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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/welcome bonuses (including some incredible 100k bonus credit card offers!) and rewards for everyday things—perfect if you want to earn travel points and miles now so you can have them in the future.

Additionally, many of these cards have recently undergone a sort of rebranding, with new rewards categories and new partnerships with leading brands. With one of these cards in your wallet, you’ll be able to earn and redeem them for things like award travel, cashback, or even towards purchases at select retailers. Some even allow you to use your rewards to pay off your previous purchases! Here are some of the best premium credit cards in 2021.

One of these best premium credit cards can help you maximize your purchases and use the rewards for things like travel—Koro Sun Resort (pictured above).

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)
  • 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).

Cardholders can get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when paying with their Platinum Card®.

If you ride Uber or use Uber Eats, this credit will make you happy. Cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.

New The Platinum Card from American Express Benefits

There’s also a new digital entertainment credit. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Cardholders can use their Card and get up to $179 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.

Another exciting new benefit is the ability for cardholders to enjoy up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. This amounts to up to $300 annually. Enrollment required.

Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.    

This is also why it is one of the best cards for international travel.

Platinum Card Welcome Bonus

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply. 

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. Plus, earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

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 when traveling on a Delta flight, Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, and 20% in-flight savings.

Cardholders can receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of their Card. *Payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.

Regarding rewards, you earn unlimited 3x SkyMiles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1x mile per $1 for everything else.

Terms apply.

Delta Reserve Welcome Bonus

For a limited time, new cardholders can earn 80,000 Bonus Miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $5,000 in purchases on their new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.

Plus, earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.

The annual fee is $550, but there are no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).

Terms apply.

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.

Terms apply.

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.

Plus, cardholders can now breeze through security with CLEAR® (where available) and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your Card. Terms apply.

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.

Terms apply.

Summary

In conclusion, the extra benefits you get from premium credit cards are a massive upgrade over the other standard travel credit cards, but those cards also have smaller annual fees. If you can maximize the various travel credits and loyalty benefits, the best premium credit cards in 2021 are worth their annual fees.

Best Premium Credits Cards 2021

Related Articles:

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.

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1 Comment On "5 Best Premium Credit Cards 2021 (More Rewards, Enhanced Bonuses)"
  1. Ed|

    The purchase protection, auto insurance and other benefits of credit cards are great. The points stuff is mostly a waste of time. Since each point is 1-2 cents at best, with “many thousands of points 5x 10x 1 million XXXXX” at the end of the day you’re talking about a few hundred dollars. NBD. Time better spent working, with family, or watching TV than “MAXXXXIMIZING POIIINTS!”.

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