AmEx Platinum VS The new Chase Reserve. Which is better and why I’m not ditching my AmEx!

AmEx Platinum VS The new Chase Reserve. Which is better and why I’m not ditching my AmEx!


There has been a ton of BUZZ this week over the new Chase Reserve card.

While it may be tempting, we wanted to compare the benefits to our current AmEx Platinum.  We compare the benefits side by side for you!



In case you missed it, on Monday, Chase introduced a new credit card called the “Chase Sapphire Reserve” to basically compete with the AmEx Platinum card.  We use our AmEx Platinum card all the time.  However, the new card from Chase is tempting.  Let’s break them down below.
Wow, was this a lot of work!  However, it was pretty interesting to compare these two cards side by side.  We have posted our thoughts on each perk offered.  After the chart we share our final summary.

(There may be a few spelling errors in the chart, we apologize!  It’s a new plugin we’ve used for our website and it’s a bit difficult to edit.  Probably best to view this on a larger screen so you can see it side by side.  Thanks for understanding!)

AmEx Platinum Chase Reserve Our Thoughts Who wins?
Sign Up Bonus 60,000 MR Points 50,000 UR Points Both aren't bad, but NOT the highest that has ever been offered. Tie
Airline Lounge/Club Access Delta Sky Clubs, Priority Pass Clubs, AmEx Centurion Lounges & Airspace Lounges Priority Pass (allows guests up to two free) Delta Sky clubs are much better than Priority Pass clubs in my opinion. Delta Sky Clubs are often cleaner and have better choices than Priority Pass lounges. AMEX, BIG TIME! Each person on your AmEx account gets all these club benefits. Which itself is a big money saver when you travel with family. Having access to Delta Sky Clubs and the Centurion Lounges is perfect enough, but they add on an additional priority pass for each card holder on your account.
Travel Credit $200 Airline Fee Credit Select a qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 a year in statement credits when incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your Card account. Each year, automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel-related purchases charged to your card. AmEx is limited and you must select the airline. With Chase, basically whatever codes on your bill as travel. Chase, hands down! Being able to be reimbursed for almost all things that code travel is a huge plus.
Hotel Status Hilton Gold Status & SPG Gold Status Relais & Chateaux Being Gold with Hilton and SPG offers various perks, upgrades, free breakfast and more! The Relais &Chateaux chain is extremely limited and doesn't offer much. AmEx!
Hotel Booking Perks FINE HOTELS & RESORTS Receive complimentary benefits with each FINE HOTELS & RESORTS booking The Luxury Hotel & Resort CollectionSM Enjoy special benefits at a variety of hand-selected top hotels and resorts worldwide These benefits are almost identical. However, AmEx seems to have better options, perks and wider availability over Chase. AmEx! This is a great benefit when booking higher end hotels as some of the perks can be useful.
Pre Check Global Entry You can receive one Global Entry ($100) statement credit or one TSA Pre✓™ ($85) statement credit every 5 years for an application fee charged to an eligible Platinum Card Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card. 5 years/4 years. Not that much difference as Global Entry is good for 5 years. Chase, but only by a year! Each card holder on your account gets this benefit.
Concierage/Dining Service Our Concierge staff is available to you day or night as a personal resource for many different aspects of your life. Whether you need to select a restaurant and arrange the details of an upcoming special event or if you want expert advice selecting just the right gift, you can rely on Concierge to coordinate and take care of your requests, big and small Visa Infinite Concierge Service Access to Visa Infinite Concierge who can help you with requests, like dinner reservations, or Broadway, music and sporting event tickets. These are identical. It's basically a back end company that provides these services to the credit card company. Tie!
Foreign Transaction Fees None None It's good not to pay these fees anymore, but it's almost comon that they are gone on almost all cards. Tie!
Points Accural 1X for all purchases, 2X for select booking of travel services through AmEx travel website. 5X on travel purchased. 3X Points on Travel Worldwide Earn 3X points per $1 spent on travel from flights, cruise lines and hotels to car rentals, trains and taxis. 3X Points on Dining Worldwide Earn 3X points per $1 spent at restaurants from fast casual to fine dining and cafés to pizzerias. 1X Point per Dollar Spent on All Other Purchases Earn 1 point per $1 spent on purchases everywhere else, every day. 3X on dining and travel isn't something to sneeze at! AmEx could do better in this catagory. Chase, BIG TIME! Getting a better return on points while dining out and travel is a huge win!
Free WiFi The Boingo American Express Preferred Plan Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi–Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. None Boingo isn't an AMAZING plan as most places offer free WiFi. However, it does offer you some higher speeds at certain locations which can be helpful if you are downloading movies or large data. AmEx! I'll take any fee WiFi I can get!
Exclusive Events Your Platinum Card® is your key to specially curated By Invitation Only® experiences. We customize once-in-a-lifetime events – from sporting and fashion to fine dining, art and performances – exclusively for our Platinum Card® Members Enjoy special access to major events nationwide. Opportunities may include anything from a VIP Chalet experience and scenic course views at pro golf tournaments to high-profile premiere parties at acclaimed film festivals and award shows. Plus, enjoy private dinners with wine pairings presented by all-star chefs and more. Almost the same. Depending on what events you want one could be slightly better. Tie!
Car Rental Perks We have reserved complimentary memberships for you, including special upgrades and discounts, in premium car rental programs of Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental. Enroll in leading car rental reward programs from National Car Rental6, Avis7, and Silvercar8. Book with your card to enjoy enhanced benefits, such as upgrades and car rental discounts; savings on luxury and premium car rental rates; plus, promotions and other special offers. Almost identical. This isn't really of value to us as discounts can be found all over the web and other sites. Tie! One could be slightly better depending if you prefer a rental car company over another.
Business/First Class Companion savings Anytime you purchase a qualifying Business or First Class ticket for international air travel with your eligible American Express® Card on over 25 participating airlines*, you can enjoy savings on a ticket for a companion**. Choose from over 25 world-class airlines with thousands of destinations and routes worldwide from top U.S. gateways Enjoy refundable*** tickets (not including applicable service ticketing fees): you're not locked in if your plans change or you need to cancel Select First-Class options with a select group of airlines where available none We haven't used this benefit so don't have much thought, but it could be beneficial if you book first/business class tickets. AmEx!
Pay for travel with points Points value at 1¢ per point. 50,000 points would be $500 in travel value. 5,000 minimum to redeem. 1.5 value of points when using for travel, Your points are worth 50% more when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 towards travel. 1.5¢ is better giving you more value. Chase
Point Transfer Partners Aeromexico, Air Canada, Flying Blue Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, British AIr, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin America & Virgin Atlantic. Hotels: SPG, Hilton, Choice (comfort inn, sleep inn, etc) British, Flying Blue Air France/KLM, Korean Air, Singapore, Southwest, United and Virgin Atlantic Hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz. Once again, this one comes down to your preference. We could debate who's better all night and never come up with a winner. Tie!
Amex/Chase Offers Amex discounts added to each card Portal Points Offer AmEx often has some great "rebates"/offers that you can attach to your card. While Chase offers a portal for purchases. AmEx. Offers tend to be good on most occasions. Using a portal for purchases does add value, but not much.
Cruise Perks Receive valuable amenities on sailings of five nights or more with your American Express Card.‡ $100 - $300 per stateroom shipboard credit Additional exclusive amenities unique to each cruise line Receive one extra Membership Rewards® point on each dollar you spend per booking with American Express Travel None Not really familiar with this benefit, however, could be of value to some. AmEx
Road side assistanace Premium Roadside Assistance can get you help when you need emergency car services. You can call us 24/7 to arrange eligible services such as towing up to ten miles, changing a flat, or jumpstarting a battery—even if you're in your driveway—and we will pay for eligible services up to four times a year. There are some vehicle exclusions and other important restrictions. Provides access to a variety of roadside assistance services while traveling in the U.S. and Canada, Up to $50 per service event, maximum four service events per year. I've read stories where AmEx seems to be more liberal with this benefit. That they don't have a value attached. Chase says $50 per event. AmEx!
car rental insurance Travel With More Confidence As a Card Member, you can be covered if your eligible rental car is damaged or stolen when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter. Please read important exclusions and restrictions. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Coverage is not available for vehicles rented in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for rental cars in the U.S. and abroad. Almost identical Tie!
Travel/Medical Insurance/Emergency Evacuation When you travel more than 100 miles from home, you have 24/7 medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services, including medical and legal referrals, passport replacement, cash wires and more. Card Members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.‡ If you’re 100 miles or more from home on a trip, you can be reimbursed up to $2,500 for medical expenses if you or your immediate family member become sick or injured. f you or a member of your immediate family are injured or become sick during a trip far from home that results in an emergency evacuation, you can be covered for medical services and transportation up to $100,000. Almost Identical, however, seems Chase will do an emergency evac for you if needed. Chase
Returns protection If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won't take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price (excluding shipping and handling), up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year. Almost Identical Tie!
Purchase Protection/Extended Warranty Your eligible purchases can be covered when they're accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost for up to 90 days from the date of purchase with your Card. Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. Almost Identical, Chase has an extra 30 days. Chase
Credit Limit None Dependent on your approval status Being able to charge anything or any amount you want is a good feeling to have, however, keep in mind AmEx is a charge card while Chase is a credit card. AmEx! No credit limit, makes things easier when you pay your bill in full each month.
Travel Baggage Insurance Travel more comfortably knowing you can be covered by the Baggage Insurance Plan♦ for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage when you purchase the entire fare for a Common Carrier ticket (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) on an eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage. For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days. AmEx seems to have higher payout values. AmEx!
Fradulant Charges American Express Fraud Protection learns your online spending patterns and can detect any unusual online purchases charged to your account and alert you to verify the purchase. You will not be held responsible for purchases you didn’t make. Zero Liability Protection means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information. If you see an unauthorized charge, simply call the number on the back of your card. Identical Tie!
Points Partner Redemption You can use Membership Rewards® points towards eligible charges you make on your Card, such as retail, dining, entertainment and more. Terms and conditions apply. To learn more, please visit the Membership Rewards site. Instantly redeem your points to pay for all or part of your eligible orders including tax and shipping. Almost Identical. You are only getting a 1¢ a point which is never good! Tie!
Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage Can provide coverage for accidental death and dismemberment when traveling on a Common Carrier when the entire fare** has been charged to your Card $500,000 TRAVEL ACCIDENT INSURANCE When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $1,000,000. Chase seems to have a higher payout, but if you die by accident, do you really care how much money you'll get? Hopefully you died doing something fun! Chase, but only by a small margin.
Annual Fee $450 $450 Identical Tie!
Authorized User Fee $175 (for up to three people) $75 Depending on your dependents. If you have 3 people in your life that you trust being on your credit card account, the AmEx wins! However, if it's just you and your partner, then Chase would be the better choice. Tie/Chase/AmEx? However, authorized user gets same benefits as the owner of the account, WITH, the exception of the travel credit which is per account on AmEx and chase.

So, who wins overall?  For us, it’s AmEx, hands down for a few reasons:

Club Access

Give me a Delta Sky Club any day of the week!  They have vastly improved their offerings and recently remodeled many locations.  While the priority pass is a nice perk to have (also comes with the AmEx Platinum) their lounges seem often to be a bit run down with limited offerings.  Sure, it appears that with the Chase Reserve, the Priority Pass will allow you to bring in a guest for free as opposed to the AmEx Platinum which charges you $29.  However, I have a feeling that the Priority Pass lounges will get a bit more crowded.

Authorized User Fee

This is a no-brainer.  Basically I’m getting 3 Sky Club and Priority Pass memberships for the price of about 1 and a half.  That’s an amazing value!  If you travel often, with your family, you’ll make this fee back, easily.

Where AmEx could do better

I know most people will want the Chase Reserve for the point earning potential.  YES!  3X points on dining is GREAT!  AmEx only offers 1X on ALL purchase with the Platinum (with exception of travel booked through AmEx travel website, which is 2X).  AmEx could also make it easier on the travel credit reimbursement.  Having to select an airline and only certain charges count for the reimbursement is very limited. Chase wins this one easily.  Being able to have almost any travel count for the reimbursement is HUGE!

Bottom line is you need to choose which is better for you, club access or points earning potential.  At this point, we will stick with the Platinum AmEx.

You can read our past review of the Platinum AmEx by clicking here.  Also, learn what AmEx offers are by clicking here.

Which card do you use?  Do you feel you are getting a great value for the annual fee?  let us know in the comments!

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