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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 spending with enhanced sign-up bonuses and rewards for everyday things—perfect if you aren’t ready to travel just yet. With one of these cards in your wallet, you’ll be able to earn and redeem points/miles for things like award travel, cashback, or even towards purchases at select retailers like Amazon.com.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Best Premium Credits Cards 2021
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – Best Premium Card for Frequent Flyers
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Overall the Best Premium Credit Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card – Best Premium Airline Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Best Hotel Rewards
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express – Best Premium Business Card
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, but 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.
The Platinum Card from American Express – Best Premium 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 (in the form of a statement credit, enrollment required)
- Uber VIP status and up to $200 in annual Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the U.S. (terms apply)
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Global Lounge Collection membership (Priority Pass (enrollment required), Centurion, Delta Sky Club, and others)
- Transfer points on a 1:1 basis to leading frequent flyer programs
- Terms apply
Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel earn unlimited 5x points.
Other benefits include enhanced Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors loyalty status, plus these little-known Platinum Card benefits (enrollment required). 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 cards for international travel.
Platinum Card Welcome Bonus
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.
This is one of the best card offers.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
Chase Sapphire Reserve – Overall the Best Premium Credit Card 2021
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns unlimited 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards on dining purchases. Cardholders also earn 3x points on travel immediately after earning the $300 annual travel credit. Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the annual $300 travel credit, through Dec. 31, 2021.
Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022. Cardholders can also earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.
This is in addition to the complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).
Points are worth 50% more through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed through the Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.
Points and Perks
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 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:
- Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
- Primary rental car collision damage and theft waiver protection
The annual fee is $550.
Sapphire Reserve Signup Bonus
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card – Best Premium Airline Card 2021
Most major airlines have premium airline cards. 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 cards 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.
Regarding rewards, you earn unlimited 3x SkyMiles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1x mile per $1 for everything else.
Delta Reserve Welcome Bonus
Cardholders can accelerate their path to Medallion Status with Status Boost. Plus, in 2021, they can earn even more bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help cardholders reach Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in purchases on their new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, they can earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with their card within the first 3 months of membership.
The annual fee is $550, but there are no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
Learn more: Airline Credit Cards
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Best Hotel Rewards
The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you can enjoy travel perks now and later.
For instance, how many hotel 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
- Terms apply
Cardholders also earn 7x points per $1 spent on select travel, including flights booked directly with airlines or AmexTravel.com and car rentals booked with select car rental companies. They also earn 7x points per $1 spent on dining at U.S. restaurants, including eligible takeout and delivery.
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 cards also offering air travel benefits.
The annual fee is $450 (See Rates & Fees).
Hilton Honors Aspire Welcome Bonus
The current welcome bonus offer is the ability to earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth up to 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 Business Platinum Card travel perks include up to $200 in annual airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits for incidental fees at one qualifying airline—enrollment required), Global Lounge Collection membership, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
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).
Business Platinum Card Welcome Bonus
New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have the opportunity to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards as part of the welcome offer. To earn the 100,000 bonus points, they need to spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on their card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
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. Check out our comparison of the Amex Business Gold vs Amex Business Platinum for more information.
In conclusion, the extra benefits you get from premium credit cards are a massive upgrade over the other standard cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, but those cards also have smaller 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
- Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards
- The Best Metal Credit Cards for 2021 (Reliable, Durable, Sleek, and Secure)
- Amex Gold vs Amex Platinum 2021 Review (Best Amex Luxury Card?)
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.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, 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.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. 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.
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 The Platinum Card from American Express – Best Premium Card 2021 for Frequent Flyers
- 3 Chase Sapphire Reserve – Overall the Best Premium Credit Card 2021
- 4 Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card – Best Premium Airline Card 2021
- 5 Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Best Hotel Rewards
- 6 The Business Platinum Card from American Express – Business Travelers
- 7 Summary