You are here

The best premium credit cards of June 2022

Submitted by Tech Insider on June 23, 2022 - 6:26pm

This post contains links to products from our advertisers, and we may be compensated when you click on these links. Our recommendations and advice are ours alone, and have not been reviewed by any issuers listed. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. Read our editorial standards.

Some of the top rewards credit cards — including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card — have moderate annual fees and include a strong mix of rewards and travel/purchase protections. If you want perks like annual statement credits and airport lounge access, though, you'll be looking at premium cards in the $250 to $550-a-year range.

Paying hundreds of dollars for a premium credit card won't make sense for everyone, but if you take advantage of enough benefits, it can be well worth the money. Premium cards can offer perks like travel or merchandise statement credits, elite status or elite-like benefits, and credits for trusted traveler programs like Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, NEXUS, or CLEAR®. And more often than not, you'll find better travel and purchase protections on premium cards, including primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage insurance, and extended warranty coverage. 


Best for earning travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best travel and luxury benefits: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best value for the annual fee: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Best perks for dining out and ordering in: American Express® Gold Card

The best premium airline credit card: United Club℠ Infinite Card

The best premium hotel credit card: Hilton Honors Aspire Card

The best premium credit cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve (jump to Chase Sapphire Reserve details »)

If your number one criterion for picking a premium credit card is rewards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a great option. Not only does it earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after earning the $300 travel credit) and 3x points on other travel and dining, but it also has additional limited-time bonus categories. 

While other premium credit cards may have higher points multipliers on select spending categories, the Chase Sapphire Reserve stands out for offering some of the most valuable redemption options. Each of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points from this card is worth 1.5 cents toward travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, or toward eligible purchases with Chase's Pay Yourself Back feature. That's a 50% bonus over the standard value of Chase points (1 cent apiece). 

The card has a Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual fee, but its annual travel statement credit of up to $300 is easy to use (virtually any type of travel purchase is eligible, from plane tickets to Uber rides to highway tolls). So if you spend at least $300 on travel in a year — which you absolutely should if you're considering this card in the first place — you can effectively subtract that from the fee for a total of $250 spent out of pocket.

The card also offers Priority Pass lounge membership and Chase airport lounge access, the latter of which will open in 2022 and 2023 at New York-LaGuardia (LGA), Boston (BOS), San Diego (SAN), Phoenix (PHX), and Hong Kong (HKG).

In addition, cardholders receive a complimentary DashPass membership, which waives delivery fees and offers lower service fees on orders of $12 or more. Chase recently extended the DashPass benefit and added $5 per month in DoorDash in-app credits (starting April 2022 through December 31, 2024).

Read the Chase Sapphire Reserve review to learn more.

Amex Platinum card (jump to Amex Platinum card details »)

It's hard to beat the Platinum Card when it comes to the sheer number of perks it offers. In addition to earning a respectable 5x points on flights booked directly through the airline or through Amex Travel (starting January 1, 2021, the 5x points will apply up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), the card comes with a whole host of benefits, both for travel and shopping.

On the travel side, you get up to a $200 annual airline fee credit**, more airport lounge access options than any other card, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott**, and up to $200 in Uber credits** every year. Other benefits include up to $100 in Saks credits** every year (broken up as up to $50 semi-annually), and Amex Offers** for cash back or bonus points when you shop with specific retailers. 

The Platinum Card's The Platinum Card® from American Express annual fee The Platinum Card® from American Express - Rates & Fees is nothing to sneeze at, but if you take advantage of all its benefits, you can get a value that far exceeds your yearly cost.

Read our Amex Platinum card review to learn more.

Capital One Venture X card (jump to Capital One Venture X card details »)

Capital One launched the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card in early November 2021. It offers a welcome bonus of Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

The annual fee of Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is much lower than similar cards, but it's still packed with premium benefits that can more than offset the yearly cost.

Cardholders receive up to $300 per year in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One, Priority Pass and Capital One airport lounge access (even for authorized users), a 10,000-mile bonus on each account anniversary (worth $100 in travel), and Visa Infinite travel and purchase benefits.

Like other cards that earn Capital One miles, you can transfer rewards from the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card to over a dozen airline and hotel partners, including recently added Virgin Red.

Read our Capital One Venture X card review to learn more.

Amex Gold card (jump to Amex Gold card details »)

The Amex Gold Card is one of the most rewarding options for those who like to dine out and order in. It offers up to $120 in annual statement credits (up to $10 per month credit) for dining** with GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House (through August 1, 2022), and participating Shake Shack locations. It also offers up to $120 Uber Cash (up to $10 per month) each calendar year (this is only applicable to U.S. Eats orders and Rides, and the Gold Card needs to be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit).

You'll also earn 4x points at restaurants (including food-delivery services) and 4x points on up to $25,000 spent at US supermarkets each calendar year (and 1 point per dollar if that cap is met).

The Amex Gold Card is the most affordable card on this list, with an annual fee of $250 (See Rates). Plus, the annual fee is effectively even lower when you factor in the monthly dining credit.

Learn more in our American Express Gold Card review.


United Club Infinite card (jump to United Club Infinite card details »)

The best premium airline credit card for you will depend on what airlines fly out of your home airport. But if any of the major US airlines are a convenient option for you, the United Club℠ Infinite Card has a few advantages that make it the best premium airline card.

This card has an annual fee of United Club℠ Infinite Card. As a cardholder you'll get a United Club membership, so you can access the airline's airport lounges and its partner lounges around the world. It currently offers a welcome bonus of United Club℠ Infinite Card.

The United Club℠ Infinite Card also stands out on the rewards front. Unlike other airline credit cards that only offer bonus miles on purchases with the affiliated airline, this card earns 2x miles on all travel purchases and on dining at restaurants, plus 4x miles on United purchases (and 1 mile per dollar on everything else). 

You also get two free checked bags on United flights when you pay with the card, plus priority check-in and early boarding.

Read our United Club Infinite credit card review for more details.


Hilton Honors Aspire card (jump to United Club Infinite card details »)

Just as the best premium airline credit card for you depends on which airline you prefer, the right premium hotel credit card for you will be the card that offers benefits where you're most likely to stay. If you already have status with a particular hotel chain, you'll probably want to get a card associated with that loyalty program so you can continue building rewards and even potentially earn higher status.

But if you don't have a favorite hotel chain and simply want the card that will get you the most benefits and save you the most money, there's a strong argument to be made for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card. In exchange for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card annual fee Product Card 6012cd7f88948700119fd911, you get the highest level of elite status in the Hilton program: Hilton Honors Diamond, which gets you a 100% points bonus on stays, room upgrades, and complimentary breakfast (currently awarded as a food and beverage credit).

The Hilton Honors Aspire Card is the only hotel credit card to offer the highest level of elite status outright; with other cards, you have to spend your way to top-tier status, and the annual spending requirements are in the thousands of dollars.

Other card benefits include a free weekend night reward each year after your account renewal, and up to $250 in statement credits each year for purchases made at participating Hilton resorts. You can use this statement credit to effectively get $250 off of a Hilton hotel room rate. In addition to that, you also get up to $250 in annual statement credits for airline fees.

Read the Amex Hilton Aspire credit card review to learn more.


Other premium credit cards that just missed the cut

Our final list of the best premium credit cards includes six options, but we considered several other cards as well. Here's a look at the other premium credit cards that didn't make the final cut.

  • New United Quest℠ Card — The latest addition to Chase's lineup of United credit cards comes with up to $125 in statement credits each year toward United purchases (like airfare and incidental fees) and a free first and second checked bag when you use the card to pay for your ticket. Cardholders also get up to two 5,000-mile rebates on award flights each year starting after the first card anniversary, excellent travel protections, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit. Read our United Quest card review.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card — The top-of-the-line Marriott credit card has some great benefits, including up to $300 in annual statement credits for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (offer ends 9/22/22 and will be replaced with a benefit of up to $25 in statement credits per month for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide). It falls just a bit short of the Hilton Honors Aspire Card in terms of the value it can offer, since that card offers top-tier Hilton status, and both a Hilton statement credit and an airline fee statement credit. Here's our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card — This premium Delta credit card has some strong benefits, such as a Status Boost that earns you Medallion® Qualification Miles toward Delta status when you meet annual spending requirements. It also comes with an annual companion certificate each year upon your account renewal. That said, it has a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card annual fee (See Rates), which is the highest among premium airline cards. Read our review of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®It was a tight race between this card and the United Club℠ Infinite Card. Unlike United's card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers airline lounge membership (for American Airlines' Admirals Clubs) to both the primary cardholder and up to 10 authorized users that can be added to the card for free. Those 11 cardholders can each bring in two guests, so you're getting 33 people free lounge access from one card. The United Club℠ Infinite Card ultimately won because it offers more miles on everyday purchases — and not everyone will care about airport lounge access. See our Citi AAdvantage Executive card review.
  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® CardWith a U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card annual fee and a long benefits list including up to $325 in annual credits for travel, this card is a lesser-known gem. However, it didn't make the cut because you need to be a U.S. Bank customer to apply, and there are fewer options for redeeming your points compared to other premium cards from Amex, Chase, and Capital One. Here's our US Bank Altitude Reserve review.

How our list compares to other publications

No matter what type of credit card you're looking to open, doing your research is key. That means digging into the options and comparing them, and seeing what various experts recommend.

To help streamline the process of finding the right premium card for you, we made this chart that shows how our recommendations align with two other top publications.

  Personal Finance Insider NerdWallet The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Platinum Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Amex Gold Card

X X

New United Club℠ Infinite Card

X X

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Premium credit cards — Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How did we choose the best premium credit cards?

Our list of the best premium credit cards doesn't include every option under the sun — Personal Finance Insider narrowed down our list to the top options. To do so, we used the following criteria:

  • Annual fee — It's a given that premium credit cards charge high annual fees, but some fees are lower than others, and some cards are able to justify the higher fees with benefits like annual statement credits that give you money back.
  • Welcome bonus offer — A welcome offer of bonus points or miles for new cardholders who meet a minimum spending requirement is a great incentive to sign up, and it can help jumpstart your next trip booked with rewards. It's not the most important factor in deciding whether a premium credit card makes sense for you in the long run, but we did give some weight to how a card's welcome bonus offer stacked up against the competition.
  • Ongoing rewards — How many points or miles per dollar does the card offer on everyday spending? The stronger the earnings on purchases, the better.
  • Benefits — Beyond earning points and miles, what kinds of benefits does the card offer? Ideally, cardholders will get a strong combination of statement credits that reduce their out-of-pocket spending, travel protections, and extras like airport lounge access.

From there, we looked at the overall value each card offers based on these various features.

Is a premium credit card worth it?

A premium credit card is worth it for some people, but not for others. To decide whether a premium card is worth it for you, you'll want to look at the card's benefits and determine how many of them you'll use. Premium credit cards justify their high annual fees by offering high-end benefits you can't get with less-expensive cards, but they'll only be worth it if you can actually put those benefits to use.

Another important step in determining whether a premium credit card is worth it for you is to assess your spending and see if the card will offer you strong rewards on the purchases you make. Some premium cards only offer bonus points when you spend with a particular airline or hotel, while others, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi Prestige® Credit Card (no longer available to new applicants), have several bonus categories that encompass a wider array of purchase categories.

What is the best premium credit card?

Just as a premium credit card could be worth it for one person but not make sense for another, the best premium credit card depends very much on the person. Some of the most popular premium cards are the Platinum Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but they're not necessarily the best option for you.

Which is better — the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Amex Platinum? 

The Platinum Card is better if you want as many travel perks as possible, from airport lounge access to annual Uber credits to complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott**. If you want a card with bells and whistles but want perks you can use even if you don't hit the road often, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is likely a better pick.

Its annual statement credit of up to $300 applies to all sorts of travel purchases, including those you make close to home like parking, highway tolls, and subway fares. It also earns bonus points on dining, and you can get great value from your points for non-travel purchases like groceries and home improvement.

Read the original article on Business Insider