Premium credit cards have quite an allure. They promise terrific rewards programs, big welcome bonuses and high end perks that can make celebrities blush.
The problem however is that for all of the benefits they wave in front of you, there’s also a big annual fee. Can your budget handle a $450 fee every year?
Let’s take a look at five of the best premium credit cards on the market today. Each card has its own specific benefits but they also all share two things in common. First, every card is geared toward travelers and hotel stayers. If you’re not a frequent flyer, then these credit cards are simply not for you. Second, they all require the most excellent of credit for approval.
DoughRoller`s Best Premium Credit Cards of 2020
Chase Sapphire Reserve
New cardholders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Triple points are earned on all travel purchases and single points are earned on all other purchases. When you use your points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 50% more so that initial bonus can actually be worth $750.
The biggest perk of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is that every year, Chase offers a $300 travel credit. This credit can be applied to hotel stays, airline purchases or other travel related costs. I can tell you from personal experience that the process to receive the credit is seamless. You simply charge a travel purchase to your card and a few days after it posts, Chase will apply the credit.
Also included is Priority Pass Select membership which means airport lounge access and a refund of up to $100 for an application into Global Entry or TSA Pre Check.
The annual fee to own the Chase Sapphire Reserve is $550 and an additional $75 for each authorized user.
- Sign-up Bonus – 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in three months.
- Annual Fee – $550
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Nothing says status like Platinum and the Platinum Card® from American Express delivers. 60,000 Membership Rewards points are earned after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card ownership.
5x points are earned on all flights book directly with the airlines as well as prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com. 1x points are earned on all other eligible purchases.
On top of the welcome offer and rewards program, the Platinum Card® from American Express delivers the best travel perks in the industry. Each cardholder will receive a $200 airline fee credit, good for reimbursement of incidentals such as baggage fees and in-flight meals. Another $75 annual hotel credit is provided on qualifying hotel stay.
Also included is a perk not found anywhere else. American Express will provide a $15 monthly credit toward Uber rides, with a $20 credit awarded in December. You’ll also immediately become an Uber VIP without having to meet minimum ride requirements.
All of this and more can be yours for a steep annual fee of $550.
- Welcome Bonus – 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
- Annual Fee – $550
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
A new offer from American Express, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has a 150,000 bonus point welcome offer after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
The rewards program gets a little crazy with their multiples but here it goes. 14x points are earned per dollar spent on eligible purchases made on hotel stays within the Hilton portfolio. 7x points are earned on all flights booked directly with the airline or through AmexTravel.com as well as car rentals booked directly from car rental companies and at restaurants. 3x points are earned on all other purchases.
Added perks with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card are as follows:
- $250 annual airline fee credit for incidentals including baggage fees and upgrades.
- Two weekend night rewards every card year anniversary at participating Hilton hotels.
- $250 Hilton Resort annual statement credit.
- Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond Status. This means complimentary breakfast when available, 5th night free on Standard rooms and space-available room upgrades.
The annual fee on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is $450.
- Welcome Bonus – 100,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
- Annual Fee – $450
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
50,000 American Airlines bonus miles can be earned after spending $5,000 in purchases during the first three months of account ownership. Double miles per dollar spent are earned on all American Airlines purchases and single miles per dollar spent are earned on everything else.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® includes access to the Admirals Club at no additional charge. It also includes a $100 fee reimbursement every five years for Global Entry or TSA Pre Check. Cardholders will enjoy priority check-in and boarding privileges for up to eight travel companions on the same reservation.
Every year you spend at least $40,000 in purchases, you’ll earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying miles. Here’s a handy chart on how many qualifying miles you’ll need to reach elite status:
The annual fee on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is $450.
- Sign-up Bonus – 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.
- Annual Fee – $450
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
You won’t find bonus points with the The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card, but you will find two complementary nights at any participating tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Depending on the hotel you choose, this bonus has the potential to save you over $1,000.
Five points are earned per dollar spent at Ritz-Carlton and SPG hotels; two points per dollar spent is earned on airline tickets (purchased directly with the airline) and at car rental agencies and restaurants; one point per dollar spent is earned on everything else. Points never expire as long as the account remains in good standing.
Adding an authorized cardholder and getting them to make a purchase inside of the first three months is also worth 10,000 bonus points.
The The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card offers a $300 annual travel credit, good for incidental fees while flying. Airport lounge access, baggage fees and airline seat upgrades are a few examples of what qualifies for the credit.
The hotel benefits specific to this card are also quite nice. You can upgrade to the Club Level three times each year with a paid stay of up to 7 nights. You can also receive a $100 hotel credit toward dining, spa or other recreational activities with a paid stay of two nights or more. Finally, you’ll immediately be given Gold Elite status with the ability to receive Platinum Elite status (if you can spend $75,000 annually on the card).
The annual fee on the The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is $450.
- Sign-up Bonus – 2 free nights at tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotels after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
- Annual Fee – $450