Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
ilikewhatisgood

Saphire vs Amex Platinum

Recommended Posts

Has anyone compared these 2 credit cards Chase Saphire Reserve vs Amex Platinum as far as which is more advantageous for frequent cruisers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A rather simplistic question about a fairly complex matter. It depends on how you spend your money and what you expect in return for your investment.

Some very informative places to get answers to these questions are places like The Pointsguy and View from the Wing (Google them). There are others but these are a good start. Flyer Talk has very good discussions as well.

Many people, myself included, consider this topic a “science” of sorts without any simple answers not knowing more about your interests.

Tell us more about what you are after in return for spending money on frequent cruises.

Edited by Paulchili

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! Definitely after maximizing points rather than cash back now that we are about to become empty nesters.

 

We don’t fly often and don’t stay at hotels often either (maybe 3 times a year) but are looking forward to cruise 4-6 times a year.

 

We want to try Oceania, Viking and Seabourn. We are already booked for Crystal and Azamara.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understood. Going on 4-6 cruises a year on any cruise line you will spend lots of money and both credit cards will earn you miles/points.

The question is what do you want to do with those points earned - how do you want to spend them. That will help you choose which card would work for you better.

Do take a look at Pointsguy - lots of good info and comparisons about credit cards (including the cards you are asking about).

Edited by Paulchili

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a very interesting question.  We actually gave up our AMEX Platinum (went back to a Gold) when they raised their annual fee to $550.   At the same time we upgraded our Chase to the Sapphire Reserve!  Why?  Several reasons.  Chase is $100 a year cheaper and gives a generous travel credit vs the airline-specific credit offered by Amex.  Chase also includes two benefits that got our attention.  1.   $10,000 Trip Cancelation/Interruption coverage.  and 2.  The Chase auto insurance waiver coverage is primary...as opposed to secondary with AMEX.    Ironically, the first year we upgraded we were forced to interrupt an Asian trip due to a medical issue.  Chase ultimately paid us $10,000 of our loss, which was nearly the entire amount.  AMEX would have paid us nothing.

 

What did we give-up by scaling back our AMEX Card.   We lost access to their nice Centurian Lounges which we used less then once a year and we also lost the Delta Skyclub access.  However, the money we save by scaling back our AMEX card would cover buying our way into the Delta Sky Clubs...if necessary.   Another loss is the sometimes $100 OBC we can get by charging a cruise on AMEX.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My primary goal is to obtain miles to be able to fly in business class on international flights. For that purpose there is no better card than Sapphire Reserve. Not only does it give me 3 points per dollar spent on all travel and food purchases (by far my most common discretionary expense) but it allows me to convert those points to SEVERAL airline and hotel partners.

It’s my credit card of choice for 95% of my spending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a lot of competition between the two high-end affinity cards.  When Chase started their Sapphire Reserve they actively sought AMEX Platinum card holders by offering some amazing perks and an awful lot of points for those who signed-up.  But Chase has already cut-back on at least one benefit and there is suspicion in the travel world that they will make further cuts or perhaps increase their annual fee.  Only time will tell.  While some folks certainly have loyalty to some cards, others will simply switch to whoever has the best overall perks.  Right now, for those who do not use a lot of Uber we think that Chase has the best card.   AMEX has just changed the calculations (again) by increasing the cost of their Gold cards which some speculate will cost them a lot of customers who have chosen the Gold in lieu of their Platinum.   There are actually a few decent online blogs that discuss these credit card issues and they make interesting reading.  Personally I am starting to think that AMEX is painting themselves into a corner and could lose a lot of personal card (as opposed to business card) holders.  Another issue that really favors Chase is that Visa cards are accepted just about everywhere....while many merchants and restaurants will not accept AMEX (because of the higher fees they charge the merchants).

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I prefer the Costco Visa Card from Citi Bank.  Three percent on all travel including hotels, restaurants, rental cars, cruise lines and airlines.  If travel is booked through Costco, there is another 1% cash back as well.  It's a cash back card so I don't worry about what airline/hotel accepts points.  Cash is always accepted.  The card includes $3000 trip insurance per traveler.  Sure, the other cards do have some larger perks but the Costco Visa is included in my Costco Membership.  It's much cheaper alternative that should be considered.  That said, if I traveled significantly more, I probably would prefer the Sapphire over the AMEX.

Edited by RocketMan275

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amex Plat is the card to have for the benefits of the card itself, not necessarily the best one for ongoing regular spend.  For example, while you get 5x Membership Rewards point for airline travel on AP, if you have the new Amex Gold card, you get 4x points on restaurants and grocery stores.  And other cards have various category bonuses.

 

For years, THE best card to have was the Starwood Amex - great earning and transfer options.  The replacement Marriott card still has the biggest transfer portfolio though earning has gone down.

 

So, the ultimate answer comes down to analyzing a card in three areas:

 

A) Point earning potential, including category bonuses

B) Point redemption potential, including point values and redemption partners

C) Benefits from mere possession of the card and their value to you.

 

Not a quick and easy subject and completely dependent on YOUR situation and priorities.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's different for everyone. I tend to paint the AMEX more into the "look at me" category. It's best perk is the Centurion lounge if you can frequent one enough. 

 

For frequent cruising, I cannot recommend the AMEX over the CSR. The AMEX gives no bonus points and inferior travel coverage. The AMEX has an OBC offer, but I believe that is very limited in scope. 

 

I could keep going on the comparison between these two as there is a lot. I do feel the average traveler is going to get far more value out of their CSR. I was able to book my last cruise completely on Chase points. What a great deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Joebucks said:

I was able to book my last cruise completely on Chase points. What a great deal.

 

Were you able to get at least 2 cents per point in value?  Or preferably 3 to 5 cents?  Or did you even calculate the return on your redemption?

 

It's easy to book something completely on points.  It's a far different issue as to what kind of value you got from your points.

 

I know of many people who get roughly a penny a point (at best) from "cruiseline branded" credit cards.  And yet when it's pointed out that they could receive far better return with other cards, they say "but I got at free cruise".  Completely ignoring what kind of "exchange rate" they got on their hard-earned points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

I know of many people who get roughly a penny a point (at best) from "cruiseline branded" credit cards.  And yet when it's pointed out that they could receive far better return with other cards, they say "but I got at free cruise".  Completely ignoring what kind of "exchange rate" they got on their hard-earned points.

Sorta like the poster who explained that her drinks were free because the drink package was a included on her booking.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Plat Amex gives you other rewards as well that can make up for the annual fee. You'll get $15/monthly credit for Uber and an extra $20 in Dec so totals $200. You get $200 in airline credit for any other misc expense. Get credit back for your Precheck or Global entry fee when using the card. Access to the Delta Lounge or Centurion lounges and many other perks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Were you able to get at least 2 cents per point in value?  Or preferably 3 to 5 cents?  Or did you even calculate the return on your redemption?

 

It's easy to book something completely on points.  It's a far different issue as to what kind of value you got from your points.

 

I know of many people who get roughly a penny a point (at best) from "cruiseline branded" credit cards.  And yet when it's pointed out that they could receive far better return with other cards, they say "but I got at free cruise".  Completely ignoring what kind of "exchange rate" they got on their hard-earned points.


I know where you're going with this. The valuation topic is extremely overblown. Especially when you try to apply it to everyone as some sort of law. I don't have any use for international business first class flights on points. The same would go with the cash option. If one went on sale for cheaper than it would normally be, doesn't mean I'm going to spend 3-4x extra to say I got "more for my money". That can be an irresponsible way to save money in life. I also don't have a need to stay at Hyatt currently.

 

My work travel points cover my leisure hotel stays. I will fly with the cheapest possible airfare in most cases. Expensive airfare just doesn't hold value to me. At least in this point of my life. Cruising is the biggest variable that I can't avoid. To earn 4.5% on my many travel and dining purchases towards a cruise that costs me nothing out of pocket, and to insure the trip for free is a great deal for me. 

 

Now I will agree with your last paragraph. Getting cards with the lowest return rates out there and justifying it to the death is pointless. It's like when grocery stores started offering gas discounts. No one compared what they were really getting back to other options. They just heard free gas, and knowing gas was expensive, threw all logic out of the window. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/19/2019 at 9:49 PM, Hlitner said:

It is a very interesting question.  We actually gave up our AMEX Platinum (went back to a Gold) when they raised their annual fee to $550.   At the same time we upgraded our Chase to the Sapphire Reserve!  Why?  Several reasons.  Chase is $100 a year cheaper and gives a generous travel credit vs the airline-specific credit offered by Amex.  Chase also includes two benefits that got our attention.  1.   $10,000 Trip Cancelation/Interruption coverage.  and 2.  The Chase auto insurance waiver coverage is primary...as opposed to secondary with AMEX.    Ironically, the first year we upgraded we were forced to interrupt an Asian trip due to a medical issue.  Chase ultimately paid us $10,000 of our loss, which was nearly the entire amount.  AMEX would have paid us nothing.

 

What did we give-up by scaling back our AMEX Card.   We lost access to their nice Centurian Lounges which we used less then once a year and we also lost the Delta Skyclub access.  However, the money we save by scaling back our AMEX card would cover buying our way into the Delta Sky Clubs...if necessary.   Another loss is the sometimes $100 OBC we can get by charging a cruise on AMEX.

 

Hank

CSR does offer offer access to airport lounges via Priority Pass.  I have no idea how these compare to those offered by AMEX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mnocket said:

CSR does offer offer access to airport lounges via Priority Pass.  I have no idea how these compare to those offered by AMEX.

Both cards offer Priority Pass access.   Not sure of the current situation with AMEX whether they charge a fee for a guest (on Priority Pass) or not.  With the Chase card there is no extra charge for taking a Guest into a Priority Pass Lounge.  

If I were routinely using an airport with a Centurian Lounge, it would be a strong case to keep an AMEX Platinum.  

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...