Would you ever consider paying $450 or $550 annually for a credit card? Perhaps you should, as premium credit cards can offer exceptional value, even when compared to their soaring annual fees. In fact, the market for premium credit cards is extremely hot, with many of the major credit card issuers scrambling to introduce new products, and upgrade their old ones to remain competitive.
Let’s take a look at some of the premium credit cards on the market, and see if they really are worth their annual fees.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
This card offers new applicants 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. It also includes a $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. You earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. You can also earn 3X points on dining at restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards travel reservations made through Chase, or transferred to points and miles with airline and hotel partners. You also get a Priority Pass™ Select membership that’s good for unlimited airport lounge access for you and all of your guests. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card. Enjoy not paying any foreign transaction fees when using this card.
Is it worth it? When you factor the $300 annual travel credit, the net cost of this card is just $250 per year. For most people, this will be worth it for the 3x points on travel and dining, the Priority Pass Select membership, and the additional value when redeeming points towards travel reservations.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
With this premium rewards card, new applicants earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in new purchases in the first three months of their account. Benefits include an Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline, $200 of credit each year towards Uber rides, and a $100 credit towards the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Other perks include cardholder access to the Delta SkyClubs, Priority Pass Select membership, and access to the American Express Centurion airport lounges.
You earn 5x Membership Rewards® points for flights and hotels booked with American Express travel, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points are worth about one cent each towards gift cards or travel reservations, but potentially more when transferred to airline miles with. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card.
Is it worth it? If you can utilize both the $200 Airline Fee Credit and $200 of credit each year towards Uber rides, then the net cost of this card comes down to $150. For that amount, you get access to three different lounge programs and 5x Membership Rewards® on air and hotel reservations booked through Amex, which will be worth it for frequent travelers.
Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
This top-of-the-line Delta card offers new customers 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. And each year, you can earn another 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $30,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in the calendar year. Other perks include a SkyClub membership, an annual companion certificate, and upgrade priority over other travelers in the same level in the Medallion program. There’s a $450 ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) annual fee for this card.
Is it worth it? Earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 15,000 bonus miles after you reach $30,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in the calendar year. When you combine that with upgrade priority within your status level, this card can be your ticket to numerous first class upgrades throughout the year. The Delta SkyClub membership alone costs more than $450 per year, and you can receive that much value from the companion certificate alone.
Mastercard Black Card
This card offers 1.5% value from your purchases when redeemed for cash back, and double value when redeemed for airfare. Other benefits include a $100 annual airline credit toward qualifying airline purchases and a $100 Global Entry application fee credit. You also get a subscription to their Luxury Magazine and luxury gifts sent to you throughout the year. There’s a $495 annual fee for this card.
Is it worth it? Just based on the rewards alone, this card doesn’t appear to be worth the $495 annual fee. But this card is not about rewards, it’s about image. It includes a stainless steel and carbon card, and customers expect to be surprised by luxury gifts being sent to them throughout the year. If you value these kind of benefits over more tangible rewards, then this card can be worth it to you.
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