program.”
That means you can only receive the welcome bonus once per lifetime on personal American Express cards (this rule does not apply to business cards).
Which card has the better bonus?
Unless you get a targeted offer on the Amex Platinum card, you can earn more by signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best Perks: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Platinum
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with no foreign transaction fees and smart chip technology, making it a great option for international travel. It also offers a category bonus of 2x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining and travel purchases.
Other perks include primary CDW on car rentals, 10,000 trip insurance, and more Sapphire Preferred benefits explained in this post. In addition, the CSP is a Visa Signature card, which unpacks more value, like free movies, wine tastings, and additional savings.
American Express Platinum
While The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t waive its hefty $550 annual fee (See Rates and Fees), there are several perks that can justify this kind of payment.
For starters, you get a $200 airline incidental credit each year. In the past, I’ve used my airline incidental credit to buy American Airlines gift cards. You can also use the credit for bag fees, taxes, seats, and other airfare fees. Since you get the $200 airline incidental credit annually, you can receive it twice before the $550 annual fee hits again on your Amex Platinum card.
You will also earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and up to $200 Uber savings annually.
Additional Amex Platinum benefits
You will also receive a $100 statement credit for Global Entry (expedited service through US Customs) or $85 statement credit for TSA Precheck. A very good benefit if you travel frequently.
Having an American Express Platinum gives you free access to their Centurion Lounges. Centurion lounges are the best domestic airport lounges because they have cool modern designs, better food & drinks, and some have additional perks, like free massages. However, in my experience, they are all very crowded.
You will also receive free Boingo wifi, car rental elite status, and Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits. Check out this page for all the perks of holding the Amex Platinum card. In addition to the travel perks, you also receive sweet Amex offers through Twitter, your online account, and Small Business Saturday.
Additionally, cardholders can get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on their Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. However, they must be enrolled for this benefit to apply.
Which rewards credit card has more perks?
I like that the Chase Sapphire Preferred has category bonuses, but the Amex Platinum card just offers more robust travel benefits. So the winner in perks between the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Platinum is:
Winner: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Best Points? Chase Ultimate Rewards vs American Express Membership Rewards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed through their online portal for flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. You will get a 20% bonus for using your UR points this way. 80,000 points = $1000 in award travel. That’s good and all, and can make sense in some situations, but the real value of Ultimate Rewards points is found by transferring them out to one of their travel partners.
Personally, my favorite UR transfer partners are British Airways, Southwest, Hyatt, Singapore, and United. I can use my UR points for hotels or flights in the United States or abroad. Here are a couple of examples:
You can stay at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris for 30,000 points a night. Standard rooms at this posh hotel are $1,000 a night.
I fly on the cheap domestically with British Airways Avios, since they have a distance-based chart. You can fly American Airlines with British Airways Avios since they are in the OneWorld alliance, and award flights start at just 4,500 Avios one-way. Heck of a deal. I can fly from Austin to Chicago for 7,500 Avios and $5!
Flying to Europe is easy with United Airlines. The Star Alliance (which United is a part of) has great economy and business class award availability to Europe. You can fly round-trip to Europe with United miles for only 60,000 miles in economy. Business-class flights on United metal are 57,500 each way, or 70,000 on one of their partners, like Lufthansa.
American Express Membership Rewards points can also be transferred out to multiple travel partners. A perk with transferring Amex MR points out to travel partners is that they frequently offer transfer bonuses.
I like to transfer my American Express Membership Rewards points out to Delta, Aeroplan, ANA, British Airways, or Singapore Airlines. Here are a couple of examples:
Air Canada’s loyalty program, Aeroplan, is a part of the Star Alliance, so it’s great for award flights to Europe. You do have to watch out for fuel surcharges, but they don’t impose any on United flights. And one-way business class award flights on United are only 45,000 miles!
Another option is to transfer your MR points out to ANA. You do have to book round-trip tickets with ANA miles, but you can add 3 stopovers on your flight, and a round-trip ticket to Europe in economy is only 55,000 miles.
I love flying Singapore Airlines (also a transfer partner UR points) premium cabin flights. It’s a thrill. You can fly their Suites Class from NYC to Frankfurt for only 57,375 miles, or in business class from Houston to Moscow for only 48,875 miles.
Are American Express or Chase Points Better?
American Express Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points are both extremely valuable and can be used for insane travel experiences. At the end of the day, I prefer the UR program because it has better hotel options and a couple more options for flights.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Ultimate Rewards Points)
Wrap Up on Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Platinum
You can’t go wrong with the Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Preferred travel cards. The standard offer on the Sapphire Preferred is better, and I prefer to earn Ultimate Rewards points because they suit my travel goals best, but that doesn’t stop me from earning Membership Rewards points as well.
The Amex Platinum card has superior travel benefits and is worth the $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) if you travel frequently. But obviously, if you’re not going to be using those benefits, the Sapphire Preferred with its lesser annual fee of $95 will make much more sense for you.
Either way, both products are great and worth thinking about if you’re looking for travel rewards!
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card from American Express, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.