In terms of your question about which card has superior lounge access, the AMEX Platinum is superior since both give PP lounge access but AMEX offers many others. I added it up before and it was a few hundred more total lounges in network.
In terms of overall value, I feel the CSR is the clear winner, especially when combined with other Chase cards in the UR portal (CF, CFU, INK, etc.) CSR has better car and travel insurance coverage (AD&D up to $1Million, lost or delayed bags, trip delay, trip cancellation, primary car rental insurance - all for no additional fee.) CSR also has a lower AF and easier, less complicated offsets to it which greatly defray the out-of-pocket cost if you use it. ($300 offset is automatically applied for all travel charges including airfare, hotel, rental car, cruises, tolls, taxi, parking, etc.) Because I wanted a solid travel card but do not put heavy reimbursed spending on my premium cards for travel, the CSR was the better choice. Lounge access is nice but wasn't a primary consideration for me, although CSR does include the Priority Pass lounge equivalent to $429 AF if purchased seperately.
Lounge access is nice but wasn't a primary consideration for me, although CSR does include the Priority Pass lounge equivalent to $429 AF if purchased seperately.
How many people actually purchase PP directly? The issuers providing it on CCs certainly don't pay that price. $429 may just be an illusory price...a sort of anchor to give the appearance of value.
I like the Platinum perks but, due to the travel protections you lay out, put much more travel spend on my CSR.
That was a very good read and an excellent comparison of the two. Thanks, I had not seen that.
A couple things changed:
1. amex pp has cut off non-lounge places, that means game stations, restaurants
2. amex airline fee credit no longer reimburse gift card purchases
@onecoolamigo You have received some really good feedback here. If I could also add, I would take into consideration where you're traveling and the time of year. Trip delay and cancellation has really helped and has saved me some serious $$$. Last year my wife came down with the flu right around Thanksgiving and we decided to cancel our trip to SAN. She obvisouly went to the doctor for treatment and medication but our PCP was also able to provide us with a letter recommeding that my wife didn't travel.
Surprisingly enough the trip cancellation via our Ritz Card worked like a charm. Was able to recoup our $$$ and the process didn't take long at all. I also had a similar experience when traveling alone and had booked my travel on my AAdvantage Executive card. It was a weather delay out of DFW. Ended up spending the night and again was able to recoup my cost without issue.
As for lounge access, I'm starting to place less value on them as most are just a bit overcrowded for my taste. The wife and I have recently started getting to the airport within a reasonable amount of time and just relaxing at a decent airport restaurant. I will say that Amex does offer the best access to airport lounges and international lounges are soo much better than domestic. Of the Centurion Lounges I've had the pleasure of visiting domestically, I wasn't all that impressed. The Delta lounges are usually really nice and offer great service. Believe it or not I would much rather have access to Delta lounges than Centurion...at least domestically anyway.
While not originally part of the OP question but have you thought about citi prestige as an altenative choice to plat and CSR. You get 5x air travel and restaurants and 3x hotel/cruises 250 dollar travel credit , and PP lounge access. I don't personally have that card but it is something to keep in mind.
I have a bit of weirder setup to cover restaurants and travel, I used to have a CSR decided to convert it to a CFU , because of the setup of CIP for 3x travel and Amex gold for 4x at restuarants and grocery stores. I have PP lounge access via Amex hilton aspire , but it faces same issue that Plat does of no PP restaurant access. Thats not the biggest deal in the world to me though, I know for other people it can be a deal breaker. When I do travel internationally I usually do F or J so i get some kind of lounge access.
At least, once or twice a year (roundtrips)...
not worth the AF on either card if you are only taking 2 international trips. even with 2 stops per flight, you'll probably have less than 10 lounge visits. Priority lounges in the states are nothing to write home about and some of them will turn away PP holders if it gets too crowded. also depends on which airlines you fly frequently (for transferring MR or Chase points).
why dont you check out the Amex Surpass. for 95$ AF it gives you 10 Priority Pass lounge tickets and a pretty decent sign up bonus right now. I got 150k Hilton points sign up bonus.
At least, once or twice a year (roundtrips)...
not worth the AF on either card if you are only taking 2 international trips. even with 2 stops per flight, you'll probably have less than 10 lounge visits.
I don't have either card, but have spent a lot of time pondering them while developing my longterm strategy, and there are some X factors depending on someone's individual uses and needs for the cards. I can easily think of scenarios where someone with the right spending patterns would cover the Amex Platinum's annual fee with statement credits, making it an effectively a no-annual-fee 5x travel card that gives lounge access plus status with Hilton and Marriott. For me, it would be pretty difficult to use all of the credits (for example, I have never taken an Uber ride), so I'd end up with effectively about a $250 annual fee unless I distorted my spending patterns just to say I got all the credits. With CSR, there is an easy $300/year travel credit that anybody who travels at all will be able to use. Some people would be able to use it even if they don't travel, as it covers things like parking garage fees. That brings the effective annual fee down to $150 right off the bat. For me, if I had my choice of these two cards, I would go with CSR, but that's based on my profile/spending patterns, not the OP's.
To someone else's point, I wonder why the Citi Prestige is the Rodney Dangerfield of this class of card, here. On paper, it seems like a really strong contender. I am also interested in it because I will be over 5/24 until summer 2021.
Prestige is a perfectly good card. 5x on flight and dining is an excellent earning even if you get only 1cpp. I would be fine with it if I don't have a business banking with chase and collected a bunch of chase cards.
Recently, citi killed a lot of trip insurance on its cards, that was a big knock on prestige.