Luxury credit cards offer a fast track to elite status, especially for professionals who can funnel both household purchases and reimbursable business expenses through a single account. Living the high life doesn't have to mean shelling out top dollar on travel, though. With excellent credit and the ability to push thousands of dollars in transactions through a single credit card every month, you can expect benefits that include:
- no foreign transaction fees,
- direct access to dedicated customer-service advisers,
- flexibility with spending limits and available credit,
- travel bonuses and airport privileges, and
- booking privileges at cardholder-exclusive resorts.
Although the five accounts that made our hot list might not always bill themselves as luxury credit cards, they each include essential tools and rewards for cardholders who love to work hard and play harder.
The Platinum Card from American Express
Although American Express reserves many of its most lavish member perks for its Centurion Card, carrying their black card can cost several thousand dollars per year in membership fees. For far less money, you can use a luxury credit card that many corporate leaders and their families rely on every day: The Platinum Card from American Express.
This card's added benefits can earn back far more than its $450 annual fee. For instance, you can claim up to $200 per year in baggage fees and incidental airline charges when you enroll and select a qualifying airline. You'll gain access to more than 600 participating airport lounges, when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select. Plus, your Platinum Card Concierge can get you reservations at hot restaurants, tickets to events, and rooms at some of the world's most exclusive resorts. With Premium Access you can get exclusive access to unique experiences from special entry to food festivals to VIP packages at concerts.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Like American Express, Chase maintains its own ultra-luxury credit card, the J.P. Morgan Palladium Card. However, it's only available to private banking customers with accounts holding millions of dollars in deposits. Fortunately, an excellent credit score can earn you an invitation to a card with many of the same benefits: the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Along with generous rewards bonuses and significant discounts on reward travel, Chase Sapphire Preferred members can transfer rewards points to many popular frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. Chase's service advisers have earned a reputation for pulling off some highly customized, luxurious travel experiences for cardholders, even on short notice.
Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard
The concierges that staff the phone lines for World Elite MasterCard customers claim that "no request is too big or too small," no matter where in the world your travels take you. Imagine what you'd have to pay to hire a personal assistant and you'll put this card's $450 annual fee into perspective.
You'll enjoy Admirals Club access for yourself and immediate family members, a perk that would normally cost up to $825 on its own. Citi Price Rewind can track your major purchases and refund any difference if the price drops by more than $25 over 30 days. Bonus miles and special travel rewards on American Airlines can enable your jet-set lifestyle with no mileage cap and free checked bags throughout the year.
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
After your first $2,500 in purchases, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card treats you to two weekend-night certificates redeemable for a standard room at participating Hilton hotels and resorts in 90 countries. You'll earn an additional certificate every year you spend more than $10,000 on the card.
Your Visa Signature concierge can help you time your travel to coincide with member-exclusive events that celebrate fine wine and food at relaxing destinations. While you're away from home, you'll enjoy automatic Hilton HHonors Gold Status, and an easy path to earn Diamond Status with routine purchases.
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature
Like other Visa Signature cards, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card includes access to around-the-clock concierges who can arrange access to exclusive travel and entertainment experiences. However, this card includes a unique way to treat yourself while helping others: triple rewards points on charitable donations charged to the card.
This card's other twist involves stacking up all of your purchases by category every month, then doubling points on all of that category's purchases. It's an unusual approach that rewards cardholders with atypical purchasing patterns. If you tend to lump most of your travel or your major purchases into just one part of the year, this card can help you maximize your earnings potential.
Selecting the best luxury credit card for your lifestyle
If you travel to Europe often, you might prefer a card that includes an embedded EMV chip. Look for opportunities to earn bonus rewards by issuing additional cards to family members. Most of all, call your card's concierge hotline and ask them for advice on how to maximize your earnings. With competition for quality customers at an all-time high, they're happy to explain how you can get the most benefits from your membership.