- Ignore Labels
Neither a credit card’s name nor its appearance really matters. The same goes for the material it’s made out of. None of those things will help you save more money. And they could cost you opt for style over substance when picking a credit card to apply for. So worry about rewards, rates, fees and other features that will actually impact your wallet.
- More Expensive Doesn’t Mean Better
Some people think an annual fee automatically makes a credit card bad. Others assume that higher fees lead to more luxury. Neither group is right. An annual fee isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. It depends on what you’re getting for the money as well as what cheaper cards bring to the table in terms of rewards and other perks. You really need to crunch the numbers and compare cards based on how much money you expect each to save you.
- Think About What You’ll Actually Do
Applying a credit card’s rewards framework to your own spending habits will give you a realistic sense of how much you’ll earn. So you need to think about what types of purchases you’re going to make with your new card and find an offer that’s generous in those spending categories.
Similarly, be realistic about what features you really need. For example, you shouldn’t get a credit card just for the airline lounge access it provides if you hardly ever fly.
- Make Your Own Premium Credit Card
You can’t really make your own credit card. But you can assemble a group of credit cards that collectively offer better terms than any single credit card could provide. It’s called the Island Approach. The basic idea is that you designate each credit card for a specific type of transaction, and you focus only on terms relevant to that type of transaction when choosing the card. For example, don’t worry about interest rates when you’re looking for a rewards card for everyday spending. And don’t worry about rewards when shopping for a balance transfer credit card.
The best way to get a premium credit card is to improve your credit standing. After all, people with excellent credit get the pick of the litter as far as plastic is concerned. If you don’t know how good your credit is, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub to find out. WalletHub is the only site that offers free credit scores and reports that are updated daily. We’ll also do a personalized analysis of your credit, telling you exactly what you need to do to improve.
For your convenience, we’ll recap our selections for the best premium credit cards by category below, to help steer you in the right direction in that regard.
Best Premium Credit Cards Compared
|Credit Card||Best For||Annual Fee||Initial Bonus|
|IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||Hotel Points||$89||125,000 points|
|United Explorer Credit Card||Airline Rewards||$0 intro 1st yr, $95 after||60,000 miles|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||VIP Access & Experiences||$95||60,000 points|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Dining & Entertainment||$95||$300|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||Travel Rewards for Business||$95||100,000 points|
|U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card||Luxury Travel Perks||$400||50,000 points|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Elite Travel Perks||$695||100,000 points|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Annual Travel Credit||$550||50,000 points|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Business Travel Perks||$595 ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/22)||120,000 points|
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell the truly premium credit cards from the imposters. Fortunately, we’ve got some more information that should make identifying a premium credit card much easier.
Learn More About Premium Credit Cards
Premium credit cards with bad credit
The best premium credit cards are not available to people with bad credit, as they require applicants to have good credit or excellent credit at a minimum, depending on the card. The most-premium credit cards for bad credit are those with $0 annual fees and above-average rewards.
Premium credit card benefits
The benefits of premium credit cards include perks such as airport-lounge access, TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application-fee credits, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, automatic status in airline and hotel loyalty programs, free checked bags on flights, concierge service, access to unique events and experiences, lots of bonus rewards, and more. Premium credit card benefits vary by card.
Methodology for Selecting the Best Premium Credit Cards
To identify the best premium credit cards on the market and then maintain the list over time, WalletHub’s editors regularly compare 1,500+ credit card offers based on their approval requirements, fees, rewards, other benefits and special features. We focus on rewards credit cards for consumers and small business owners with good credit or excellent credit, as applicants for premium credit cards tend to be high-spenders who pay their balance in full every month.
More specifically, we compare the cards based on their expected net rewards value (earnings after fees), using spending profiles built from Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer expenditure data. For cards that offer initial rewards bonuses, we include the bonus if a cardholder would earn it by spending an average of $1,400 per month for up to four months. Any other bonuses past the four-month mark that require spending to earn are included in calculations if the spending requirement can be met based on the standard spending assumptions we used.
We then use net earnings to select the top cards, as well as the cards with the most upfront value via initial rewards bonuses. Furthermore, we single out additional offers that have one or more highly unique and valuable feature.