Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card vs. Platinum Card® from American Express: Which is best for you?
January 15, 2020
If you’re passionate about traveling, travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and the Platinum Card® from American Express should be high on your radar.
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a lower annual fee, you’ll earn fewer points for your travel and enjoy a smaller number of perks. The Platinum Card, on the other hand, will cost you $550 each year, but provide you with a long list of benefits to make you feel like a VIP wherever you go.
So which of the two will give you better value for money? Let’s take a closer look.
At a glance comparison
Here’s how the two cards stack up on the basics.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card||The Platinum Card from American Express|
|Rewards Rates||Two points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants.||Five points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express travel; five points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com; one point per dollar on other purchases.|
|Sign Up Bonus||Earn 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.||Earn 75,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.|
|Credits||$0||$200 for airline fees such as checked-bags and inflight refreshments; up to $15 per month for Uber rides; fee credit for Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 every 4.5 years).|
|Lounge Access||None||1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, and counting.|
|Authorized User Fee||$0||$0|
The case for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Although the rewards rate of double points is hardly remarkable, what’s good is that it applies to both travel and dining, so you have more opportunities to earn points. The 25% bonus on travel redemptions is another highlight. For example, the generous welcome bonus of 60,000 points is worth $750 when redeemed as travel rewards.
Chase’s popular Ultimate Rewards program has flexible redemption options and allows you to transfer points to any of its 13 airline or hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. This is an important consideration if you have a preferred airline or hotel.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred provides a good range of protection, too. You’re covered for trip cancellations, travel or baggage delays and auto rental collision damage waiver. Emergency assistance is available as well. For new purchases, you’ve also got protection against damage and theft, and extended warranty.
Remember, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering all these benefits for just $95 a year. With no foreign transaction fee, it’s a great card for international travel.
The case for The Platinum Card from American Express
What sets the Platinum Card apart from the competition is prestige. With this card in hand, you’ll have endless opportunities to enjoy red carpet treatment — access to airport lounges, hotel benefits like room upgrades and daily breakfasts, free Uber rides, personalized travel assistance and much more. The list of perks is impressive and long.
If you travel often enough to take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit and utilize the $200 Uber savings, then the annual fee for this card feels more reasonable. Its rewards rate of five points per dollar on flights and hotels with no caps is top of the market. The welcome bonus is more generous at 75,000 miles, but you’ll have to spend $5,000 to earn it.
Just like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Platinum Card comes with rental car cover, travel assistance and points transfer options. But on top of that, you also get return protection on new purchases and even a Gold Amex card thrown in for free.
In a nutshell
When choosing between these two cards, you need to consider not just how often you travel, but also how you’d like to travel. If you’re globetrotting regularly and value doing it in style, then you’ll love the Platinum Card. But if you’re a modest traveler, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better value, especially as you can earn double rewards on both traveling and dining.