The best premier credit cards provide freebies for big spenders, such as The Platinum Card from American Express offering up to to $200 in free Uber rides and access to Amex-branded airport lounges throughout the world.
Chase Sapphire Reserve has the best initial bonus of $750 in travel after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. But the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card gives an annual $300 airline fee credit on top of hotel and flight discounts. The most hotel perks come with the Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card through upgrades, credits, discounts and a free night each year.
Each of these cards grant access to hundreds of VIP airport lounges and provide a $100 reimbursement for the Global Entry application fee. And for a card to be premier, it should be a given there’s no foreign transaction fee. Another given is that you’ll need good or excellent credit to qualify for these cards.
Here are the best Premier credit cards:
- Ritz Carlton Premier Credit Card
- HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard credit card
- Radisson Premier Visa Signature Credit Card
- PNC Premier Traveler Credit Card
It’d take a novel to list all the benefits offered with these premier credit cards. But you can find out about the most notable features, including freebies, upgrades and exclusive access, below.
Learn about the best premier credit cards:
Hotel & Flight Credits: Ritz Carlton Credit Card – This Chase card is packed with premier benefits. Get two nights free at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Then get 10,000 bonus points after an authorized user makes their first purchase. For paid stays of 2 nights or more, you’ll receive a $100 hotel credit toward dining, spa, or other recreational activities. Stays of 7 consecutive nights or more are eligible for a Club Level upgrade up to 3 times a year.
This card also has valuable airline perks. Each year you get a $300 credit to use on baggage fees, seat upgrades, lounge access and more. You can save $100 on the total cost between 2-5 domestic coach round-trip flights on the same itinerary. Plus, Priority Pass Select membership is free every year. You earn 5 points per $1 spend at Ritz-Carlton locations, participating Marriott locations and all Starwood hotels participating in Starwood Preferred Guest.
Annual fee: $450
Top Hotel Perks: Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card – Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points from this American Express card after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Hotel stays cost anywhere from 5,000 to 95,000 points, so your bonus could potentially equal 20 nights free. Purchases at Hilton locations earn 14 points per $1 spent. Then, you get 7 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. One night’s stay is free upon card renewal each year. You can earn another night free if you spend $60,000 in a year.
The bonuses don’t stop there! Every year you get a $250 statement credit for purchases at Hilton resorts and another $250 for airline incidental fees. When booking a 2-night minimum stay at HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard, you get up to $100 in credits for charges at participating hotels. Complimentary Hilton Diamond status equals a 5th night free for stays of 5 consecutive nights or more. A free Priority Pass Select membership is also included with this card.
Annual fee: $450
$750 Travel Bonus: Chase Sapphire Reserve – You can earn 50,000 points worth $750 in travel after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Travel purchases earn 3 points per $1. And each year you get a $300 statement credit good for travel[MP2] purchases. With a free Priority Pass Select membership, valued at $399 per year, you get complimentary access to 1,000+ VIP airport lounges. This card is part of the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, which grants free Wi-Fi and daily breakfast for two. When available, you get room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, too.
Annual fee: $450
$200 in Uber Rides: Platinum Card from American Express – Every year, you get $200 in free Uber rides and a $200 credit for incidental airline fees. As part of the Global Lounge collection, you can bring 2 guests at no charge to any participating Priority Pass Select lounge. And enjoy unlimited access to American Express lounge locations. If you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, you get 60,000 bonus points, which are worth $600 in travel. You earn 5 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines and hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Annual fee: $550
The phrase “you gotta pay to play” rings true for the best premier credit cards. The high annual fees are a ticket to some snazzy benefits. But these cards only make sense for high-spenders making frequent travel purchases anyway. As alluring as premier credit cards can be, don’t sacrifice savings for status.