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Are premium credit cards worth it?

Are premium credit cards worth it?

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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 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 a $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. 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 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Benefits include up to $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only and your benefit renews annually. Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.

You earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Points are worth about one cent each towards gift cards or travel reservations, but potentially more when transferred to airline miles. There’s a $695 annual fee for this card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after spending $12,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 Bonus Miles after you make an eligible Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 6 months. Offer Ends 10/25/2023. With Status Boost®, earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card through 12/31/23, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights. *Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more. After you spend $150,000 on your Card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 miles per dollar (that’s an extra half mile per dollar) on eligible purchases the rest of the year. If your purchase qualifies for a category that has a higher mileage accelerator, only the higher accelerator will apply (ex. you would earn 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta instead of 1.5X).

Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Terms and limitations apply.

Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™

This card offers 1.5% value from your purchases when redeemed for cash back, and 2% value when redeemed for airfare. Other benefits include $100 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Just pay for airline purchases with your Mastercard Black Card and we will automatically apply the credit to your account. That’s it. No need to activate or designate an airline. Get up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry. 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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Editor’s Rating

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