March 02, 2020

7 Best Premium (Luxury) Credit Cards for 2020

Credit Cards

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A premium credit card benefits some consumers based on their spending habits and preferences.

For other consumers, the high annual fee attached to the majority of these cards may not make it worth it.

What Is a Premium Credit Card?

A premium credit card is one with a high annual fee, but the tradeoff is that these often include the best available perks, including the rewards structure as well as additional benefits, such as travel-related perks.

What Perks Do They Come With?

While the specifics vary with the card itself, a premium credit card may include access to 24/7 or personal concierge services. For example, these cards might let you contact the concierge line and get tickets to VIP events or reservations at the hottest new restaurants. They can also organize travel, including air travel and hotel stays.

Concierge and personal assistant services can send flowers and gifts on your behalf as well.

Other perks will usually include access to exclusive airport lounges, extensive travel insurance, and coverage when you’re renting cars.

The high reward rates are often paired with excellent redemption options on prestigious credit cards.

Are They Hard to Get?

Premium credit cards, as you might think, tend to be difficult to qualify for. Card companies often want consumers who not only have excellent credit but who are also big spenders.

You don’t always have to pay off your balance every month with luxury credit cards, but for some you do.

What’s the Downside?

Along with being difficult to qualify for, the main downside with premium credit cards is the annual fees. The annual fees are usually no lower than $250 and they can be upwards of $450.

With annual fees this high, even if you qualify for a premium card and you want the status that you feel comes with it, you need to crunch the numbers carefully. You have to ensure that the perks are not only going to justify the annual fee but that you’re going to be taking full advantage of those perks.

Otherwise, it may be best for you to apply for a more basic cash back or travel card.

When It Makes Sense to Get a Premium Card

There are a few scenarios in particular when it might make sense to get a premium card.

You Spend a Lot

If you spend a lot on your card, whether it’s in your personal life or for your business, a premium card can start to pay for itself pretty quickly. If you pay off your balance each month, even better.

You’re going to be spending the money anyway, and if you don’t carry a balance, you don’t have to pay interest, but you’re getting the rewards attached to the card.

You’re a Frequent Traveler

Most premium credit cards are geared toward travelers. Being able to go into airport lounges for free can be appealing when you spend a lot of your time in airports, for example. It also becomes easier to rack up travel-related points when you travel often, with the big redemption bonuses and other perks of premium cards.

You Want Or Need a High Credit Limit

Premium cards tend to have higher credit limits than standard credit cards since these are products targeted at high-income consumers. If you make big purchases regularly, a premium card can be a good option for you from a rewards standpoint but also because you won’t have to worry about going over your limit.

When It Doesn’t Make Sense to Get a Premium Card

What about those scenarios where a premium card won’t make sense for you?

You Don’t Travel Much

If you don’t travel much, it’s almost always the case that a premium card isn’t for you since the best perks on these cards are almost always related to travel.

You Carry a Revolving Balance

Since these cards are often targeted toward those consumers who are going to pay their balance in full each month, if this isn’t you, be cautious. The interest rate can be very high on premium cards, so you could end up paying not only a lot as far as that goes, but you also have to think about the annual fee.

You Have a Hard Time Controlling Your Spending

If you’re someone who doesn’t do well with managing your spending, you might want to skip the premium credit card. The nature of these cards with their big rewards and high limits can entice you to spend more than you would ordinarily, and you might find yourself in a tough situation.

You might also try to spend to absorb the annual fee, and again, that could lead you to spend outside of what you should be.

7 Best Premium Credit Cards

The following are the best premium credit cards right now, along with the features of each that make it a viable option if you’ve done the math and decided premium is the way to go for you.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for Foodies
    • Basics: The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best luxury credit cards with 3X points on travel and dining purchases, including airfare, hotels, fine dining and cafes. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases, and enjoy 50% more in travel redemption when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards. As an example, if you had 50,000 points and booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, it would be worth $750 in travel. The annual fee is $550 and $75 for each authorized user.
    • Pros: The redemption options associated with the Chase Sapphire Reserve are among the best out there for travel. There’s a 50% bonus for any travel rewards you redeem through Chase, and you can maximize this if you combine points you accrue with other Chase cards. There’s a 1:1 transfer rate for airline points, and there are no point limits. The card includes a $300 travel credit, a relatively generous sign-up bonus, and Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access. There’s a $300 annual travel credit as well, so you can see how you’d fairly justify the annual fee with this card if you’re a frequent traveler. The card comes with a $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck application credit every four years too. There’s currently a rewards promotion so you can earn 10 points per dollar on Lyft through March 2022, you receive a $60 Door Dash Credit for 2020 and 2021, and there are trip cancellation and interruption insurance included as a benefit.
    • Cons: You’ll need excellent credit to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the annual fee is $550 a year.
    • WELCOME OFFER

      50,000 points with $4,000 spend within first three months from opening account. Since 50,000 points is worth approximately $750 when they are redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, this results in an 18.75% return on spend from the bonus alone.

    • ANNUAL FEE

      $550. This sounds steep, but keep in mind the perks whose value will easily exceed the annual fee if you use them all.

    • PERKS

      • $300 travel credit sign-up bonus
      • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ once every four years
      • No foreign transaction fee
      • Priority Pass lounge access
      • One year of complimentary Lyft Pink
      • Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash
      • 50% bonus for any travel rewards redeemed through Chase, can be combined with points from other Chase cards
      • $300 travel credit per year
      • 1:1 transfer rate for airline points, and no point limits
      • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

The Platinum Card From American Express

  • The Platinum Card from American Express: Best for Perks
    • Basics: The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best premium credit cards, and it’s also one of the most prestigious. Earn 5X Membership Rewards Points on flights booked with American Express Travel and directly with airlines and 5X Membership Rewards on hotels booked through Amex Travel.
    • Pros: With 5X points on travel purchases made through American Express Travel, the Platinum Card is one of the best travel cards available. The rewards are paired with a $200 airline fee credit, TSA Precheck or Global Entry Application credits, and as a cardholder, you’re part of the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program. You can receive free benefits with an average total value of $550, which is the equivalent of the annual fee. Cardholders are part of the elite and exclusive American Express Global Lounge Collection with more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries including The Centurion Lounge. The Global Lounge Collection is the only lounge program with proprietary locations globally. There’s also an Uber Rides with Platinum benefit that will get you VIP Status with the rideshare company and $15 a month in Uber Cash for U.S.-based rides and a $20 annual bonus for up to $200 a year.
    • Cons: The annual fee for the Platinum Card from American Express is $550, there are limits on the airline fee credit and outside of travel-related spending, the rewards rate is relatively low.
    • WELCOME OFFER

      60,000 points with $5,000 spend within first three months from opening account. Since 60,000 points is worth approximately $600 when they are redeemed for travel through Amex Travel, this results in a 12% return on spend from the bonus alone.

    • ANNUAL FEE

      $550. Yes, this is tied with the Chase Sapphire Reserve for the highest annual fee among cards on this list, but you will get more than $550 of value if you use all the perks annually.

    • PERKS

      • Up to $200 airline fee credit per year
      • Fine Resorts and Hotels Program: free benefits average total value of $550 at over 1,000 properties worldwide
      • $20 annual bonus with Uber up to $200 a year plus a VIP Status
      • $15 a month in Uber Cash for US-based rides
      • Up to $100 credit once every four years for Global Entry or up to $85 for TSA Pre✓ once every four and a half years
      • Up to $100 hotel credit per year
      • Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit per year
      • Exclusive access to American Express Global Lounge Collection with more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries
      • Priority Pass, Delta, and Centurion lounge access
      • Hilton Honors Gold Status
      • No foreign transaction fee

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card: Best Premium Airline Card
    • Basics: If you’re a regular Delta flyer looking for a premium card, consider the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. Earn 3X miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and 2X miles for every dollar spent on other purchases. With Status Boost, you can earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles with $30,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to four times a year which can bring you closer to Medallion Status.
    • Pros: The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card earns 3X miles on every dollar you spend with Delta purchases and also helps you get closer to Medallion Status. Card membership includes a Companion Certificate in a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+ or Main Cabin seat. The companion certificate is round-trip and becomes available each year you renew your card. Get Upgrade Priority as a Medallion Member, your first checked bag free and Priority Boarding even when you’re in the Main Cabin. Gain access to complimentary upgrades, concierge service, and 20% cashback on in-flight purchases. The card boasts an MDQ Waiver, and complimentary Delta SkyClub Access and two one-time guest passes a year, as well as complimentary Centurion Lounge Access. Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs if you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account and you can earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles at your card renewal. On Delta flights, there are no blackout dates and as long as your account is active every 12 months, Miles don’t expire.
    • Cons: Beyond the annual fee of $550, with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card, most of the downsides are related to booking flights. For example, if you book tickets on partner airlines there may be fuel surcharges and sometimes there are direct fees for airline tickets to European countries. There is also a 75,000-mile limit for each reservation and you need at least 12,500 points for redemption.
    • WELCOME OFFER

      80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles with $5,000 spend within first three months from opening account plus 20,000 bonus miles after first anniversary of opening account. Since 80,000 miles are worth approximately $800, this results in a 26.66% return on spend from the bonus alone, plus the 20,000 additional bonus miles after one year.

    • ANNUAL FEE

      $550

    • PERKS

      • Companion Certificate becomes available each year you renew your card
      • No foreign transaction fee
      • 20% cashback on in-flight purchases
      • First checked bag free (Delta flights only)
      • Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding (Delta flights only)
      • 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year
      • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ every four years
      • Complimentary Delta Sky Club access and two one-time guest passes a year
      • Complimentary Centurion Lounge access if you book your Delta flight on the card
      • Up to 100,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs earned if you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account and an additional 20,000 bonus miles at your card renewal
      • No blackout dates on Delta flights as long as your is active every twelve months
      • Miles don't expire

Hilton Honors Aspire

  • Hilton Honors Aspire: Best Premium Hotel Card
    • Basics: The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express features 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases with the card at properties that are in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on purchases, including flights booked with Amex Travel or directly with airlines, car rentals booked directly from the rental company and U.S. restaurants. All other purchases earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points.
    • Pros: For Hilton loyalists, there is no better premium card. The 14X bonus points on Hilton spending and the 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights, car rentals, and U.S. restaurants are excellent, and the 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on everything else is appealing as well. You get complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status with the card, which includes Hilton-specific points like 100% extra Bonus Points on the Base Points earned, room upgrades and more. The card includes one weekend night free every year and an additional night with $60,000 in spending in a calendar year. Get $250 in statement credits each year for purchases a Hilton Resorts. The card boasts a $250 airline fee credit for incidental charges and Priority Pass Select membership offering access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.
    • Cons: There is an inflation of Hilton points, so they’re not worth the same as most other points from loyalty programs, and you can only redeem your points for travel through the program website. Transfer options to partners are low-value. If you’re going to redeem for anything outside of Hilton stays, you’re not going to get much value from this premium card.
    • WELCOME OFFER

      150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership

    • ANNUAL FEE

      $450

    • PERKS

      • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond Status
      • Weekend night rewards
      • $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit every year
      • $250 Airline Fee Credit every year
      • Priority Pass Select Membership
      • No foreign transaction fee

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

  • The Business Platinum Card From American Express: Best Premium Business Card
    • Basics: Often a premium business card can make sense because you’re going to likely be spending quite a bit on a business card anyway. The Business Platinum Card from American Express is especially valuable if you travel for work, with 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels books through Amex Travel. Earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more and get 35% points back when they’re used for eligible flights. Earn 1X points for every dollar on other eligible purchases.
    • Pros: If you travel often, the 5X Membership Points on flights and hotels will likely be your biggest perk of the Business Platinum Card. If you make large purchases, you’ll find the 50% bonus on purchases of $5,000 or more a great perk, and you get a portion of your points back when you redeem for flights. The card includes a $200 Airline Fee Credit when you select qualifying airlines. Get credits up to $200 per calendar year for baggage fees and other incidentals. The card comes with membership in the American Express Global Lounge Collection including The Centurion Lounge, the International American Express Lounges and partners like the Delta Sky Club. There are no foreign transaction fees and you receive a statement credit every four years when you apply for Global Entry or every 4 ½ years for TSA PreCheck. If you book through Fine Hotels & Resorts, you get complimentary benefits like room upgrades, and you’re upgraded to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status without having to meet stay requirements. You also get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status. Connect with Platinum Travel Counselors who can create customized itineraries and recommendations every time you travel.
    • Cons: The annual fee is $595, and since the Business Platinum is a charge card, you’re expected to pay your balance in full each month. The rewards rate on non-travel spending is lacking as well, at 1X point per dollar.
    • WELCOME OFFER

      Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points with $15,000 in spending during the first three months

    • ANNUAL FEE

      $595

    • PERKS

      • 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1,000,000 additional points per year
      • 35% points back when you redeem for flights, up to 500,000 bonus points per year
      • Up to $200 airline fee credit per calendar year
      Membership in the American Express Global Lounge Collection including The Centurion Lounge
      •Up to $100 credit every four years for Global Entry or up to $85 for TSA Pre✓ every four and a half years
      • Complimentary Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits
      • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
      • Hilton Honors Gold Status
      • No foreign transaction fee

Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

  • Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard: Best for Frequent American Airlines Flyers
    • Basics: The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is one of the best premium credit cards for frequent American Airlines flyers. It includes 2 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases with American Airlines and 1 AAdvantage mile for every dollar spent on other purchases. Earn 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after spending $40,000 in the first year and save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases made with American Airlines.
    • Pros: Along with 2X points on American Airlines purchases and 10,000 EQMs with $40,000 in spending during the first year, the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard includes Admirals Club membership. Admirals Club membership gains you access to more than 50 lounges around the world and includes up to two guests or immediate family members. Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every five years to reimburse you for your Global Entry or Precheck application fee. At airports where available, you’ll get priority check-in, priority screening and boarding privileges for yourself and up to eight companions on your reservation. There’s no limit on the miles you can earn and American Airlines has an extensive number of partner airlines. You can also take advantage of MileSAAver awards to maximize your redemptions.
    • Cons: With the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, there are some awards with blackout dates, and there are fees for some award redemptions and cancellations. You’ll also be charged a fee if you book award travel over the phone.
    • WELCOME OFFER

      50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles with $5,000 in purchases after the first three months of account opening

    • ANNUAL FEE

      $450

    • PERKS

      • Admirals Club Membership including up to two guests for family members
      • TSA Precheck or Global Entry statement credit up to $100 once every five years
      • Enhanced airport experience — priority check-in, priority screening, and boarding privileges for you and up to eight companions on your reservation
      • 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights
      • No foreign transaction fee

Mastercard Gold Card

  • Mastercard Gold Card: Best to Impress Your Friends (and Not Much Else)
    • Basics: The Mastercard Gold Card is one of those premium cards that’s fully branded as being perfect for luxury-lovers. There’s a whopping $995 annual fee and you earn one point for every dollar spent. There’s a 2% value for airfare redemptions so as an example, with 50,000 points you could get a $1,000 airline ticket on any airline without seat restrictions or blackout dates. There’s also a 2% value for cashback redemption, and cashback can be directly deposited into a bank account or applied as a statement credit.
    • Pros: Beyond the fact that the Mastercard Gold Card looks great, there are a few perks that come with it. The card is part of the Luxury Card Travel Program, which includes a range of travel services. The card includes a Priority Pass Select membership and access to Luxury Card Experiences, which are curated experiences across a range of interests. Card concierge services are available 24/7 and you get an annual $200 annual airline credit. The Mastercard Gold Card also comes with an application credit of up to $100 for TSA Precheck and Global Entry.
    • Cons: The annual fee of $995 is extraordinarily high, even for a luxury card. The Mastercard Gold Card also tends to have more flash than actual substance, as there are other premium credit cards with much better perks. It’s also the only card on this list without a signup bonus.
    • WELCOME OFFER

      None

    • ANNUAL FEE

      $995 and $295 for each Authorized user

    • PERKS

      • Metal, gold-plated card
      • 24/7 luxury concierge access
      • $200 annual airline credit every year
      • Up to 100$ application credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
      • Priority Pass Select membership
      • No foreign transaction fee

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Ashley Sutphin Watkins

Ashley is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill where she studied journalism. She has worked as a journalist, content creator, and copywriter for nearly a decade, with a focus on personal finance, real estate, and healthcare. She now lives in Knoxville with her husband and young kids. During her free time, she enjoys traveling and enjoying the outdoors in East Tennessee.

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