Which Premium Credit Card to use for Flight Purchases? Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige?

I constantly consider what credit card to use in order to make sure I maximize my points earning. So which card should you use for flights? I don’t think there is a clear winner though I think there are 3 cards that stand out to me.

My Three Recommendations

My three favorite cards for flight purchases are the Amex Platinum, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the Citi Prestige cards. The Amex Platinum card earns 5x points per $1, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige cards earn 3x points per $1. The Amex Platinum card though doesn’t offer trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance while both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige cards do. L

Amex Platinum

  • Points earnings: 5x points per $1
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption: None
  • Trip Delay: None

Reasons to use the card:

  1. You are not in need of travel insurance
  2. You have other forms of travel insurance
  3. You are traveling for work and your work has other forms of travel insurance

Reasons to not use the card:

  1. You would like to have travel insurance

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • Points earnings: 3x points per $1 on airfare
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption: Up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $40,000 (cover trips paid with Ultimate Rewards points)
  • Trip Delay: Up to $500 per purchased for a delay longer than 6 hours or a delay requiring an overnight stay (cover trips paid with Ultimate Rewards points)
  • Covered travels include immediate family

Benefits Guide

Reasons to use the card:

  1. You are okay with losing 2x points per $1 for better travel insurance
  2. You purchase airfare costing more than $5,000 per ticket

Reasons to not use the card:

  1. You would like trip delay insurance for delays between 3-6 hours
  2. You have exhausted the $40,000 maximum benefit in a 12 month period.
  3. You travel with and pay for tickets for extended family

 

Citi Prestige

  • Points earnings: 3x points per $1 on air travel
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption: Up to $5,000 per covered travel per trip from the travel departure to travel completion date (cover trips paid with ThankYou points)
  • Trip Delay: Up to $500 dollars per covered traveler per trip after a delay of at least 3 hours. (cover trips paid with ThankYou points).
  • Covered travelers include extended family

Benefits Guide

Reasons to use the card:

  1. You need more than $40,000 in coverage per 12 month period
  2. You need trip delay for delays between 3-6 hours
  3. You travel and pay for flights for extended family

Reasons to not use the card:

  1. You purchase airfare costing more than $5,000 per ticket
  2. You have a delay shorter than 3 hours though requires an overnight stay

Conclusion

I can’t recommend one of these cards over the other as they all have their pro’s and con’s. I personally use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card as the travel insurance is plenty for me and I prefer Ultimate Rewards points to ThankYou points. If I was still consulting and being reimbursed for travel by my work, I would use the Amex Platinum card. I had fun looking over the benefits guides again to see what is covered and what is not and suggest you do the same before choosing what card to use.

-Points Tutor