Best Premium Credit Cards – Enjoy Luxury Benefits and Services

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Best Pick For: Premium Travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has just what a lot of travelers are looking for.

You’ll earn points on travel and dining, which go well together. The transfer partners are extensive and always at a 1:1 rate. That means you can move your rewards to quite a few airlines and hotels where they may have better value.

If you don’t want to deal with that, you can get a 50% bonus (for 1.5 cents per point) by redeeming for travel purchases through Chase’s own booking service, via the Ultimate Rewards program.

The Sapphire Reserve’s perks are solid too. You’ll get a complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck® fee credit, which are pretty standard for premium cards. There’s a $300 travel credit, which takes a big chunk out of the annual fee. And you’ll get primary auto insurance for rental vehicles, an unassuming but powerful benefit that could save you a lot of cash if you have an accident in a rental.

Runners-Up

  • American Express Platinum Card®
  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card
  • HSBC Elite World Elite Mastercard®

Luxury Perks

The American Express Platinum Card®

Spending a lot of time in airports and hotels can be a hassle, but there’s a way to reduce the stress. Imagine relaxing in an airport lounge and then enjoying upgraded hotel status. Now, that could really help take the edge off.

That’s exactly what you can do with the American Express Platinum Card®. You’ll get the best airport lounge offer available on any card. The offer includes the usual Priority Pass Select membership, which is all that most cards offer, along with access to Amex’s Centurion Lounges and International Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and several more.

When you arrive at the airport, your Uber VIP status and monthly credit (more perks of the card) can help you get to your hotel. And once you’re at the hotel, Hilton Honors Gold or Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status can provide point bonuses, room upgrades and free breakfast (depending on the hotel brand).

All that and more can be yours, for a yearly fee that might seem steep, but could be justified for frequent travelers.

Runners-up

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card
  • American Express Business Platinum Card®
  • City National Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card

Capital One Travel Lounges

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One has its own airport lounge brand and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card gets you in for free.

Cardholders get unlimited access to Capital One Travel lounges, with up to two free guests. Every guest after that has a reduced price of $45 per visit. Capital One Travel lounges include amenities like high-speed WiFi, quick food, dining stations, fully stocked bars, cycling and yoga rooms and shower suites.

The rewards are not bad, although you’ll have to make use of Capital One’s travel service to get the most from them.

Premium Dining

American Express® Gold Card

There aren’t many high-end dining credit cards — usually dining comes second to travel. But the American Express® Gold Card puts food first, with a variety of perks to entice your taste buds.

You’ll get excellent rates for dining, including Uber Eats. Plus you get access to U.S. supermarkets to help fill in the gaps. There are also some handy dining and Uber Eats credits, although these will really just serve to help offset the annual fee (limits apply).

There are also some airline rewards and travel benefits, but serious travelers will probably want a more focused travel rewards card.

The Amex Gold could be a great card to travel with, as an easy payment solution for all things dining. Just keep in mind that Amex doesn’t have the best acceptance outside the U.S., although the situation is improving. So you may want a Visa or Mastercard as backup for foreign travel.

Runner up

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

Hilton Stays

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

It’s simple — if you stay in Hilton hotels often, you should consider a co-branded Hilton credit card. And if you’re a big spender, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card might be the right pick.

You’ll get a heady selection of benefits every time you book – like Hilton Honors Diamond status so you can earn more points, snag room upgrades and enjoy free breakfast. There’s a free weekend night each year, $500 in airline/resort statement credits and a $100 property credit you can use each time you book a qualifying two-night stay at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties.

Runners-Up

  • American Express Platinum Card®
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Stays

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card packs a punch.

As soon as you become a cardholder you’ll be bumped up to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. That means you get a nice point bonus and quality-of-life upgrades like late checkout, enhanced WiFi and literal room upgrades. You even get 15 Elite Night Credits to help you reach the next level – Platinum Elite.

The other perks are pretty standard for an expensive hotel card: a decent annual credit to help offset the annual fee, a free night each year which could be quite valuable and airport lounge access to help make your trips more comfortable all around.

If you enjoy the many locations and services at Marriott Bonvoy properties, the Brilliant card might be the perfect way to save a bit of money and have a better time while you’re at it.

Runners-Up

  • American Express Platinum Card®
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

Delta Air Lines

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

High-end airline cards aren’t typically as impressive as their hotel counterparts, but they can still give you a fair bang for your buck if you use them enough.

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the premium Delta offer. Like almost all airline cards, it still only offers 2X miles for flights. That’s in addition to the miles you’d normally earn, so it’s a bit of a boost, but not as much as you might expect.

This card offers complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs, which are regarded pretty highly. But it got even better recently when it started providing access to Amex’s Centurion Lounges as well. That’s not something you’ll get with other airline cards, which gives the Delta Reserve a nice advantage.

The other big perk is the annual companion certificate, which can be pretty valuable as it’s good for Domestic First Class. Overall, it’s still worth checking out all the Delta credit cards before making a decision.

Runner up

  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

United Airlines

United Club℠ Infinite Card

Ever walk by a United Club lounge and gaze enviously at the lucky people inside? The United Club℠ Infinite Card might have just what you need to sit inside with them.

Cardholders get a complimentary lounge membership with up to two guests for free during each visit. Most expensive airline cards give access to their associated lounge brands, so no big surprise there.

Most of the other benefits are good but nothing unusual, like priority check-in and security screening, and free first and second checked bags. You’ll also get some hotel perks to help out once you reach your destination, including World of Hyatt Discoverist status and access to Chase’s Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. And your Hertz President’s Circle elite status can make sure you always ride in style.

Runner Up

  • United Club℠ Business Card

Unlimited Priority Pass™ Guests

Mastercard® Black Card™

Runner Up

  • Mastercard® Gold Card™

Business Travel

American Express Business Platinum Card®

The American Express Business Platinum Card® is the business version of the consumer Amex Platinum card. It’s similar in a lot of ways, with some differences that could make it more effective for small business owners.

You’ll get some great benefits for travel, including airport lounge access and elite hotel status. Business-specific perks include credits for Dell, Adobe, Indeed and monthly wireless services.

Runners-Up

  • American Express® Business Gold Card
  • Brex Card (paid daily)
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
  • Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
  • United Club℠ Business Card

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the most expensive credit card you can apply for?

The Mastercard® Gold Card™ is the most expensive card you can actually apply for, at $995 per year.

We typically recommend other cards over that one. You can get better rewards and perks for a smaller fee with other cards. Check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the American Express Platinum Card® if you want luxury benefits, like airport lounge access and complimentary services.

Some other invitation-only cards you may not be able to get right now include the fabled American Express Centurion® Card that costs $5,000 per year. And that’s after an initiation fee of $10,000! A few similar cards are out there, but with significantly smaller costs.

What’s the least expensive premium credit card?

“Premium” is in the eye of the beholder — most high-end cards cost more than $500 per year. There are a few that are a bit less expensive:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: $450 annual fee; extra rewards and complimentary services at Hilton properties
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: $450 annual fee; bonus points and enhanced membership with Marriott Bonvoy

What’s the most prestigious credit card?

The most prestigious credit cards in the world — in terms of being the most exclusive — include the following invitation-only cards:

  • American Express Centurion® Card: $5,000 annual fee and $10,000 initiation fee. It’s rumored that you must spend $250,000 to $500,000 per year on Amex credit cards to get an invitation.
  • J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card: $595 annual fee; previously known as the Palladium card. You reportedly need $10 million in J.P. Morgan’s private bank for an invitation.
  • Citi Chairman American Express Card: The requirements aren’t publicly known, though you likely have to be a member of Citi’s private bank.
  • Dubai First Royale MasterCard: Trimmed in gold and faced with a .235-carat diamond, you’ll likely either need to be ultra wealthy or a member of the UAE royal family to qualify.
  • Stratus Rewards Visa: You only need to pay $1,500 per year for this fancy plastic, and it’s rumored to take only $100,000 in spending per year to get noticed for an invitation.

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