The 5 Best Premium Credit Cards

By Jason Steele. Last updated 24 April 2017. 10 comments

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Your credit card doesn't just have to be a card; it can also be the key to unlocking a hidden world of priority access and premium service. At one time, these services were reserved for the truly wealthy people that some now refer to as "the 1%." Today, banks are eager to offer their most exclusive products to customers with good credit, if not extraordinary spending power.

While these cards do provide some pretty excellent perks, you should never get them just for the sake of prestige. But if you use credit cards responsibly and are already paying out of pocket for the free services they provide, they can be financially worthwhile. (See also: Best Credit Cards for People With Excellent Credit)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

In my opinion, American Express has made a name for itself by offering premium products in conjunction with unsurpassed customer service. While their secretive, top-of-the line Centurion Card is only offered by invitation to select high-net-worth individuals, the rest of us can apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express, which costs a fraction of the price and may be almost as good. Platinum Card holders will enjoy an impressive array of benefits, including complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, $200 airline fee credit annually, $75 hotel credit, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓™, up to $200 annual savings on Uber rides, no foreign transactions fees, Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status, Hilton Honors™ Gold Status, Platinum Card Concierge, and much more. This card offers 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on You earn 1X point for other purchases. There is also a welcome offer for 60,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. The annual fee is $550. Terms apply. See rates and fees.

Click here to learn more and apply for the The Platinum Card® from American Express today!

Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige® Card from our partner Citi includes $250 air travel credit each year, fourth night hotel benefit for any hotel stay booked through the Citi Prestige Concierge, 3x points for air travel and hotels and 2x for restaurants and entertainment. The card's premium benefits include complimentary access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select, 24/7 access to Citi's Prestige® global concierge as well as special access to entertainment and sporting events through Citi® Private Pass BeyondSM. Points earned can be transferred to participating travel loyalty programs. Finally, there are no foreign transaction fees. These premium benefits definitely make up for the $450 fee, and should be in any frequent traveler's wallet.

Sign Up Offer: Earn 40,000 points after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. These points are redeemable for a $532 flight on any airline or $400 in gift cards.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi Prestige® Card today!

United MileagePlus Presidential Plus Visa from Chase

credit cardIf you want to earn United miles and enjoy their lounges, you could do a lot worse than to receive the United Airlines MileagePlus Presidential Plus Card. When traveling on United, cardholders enjoy priority check-in, express security screening (where available), priority boarding privileges, priority baggage handling, and two free checked bags. In addition, card members receive access to all United Clubs and over 200 other affiliated lounges such as the ones operated by US Airways. As with other premium credit cards, members receive several different purchase protection and travel insurance policies, as well as a dedicated concierge service. There is a $395 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees for this card. Finally, you know this is a great card because its name contains the word "Plus" twice.

Visa Black Card

visa black credit cardDon't tell anyone, but Barclay's Bank offers the Visa® Black Card™ in order to compete with other premium products on the market. Barclay's apparently wants to keep this a secret because it is extremely difficult to find their name attached to the card. They do prominently boast that this product offers holders a limited membership, a 24-hour concierge service, and even a card made out of stainless steal and carbon (patent pending).

Cardholders earn points that can be worth 1% cash back or airfare on any airline with no blackout dates or restrictions. Get a 2% value on airfare redemptions. There are no foreign transaction fees. Other perks include unlimited VIP airport lounge visits in over 200 cities and the occasional luxury gift delivered to your door. This card does have $495 annual fee.

J.P. Morgan Select

credit cardChase offers a super-exclusive card called the Palladium that is only available to select clients of their personal banking service. Fortunately, they offer a slightly less glorified version called the J.P. Morgan Select, which leads these luxury cards in value. Like its competitors, it offers personalized service 24 hours a day, and cardholders will receive Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to frequent flier miles or used for booking travel directly through Chase. Members also receive complimentary primary auto rental coverage, trip delay or cancellation insurance, and baggage delay or lost luggage coverage when they travel. Finally, international travelers will love the fact that this card has an EMV smart chip and no foreign transaction fees. Even better, Chase offers this product for a mere $95 a year, and even that is waived the first year.

So despite their upscale marketing, it might be worthwhile to take a look at some of the premium credit cards and their long lists of perks. While these cards come with a heavy price tag, their benefits can actually be worth more than their costs.

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The 5 Best Premium Credit Cards
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Disclaimer: The responses below 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.

Guest's picture

I'm loving my Chase Freedom card. 5% cash back on gas this quarter - cant be beat.

Guest's picture
Guest Muhammad Jahid Hasan

It is a nice deal. Thanks for sharing.

Guest's picture

For Canadians- I've had a lot of success with the PC Mastercard and blogged about how it works for us here:

Guest's picture

Have people had a lot of issues with their MasterCard getting accepted? I think that would prevent that card from being #1 anywhere. The J.P. Morgan Select card looks pretty good though, especially with the first year's fee waived.

Guest's picture

None of these credit cards are worth it! If you want to get the best rewards, then do some research into credit card arbitrage. Basically, you sign up for credit card promotions when they are giving away bonuses of $500 or more. I've done this with 5 credit cards in the past year, made over $4,000 and my credit score has actually gone up!

Guest's picture
Carl Lassegue

The American Express Platinum Card looks great, especially for people who travel a lot. I'm always envious of people with a Global Entry membership as I watch them walk through immigration in a 2 mins after I've been standing in line for immigration for about 45 minutes.

Guest's picture

I'm thinking of obtaining another CC just for emergency purchases. Those premium cards listed are mostly good for those that do alot of travelling to rack up flight benefits e.t.c.

I have been living consumer debt free for the last few years, see post.

Dwight Anthony
Financially Elite Blog dot com

Guest's picture

There's a very specific market for these cards. If you are traveling a lot and want to feel like a king, it might be worth it. For the rest of us, regular rewards card that doesn't carry that type of annual price tag is definitely better.

Guest's picture

This statment from the article says it all, " know this is a great card because its name contains the word “Plus” twice." You've got to be kidding me! Cards with $495 annual fees are "premium"? I'm sure that's the word the issuing banks are using while they gloat over the premium fees, premium interest and premium bunch of suckers that own/use these cards. Carrying a credit card balance is stupid, no matter what you make, and paying a $495 fee to have it in your wallet/purse is one notch dumber!

Guest's picture

I think you missed a card of very significant value. Wells Fargo offers a Mortgage Rebate Visa card. Instead of giving you "perks" that half of the population won't use, your earned points are credited towards the principal on your mortgage.

Guest's picture

The best card Is the Chase Sapphire card. I had the Amex Platinum for 3 years and it wasn't worth it. First off the Chase sapphire is $95 per year whereas the Amex Platinum is $450 per year. Amex charges $15-25 per car rental for insurance whereas it's FREE up to 250k with Sapphire. It's a no brainier people. I've racked up $1,372 in travel money just in my first year alone