Are luxury credit cards worth the investment? | finder.com
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Find a luxury credit card that fits your lifestyle

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Claim a status symbol while earning rewards and enjoying premium perks.

Flash a luxury card and it can draw the attention of a room. Besides the status, luxury cards can offer first-class travel perks for regular jet setters along with top-of-the-line reward opportunities.

What are luxury credit cards?

Luxury credit cards offer perks above and beyond standard credit cards at the cost of high annual fees and demanding membership requirements. Benefits range from access to exclusive airport lounges and travel rebates, to rewards rates that outpace standard cards.

Compare two luxury credit cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn more.
  • $200 airline fee credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
  • Read Rates & Fees
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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 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®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3x points on dining at restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Read Rates & Fees
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Promoted

Compare luxury credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee
60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
5x points on flights booked directly or flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & Fees
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit. 1x points on all other purchases
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
35,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on airfare booked directly with airlines; 4x points at US restaurants; 4x points at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases (then 1x points)
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
75,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$450
Earn 75,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Rates & Fees
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.

Compare up to 4 providers

Are luxury credit cards worth the cost?

Whether a luxury credit card is worth its yearly price tag depends on how you want to use it. The high costs associated with owning a luxury card can be a tough pill to swallow, especially since annual fees can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars. These fees can be made up in some cases, but only by taking full advantage of its premium perks.

Typical luxury credit card features

Many luxury credit cards share standard features, often with leveled-up benefits:

  • Signup bonus. Many luxury cards offer especially large signup bonuses, a perk often tied to the price of a card’s annual fee.
  • Rewards structures. Eligible purchases with a luxury credit card can earn as high as 5x reward points.
  • Annual credits. Luxury cards are leaders in the field when it comes to annual credits, often offering hundreds of dollars in credit each year for travel and other expenses.
  • Travel benefits. Unlimited complimentary access to airport lounges, car rental insurance and roadside assistance are all standard perks with luxury cards.
  • Time-saving features. Concierge services and global luggage delivery services are just a couple of the time-saving benefits some luxury cards carry.

Compare premium credit cards

How to make a luxury credit card pay off

Like any credit card, you need to make sure the terms behind the rewards of a luxury credit card are a good fit for your lifestyle and personal needs before you apply. In fact, it’s even more important for luxury credit cards when you account for the annual fee.

One of the easiest ways you can make your luxury credit card worth it is to make sure you use your annual credits. An example of this is the The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers $200 in airline fee credit and $200 in Uber credit each year. This nearly offsets the entirety of the card’s $550 annual fee.

Save time with travel benefits like concierge service, car rentals or insurance for additional savings.

A brief luxury credit card comparison

Credit CardAnnual FeeWhat you need to spend to pay for the card
The Platinum Card® from American Express$550
  • Use your $200 airline fee credit
  • Use your $200 in Uber credits
  • Take advantage of any of your Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits including a minimum $100 special-amenities credit
Chase Sapphire Reserve®$450
  • Use your $300 annual travel credit
  • Use your $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit once every four years
  • Relax at an eligible airport lounge at least once, worth $50
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™$995
  • Use your $200 annual airline credit toward flight-related purchases
  • Use your one-time $100 Global Entry fee credit
  • Regularly take advantage of your airport lounge access
  • Redeem 2x points you spend on airfare

How do I get a luxury credit card?

Applying for a luxury credit card is the same as applying for any other type of credit card, though with stricter requirements. You can submit your application online or over the phone. It may also take longer to be approved for a luxury credit card, since most approval processes aren’t automated.

Do I qualify for a luxury card?

Most luxury cards require you have a history of excellent credit for consideration.

Exceptions to the rule

Some cards take luxury to the next level. Invite-only credit cards not only sport great luxury benefits, but enormous credit limits. Examples include the Centurion® Card from American Express and the JP Morgan Reserve Card.

Bottom line

With great credit and confidence in your spending habits, the right luxury credit card can offer you benefits that far outpace the hefty annual fee. Take a more in-depth look at these luxury cards to find the one that’s perfect for you.

For less expensive cards, you can check out more cards with travel benefits.

Frequently asked questions

Steven Dashiell

As Credit Cards Staff Writer at finder.com, Steven Dashiell wields nearly a decade of research and reporting experience to help you embrace and maximize your credit card life. Prior to working at finder, Steve served as reporter and editor for several health care newsletters, offering best practices and guides to help caregivers best protect their patients' health. When not writing, he enjoys creating art, exploring nature and chasing his next big interest.

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