Do you love traveling…or are forced to travel a lot? If you said yes to either, it pays to have a credit card that pays you with travel rewards. We will be comparing our two favorite travel rewards credit cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you everything you need with an awesome early spend bonus. The Platinum Card is the card for higher spenders looking for luxury.
Let’s start with Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The annual membership fee is $95 which helps pay for the many perks you get.
Early Spend Bonus
If you spend $4,000 in the first 3-months of getting your card, you will be rewarded with 60,000 bonus points! That’s $750 worth of airfare or hotels when you book a trip through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Your early spend bonus makes up for the annual fee by itself.
You get 1-point for every $1 you spend with your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. But you get 2x the points on travel (flights, hotels, trains, taxis, etc.) and dining.
When you redeem your point for airfare, hotels, cars, or cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get 25% more value on your points. That’s why your 60,000 early spend bonus points are worth $750 of travel costs.
- $0 Foreign transaction frees.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver. When you rent a car with this card, you automatically get primary insurance, so if something happens, you don’t need to file a claim with your personal insurance. This is one of the few cards that offer this.
- Trip cancellation / interruption insurance. If you get sick and can’t go on a trip you bought through this card, Chase will refund you up to $20,000.
- Baggage delay insurance. If your checked in bags are delayed by your airline, Chase will reimburse you for the cost of necessary personal and business items while you wait for your luggage.
- Zero Liability Protection. If your card is stolen, you aren’t responsible for unauthorized purchases.
Now, let’s move to The Platinum Card by American Express for frequent travelers looking for luxury.
The annual membership fee for the Platinum Card from American Express is $550. While this might seem high, take a look at some of the bonuses and perks. If you travel a lot and are looking for luxury, this annual fee is worth it.
Early Spend Bonus
If you spend $5,000 in the first 3-months of getting your card, you will be rewarded with 60,000 points. That’s $600 you can put towards travel. But that’s just the beginning. Wait until you see the perks.
You get 1-point for every $1 you spend with your American Express Platinum card. But you get 5x points on flights booked directly with an airline or through American Express Travel. And you get 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel.
This is where you get your value. Take a look at this…
- Airport lounge access. With this card, you get access to 1,200 lounges in 500+ airports across 130+ countries. Now you don’t have to worry about eating before you get to the airport. Get to the airport, relax in the lounge, and take advantage of all the free food and drinks. If you travel at least 6 times a year, this will make up for the annual fee.
- $100 to shop at Saks Fifth Avenue or their online store every year. No minimum spend requirement. Shop at Saks and get a statement credit up to $100 every year.
- Uber VIP status. You’re automatically upgraded to Uber VIP status, you get $15 in Uber credits every month, plus a $20 Uber bonus for December. That’s up to $200 in Uber savings.
- $200 Airline fee credit. Every year, you get to pick an airline and receive up to $200 in statement credits for incidental fees like checked in bags and in-flight refreshments with that airline.
- $100 Hotel credit. If you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel, you can qualify for $100 in hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities.
- Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Credit. Get a $100 credit for Global Entry every 4 years. Or get an $85 credit for TSA Pre-Check every 4.5 years when you pay the application fee with this card.
- Hilton Honors Gold Status. With this card, you’re automatically upgraded to Hilton Honors Gold Status. That means you get access to better rooms and perks when you stay at a Hilton.
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status. With this card, you’re upgraded to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status. That means you get access to better rooms and perks when you stay at a Marriott.
If you travel often and are looking for a more luxurious experience, The American Express Platinum card is for you. You will quickly get your money’s worth from the $550 annual fee. But if you are just looking for a way to earn some free trips without shelling out a ton of cash, then Chase Sapphire Preferred is the card for you. The early spend bonus will pay for itself, and if you use the card correctly, you’ll be able to fund a lot of free travel.
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