The location of Pt nanoparticles was studied in Pt/zeolite Y/γ-Al 2O 3 composite catalysts prepared by H 2PtCl 6 ⋅ 6H 2O (CPA) or Pt(NH 3) 4(NO 3) 2 (PTA) as Pt precursors. The aim of this study is to validate findings from Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) by using characterization techniques that sample larger amounts of catalyst per measurement. Quantitative X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) showed that the catalyst prepared with CPA led to a significantly higher Pt/Al atomic ratio than the catalyst prepared with PTA confirming that the 1-2 nm sized Pt nanoparticles in the former catalyst were located on the open and mesoporous γ-Al 2O 3 component, whereas they were located in the micropores of zeolite Y in the latter. By using infrared spectroscopy, a shift in the absorption band maximum of CO chemisorbed on Pt nanoparticles was observed, which can be attributed to a difference in electronic properties depending on the support of the Pt nanoparticles. Finally, model hydrogenation experiments were performed using β-phenylcinnamaldehyde, a reactant molecule with low diffusivity in zeolite Y micropores, resulting in a 5 times higher activity for the catalyst prepared by CPA compared to PTA. The combined use of these characterization techniques allow us to draw more robust conclusions on the ability to control the location of Pt nanoparticles by using either CPA or PTA as precursors in zeolite/γ-Al 2O 3 composite catalyst materials.