We’ve got the skinny on the best credit cards to go with your caviar.
When you throw down that exclusive piece of plastic — metal, actually — that’s what money feels like. Now that you’re earning some good money let’s get you a card to match.
What are the most exclusive credit cards?
Premium cards come with names like platinum, prestige, and infinite — and those words can also describe how you feel holding them. The downside? You’ll pay for these perks with hefty annual fees that run upwards of $500 per year.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the granddaddy of premium cards (we’ll talk about the Black Card another time).
But the premium card game is vaster than it’s been before, with cards including Chase® Sapphire Reserve, Capital One® Venture X® Rewards card, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® card, and others on the scene.
How do I know whether an annual fee is worth it?
Premium perks don’t come cheap. These cards usually come with hefty annual fees from $350 to nearly $700 per year, and If you want to add additional cardholders, that may cost you more. Many other cards have no or low annual fees, so you want a premium card to provide the best bang for your buck.
How do you know if a steep annual fee is worth it? Think about your lifestyle. If you travel or eat out a lot, you’ll earn money to reinvest in those activities and access valuable discounts. If you’re more of a homebody, you might reconsider. Each card offers slightly different rewards, so shop around. Most come with enticing introductory offers.
What does it take to qualify for a premium credit card?
These aren’t just credit cards for the wealthy, though it helps. You may be a good candidate if you have outstanding credit and a substantial income.
- Typically, you need a credit score of at least 670 to 700, and some cards require a 750 minimum score.
- Companies may monitor how many cards you’ve applied for recently. If that number is too high, it could flag your application. Chase is famous for it.
- Card issuers also want to see a clean credit history, and they may look at your outstanding balances.
Your income could also be a deciding factor. American Express, for one, says applicants must meet a minimum income threshold, but they don’t specify the number. Other banks have some informal screening policies.
The 6 credit cards that are totally worth it
What’s the best credit card for wealthy individuals? That depends on your income, spending, and needs.
For traveling and dining: Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you enjoy traveling and eating out, this might be your card. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn great points on travel, hotels, car rentals, and dining in addition to bonus points and higher redemption value when they book through Chase’s reservation service.
Customers also get valuable credits and exclusive access to dining and entertainment experiences. Travelers can book reward tickets directly with select airlines, including Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. However, with an annual fee of $595 for the primary cardholder and $75 for additional cards, Chase’s premium card is one of the most expensive credit cards for the wealthy.
For the status: The Platinum Card from American Express
The Amex Platinum Card has long been a status symbol for young professionals. With a $695 annual fee, the Platinum Card is pricey, but you get a Cheesecake Factory-length menu of perks, including credits for streaming services, retailers from Walmart to Saks Fifth Avenue, hotels, airlines, fitness, and even Uber and Uber Eats. American Express also extends some of the best introductory rewards for new applicants.
For luxury at a lower price point: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One is known for its travel cards, and the Venture X Rewards card supersizes the benefits. This Capital One premium credit card offers double miles on all purchases and extra miles for booking through Capital One’s reservation service. Cardholders get a $300 annual travel credit and a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck service. The card also comes with a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus (at least someone remembers your anniversary).
With a lower annual fee of $395 and no charge for additional cardholders, this card is more wallet-friendly.
For BofA lovers: Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Credit Card
Bank of America loaded its premium card with perks, including double points on travel and dining and 1.5 points on all other purchases. Cardholders can earn $150 annually on lifestyle services, including streaming or fitness plans, $100 credit on TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and $300 credit on travel expenses such as seat upgrades and baggage fees. Like its competitors, the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Credit Card boasts a concierge service to book travel, entertainment, and dining. Cardholders have access to Visa Infinite upgrades on hotels and car rentals, and more. These perks don’t come cheap: The Bank of America card charges a $550 annual fee.
For Hilton apologists: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
So you’re a fan of Hilton’s 18 hotel brands, including Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria, Conrad Hotels, Hampton Inn, and DoubleTree Hotels. In that case, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a home run, slam dunk, and turkey all in one. Cardholders earn 14x points on qualified stays at Hilton-owned properties and complimentary Diamond status. They can earn 150,000 bonus Hilton points to use on visits. Added perks include 7x points on flights booked through Amex travel and on dining and 3x points for every additional dollar spent. If you’re a Hilton devotee, the card’s $450 annual fee is worth the expense.
For the wallet-less: US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
This could be your premium card if you’re a tech-savvy mobile shopper. US Bank’s elite card gives 3x points on mobile wallet purchases, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. Cardholders earn up to $325 back in annual credits on select travel and lifestyle purchases and 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through the Altitude Rewards Center. Customers also get a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit, Visa Infinite premium hotel access, a dedicated concierge service, and more for a moderate $400 annual fee.
Take your pick of cards
You’re bound to find the card that perfectly fits your lifestyle with all these choices. And you may be so busy planning your next adventure, eating out, and watching your free streaming services that you overlook the egregious annual fees…until your bill arrives.