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There are your average, run-of-the-mill credit cards that come with a $100 annual fee and your standard perks (maybe a free bag and a once-yearly lounge pass). Then there are the premium, high annual fee credit cards. They come with a whopping annual fee that can easily stretch past $500 per year and with rewards that are much, much greater. But are these the best high annual fee credit cards entirely worth it?
Here are the most highly lauded credit cards with hefty annual fees (minus those exclusive cards that are invite-only), so you can determine if one of them is right for you. Note that some of these cards come with the best credit card offers.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Best High Annual Fees
1. The Platinum Card from American Express
Probably one of the most well-known premium credit cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a favorite with high-rolling travelers across the country. If you like to live luxuriously while you’re on the road, this is a card for you to definitely consider, as many cardholders easily think the $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) is well worth it.
What do you get in return for that price tag?
You’ll enjoy an annual $200 Uber credit (terms apply), a $200 airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits, enrollment required), Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, complimentary hotel benefits within the Fine Hotels and Resorts Program, access to more than a thousand airport lounges around the world and more. Terms apply.
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. Cardholders also earn 5x points on prepaid hotel bookings through amextravel.com.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the other big, well-known luxury travel credit card out there. While it doesn’t give you all the same luxury perks as the Platinum Card from American Express, it does give you more ways to earn points on your travel costs. The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is one of the best for spending and getting the most value from those points. The $550 annual fee is a little more affordable as well.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve perks include a $300 travel credit each year, airport lounge access at more than a thousand lounges, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement and special benefits when you book with certain hotels and car rental companies.
You get three Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on dining and travel (travel is defined broadly in this case and is eligible for 3x earning after earning the $300 travel credit) worldwide and one point per $1 spent on everything else. This is also one of the best travel credit cards.
3. Mastercard Gold Card (Expired)
This premium credit card is one of the most expensive, coming in with a mammoth $995 annual fee. Is it worth it? Well, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ certainly doesn’t give you the same range of travel perks that you see with the two cards above.
Beyond the card itself sporting a 24-karat gold plating, the swanky benefits include special concierge service, a $200 annual airline credit, $100 Global Entry reimbursement and exclusive gifts from top brands.
You receive 2% cash back, or you can redeem your points for airfare, for double value.
4. Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
If you’re specifically in the market for an airline card, this co-branded Mastercard from American Airlines could be suitable. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® charges a $450 annual fee. If you love and are loyal to American Airlines, you could see big benefits that really are worth it every time you fly.
Cardholders receive Admirals Club membership (with 50 lounges worldwide), priority check-in and screening, early boarding, free checked bags for you and eight of your buddies, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.
This credit card is also one of the best credit cards for airline purchases. If you sign up right now, you can receive 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles, after you spend $5,000 on the card in three months.
Otherwise, you earn two miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases and one mile on everything else. If you spend $40,000 on the card in one year, you receive 10,000 qualifying miles, helping you achieve a better elite tier status.
5. Mastercard Black Card (Expired)
The Mastercard® Black Card™ is also very suitable for luxury travelers, with its long list of perks. With a $495 annual fee, it’s also not as pricey as its sibling, the Gold Card.
Along with an annual $100 airline credit, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck fee credit and lounge access at more than a thousand lounges, cardholders also receive regular gifts from various brands, room upgrades, complimentary hotel credits, global luggage delivery, access to charter services including jets and yachts and access to luxury experience tickets.
Cardholders earn one point for every $1 spent and you receive 2% value when you redeem your points for airfare.
Which High Annual Fee Credit Card Is Right for You?
The best high-priced card for you will depend on your preferences, needs, and budget. If you’re intrigued by the Mastercard Gold Card, but don’t want to drop $1,000 per year on a card, maybe you start out with the Black Card. If you definitely want an airline card, the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard could be best for you. And for those looking to really earn points and miles, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a good way to go.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.