Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card vs. Platinum Card® from American Express: Which is best for you?

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 CardThe Platinum Card from American Express
Annual Fee$95$550
Rewards RatesTwo 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 BonusEarn 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 AccessNone1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, and counting.
Authorized User Fee$0$0

Standout features

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

  • Better value for reward points: These are worth 25% more when redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, so you get $1.25 instead of $1 in redemption value for 100 points.
  • 1:1 points transfers: Transfer your Chase rewards points to your preferred travel program to build rewards more quickly.
  • Travel with confidence: You’re covered for trip cancellations, travel delays of 12 hours or more, auto rental collision damage waiver and baggage delay. You’re also eligible for travel assistance if you run into emergencies.
  • Extra protection for new purchases, which comes in handy for big-ticket items. You’ll receive complimentary coverage for 120 days against damage and theft and an extended warranty of 12 months.
  • Good for international travel: Visa is widely accepted and this card has no foreign transaction fees.
  • Flexible redemption: Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem for cash back, gift cards, travel and more (redemption values vary between reward options).

The Platinum Card from American Express

  • Fine hotels & resorts privileges: Make your trip more special with room upgrades, daily breakfast, late check-out and much more.
  • Personalized travel assistance: Tailor your travels with Platinum travel service and access emergency help through Premium Global Assist.
  • Enjoy VIP status: Take advantage of extra perks with Marriott and Hilton and become a member of premium car rental programs.
  • Complimentary car rental insurance: Coverage in case your rental is damaged or stolen.
  • With points that won’t expire, you can transfer them, redeem for gift cards or pay with points for travel bookings, taxi fares and at Amazon checkout.
  • Points transfer options: Choose from over 20 different airline and hotel programs and build points faster by transferring your AMEX rewards points (redemption values vary).
  • Get a Gold Card for free to earn even more membership rewards.
  • Shop with confidence: If you return an eligible item within 90 days and the merchant won’t take it back, you could get a refund from American Express.
  • Free foreign transactions: Save on fees when you use your card for international travel.

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.

Kristie Kwok

Kristie Kwok is a finance content writer with in-depth knowledge of the banking industry from her previous work experience in banks such as UBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. She is a qualified accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Accounting and Finance.