What is a platinum credit card?
Platinum credit cards come with high minimum income requirements, but they offer high credit limits and an array of benefits in return.
Platinum credit cards offer more attractive benefits, higher spending limits and exclusive extras for customers looking to get more from paying with plastic. These cards tend to offer features such as complimentary insurance cover and even personal concierge services. A number of platinum credit cards come linked to a rewards program, enabling cardholders to earn rewards from their spending.
In most cases, the minimum income requirement to qualify for these types of cards is higher than that of gold or classic credit cards. They also feature a higher minimum credit limit with the option to increase the credit limit to amounts much higher than that of other cards. For this reason, platinum credit cards are usually associated with business people who earn quite a bit.
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What are the benefits of using a platinum credit card?
As a platinum credit card user, you can look forward to a number of benefits, including:
- Rewards. Most platinum credit cards come linked to a rewards program, but not all rewards programs are the same. For instance, while some cards may link to a frequent flyer program, others might link to a program that offers limited reward options. Platinum cards, when compared to standard rewards cards, tend to offer better earn rates, so you can earn rewards faster.
- Complimentary insurance. When you use your platinum credit card to make purchases, you can make use of complimentary purchase covers like guaranteed pricing scheme, purchase cover insurance and extended warranty insurance. Complimentary international travel insurance and transit accident insurance come into play when you use your card to pay for travel.
- Personal concierge service. This service offers round-the-clock global assistance in matters like dining, travel, entertainment and business.
- Platinum perks. Depending on the card you choose, you can get exclusive invitations to a host of entertainment and sporting events, and you can get access to presale tickets. You can also make use of an array of discounts and special promotions spread across travel, shopping and dining.
- Extended Warranty Cover. You can often register specified items (usually up to three) bought with your platinum card to have their original warranty period extended.
How do I compare platinum credit cards?
The basic features of different platinum credit cards usually remain the same, but certain aspects can differ greatly. When comparing platinum cards, make sure you pay attention to the following:
- Annual fee. Many platinum credit cards charge an ongoing annual fee, though some cards offer an annual fee waiver for the first year. Although some platinum cards don’t charge an annual fee, they may have fewer perks and benefits.
- Rewards program. Pay attention to how many points you stand to earn per pound spent and find out what you can redeem your points for. Some rewards programs allow you to redeem your points for flight tickets, flight upgrades and travel and shopping vouchers and some even allow you to use your points for cash back.
- Interest rate offers. Certain platinum credit cards come with interest rate offers on either balance transfers or purchases. These offers give you the ability to pay little-to-no interest on your balance or purchases for a certain period of time. Note that the promotional interest rate and the time period can vary from one card to the next.
- Foreign transaction fees. Some platinum cards may offer 0% interest on foreign transactions, while others may charge between 1-3%.
- Credit limit. The credit limit you’re approved for will be based on your income and your credit history. Make sure that the credit limit you apply for can support your financial needs without tempting you to overspend.
- Additional cardholders. You may want to request additional cards for your account for your partner or family members. Find out how many cardholders you can add and if there is a fee.
Who are platinum credit cards best suited to?
When choosing a credit card, you should ideally take into account your income, your spending habits and your ability to make repayments. You should consider getting a platinum credit card only if you plan on paying your account’s closing balance in full each month. This is because platinum card interest rates are usually quite high.
If you wish to earn rewards for your spending, a platinum card might also work well for you. Most platinum cards will offer reward points per pound spent, which you can then redeem in various ways. You could also consider a platinum card if you want a higher-than-usual credit limit.
Frequent travellers can benefit from a platinum credit card because of the complimentary travel insurance on offer. Some platinum credit cards also offer no foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases, as well as other travel perks, such as free airport lounge access and hotel room upgrades.
What are the pros and cons of platinum credit cards?
While there are considerable advantages to owning a platinum credit card, you’ll find that there are some disadvantages too. Here’s a quick look at the good and the bad of owning a prestige card.
- High credit limits. Platinum credit cards offer greater spending power through high or uncapped credit limits.
- Better earn rates. Platinum credit cards offer the ability to earn two to three reward points per pound spent, as opposed to a standard reward card, which offers no more than one point per pound spent.
- Extras. You can access benefits such as concierge services and complimentary insurance covers.
- Travel perks. Along with travel insurance, many platinum cards offer complimentary airport lounge access, 0% foreign transaction fees, room upgrades, late check-out, car rental perks and other travel benefits.
- Annual fees. You could have to pay an ongoing annual fee for as long as your account remains active. This might not be worth it if you don’t make use of your card’s extra features.
- High interest. If you keep balances rolling in your account from one month to the next, you can expect to pay a higher interest rate than that of a low rate card.
- Minimum income requirement. Many platinum cards require you to be employed full-time with a high income. Self-employed, retired or part-time employees may find it harder to get approval.
What platinum credit cards are currently available?
A number of UK credit card providers offer Visa, Mastercard and American Express platinum credit cards. They often offer similar features but a range of different perks. As a result, fees and interest rates vary.
A platinum credit card brings with it a number of benefits, but you should only consider applying for one if you think you’ll be able to use it in a way that justifies paying the higher annual fee. Don’t forget that you have numerous options from which to choose, so take the time to compare as many as you can before deciding on which to go with.
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