Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. The Platinum Card from American Express

Do you prioritize affordability and flexible rewards, or do you value luxury travel perks?


When deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Platinum Card from American Express, consider how much you travel and how important high-end perks are to you.

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If you spend a lot of time flying, it’s worth investing in an annual fee rewards card. Most fee-worthy travel cards are packed with so many high-value benefits that it’s relatively easy to recoup your investment.

The harder decision is narrowing down which travel card is best for you: Should you invest hundreds of dollars in a super-premium card that’s known for showering cardholders with luxurious free perks? Or would you be just as happy with a less expensive card that offers a more modest collection of traveler-friendly benefits?

The answer largely depends on how often you travel and how much you care about high-end perks, such as airport lounge access and spa credits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Platinum

Two of the most well-known travel cards are The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The American Express Platinum card charges an eye-popping $695 annual fee, but it’s packed with valuable benefits that help make up for its expense. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has an annual fee of just $95. It gives the average cardholder more opportunities to rack up rewards while still offering solid value for frequent travelers.

If you’re trying to decide which side of the Chase Sapphire Preferred-versus-Amex Platinum fence you fall on, here’s what to think about when comparing the two offers.

Card name

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Rewards rate
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 2X points on other travel
  • 3X points on restaurants, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 1X points on general purchases
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines and American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 1X points on general purchases
  • (terms apply)
Introductory bonus60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
  • 100,000 points when you spend $6,000 in the first six months
  • (terms apply)
Annual fee$95$695
Estimated yearly rewards value over 3 years (with a $1,325 monthly spend)$471$1,729

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s bigger sibling – the Chase Sapphire Reserve card – is a more equivalent comparison in terms of the annual fee and top-tier features, the Sapphire Preferred can stand its ground depending on your travel needs. Its affordability is the biggest appeal, but the Sapphire Preferred blows many rival cards out of the water thanks to its sizable sign-up bonus and exceptionally versatile redemption opportunities.

In fact, you might want to lean toward the Sapphire Preferred if you want 1:1 cash back redemption as a backup plan in case your travel plans don’t pan out. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s 25% point value boost toward travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal is an excellent plus when it’s time to book your trip, too. Plus, with Chase’s Pay Yourself Back option, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.

Best for a big introductory bonus

When it comes to scoring a generous introductory bonus, both the Amex Platinum and the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer tons of value.

That said, the Sapphire Preferred can offer a bit more bang for your buck. The American Express Platinum card gives cardholders 100,000 bonus points when they spend $6,000 in the first six months, which we estimate to be worth around $1,240 in value. However, the cost of the card’s annual fee cancels out a lot of that value. On the other hand, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card awards 60,000 bonus points when cardholders spend $4,000 in the first three months (worth an estimated $762 value), and it charges only a $95 annual fee.

Introductory bonus value

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 bonus points x 1.27 cent point value – $95 annual fee = $667100,000 bonus points x 1.24 cent point value – $695 annual fee = $545

The Amex Platinum’s card bonus, however, can be a little easier to obtain. To earn it, cardholders must spend $6,000 in the card’s first six months – which works out to approximately $1,000 a month for six months. With the Sapphire Preferred card, cardholders need to spend $4,000 in three months – spending around $1,333 a month for three months.

Monthly spend required to earn introductory bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Platinum Card from American Express

$4,000 / 3 months = $1,333$6,000 / 6 months = $1,000

In addition, some cardholders might qualify for an enhanced offer on the Platinum Card when they apply through CardMatch. Amex has been known to target certain applicants for up to 125,000 points when you spend $6,000 in the first six months. We recommend checking your prequalified offers in CardMatch before you apply either way, as the platform gives you a good idea of whether you’ll be approved for either card, all with no hit to your credit score.

Best for flexible reward redemption

When it’s finally time to redeem your points, the Sapphire Preferred card offers more flexibility and convenience. For example, if you want to redeem your points for travel, you can book a flight or hotel using Chase’s online Ultimate Rewards Portal and earn a 25% redemption bonus. Chase also offers the 25% redemption bonus through the Pay Yourself Back program, which lets you redeem points for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.

If you don’t have enough points available to pay for a full flight, you can use what you have and charge the rest to your card. Or you can redeem your points for cash (at 1 cent per point) and buy a ticket yourself. Additionally, Chase lets you transfer your points on a one-to-one basis to a wide variety of partner airlines, as well as redeem your points for gift cards, cruises, rental cars and more.

American Express, by contrast, isn’t quite as flexible. With the Platinum Card, you’re able to transfer points to a larger number of airline and hotel partners, but only some of those partners will transfer points on a one-to-one basis. You can also redeem your points for statement credits; however, the points will drop substantially in value.

For example, you can redeem 10,000 Membership Rewards points for $60 in statement credits. But if you use those same points for a flight, they’ll be worth at least $100.

American Express Platinum

If you’re an avid traveler and your definition of value includes access to the finer side of travel instead of economizing, then the American Express Platinum is the winner, hands down. The Amex Platinum delivers a rich platter of elite perks on top of its superior airfare and hotel rewards rate. Considering the monetary value behind the variety of annual credits, exclusive airport lounge access and complimentary hotel elite statuses that the Amex Platinum provides, the annual fee is essentially an admission fee that you’ll recoup along the way.

Best for luxury travel perks and credits

Where the Platinum card shines is in its travel benefits. If you travel heavily and can afford to spend several hundred dollars upfront, a premium card such as the Amex Platinum will offer you more than enough value to make up for the annual fee.

The obvious catch is that you need to actually use the benefits to make that three-figure fee worth it. Most of the Platinum card’s high-end benefits are travel perks that either cut the cost of travel or make your time at the airport or hotel more luxurious or convenient.

For example, you’ll get up to a $200 airline fee credit for incidentals, up to $200 worth of Uber Cash each year, a fee credit of up to $179 per year for Clear membership, free Wi-Fi access, a $200 hotel statement credit each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings (which requires a minimum two-night stay) through American Express Travel, free room upgrades (when available), free hotel breakfasts and more. You’ll also be given unlimited free access to some of the most lavish airport lounges in the world – a perk that’s worth hundreds of dollars just by itself.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card, by contrast, doesn’t offer any of those benefits. The most similar partner perk that the Sapphire Preferred carries is its $50 anniversary hotel credit.

If you like food delivery services, the Sapphire Preferred comes through for you with 12 months of a complimentary DoorDash DashPass (must activate by Mar. 31, 2022).

Estimated value of free travel benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Platinum Card from American Express

$50 anniversary hotel credit = $50Up to $200 airline fee credit + $200 Uber credits + $179 Clear membership credit + $200 hotel credit + $399 Priority Pass membership = $1,178

Both cards: Great for airline tickets

The Platinum card offers a generous rewards rate on air travel and hotel purchases, making it a better pick for heavy travelers. Platinum cardholders get 5X points on flights booked directly with an airline or American Express Travel and 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Meanwhile, Chase now offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, (excluding the hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 anniversary hotel credit), plus 2X points on other travel spending. While the Platinum used to win this battle, the recent changes to the Sapphire Preferred have brought these two cards much closer for this consideration since both now earn 5X points when travel is booked through the respective rewards portals.

Which is right for you?

The main difference between these two stellar credit cards lies in your approach to travel. If the Platinum card’s steep annual fee is intimidating, you might want to occasionally redeem for cash back or you might not jet-set or hotel-hop enough to justify the expense, then the Sapphire Preferred might be your speed. It’s hard to beat the Amex Platinum, however, if you’re looking for top-of-the-line perks and reimbursements to make travel a more convenient, luxurious experience.

Pros and cons

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Platinum Card from American Express

  • 25% bonus when you redeem points for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal and with Pay Yourself Back
  • Excellent sign-up bonus if you can afford to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Good rewards rate for travel and dining purchases, as well as online streaming and grocery delivery
  • 10% annual account anniversary points bonus
  • Can transfer points to select airline partners and convert to cash back at a 1:1 rate
  • Can partially pay for travel with points
  • No preset spending limit
  • Platinum Card Concierge and Platinum Travel Service
  • Large welcome bonus spending requirement spread across the first six months
  • Nearly $900 of recurring credits across purchases with airlines, Uber, hotels, Saks Fifth Avenue and more
  • Access to exclusive American Express airport lounges and partner lounges
  • Special perks at participating hotels, such as free breakfast, late check-out and early check-in when available
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
ConsDoesn’t offer nearly as many ancillary benefits
  • You must travel a lot to make up for the high annual fee
  • Membership Reward points are less flexible to redeem and carry the most value for travel.

Bottom line

Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is more flexible, affordable and accessible for the average traveler. If you don’t want to make a big commitment but do want to earn a sizable amount of rewards in numerous bonus categories, this is a good card to use for travel and as a general-purpose card.

The Amex Platinum card’s supersized benefits, however, are hard to beat. Plus, it offers quite more in ongoing value, thanks to all the statement credit benefits it comes with. If you crave more luxury when you travel – or if you just want to get more value from your flights – then the Platinum card is a satisfying pick.

See related: American Express Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card from American Express: Which is better?

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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