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Are you looking for a premium travel credit card that helps you get the most benefits and rewards points possible? The best premium credit cards 2021 can help you maximize your travel with large sign-up bonuses and expansion perks. With one of these premium cards in your wallet, it’s possible that you’ll be able to book award travel more often and save on your common travel purchases.
If you have a 740 credit score and love to travel, consider upgrading the rewards credit cards you use to earn points and miles. Not only can you use the benefits and perks that come with these travel cards, you can also earn points or miles that will help you further your travels.
In case you don’t know your credit score, here are some of the best places to get a free credit score check without hurting your credit.
Best Premium Credits Cards 2021
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – Best Premium Credit Card for Frequent Flyers
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Overall the Best Premium Credit Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card – Best Premium Airline Credit Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Best Hotel Rewards
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express – Best Premium Business Card
Platinum Card from American Express – Best Premium Credit Card 2021 for Frequent Flyers
Frequent flyers can benefit the most from The Platinum Card® from American Express. Here’s why:
- $200 airline fee credit
- $200 in annual Uber credits
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Global Lounge Collection membership (Priority Pass, Centurion, Delta Sky Club, and others)
- Transfer points on 1:1 basis to leading frequent flyer programs
Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Cardholders also earn 5x points on prepaid hotel bookings through amextravel.com.
Other benefits include enhanced Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors loyalty status, plus these little-known Platinum Card benefits. This card has a relatively high $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees), but it offers more benefits than most premium cards.
This is also why it is one of the best credit cards for international travel.
Besides the many card benefits, new members can also earn a handsome welcome offer. New cardmembers can earn 75,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
This is one of the best credit cards offers.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – Overall the Best Premium Credit Card 2021
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been taking the travel rewards space by storm since launching two years ago. For starters, this card earns unlimited 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards on dining purchases. Cardholders also earn 3x points on travel immediately after earning the $300 travel credit. If you know a thing about credit card rewards points, Ultimate Rewards are some of the most valuable you can earn.
Each point has a standard redemption value of 1 cent each with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. But your points are worth 50% more when booking any award travel through the Chase travel portal. For example, 10,000 points are worth $150 in award travel but only $100 in cash rewards.
You can also transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to select airline and hotel loyalty programs include World of Hyatt, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and British Airways. These four transfer partners are some of the best for booking domestic and international award travel. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is also one of the best credit cards for miles.
This premium credit card also has several valuable Sapphire Reserve travel perks. Some of the most valuable include:
- $300 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
- Primary rental car collision damage and theft waiver protection
- One free year of Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value)
- Free DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best overall premium credit card because of the flexible travel redemption options. As a new cardmember, you can also earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth at least $750 in award travel.
Delta Reserve Credit Card – Best Premium Airline Credit Card 2021
Most major airlines have a premium airline credit card. The best co-brand card for you may be the airline you fly with the most. But if you’re flexible, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is one of the best premium credit cards that you can use for airline perks.
These everyday perks include one free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to 8 travel companions for a potential $540 roundtrip savings, complimentary Delta Sky Club access, Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, and 20% in-flight savings. You can also enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
You receive one annual companion certificate valid for a domestic roundtrip companion certificate in first-class, Comfort+, or main cabin when you fly with them. Your companion’s seat only costs up to $75 in fees and taxes.
In regards to purchase rewards, you earn unlimited 3 SkyMiles per $1 on purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile per $1 for everything else. You also earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $30,000 in purchases in a calendar year, up to four times per year.
New cardholders of this Delta credit card can earn up to 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. The annual fee is $550 but there are no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Best Hotel Rewards
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card lets you enjoy travel perks now and later.
For instance, how many hotel credit cards provide a free hotel night certificate at account opening? You get one free weekend night certificate — valid at any property that costs 50,000 points or less — at account opening and each card renewal. You get a second night each year after making $60,000 in annual card purchases.
Other Hilton benefits include:
- $250 Hilton resort statement credit
- $100 Hilton on-property credit (with a minimum 2-night stay)
- Complimentary Diamond status (100% bonus points, space-available upgrades, etc.)
- Earn up to 14x points per $1 spent on eligible Hilton purchases
The Aspire Card also gives you a $250 airline fee credit and complimentary Priority Pass Select lounge membership. This is one of the few hotel credit cards also offering air travel benefits.
The current welcome bonus offer is 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth up 30 free Hilton nights.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express – Business Travelers
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express lets you earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com. You also earn 1.5 points per $1 on purchases of at least $5,000, up to one million points annually, instead of the standard 1 point per $1 for non-bonus purchases.
Your most valuable point redemption options are for award flights. You get a 35% point redemption bonus when booking qualifying flights on AmexTravel.com, up to 500,000 points. Plus, you can transfer your points to the 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer partners including Delta, British Airways, and Emirates.
Other travel perks include up to $200 in annual airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits for incidental fees at one qualifying airline), Global Lounge Collection membership, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
New cardholders have the opportunity to earn 85,000 Membership Rewards as part of the welcome offer. To earn the 85,000 bonus points, you will need to spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Additionally, you earn 5x points on eligible purchases in 5 select business categories, up to 80,000 bonus points per category, also within the first 3 months of card membership.
Another business perk you may appreciate is a Dell Small Business statement credit. To get the credit, cardholders must enroll to get up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits (cardholders get up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. Dell purchases – terms apply). This card does have a $595 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).
If you prefer more flexible purchase rewards but a small annual fee, you might also consider the American Express Business Gold Card. You can earn up to 4x points on your largest purchase categories. And, you still get a 25% air travel redemption bonus and 1:1 point transfers.
The extra benefits you get from premium credit cards are a huge upgrade over the other standard cards, including some of the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture, but they have less annual fees. If you can maximize the various travel credits and loyalty benefits, the best premium credit cards 2021 are worth their annual fees.
Best Premium Credits Cards 2021
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
And for rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 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®
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
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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.
- 1 Best Premium Credits Cards 2021
- 2 Platinum Card from American Express – Best Premium Credit Card 2021 for Frequent Flyers
- 3 Chase Sapphire Reserve – Overall the Best Premium Credit Card 2021
- 4 Delta Reserve Credit Card – Best Premium Airline Credit Card 2021
- 5 Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Best Hotel Rewards
- 6 The Business Platinum Card from American Express – Business Travelers
- 7 Summary
- 8 Best Premium Credits Cards 2021