Yesterday, I wrote a post about how the increased annual fee and changes to the Amex Platinum actually made the Chase Sapphire Reserve more appealing. There were several readers that chimed in on ways they find the opposite to be true. While I had mentioned a couple of those ways, I wanted to be fair and highlight a couple of key ways that the American Express Platinum beats out the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Two Key Areas Where the Amex Platinum Beats the Chase Sapphire Reserve
I wrote a comparison last year (I will have an updated one soon) about the American Express Platinum and the Chase Sapphire Reserve that you can read about here. If you want to read the post from yesterday about the ways the Chase Sapphire Reserve trumps the Platinum, you can read that here.
Amex Offers vs Chase Offers
Amex Offers used to be really amazing. I mean, they are still great offers but you no longer have the ability to save the same offer to multiple cards and really scale them.
Amex Offers are offers that are available in your American Express account that give you increased point earning or statement credits when you save the offers to your card and then use that card at those particular retailers. These can be really great like getting 20-75% back in statement credits. All you need to do is to find an offer for a retailer that you would normally use and then you can save and spend!
These work great with shopping portals as well since you start with a shopping portal (like Rakuten to earn Amex points) and then you earn points on the total amount of the purchase – but then American Express gives you back money as well that the shopping portal does not see so you are actually getting quite a good deal.
For example, there had been a deal before that was $25 back when spending $75 or more at Under Armour. At the same time, there was a 20x point earning when shopping at Under Armour through a shopping portal. So, if I went through the shopping portal and spent $75, I would get 1,500 points or miles (worth anywhere from $15 – $30) and then still get the $25 statement credit from American Express. So, I got $75 in merchandise for $50 out of pocket but an extra $15-30 in miles as well!
Some of the Amex Offers I really like, and the ones that have been very popular on the American Express Platinum cards, are the ones that give big Membership Reward bonuses on spending. Like spend $500 at one retailer and get 10,000 Membership Reward points. These are great!
All of these offers are much better than the Chase Offers. Sure, there are some decent ones, but I get tired of things like Starbucks – get 10% back (up to $1.60). I mean, c’mon, Chase! 🙂
For many that choose to keep the American Express Platinum card in spite of the annual fee increase, a big part of that may be the Amex Offers as a way to leverage this benefit for even more money back than they would be spending on the increase.
Big issue I have here is this – make those offers available outside of the US! I mean, Amex already has a hard time on the global market with acceptance and when they restrict some really good Amex Offers to US only, it ensures that you will not be taking that card on your next international trip, at least not on the top of the wallet! Hey, Chase does it!
Personal Referral Bonuses
American Express lets you use pretty much any one of their cards to refer any card in the portfolio to someone else – and you get points for it. For example, if you have the American Express Platinum card, you can use your personal referral link and someone can sign up for an American Express Marriott Bonvoy card and you would get 10,000-20,000 Membership Reward points for that!
Earning up to 55,000 Membership Reward points per year this way is huge and is worth at least $1,000 to many of us for future travel redemptions. Sure, you have to pay taxes on those referrals (you will get a 1099 from Amex for it) but it is worth it to get more Membership Reward points. If you are able to max that out each year, this also helps to soften the blow of the increased annual fee.
While Chase offers this on a lot of cards they currently do not have any referral offers for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. That is a big blow for many holders of it, especially since if you were to downgrade it to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you could get a limited-time increase of up to 100,000 Ultimate Reward points in a year – at 20,000 points per successful conversion!
This right here does set the value of holding the Amex Platinum above the Chase Sapphire Reserve, if you are able to max it out. Because it means an extra 55,000 points per year with the Platinum that you would not get with the CSR.
Another area people mentioned was customer service. I have to say that, personally, I have found both Amex and Chase to be very good and not so good so that alone would not convince me one or another. I do think that the two areas above are key ways that current holders of the Amex Platinum could see their way through to paying almost $700 per year – even without taking advantage of any of the new benefits that Amex introduced.
What do you think about these two key differences between the American Express Platinum and the Chase Sapphire Reserve?