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Best premium credit cards for luxury perks of November 2020

Travel credits, airport lounge access and elite access help these cards rise to the top. CardRatings editors compare the best luxury credit cards for both personal and business needs.
Brooklyn Lowery, CardRatings Senior Manager Last Updated, November 19, 2020

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers (terms apply) from our partners. How we make money.

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LIST OF WINNERS

You don't have to be a millionaire to travel like one. That's thanks to the growing number of premium credit cards that offer a wide range of luxury perks and features to qualifying cardholders. From concierge services to fee credits for your travel purchases to complimentary airport lounge access and, of course, excellent rewards-earning possibilities, these credit cards from our partners offer members access to an elite world of luxury travel. Plus the options extend beyond credit cards for individuals to credit cards for small business owners, making traveling for business just a little more comfortable and rewarding. 

You'll need an excellent credit history and score to qualify for these cards, and the annual fees in some cases might make you shy away, but if you're a frequent traveler with a taste for the finer things in life, those fees can oftentimes be worth it. Continue on for our top picks for the best luxury credit cards.

BEST PREMIUM CREDIT CARD FOR POINT REDEMPTION VALUE

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Frequent travelers will appreciate that this card not only offers three points per $1 spent on airline purchases, but also on travel related expenses from taxi rides to hotel stays, and greater still, on dining purchases as well. Plus, users also receive a $300 credit each year for reimbursement for travel. Pair this with a $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit and the cost of airport lounge access (which is complimentary with this card), and suddenly, the annual fee cost doesn't seem so bad. Oh, and did we mention that points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®? Overall, the value of this card is hard to beat.

The Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 with your card in the first three months from account opening. Your points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, making the bonus alone worth $750 towards travel.

Annual Fee: $550; $75 for each additional authorized user

The Rewards: Three points per $1 on worldwide dining and on your travel, from airfare and hotels to taxis and trains, after you reach the $300 travel reimbursement each year; three points on dining worldwide; and one point on all other purchases.

Luxury Perks: Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee; access to 1,000-plus airport lounges worldwide after a one-time enrollment in Priority Pass Select™; special car rental privileges from National Car Rental, Avis and Silvercar; special benefits during your stay with the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection; and access to a Visa Infinite Concierge who can help with things like dinner reservations or Broadway, music, and sporting event ticket bookings.

PROS:

  • With this card, you’ll earn three points for each $1 you spend on airline purchases and other travel related expenses, after the $300 annual reimbursement for travel charges. You'll also earn three points per $1 on dining.
  • Other valuable benefits include a $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit and airport lounge access which can make traveling more comfortable and is covered by the card.
  • This card offers new cardholders a bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points after your spend $4,000 with the card in the first three months of account opening. Plus, if you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, they’re worth 50% more, so that bonus could be worth $750.

CONS:

  • This card has a $550 annual fee, which can get costly if you aren’t getting enough out of the travel benefits and rewards program.
  • Although this is a popular premium travel card, some of the rewards might be valued lower than those offered by cards with similarly high annual fees. A lot of this depends on how you like to use your rewards. If redeeming rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, this value is hard to beat.

Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review.

BEST PREMIUM CREDIT CARD FOR DINING OUT

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Unlike many credit cards with luxury perks, the American Express® Gold Card doesn't come with a super-expensive annual fee. This card not only offers users a chance to easily rack up Membership Rewards® points, but it also offers a number of great luxury perks which easily make the fee worth the cost. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months.

Annual Fee: $250

The Rewards: Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide; 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X); 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com; and 1X point on everything else. Additionally, you can earn up to $10 total in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Boxed, Ruth's Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.

Luxury Perks: Up to a $100 annual statement credit to cover incidental fees on a pre-selected airline (expires 2021), plus other elite shopping and travel benefits.

PROS:

  • You can earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). You can also earn 3X points on flights you book directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • This card also offers up to a $100 annual statement credit that you can use to cover incidental fees on a pre-selected airline. (Please note, this offer expires in 2021.)
  • New cardholders can earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards® points once spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with the card within the first six months.
  • Earn up to $10 total in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Boxed, Ruth's Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations.

CONS:

  • This card has a much smaller annual fee of $250 but it’s still higher than the annual fees you’ll find on many other credit cards, some that offer excellent restaurant and supermarket rewards. You’ll need to calculate your spending in the bonus categories as well as the benefits the card offers to determine if it will be worth it to you.
  • This is a charge card, which means you can’t carry a balance. There is a "Pay Over Time" option for some purchases, but you should still think of this card as one you'll need to pay off in full every month. That could be considered a Pro if you need that kind of restriction to keep you paying off your card regularly.

Read our full American Express® Gold Card review.

 

COMPARE MORE

See our picks for the top credit cards for dining out for more great options.


BEST PREMIUM CREDIT CARD FOR AIR TRAVEL

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: To start, five points earned for each $1 spent on airline purchases directly with airlines and on flight purchases and hotel stays booked through American Express Travel is a great perk for frequent travelers; however, the benefits don't stop there. While the annual fee price tag might seem steep at first, the plethora of luxury perks associated with this card quickly outweigh the cost. With up to $200 in annual Uber savings, a $200 airline fee credit with a pre-selected airline, a credit for your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee, the annual fee easily pays for itself, and we've only even just got started with the long list of luxury perks that are offered with this card.

The Bonus: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership. 

Annual Fee: $550; $175 for up to three additional authorized users

The Rewards: Earn 5X points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express travel (starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year); 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com; 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership; and one point per $1 on everything else.

Luxury Perks: Up to $200 in annual Uber savings with a $15 Uber credit each month, plus a $20 bonus in December; annual $200 airline fee credit with a pre-qualifying airline of your choice; fee reimbursement for your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application; complimentary membership in premium car rental programs, including special upgrades and discounts; platinum concierge services for assistance with things like reservations or ticket purchases; and a number of other elite shopping and travel benefits.

PROS:

  • This card awards five points for each $1 you spend on airline purchases directly with airlines as well as on American Express Travel flight purchases and hotel stays.
  • It also offers a ton of valuable luxury benefits such as a $200 airline fee credit you can use with a pre-selected airline of your choice, up to $200 in annual Uber savings and a credit for your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee.
  • New cardholders can earn a bonus of 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 with the card in the first six months from account opening.

CONS:

  • You can’t ignore the $550 annual fee. If you don’t use the luxury perks that are offered or if you don’t travel often, the annual fee might be too much of an expense.
  • This is a charge card, which means you’ll need to pay the balance in full each month. If you need to carry a balance from month to month, you’ll need to look for a credit card instead of a charge card.
  • As an American Express card, it isn't as widely accepted, especially internationally, as a Visa or Mastercard. That said, the network is ever-growing so this might not be an issue for you.

Read our full The Platinum Card® from American Express review.

 

COMPARE MORE

For more options, check out our full list of the best airline rewards credit cards.


BEST PREMIUM CREDIT CARD FOR A VIP AIRPORT EXPERIENCE

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: A good choice for those loyal to the American Airlines brand, users of this card are sure to appreciate the easy points that can be racked up when making American Airlines ticket reservations, as well as a list of other perks such as Admirals Club® access, priority check-in, priority airport screening and boarding privileges, free first checked bags and a number of other benefits. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.

The Bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases with your card in the first three months from account opening. You will also earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within a year.

Annual Fee: $450

The Rewards: Earn two AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and one mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Luxury Perks: Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee reimbursement; Admirals Club® access (or a prorated refund of your Admirals Club® membership fee if you're already a member); priority check-in, priority airport screening and boarding privileges for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation; first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight travel companions traveling with you on the same reservation.

PROS:

  • As a new cardholder, you can earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases with your card in the first three months from account opening. You will also earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within a year.
  • Earn two miles for each $1 you spend on American Airlines purchases and one mile for each $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Other card benefits include Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee reimbursement, access to Admirals Club®, priority check-in and several other travel benefits.

CONS:

  • This card comes with a $450 annual fee, which for luxury cards isn’t out of the ordinary. However, you’ll still need to determine if you will get enough value out of the rewards programs and benefits for it to be worth it.
  • This luxury rewards card includes benefits and rewards exclusively for frequent American Airlines travelers. If you frequently travel with other airlines or prefer to shop around, you’ll likely get more out of a different travel card.

Read our full Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® review.

 

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BEST PREMIUM CREDIT CARD FOR HOTEL REWARDS

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: With brands like The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, JW Marriott, and W Hotels, Bonvoy offers a little something for every type of luxury traveler. Plus, there are a number of other hotels under the Bonvoy umbrella, like Sheraton, Westin, Aloft, and Courtyard, so this card is great for families and business travelers as well.

The Bonus:  New cardholders can up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021).

Annual Fee: $450

The Rewards: Earn 6X Bonvoy points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 3X points when you eat at U.S. restaurants or book a flight directly with airlines; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases.

Luxury Perks: Get up to a $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit every year when making eligible purchases at Marriott hotels and timeshares; enjoy a Free Night Award for a participating hotel each year on your account anniversary; Platinum Elite status for the 2021 year (offer expires 1/13/21); a $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit when you book a two-night minimum stay at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis to cover qualifying charges; access to Priority Pass Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 airport lounges in 130 countries; a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or a statement credit for up to $85 for TSA Pre✓®; and a number of other premium travel benefits.

PROS:

  • If you’re a fan of Marriott hotels – or any of the hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program, including Starwood and Ritz-Carlton properties – this card can help you earn rewards for free night stays as well as gain you access to a number of premium travel benefits.
  • There are so many premium travel benefits offered with this card that the annual fee almost becomes an afterthought. If you take advantage of the numerous perks this card offers, you should have no trouble offsetting its annual fee.
  • Don't overlook the welcome bonus. The opportunity to earn up to 125,000 points is huge. Depending on your travel destination and dates, the bonus alone could score you a couple free night stays.

CONS:

  • Of course, the annual fee is something to consider, but luxury benefits do come at a price.
  • This card offers the most valuable perks and benefits for people who frequently stay in Marriott Bonvoy hotels. If you prefer to switch it up sometimes in other hotel brands, or just whichever hotel has the best deal, you’ll want to look at a different travel rewards card.

Read our full Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card review.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

Like the benefits this card offers but prefer to stay at Hilton properties instead? The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card might be for you then. This card offers 150,000 Hilton Honors points to new cardholders who spend $4,000 within the first three months; a weekend night reward every year after card renewal; earns 14 points at participating Hilton hotels and resorts, seven points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on card rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants, and three points on all other purchases. Plus, enjoy complimentary Diamond status, up to $250 in statement credits each year to cover eligible purchases at Hilton resorts, and complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.

Check out our full list of the best hotel rewards credit cards for more great options.


BEST PREMIUM CARD FOR FIRST AND BUSINESS CLASS AIR TRAVEL

4
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: There are a lot of great perks to love with the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, such as the five points earned per $1 spent on flights and pre-paid hotels booked through amextravel.com, or even hotel upgrades and airline fee credits, but one of the features that stands out to us the most is when you use your rewards points to book a first class or business class flight with any airline available through American Express Travel, or when you book any class flight with your pre-selected qualifying airline, you'll get 35% of the points back. With this benefit, you can get up to 500,000 points back per calendar year, which in the end, could put a lot of money back in your pocket.

Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months of card membership. Plus, use your points to book a first class or business class flight with any airline available through American Express Travel and get 35% of the points back, or get 35% of the points back when you book any class flight with your pre-selected qualifying airline through amextravel.com. With this benefit, you can get up to 500,000 points back per calendar year.

Annual Fee: $595

The Rewards: Five points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels through amextravel.com and one point per $1 on all your other purchases. Additionally, you'll earn an extra half-point (or, 1.5 points) per $1 on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more.

Luxury Perks: Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit every four years; an annual $200 travel credit to use towards things like baggage or incidental fees with your pre-selected airline; access to a plethora of airport lounges around the world; complimentary benefits such as room upgrades, daily breakfast for two people, late check-out, complimentary Wi-Fi and a unique amenity, such as a food and beverage credit or a one-way private sedan transfer, when booking hotel stays through the Fine Hotels and Resorts group; Hilton Honors Gold Status benefits at stays within the Hilton Portfolio; access to platinum travel counselors who specialize in providing custom itineraries and tailored recommendations to help you make the most of your travels; access to premium seats for select cultural and sporting events; baggage insurance plans offering up to $3,000 in coverage; premium car rental privileges; and a number of other premium shopping and travel benefits and services. 

PROS:

  • You can earn five points for each $1 you spend on flights and pre-paid hotels booked with amextravel.com. You can also earn 35% of your points back if you book your flight with a pre-selected qualifying airline (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year.)
  • This card comes with a ton of luxury perks such as a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit every four years, an annual $200 travel credit for expenses with a pre-selected airline, airport lounge access, room upgrades, daily breakfast for two people when staying at particular hotels and many others.
  • New cardholders can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months of card membership.

CONS:

  • This card comes with a hefty annual fee of $595. If you don’t think you’ll be able to offset some or all of that fee with the benefits and rewards the card offers, you should consider using a card with a lower (or no) annual fee.
  • This card gives you the option to Pay Over Time for eligible purchases of over $100.

Read our full The Business Platinum Card® from American Express review

BEST PREMIUM CARD FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: If you spend a lot in one particular category, the American Express® Business Gold Card might be a good option for you. With this card, users can get 4x Membership Rewards® points on the two select categories where your business spends the most each month (4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year). This is a great feature for businesses who have high expenses in one area, as it truly allows for maximum point accumulation. Plus, this card also offers a number of great expense management tools such as a designated account manager, easy QuickBooks connection, and a detailed end-of-year account summary, making it a practical card to have on hand.

Welcome Offer: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of opening an account.

Annual Fee: $295

The Rewards: Get 4x Membership Rewards® points on the two select categories where your business spends the most each month (4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year). You also get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.

Luxury Perks: While the American Express® Business Gold Card does offer some great travel and shopping benefits like car rental loss and damage insurance, premium roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, baggage insurance plans, extended warranty, and purchase protection, this card is more so focused on offering users with great expense management tools, which truly makes it a great business card. Some of the featured perks include a designated account manager to access and manage your business card account; the American Express® Business App, which helps you to manage card expenses by allowing you to add receipts and notes to your transactions; easy connection to QuickBooks; account alerts; and a detailed year-end account summary. A flexible payment option can help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.

PROS:

  • This card charges a lower annual fee than it's Platinum cousin, which is nice if you want a luxury card and benefits without the higher annual fee.
  • This card awards 4x Membership Rewards® points on two select categories where your business spends the most each month up to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year. Other benefits include 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year, easy QuickBooks connection and detailed end-of-year account summaries.
  • New cardholders can earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of opening an account.

CONS:

  • This card has a lower annual fee of $295 but it’s still large enough that you’ll need to run the numbers and determine if you can offset this fee with the rewards and benefits offered.
  • Although this is a charge card, you can take advantage of a flexible payment option on purchases of $100 or more if needed; however, if you typically need to carry a balance, you might be better off with a business credit card instead of a charge card, and one with a lower or no annual fee.

Read our full American Express® Business Gold Card review.

 

Compare More

See our top picks for the best small business credit cards for more options.


BEST PREMIUM CARD FOR FREE COMPANION TRAVEL

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card offers a number of nice perks, such as complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club®, a Delta Comfort+® or main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon card renewal, and priority boarding, but what's fun about this card is that users easily have the ability to earn Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), which helps you reach new levels of Medallion Status, and subsequently, have access to even more benefits like waived fees, complimentary upgrades and more.

The Bonus: Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your new card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn toward flights.

Annual Fee: $550

The Rewards: Earn three miles on every $1 spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. After you spend $150,000 on your card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent(that's an extra half mile per $1) on eligible purchases the rest of the year. Eligible purchases after spending $150,000 do not include Delta purchases.

Luxury Perks: Complimentary Delta Sky Club® access and complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight (the eligible flight must be booked on a U.S. issued American Express card); priority boarding; a domestic first class, Delta Comfort+® or main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your card; your first checked bag free; baggage insurance plan; concierge services; and a number of other travel, shopping, and expense management perks.

PROS:

  • With this card, new cardholders earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months.
  • You also get a bunch of luxury travel perks such as complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club®, a Delta Comfort+® or main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year you renew, priority boarding and many others.
  • Earn three miles on every $1 spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. After spending $150,000 on your card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases the rest of the year.

CONS:

  • This card includes several luxury perks but it also has a fairly high annual fee of $550. It’s important to figure out if you can get enough value from the extras to justify the annual fee.
  • Most, if not all, of the luxury perks and benefits you get with this card are exclusive to Delta airlines. If you are not a frequent Delta flyer or you don’t travel enough to use these benefits, you’ll want to consider a different travel or business card.

Read our full Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card review.

BEST PREMIUM CREDIT CARD FOR VIP EXPERIENCES

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Even the name of this card screams elite credit card, and if the name isn't enough, the look should do it. Uniquely engineered with a stainless steel front and carbon back for durability and distinction, the Mastercard® Black Card™ comes with a long list of luxury perks that are sure to make its users feel special. From airline and hotel credits, to VIP airport lounge access, to premium gifts, this card offers it all. It even gives users access to things like plane and yacht charter services, personal chauffeurs, and invitation-only, luxury experiences. When it comes to premium credit cards, the Mastercard® Black Card™ certainly lends itself to a life of luxury.

Bonus: There's no traditional bonus with this card; however, the value of your points redemption when it comes to airfare is high at 2%. That means that every point is worth $.02 when redeemed for airfare. That's a higher redemption rate than what's typically offered.

Annual Fee: $495; $195 for each additional authorized user 

The Rewards: Earn one point for every $1 spent with 2% value for airfare redemptions and 1.5% value for cash back redemptions.

Luxury Perks: Annual $100 airline credit to be used towards flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, and upgrades; $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit; VIP access to 1,300+ airport lounges in more than 500 cities worldwide; luxury gifts from recognized brand names, given throughout membership; room upgrades, complimentary food and beverages and spa credits when booking hotel stays with your card; global luggage delivery services, which allow you to send your luggage ahead of time to nearly any destination worldwide to avoid the hassle of carrying, checking and claiming bags; competitive pricing and upgrades on premium car rentals; access to charter services, from flying by private jet to chartering a yacht; access to personal chauffeured services; 24/7 access to Luxury Card Concierge, a lifestyle management service tailored to your personal requirements, from booking an extravagant travel itinerary to sourcing hard-to-find gifts; access to invitation-only, luxury experiences such as court side seats, backstage passes, and dress rehearsal tickets; LUXURY MAGAZINE subscription; and a number of other elite shopping and travel benefits and services.

PROS:

  • This card comes with several luxury benefits you won’t get with other cards such as plane and yacht charter services, personal chauffeurs and invitation-only experiences.
  • It offers a higher than normal rate of 2% rewards when you redeem for airfare, which is also not typical of travel rewards cards.
  • Other luxury perks include an annual $100 airline credit, $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit, VIP airport lounge access, luxury gifts and many others.

CONS:

  • As with most luxury cards, this one has a higher annual fee of $495. However, it is slightly lower than some of the other luxury cards offering similar benefits and rewards.
  • There is no traditional bonus for new card members, which can sometimes get you started with new card right away and give you a better idea of whether the annual fee will be worth it.

Read our full Mastercard® Black Card™ review.

WHAT IS THE BEST PREMIUM CREDIT CARD?

If you travel often the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best premium credit cards you can own. This card features a number of invaluable perks such as complimentary lounge access and travel credits. Combine that with the fact that the points it earns are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, and you have a luxury travel card that's hard to beat. Plus, if you hold any other Chase-Ultimate-Rewards®-earning cards such as the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex℠ or Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards, you set yourself up for an excellent rewards earning strategy as points earned with these cards can all be pooled under your Chase Sapphire Reserve® account, and therefore be worth 50% more towards travel. For example, the Reserve® card only earns one point on "other" purchases, but the Freedom Unlimited® card earns 1.5% back on these purchases, so by using both of these cards simultaneously, you up the amount of points you stand to earn, and then by combining them under your Reserve® account, they're worth even more.

We all desire different things from our credit cards though, so what's the most glamorous and appropriate card for you might not be the most suitable card for the next person. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card for example offers a lot of valuable perks for frequent airline travelers, but its hotel rewards are limited. If you're constantly staying in hotels, you might prefer something like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which includes complimentary Diamond status– the highest Hilton status available. Diamond status offers cardholders a 100% bonus on base points earned, room upgrades, executive lounge access, and more. This card also offers a Weekend Night Reward and a $250 Hilton Resort statement credit. These are benefits that might be unbeatable for some travelers, and useless to others. Deciding on the best luxury credit card ultimately comes down to your spending and lifestyle habits. The best credit card will be the credit card you actually use, so when evaluating your options, make sure you'll actually utilize the perks available.

ARE LUXURY CREDIT CARDS WORTH THE ANNUAL FEE?

Luxury credit cards can carry a hefty annual fee, so if you travel infrequently or otherwise won't use the card benefits, you may be better off with a lower tier card that comes with no or a low annual fee.

However, frequent travelers may find that the benefits of a premium card easily outweigh the cost. Checked baggage fees add up, airport lounge access could cost hundreds, earning elite status can take years, etc. With the right credit card, these aren't things you'll have to worry about. Sure, you'll pay a fee for your credit card, but that will cover the cost of things you'd likely pay for anyway, and then you get so much more in addition to that, like bonus rewards on select spending, extended warranty protection, travel insurance, hotel discounts, access to card concierge services, and more.

There are also a number of premium cards with annual fees ranging from $95-$250. You may not get a full lounge membership with these cards, but you may get some lounge access, elite qualifying miles or nights, travel concierge service or statement credits for travel and dining.

To determine whether a premium card is worth the annual fee, add up the value of all the perks you could reasonably expect to use in a year and see whether they outweigh the cost.

DO YOU QUALIFY FOR THE MOST ELITE CREDIT CARDS?

The perks and features of these cards are certainly appealing, but it's important to note that these cards aren't for everyone. In fact, they probably aren't even for most people.

Before deciding to apply for one of these cards, make sure you have a firm grasp on your credit history and credit score. The reality is that you're going to need a stellar credit history to be approved for one of these cards – and applying for a credit card for which you won't be approved will do nothing more than ding your credit score.

If you like what you see here, but aren't ready for the larger-than-typical annual fees, that's okay. There are still some excellent travel rewards credit cards out there that don't come with massive annual fees. Plus, those cards, while you still need a healthy credit history to qualify, will likely not require quite the same income base that these luxury credit cards do.

So if you're enticed by the perks and features, but not ready to take the plunge for one of these cards, take a look instead at our picks for the best travel rewards credit cards. You could very well find your perfect credit card match there.

For rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: American Express® Gold Card (See Rates and Fees); American Express® Business Gold Card (See Rates and Fees); The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees); The Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees); Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (See Rates and Fees); Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (See Rates and Fees); Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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