What Are the Most Exclusive Luxury Credit Cards? Here Are Our Picks
A luxury home might cost about $1 million, and buying a luxury car will often set you back over $100,000. But a luxury credit card will typically cost you just between $450 and $595 per year. For this relatively modest sum, you could enjoy a whole range of valuable features including airport business lounge access, statement credits toward travel expenses and elite status with hotel loyalty programs. This is beyond the points and miles that you would expect from a travel rewards card.
But what luxury credit cards are the very best? Here at Investor Junkie, we’ve taken a close look into the hottest credit cards on the market. Here are the cards that really stand out as the crème de la crème.
The Best Luxury Credit Cards
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
This card offers you 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all travel and dining, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere.
Benefits include a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership and a $300 annual travel statement credit. You also receive a $100 credit toward the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee. Rewards points can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points, or are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through Chase. There’s a $450 annual fee for this card, and new applicants can earn 50,000 bonus points after using the card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You can read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review here.
Citi® AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
American Airlines flyers will appreciate this card, which features Admirals Club memberships for the primary account holder and all authorized cardholders. You also earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. It offers double miles on American Airlines purchases and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere.
Other benefits include priority check-in, security and boarding, as well as a $100 credit toward a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. You also earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year. There’s a $450 annual fee for this card.
The Platinum Card® From American Express
This card has long been the standard for luxury credit cards due to its numerous valuable benefits. For example, this card comes with a $200 annual airline fee credit, which can be used for things like baggage fees, in-flight Wi-Fi charges, and food and beverages. It also offers you $100 in annual credits toward purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue and a $100 credit toward the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee. You also get access to the Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass Select and American Express Centurion airport lounges.
You earn 5x Membership Rewards points for airfare booked through airlines or amextravel.com and hotels booked through amextravel.com. You earn one point per dollar on all other purchases, and points can be transferred to airline miles or hotel rewards.
Benefits include elite status with Hilton and Marriott hotels, as well as Avis, Hertz and National car rentals. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card, and new applicants can earn 60,000 bonus points after using the card to spend $5,000 within three months of account opening. You can read our full Platinum Card® From American Express review here.
The Gold Card® From American Express
If you’re not quite ready to pony up the $550 annual fee for the American Express Platinum Card®, you can always choose to go with its slightly less expensive kid sister.
With an annual fee of $250, the American Express Gold Card® is still a metal luxury card that offers a wide array of benefits. Just for signing up, you’ll receive 35,000 points if you spend at least $2,000 during the first three months after opening the account. For every dollar you spend at a restaurant or in a U.S. supermarket (up to $25,000), you’ll receive four points. Flights can earn you up to three points per dollar (if you book directly with the airline or via American Express’ travel portal). You’ll get one point per dollar for every other purchase you make.
Mastercard® Gold Card™
For years, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ has been the pinnacle of the luxury credit card industry. In fact, it’s the most expensive card you can apply for in the United States. (There are pricier cards, but you’ll need an invite.)
Issued by Barclays, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ is plated in 24 karat gold and grants you access to airport business lounges, Global Entry fee credits, and an annual $200 credit toward airline purchases. Throughout the year, you’ll receive surprise special luxury gifts, as well as a subscription to an exclusive magazine.
As for rewards, you’ll receive 2% cash back on spending… or apply the bonus amount to airfare.
However, these luxury bonuses don’t come cheap. The Mastercard® Gold Card™ carries an annual fee of $995. You can read our full Mastercard® Gold Card™ review here.
The Best Almost Luxury Credit Cards
Now let’s get to the Honorable Mentions here — those cards that charge less than your typical luxury cards but still offer great bonuses and services.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Let’s start with the uber-popular Chase Sapphire Preferred®. That’s because the Chase Sapphire Preferred® isn’t technically a luxury card — it charges an annual fee of only $95. But heck, the bonuses that come with the card sure make you feel like it’s top of the line. We’re talking about Chase’s popular Ultimate Rewards program, not to mention a 60,000-point signup bonus.
This card also pays out robust bonuses for using your card on dining out and travel expenses. We also appreciate its travel insurance and shopping protection benefits. Plus, you’ll never have to pay a foreign transaction fee, so you can charge your way around the globe. You can read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® review here.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards
If you’re an avid traveler who isn’t keen on paying outrageous fees for luxury benefits, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards (read our full review here) is also a great choice. Instead of offering frequent flyer miles with a single airline, it offers reward points that can be redeemed for statement credit toward any travel purchase you make. You can transfer your miles to any of 14 select airlines.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card is Capital One’s top-of-the-line travel rewards card, and it’s not without extra benefits. You’ll receive a credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees, along with special rates from Hotels.com.
Best of all, there’s an annual fee of just $95, which is waived for the first year.
If you’ve got money to spend and not interested in investing it, luxury credit cards can be your ticket to exclusive bonuses and benefits. However, always make sure to read the fine print before signing up for any credit card.