Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which Offers More Lounge Access?

Airport lounge access is a huge benefit of premium travel cards. But which card offers the better lounge options and experience, the Amex Platinum or the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Last updated May 13, 2021 | By Ben Walker | Edited By Becca Borawski Jenkins
Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which Offers More Lounge Access?

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Airport lounge access is one of the most coveted credit card perks for frequent travelers because of the many benefits it can offer when passing through airports. This could include free Wi-Fi, food, and drinks, as well as privacy, relaxation, and even showers.

The Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are two of the top credit cards for travel, including airport lounge access. But there are a few big differences between these cards when comparing their lounge access benefits.

Here we’ll do a side-by-side comparison of the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve airport lounge access perks. This will help you learn whether the Amex Platinum has more lounge access than the Chase Sapphire Reserve (or vice versa).

In this article

Quick look: Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access

The table below gives you a quick overview of the lounge access benefits granted to you by both the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve. This will help you see the breakdown of the potential lounge networks available, as well as how many lounges total and the type of perks you can expect.

Keep in mind that not every lounge will have every special perk, so be sure to check the specific lounge website (Priority Pass, Centurion Lounge, etc.) to see which amenities each lounge offers.

Network(s) and # of lounges Special perks
The Platinum Card from American Express

Amex Platinum

  • The Centurion Lounge (14)
  • American Express Lounges (9)
  • Delta Sky Club (49)
  • Airspace (1)
  • Priority Pass Select, not including restaurants (1,300+)
  • Escape Lounges (13)

Total # of lounges = 1,386+

  • Free Wi-Fi, food, and drinks
  • Free showers
  • Free massage chairs or massage services
  • Family rooms
  • Workspaces
  • Conference spaces
  • Game rooms
  • Spas
Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • Priority Pass Select, including restaurants (1,300+)

Total # of lounges = 1,300+ 

  • Free Wi-Fi, food, and drinks
  • Free showers
  • Free massage chairs or massage services
  • Family rooms
  • Workspaces
  • Conference spaces
  • Game rooms
  • Spas
  • Priority Pass restaurants, cafes, and markets are included with this membership

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Amex Platinum is often recommended as a top airport lounge card because it’s one of the best travel credit cards available. It comes with loads of travel perks and benefits, including possibly the most airport lounge options of any card on the market.

That’s a hefty claim, but the benefits seem to add up. The Amex Platinum offers access to over 1,386 airport lounges, most of which are included in the Priority Pass network. However, you also get access to the Amex Centurion Lounge and other Amex lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges, and U.S. Escape Lounges.

No other non-Amex card offers quite the same selection of airport lounges and their associated benefits, whether it’s free food and drinks or simply an escape from the hustle and bustle of an airport terminal.

You can learn more about all of this card’s benefits — including how it can help you rack up Amex Membership Rewards and use them to book trips in the Amex Travel portal — in our Platinum Card from American Express review. But let’s go into the lounge benefits in more detail here.

The Centurion Lounge

Amex Centurion Lounges are typically known for the high-quality dining options, high-speed Wi-Fi, and additional amenities. This could include the family rooms at the Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas or the spa services at the Centurion Lounge in Los Angeles.

Access policy: Unlimited complimentary access for Platinum cardmembers for departing flights only. Cardmembers must present their valid Amex Platinum card, a government-issued I.D., and a confirmed boarding pass for same-day travel. You can only access these lounges within three hours of your scheduled departure time, though this rule may not apply if you’re waiting for a connecting flight.

Guest policy: Cardmembers may bring up to two companions for free. Note: This policy could possibly change on Feb. 1, 2023 to no free guests.

Locations:

  • Charlotte, U.S. (CLT)
  • Dallas, U.S. (DFW)
  • Denver, U.S. (DEN)
  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Houston, U.S. (IAH)
  • Las Vegas, U.S. (LAS)
  • Los Angeles, U.S. (LAX)
  • Miami, U.S. (MIA)
  • New York, U.S. (JFK)
  • New York, U.S. (LGA)
  • Philadelphia, U.S. (PHL)
  • Phoenix, U.S. (PHX)
  • San Francisco, U.S. (SFO)
  • Seattle, U.S. (SEA)

Though not included in The Centurion Lounge network, cardmembers can also access other American Express lounges in different worldwide locations. The amenities at each location will vary, as well as the guest access policies. However, American Express states, “At minimum, one complimentary guest is allowed.”

International American Express Lounge locations:

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE)
  • Delhi, India (DEL)
  • Melbourne, Australia (MEL)
  • Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)
  • Monterrey, Mexico (MTY)
  • Mumbai, India (BOM)
  • São Paulo, Brazil (GRU)
  • Stockholm, Sweden (ARN)
  • Sydney, Australia (SYD)

Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Clubs are available in 33 U.S. airports and typically feature a variety of food and beverage options, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. If you’re flying on Delta through a U.S. airport that doesn’t have a Centurion Lounge, a Delta Sky Club could be a good option to relax before your departure flight. But keep in mind that guests will cost extra.

Access policy: Present your valid Amex Platinum card, government-issued I.D., and same-day Delta boarding pass for entry.

Guest policy: Up to two guests of the cardmember may enter for a fee, which may vary by location.

Locations:

  • Atlanta, U.S. (ATL)
  • Austin, U.S. (AUS)
  • Boston, U.S. (BOS)
  • Chicago, U.S. (ORD)
  • Cincinnati, U.S. (CVG)
  • Dallas, U.S. (DFW)
  • Denver, U.S. (DEN)
  • Detroit, U.S. (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale, U.S. (FLL)
  • Honolulu, U.S. (HNL)
  • Indianapolis, U.S. (IND)
  • Jacksonville, U.S. (JAX)
  • Memphis, U.S. (MEM)
  • Miami, U.S. (MIA)
  • Milwaukee, U.S. (MKE)
  • Minneapolis, U.S. (MSP)
  • Nashville, U.S. (BNA)
  • New Orleans, U.S. (MSY)
  • New York, U.S. (JFK)
  • New York, U.S. (LGA)
  • Newark, U.S. (EWR)
  • Orlando, U.S. (MCO)
  • Philadelphia, U.S. (PHL)
  • Phoenix, U.S. (PHX)
  • Portland, U.S. (PDX)
  • Raleigh, U.S. (RDU)
  • Salt Lake City, U.S. (SLC)
  • San Diego, U.S. (SAN)
  • San Francisco, U.S. (SFO)
  • Seattle, U.S. (SEA)
  • Tampa, U.S. (TPA)
  • Washington D.C., U.S. (DCA)
  • West Palm Beach, U.S. (PBI)

Airspace

You can access the one available Airspace Lounge, located at San Diego International Airport (SAN), if you’re traveling through San Diego, California. Soft drinks and light snacks are complimentary while alcoholic beverages may be served at a discounted rate if you’re there during happy hour.

Access policy: Present your valid Amex Platinum card, government-issued I.D., and confirmed same-day boarding pass.

Guest policy: Cardmembers may bring up to two companions free of charge.

Locations:

  • San Diego, U.S. (SAN)

Priority Pass Select

Depending on your travel destinations and home airport, the Priority Pass network may be your most used lounge network with the Amex Platinum. Priority Pass Select memberships are only available through partnerships with financial institutions, but it gives you access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide.

The size of this network makes it much easier for you to find a lounge in plenty of global destinations, though you do have to make sure the lounges are located in the terminals you’re traveling through. Or that you have enough time before a flight to travel to another terminal and back while taking advantage of a lounge visit.

Since the Priority Pass network is so big, you have a wide variety of lounge brands, like Plaza Premium or The Club, with varying amenities. Free food, drinks, and Wi-Fi are commonplace, but it could vary from light snacks to full self-serve buffets. Additionally, one lounge might have free massage chairs while another could have a spa room.

If you already know your travel itinerary or have an idea of certain airports you might be flying through, check the Priority Pass website or mobile app to search lounges by airport and see what amenities are available.

Note: Priority Pass Select memberships through the Amex Platinum do not offer benefits at Priority Pass restaurants (as of Aug. 1, 2019).

Access policy: Enroll in Priority Pass Select online using your valid Amex Platinum card to receive your Priority Pass Select card and membership package.

Guest policy: The policy may vary by each specific lounge, though any lounge that admits guests should allow you two guests for no charge. Additional guests are typically charged a guest visit fee that aligns with the guest visit fees on Priority Pass Standard memberships, which is $32 per guest (as of April 12, 2021).

The Priority Pass network has too many lounges to list, but here are a few popular locations:

  • Ahlan Lounge at B, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
  • Air France Lounge, New York, U.S. (JFK)
  • Sala VIP Internacional, Quito, Ecuador (UIO)
  • The Plumeria Lounge, Honolulu, U.S. (HNL)
  • Turkish Airlines Lounge, Washington D.C., U.S. (IAD)

Escape Lounges

Escape Lounges include both U.S. and United Kingdom locations, but only the U.S. lounges are free to access for Amex Platinum cardmembers. These lounges provide complimentary food, beverages, and Wi-Fi access.

Access policy: Present your valid Amex Platinum card, government-issued I.D., and confirmed same-day boarding pass.

Guest policy: Up to two guests free of charge.

Locations:

  • Bradley International Airport (BDL)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT)
  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Providence T. F. Green Airport (PVD)
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Among credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the best for travel and dining. This premium Visa card provides cardholders with complimentary airport lounge access to Priority Pass lounges, including restaurants, cafes, and markets within the network. This is a big difference between the Priority Pass Select memberships available from the Amex Platinum versus the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Since the Amex Platinum’s Priority Pass Select membership doesn’t give any Priority Pass restaurant benefits, the Sapphire Reserve holds the upper hand here. And with more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges to choose from, you might not miss out on the additional lounge networks available to Amex Platinum cardmembers.

You can learn more about all of this card’s benefits — including how it can help you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards points and use them to book trips in the Chase travel portal — in our Chase Sapphire Reserve review. But let’s go into the lounge benefits in more detail here.

Priority Pass Select

Escape the crowded and noisy terminal gates by heading to one of over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges. Many lounges offer complimentary food, drinks, and Wi-Fi, though additional amenities, like massage chairs or spa rooms, will vary by lounge.

Access policy: One-time activation required for Priority Pass Select membership (and to receive your Priority Pass Select card). Present your valid Priority Pass Select card, government-issued I.D., and same-day boarding pass.

Guest policy: Up to two guests free of charge. Additional guests are $27 per guest.

Priority Pass restaurants function differently than Priority Pass lounges. At one of these restaurants, you can typically get around $28 of credit to use toward food and beverage purchases. This credit extends to up to two of your guests as well. So you would each get $28 in restaurant credit, or $84 total for you and two guests. The amount of restaurant credit may vary depending on the restaurant.

You typically have to dine at the restaurant, so to-go and grab-and-go orders aren’t eligible. You also have to present your valid Priority Pass card and same-day boarding pass to receive your credit. Any balance over the credited amount, including tips, has to be paid for.

Here are some examples of U.S. Priority Pass restaurants:

  • Boston (BOS): Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill, Stephanies
  • Cleveland (CLE): Bar Symon
  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL): Kafe Kalik
  • Houston Intercontinental (IAH): Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, Landry’s Seafood
  • Indianapolis (IND): The Fan Zone
  • Lexington (LEX): Kentucky Ale Taproom
  • Los Angeles (LAX): Rock & Brews, Point the Way Cafe
  • Miami (MIA): Corona Beach House
  • Minneapolis St. Paul Airport (MSP): PGA MSP Lounge
  • New York Kennedy (JFK): Bobby Van’s Steakhouse
  • Portland (PDX): Capers Cafe Le Bar, Capers Market, Westward Whiskey
  • San Francisco (SFO): San Francisco Giants Clubhouse, Yankee Pier
  • Seattle (SEA): Bambuza, Trail Head BBQ Bar
  • St. Louis (STL): The Pasta House, The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer
  • Syracuse (SYR): Johnny Rockets
  • Tampa (TPA): The Café by Mise en Place
  • Tucson (TUS): Barrio Brewery Co.
  • Washington D.C. (DCA): Bracket Room, American Tap Room
  • Washington D.C. (IAD): Chef Geoff’s

Here are some examples of international Priority Pass restaurants:

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE): Outback Steakhouse
  • Brisbane, Australia (BNE): Graze Grill & Bar, Merlo Caffe, Corretto Cafe & Bar
  • Canberra, Australia (CBR): Capital Brewing Co Taphouse, City Hill Coffee
  • Chandigarh, India (IXC): Cram Bar (Domestic), Cram Bar (International)
  • Coimbatore, India (CJB): BlackBerry Restaurant & Bar
  • Guangzhou, China (CAN): CITIC Food Port, Famous Cuisine Restaurant, Perch Coffee Restaurant
  • Gold Coast, Australia (OOL): Coffee & Co
  • Lima, Peru (LIM): Bleriot Bar & Lounge, La Bonbonniere
  • London, United Kingdom (LGW): Grain Store Café & Bar
  • Melbourne, Australia (MEL): Bar Pulpo by MoVida, Cafe Vue, Urban Provodore
  • Montreal, Canada (YUL): Bistrot Montréal-Trudeau, Houston Avenue Bar & Grill, Pork & Pickle
  • Osaka, Japan (KIX): Botejyu
  • São Paulo, Brazil (GRU): Bleriot Bar & Lounge, Tryp GRU Airport
  • Sydney, Australia (SYD): Bar Roma, Better Burger, Bistro 2020 & Bar, Chicken Confidential, Mach2, MoVida, Peroni Bar, Wok on Air

Note: Priority Pass restaurants are frequently added and removed, so these lists may often change.

Which card has the right lounge access for you?

If you want the most lounge access possible, the Amex Platinum is the top option between these two premium cards. But if you want Priority Pass restaurant benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the better choice.

However, you likely have to compare more details than these two features alone. It’s best to consider which airports you use most often, as well as future travel plans. If you know you’ll be in certain airports a lot, compare both cards to see which one offers more value at the airports you’ll be frequenting.

In addition, take a close look at each card’s rewards program. Consider that while both of these travel rewards cards earn valuable bonus points, the Amex transfer partners are different from Chase transfer partners. The partners available with one of these cards might align with the hotels or airlines you use the most while the other doesn’t.

Here’s a look at each of these travel rewards cards in more detail:

The Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Platinum

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Welcome bonus Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months, plus 10X points on purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets for first 6 months (on up to $15,000 combined) Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Annual fee $550 (See rates and fees) $550
Rewards rate 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else
Redemption rate
  • 0.6 cents per point for statement credits
  • Up to 1 cent per point for travel and gift cards
  • 1 cent per point for cash back and gift cards
  • 1.5 cents per point on travel booked through Chase
Credits
  • Up to $200 annually in Uber credits
  • $100 annually in Saks Fifth Avenue credits
  • Application fee reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Application fee reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit (available Jan. 12, 2020)
Hotel partner programs
  • Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • The Hotel Collection - free benefits
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts - free benefits
  • The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection - special benefits
  • Relais & Chateaux - special benefits
Rideshare and food delivery Up to $200 in Uber Cash each year, good for Uber Eats
  • Complimentary Lyft Pink membership
  • Earn 10X points on Lyft rides
  • Minimum of one year of DashPass membership from DoorDash
Car rental benefits Premium status:
  • Avis
  • Hertz
  • National
Premium status:
  • Avis
  • Hertz
  • Silvercar
Travel accident insurance No Yes
Trip delay insurance Yes Yes
Trip cancellation insurance No Yes
Lost or delayed baggage insurance Yes Yes
Car rental insurance Yes, secondary Yes, primary
Foreign transaction fee None (See rates and fees) None
Learn how to apply Learn how to apply

The Amex Platinum tends to check more boxes for luxury travelers because of its wide variety of premium travel perks while the Sapphire Reserve is a good fit for general travelers who want to offset travel costs as much as possible. This is especially true when you transfer Chase points from other Chase credit cards to your Sapphire Reserve to take advantage of its increased 50% travel redemption rate benefit.

FAQs

Does it make sense to have both the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve?

It makes sense to have both the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve if you can take advantage of the perks and benefits of both of these rewards credit cards. The majority of these benefits are for travel, like the $300 annual travel credit on the Sapphire Reserve and the automatic elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy on the Amex Platinum.

If you’re a frequent traveler and can get your money’s worth from their benefits and rewards, it makes sense. But if you don’t travel often enough to leverage the benefits, the high annual fees aren’t likely worth it to have both cards.

What credit cards give you access to Delta Sky Club?

Both the Platinum Card from American Express and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card, as well as their business card equivalents, offer complimentary Delta Sky Club access. They both also offer access to The Centurion Lounge network, but only the Amex Platinum provides complimentary Priority Pass Select membership and access to over 1,300 worldwide lounges in the Priority Pass network.

Which Amex cards give you lounge access?

Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred have lounge access?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer lounge access. If you want a Chase credit card with complimentary airport lounge access, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This card provides a free Priority Pass Select membership for access to over 1,300 airport lounges. Youa get other perks, like credit at certain restaurants and access to other non-lounge benefits, including one-hour stays at Minute Suites.


Bottom line

The best credit card for airport lounge access for you depends on what you’re looking for. Both the American Express Platinum Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer complimentary lounge access, including the same lounges within the Priority Pass network. The biggest differences between the two cards are that the Amex Platinum offers access to more lounge networks while the Sapphire Reserve provides Priority Pass restaurant benefits.

But you likely shouldn’t base your decision on which new card to get solely on lounge access. Consider the additional benefits of both credit card offers, as well as the travel portals and transfer partners offered by their respective credit card issuers, and the rewards you can earn on travel purchases. This will help you decide whether the Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve is the better fit for you.

Best Luxury Travel Benefits

Benefits

  • 75,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
  • 10X points on purchases at U.S. gas stations and supermarkets
  • 5X points on eligible flights and hotels
  • $15 in free U.S. Uber rides each month ($20 in December)
  • Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Terms apply
  • See rates and fees

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.