The miles and points world is all aflutter over the upcoming Chase Sapphire Reserve card. It is certainly a premium card, and not one that I would recommend most beginners signing up for
(SEE ALSO: Why I keep recommending the Chase Sapphire Preferred for people starting out)
Still, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a pretty good card and one that I personally plan on getting (but then again, I get just about every card 😀 ). Still, with a $450 annual fee, it is very similar to the American Express Platinum and Citi Prestige cards, so I thought it might be worth a post comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve to the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige cards on a variety of factors
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Citi Prestige® Card – annual fee
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Annual fee of $450
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Annual fee of $450*
- Citi Prestige® Card: Annual fee of $450
All 3 cards have an annual fee of $450, but there IS a version of The Platinum Card® from American Express that is targeted to Ameriprise customers (but open to all) that has a $0 annual fee
We’ll call this one a wash
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Amex Platinum vs Citi Prestige® – authorized users
- An authorized user on the Platinum Card® from American Express card is $175 per year
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: $75 per year
- Citi Prestige®: Authorized users are $50 per year
Citi -> Chase -> American Express
Note that many of the benefits of these premium credit cards do NOT apply for authorized users. EDIT: As mentioned in the comments, I should clarify that with The Platinum Card® from American Express, authorized users DO get a majority of the benefits (just not the
The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Citi Prestige® – Global Entry
All 3 cards offer a $100 Global Entry reimbursement, so this one is even across the board
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Citi Prestige® – signup bonus
The reported 100,000 Ultimate Rewards signup bonus with the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a definite winner. There have been periodic 100,000 point bonuses on The Platinum Card® from American Express, but they are often short lived (I got in on one a few months ago). The highest known bonus on the Citi Prestige® has been 50,000 ThankYou Points.
Chase -> Amex -> Citi
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Citi Prestige® vs The Platinum Card® from American Express – category spend bonuses
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives 3x on travel and dining and 1x on everything else
- Citi Prestige gives 3x on air travel and hotels, 2x on dining and entertainment and 1x on everything else
- In last, the American Express Platinum just gives 1x on everything with no category bonuses
The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Citi Prestige® – airport lounge access
All 3 cards offer Priority Pass membership (SEE ALSO: How to use the American Express Priority Pass Platinum card benefit). Only the Citi Prestige® card though offers a Priority Pass membership that allows you to bring guests.
In addition, the American Express Platinum offers access to Delta SkyClubs (but only when flying Delta) as well as access to their branded Amex Centurion lounges, which are IMO the best domestic lounges out there. Here’s a pic of the seating from my time in the Amex Centurion lounge Las Vegas
For lounge access, to me it goes Amex -> Citi -> Chase
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Citi Prestige® – hotel statuses
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with Hilton HHonors Gold status – which IMO is the best mid-tier hotel status, though it is also easily given with many other cards. It also gives SPG Gold status.
Both the Citi Prestige® and Chase Sapphire Reserve do not have any hotel statuses given, though that could change when the Sapphire Reserve credit card is officially released next week.
Amex -> Citi / Chase
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Citi Prestige® – travel credit
- #1 – While we don’t have the official details confirmed, we know that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card will have a $300 annual travel credit and it appears that it will automatically come off
- #2 – The Citi Prestige® card has a $250 annual credit and it is automatically applied and includes airline tickets. Just don’t screw it up your Citi Prestige airline credit like I did!
- #3 – The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a $200 airline credit each calendar year, but you have to choose a specific airline each year and you can’t typically buy tickets with it (it is meant for “airline incidentals” though in practice gift cards often work)
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs The Platinum Card® from American Express vs Citi Prestige® – other benefits
The American Express Platinum card comes with free Boingo wifi hotspots, free roadside assistance, a private Platinum concierge and access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program
Citi Prestige® offers free rounds of golf (for the next year) and one of the best perks out there – the 4th night free hotel perk, where your 4th night at ANY hotel is free. They also have a Citi Concierge
(SEE ALSO: Which Citi Prestige® devaluation stings you the most?)
Chase Sapphire Reserve offers primary rental car insurance
Citi -> Chase -> Amex – Citi (even with the upcoming Citi Prestige devaluations, the 4th night free benefit is still the best “other benefit” of the 3)
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Citi Prestige® vs The Platinum Card® from American Express – booking travel
The new Chase Sapphire Reserve card will give 1.5 cents per point value when booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal
(SEE ALSO: Why the Chase Sapphire Reserve card might make using Rapid Rewards obsolete)
(SEE ALSO: Why it pays to check the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall before transferring points)
The Citi Prestige® card gives 1.33 points when booking with ThankYou points. For the remainder of this year you get 1.6 cents per point for travel on American Airlines, but that benefit is also going away.
The Platinum Card® from American Express only offers 1 cent per point
They also all have hotel and airline transfer partners that you can transfer points to, which IMO is typically gives you the best value for your points.
Chase -> Citi -> Amex on this one!
Conclusion: Comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Citi Prestige®
Looking at the rankings
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 4 1st, 2 2nd, 2 3rd places
- Citi Prestige®: 2 1st, 5 2nd, 1 3rd places
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: 2 1st, 1 2nd, 5 3rd places
Seems like a clear winner to me! Looks like American Express and Citi have some catching up to do!
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Are you really saying that primary rental car insurance (which you get on CSP anyway) is better than 4th night free?
yah, Chase winning “booking travel” makes 0 sense. 4th night free, and there’s concierge service (though it is way less useful than AMEX PLAT concierge. Also, for anyone with a fam, (apparently you do?), Priority Pass for the 2 additionals makes that comparo a clear win for Citi Prestige.
Sapp is definitely not a clear winner for everyone.
Thought the same thing…
I think it is. Most people won’t get both the CSP and CSR. But I guess it completely depends on your personal situation/needs.
The Prestige’s 4th nt free benefit alone makes the card a net (unlimited) profit and is hands down the best one out of the 3, even after the recent devaluation (which starts next year anyways).
I have to agree…that for those staying at pricey hotels or having many 4+ night stays, the Citi Prestige 4th night benefit completely trumps ALL other benefits for all credit cards. It isn’t even close. Of course, you must be staying at hotels costing upwards of $500 a night…or staying often at cheaper hotels for 4 nights apiece, for this to be worthwhile.
After that, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is clearly the next best card–the 3x for travel/dining and its better hotel/airline partners together make it superior to the Amex Platinum.
Thanks guys – I think you’re right. I will update the post
Primary insurance can be covered by a 95 annual fee.
The first 4th night free even post devaluation is likely to more than that.
Thanks for the side-by-side comparison. The sign up bonus and 1.5 cent per point redemption through the Chase Travel Center are the two aspects of this card I’m most excited about. I’ve booked through Chase before and have had good success with finding competitive pricing.
You forgot a few things about AMEX:
1 – Amex Travel Service gives you 2x MR points when booking through them.
2 – International Airline Program allows you to get BOGO (except fees) when purchasing a BC or FC fare through Amex Travel Service. There is no limit as to how many times you can use this, and it applies to published discounted BC/FC fares.
3 – Fine Hotels and Resorts gives you a welcome amenity (usually on the order of a $100 restaurant credit) and they often have a get 3rd or 4th night free promotions on many properties.
4 – Advance ticket purchase before sale to general public and assistance in getting tickets to “sold out” shows. My wife get tickets to Paul McCartney as an additional cardholder.
Many of the benefits also apply to the additional card holder – such as Delta and AMEX lounge access (but not Priority Pass).
Actually additional card members get their own priority pass membership as well now. It’s the best rounded offering out there.
For those who are saying about Prestige 4th night free, the point is who pays cash for hotel in miles/points community?
That is true, though I guess it’s a factor of how many hotel stays you have and if you have work stays where you’re getting reimbursed
The Citi Prestige also comes with free Roadside assistance. Not a lot of people know about it, but in the manual it says there are fees for the Citi Premiere, but the fees are waived for Citi Prestige.
Supplemental card assertion is quite a bit off, Amex supp card holders get all the benefits except the an additional $200 airline fee credit, meaning each supp gets access to lounges, status at hotels, their own Global Entry credit, if you have 3 supp cards, Amex wins by a long shot
One dimension not considered is customer service.
1) If you have a chargeback, you’ll generally have an easier experience and better chance of success with the Amex platinum.
2) Limited hold time and getting a card rep who has a clue. Amex wins hands down.
3) Concierge service. I haven’t tried Chase’s concierge, but Amex Platinum’s concierge service is much better than Citi’s concierge (who is run by Aspire; formerly ten). If it wasn’t for the 4th night benefit, I would avoid using Citi’s concierge at all cost.
4) Customer focus. When I have had disputes on points in the past, Amex has always come through and honored their promos. Not so for either Chase or Citi, who have big bank mentalities and screw the customer as an ingrained corporate culture.
These points matter more or less depending if you’re using the cards for a daily spender or not. But I do think they are an important dimension to the card. I use both CP and Amex Plat as daily spender and put a lot of purchases on them both.
Currently, I have both Amex Plat and Citi Prestige and CSP (intending to get CSR when it comes out).
Difficult to capture all the tradeoffs, but appreciate the analysis. What is missing is the insurance cover that might be important to some, like me. I travel on difficult and tight routings and so insurance that covers trip interuption, cancellation as provided by Chase is attractive. The Amex plat global assist program, particulalrly the medevac support if like also. I expect that I will be getting or keeping the Chase and Amex cards but clearing house on Citi.
You did state one thing wrong though and it’s a big one. As for authorized uses, on Amex, ALL benefits carry over to the additional cardmember, except for the airline annual credit (that is account-based). Global entry credit, an additional priority pass, their own account number, annual statements, “Amex offers”, their own individual Hilton Gold Status, their own complimentary 4th night free at Fine Hotels, and their own Sheraton Gold stays. None of the benefits of Citi (and yet to be determined CSR) have that. I know that on Citi, additional users do not get Admirals club access, or any other benefit.
When looking at additional card members, that’s the thing — with Amex it’s an additional card member, with others it’s just another user with the same account number and basically no benefits. The fee is high, but considering a full additional account would cost $450, it’s a relative bargain to pay the $175.
Do we really know that Priority Pass access is limited ONLY to the cardholder with Chase (versus broader access with the Citi card)?
I agree that the “4th night free” REMAINS a valuable benefit, even after its devaluation to an average night’s cost, but customer service is so horrid with Citi that it may not be worth keeping . . .
We don’t know for sure about the Chase Sapphire Reserve card but we do know it is NOT a Priority Pass Select membership (which IIRC the Citi Prestige is). I agree that the 4th night free wasn’t devalued by a ton and remains a valuable benefit, depending on your circumstances (as someone else pointed out, plenty of people in this hobby do not typically pay cash for 4 night stays)
The CSR becomes less rewarding if it is NOT a Priority Pass Select membership. As for not paying cash for four night stays, I would respectfully disagree. While I might not pay cash for a four-night stay on a personal trip, I certainly would if on a business trip — save my employer the cost of one night’s stay, PLUS rack up the points on my own card . . . just a thought.
Right – I’m not saying that NOBODY does that (you are not the only one), but there are many people in the miles and points hobby that don’t travel for work and don’t often pay for 4 night stays. So while a valuable benefit, it’s situational
You forgot to mention the 5x points for American Express if you book directly with an airline or through amex travel.
I’d love to see an updated comparison done on these three cards. One benefit that Chase Sapphire Reserve gives that I don’t see elsewhere is full Travel Interruption, Cancellation, Emergency Medical and luggage delay insurance. For a big international trip, this benefit is worth a lot.