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Credit cards are about much more than just borrowing; in fact, that’s not how I’d recommend you use your card. At a basic level, credit cards offer purchase and fraud protection, but premium credit cards go way beyond that. They come with all sorts of luxurious perks such as airport lounge access, hotel upgrades and rewards for dining out. The right credit card can offset the cost of your indulgences, so it’s perfect for living a luxury lifestyle – and that’s what we’re all about. Let’s take a look at the best premium credit cards you need to know about. I’ve also included one great option for beginners who want to learn the ropes of using a premium credit card before committing to one of the top-tier options.
I’m not talking about signature vs chip and pin. Abusing your premium credit card can get you into financial trouble, but if you follow these two simple rules you’ll be absolutely fine – and reaping your premium rewards before you know it.
Premium credit cards offer rewards points for eligible purchases. You usually get one point per dollar, but many cards offer extra earnings in certain areas, such as travel bookings and dining out. How much your points are worth depends on how you redeem them. Travel is often the most lucrative – and popular – way to spend your rewards but you can use them on pretty much whatever you want. The sky’s the (credit card) limit.
Perhaps the most iconic premium credit card of them all, the Amex Platinum comes with a wealth of rewards. This metal card adds some weight to your wallet and provides luxury travelers with lots of lavish perks that make a trip feel extra special. In fact, it has the most extensive lounge access of any premium credit card out there.
As standard, you’ll get 60,000 rewards points if you spend $5,000 or more on your credit card in the first three months. At certain times of the year, this number could be even higher. Each month there are usually a few special extras thrown in, such as Uber or Netflix credits.
15.99% to 22.99% variable.
Where do I start? The Platinum Card offers you complimentary access to over 1,200 airport lounges all over the world – and you can bring guests. You’ll have access to Centurion, International American Express, Delta Sky Club, Plaza Premium and Eurostar Business Premier Lounges. Whew!
In 2021, you’ll earn 5x rewards for airline bookings, whether they’re direct or through American Express Travel, as well as prepaid hotel reservations.
You’ll also enjoy Gold Status in the following hotel chains:
And if all this weren’t enough, you’ll get car rental upgrades and discounts, as well as free damage and theft cover – with a few conditions.
If I were to list every single Platinum Amex perk we’d be here all day – and you’d probably get really bored. Here are a few of the most fabulous:
$550 per year. Unsurprisingly, all of this doesn’t come cheap but for luxury travelers, it’s so worth the investment.
Doesn’t the name Sapphire Reserve just scream luxury? This is hands down one of the best premium credit cards out there.
As a welcome bonus, you’ll get 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of receiving your Sapphire Reserve card. If you choose to redeem these points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, this could be $750 worth of travel expenses.
16.99% to 23.99% variable.
You’ll enjoy $300 worth of travel credit per year, and no foreign transaction fees. You’ll earn triple points on dining and travel (after you’ve used your $300 travel credit). It’s also worth noting that your points are also worth 50% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This really is an excellent card for frequent and/or luxury travelers.
When you sign up for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll receive free enrollment in the Priority Pass Select program. This grants you access to over 1,000 VIP airport lounges in over 500 cities worldwide. Not quite as many as the American Express Platinum, admittedly, but you’ll enjoy credit at certain restaurants, which is usually enough to cover your bill.
You’ll also be treated to special benefits at over 1,000 luxury properties all over the world as part of Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
$550 per year. Again, not cheap but if you use your card strategically, you’ll get way more than your money’s worth in luxurious benefits.
MasterCard Black has a seriously impressive airfare redemption rate, so frequent flyers should listen up. At 22g, this stainless steel beauty also weighs more than most other cards out there which lends an undeniably luxurious feel every time you swipe.
MasterCard Black doesn’t offer a sign up bonus.
MasterCard Black offers 2% value for airfare redemptions, which is higher than the above premium credit cards. What this means is that your points are worth more when you spend them on travel. This card also has a 1.5% cash back rate which again, beats the competition. Although you don’t get a sign up bonus with the MasterCard Black, it could prove more lucrative in the long term.
You’ll also get $100 airline credit per year and, as with the Chase card, you’ll have Priority Pass Access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. Meanwhile, MasterCard’s Luxury Card Travel program provides you with perks, services and upgrades at over 3,000 hotels and resorts around the world. Not too shabby.
$495 per year and $195 per extra authorized user.
If you’re interested in a premium credit card but don’t have much experience in this area, the Gold Card is the perfect place to start. This card is easy to get the hang of and involves less of a financial commitment than the other cards I’ve talked about in this post. And hey, if you manage your Amex Gold Card well, you’ll feel confident enough for a Platinum in no time.
35,000 points when you spend over $4,000 on purchases using your Gold Card in the first six months.
15.99% to 22.99% variable.
You’ll earn 3x points when you make travel bookings through American Express Travel and there are no foreign transaction fees to worry about. You’ll also have peace of mind with baggage and car rental insurance.
In addition to this, when you book a two (or more) night stay at one of 600 Hotel Collection properties, you’ll get $100 credit to spend on select services. If the hotel has the capacity, you’ll also enjoy a complimentary room upgrade. Not bad.
$250 per year. Oh, and a quick heads up for those of you who live in the UK because over there, the first year is free.
Whichever one you decide to go for, the right premium credit card can really help you when it comes to travel; in fact, it’s one of my top common sense travel tips. And speaking of travel, why not check of this list of destinations to visit post-COVID?
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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