4 Credit Cards That Will Make You Feel Like a Millionaire

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When most people think about how the rich and famous travel, they probably picture first-class flights and penthouse suites. While this is usually true, that lifestyle doesn’t have to be strictly reserved for the one-percenters. By having the right piece of plastic in your wallet, you, too, could feel like a millionaire on your next vacation.

Keep in mind, a lot of these premium credit cards do come with a price — in the form of a high annual fee. That fee could be recouped via rewards and other benefits, depending on how you spend, but it’s important to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if a particular credit card is right for you. It’s also important to note that rewards credit cards are best-served to those who don’t carry a balance, since your points can easily be lost to interest. Finally, anyone considering a new credit card should probably check their credit before applying since your credit scores will determine what kind of offers you will qualify for. (You can view two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.)

Here are four different cards for you to consider that could leave you feeling like a millionaire.

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Released earlier this year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has quickly become the “cool” credit card to have in your wallet. The card offers a signup bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Reward points (the equivalent of $1,500 when you redeem them through the bank’s travel portal) once you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That’s enough points to put you near the front of the plane on many different airlines.

In addition to a mega-signup bonus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a very generous reward program. You’ll earn 3x the Chase Ultimate Reward points on restaurant and travel purchases and 1x on all other purchases.

If you want to really feel like a millionaire when you are traveling, then you will love that this card will also give you access to over 900 different airport lounges with a complimentary Priority Pass membership. Forgot about spending your layover sitting in cramped airport seats, now you can drink a cocktail while relaxing in a comfortable seating.

This card does come with $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $300 annual travel credit. Unlike some elite credit cards, this benefit can be used with more than just airlines. It can also be used on any purchases that Chase codes as a travel expense. The card carries an annual percentage rate (APR) between 16.24% and 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

2. Platinum Card From American Express

Earning a lot of credit card points is nice, but what really makes someone feel exclusive, are the luxury benefits that come with the card. The Platinum card from American Express (see full review here) offers a concierge service, which will serve as your very own personal assistant. Looking to grab a reservation at a highly sought after restaurant? Want to experience private, invitation-only events, like the Kentucky Derby or a movie premier in an exotic location? You can do that as a Platinum cardholder.

In addition to these elite perks, you will be able to earn 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points once you sign up and spend $3,000 within the first three months. When you use your card for travel purchases, you will earn 5x the Membership Rewards points. For all other purchases, you will earn 1x the points. Cardholders will receive a complimentary upgrade to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, as well as Hilton HHonors Gold. You will also have access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. When you book your hotel through this program, you can receive some great perks, including room upgrades, late checkout, daily breakfast for two, and a unique gift at each property that could be a $100 dining credit or a complimentary massage for two.

The annual fee is $450, but you will receive a $100 credit for either Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check and each calendar year you will receive a $200 airline credit. As a charge card, you’re expected to pay your balance off in full each month, so there’s no purchase APR.

3. American Express Delta Reserve Credit Card

If you travel frequently and want to improve your chances at being an airline elite, then the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express will give you a leg up. After you make your first purchase with the card, you will receive 10,000 Delta SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM). Then each calendar year you will receive an additional 15,000 Delta SkyMiles and 15,000 MQM for each $30,000 you spend on your card.

When you become a Delta Medallion member, you will receive some great benefits, like complimentary upgrades to first class and upgrades for your travel companions when they are flying on a revenue ticket. In addition to Medallion benefits, the card will also provide you with priority boarding, your first checked bag free, Delta Sky Club access, and no foreign transaction fees. There is a $450 annual fee. The card carries a variable APR between 15.99% to 24.99%.

4. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

For a long time, Ritz-Carlton hotels have been known to be some of the more elegant places to stay around the world. When you sign up for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card, you will have the opportunity to experience that elegance first-hand. You will receive three complimentary nights at any category 1-4 Ritz-Carlton after spending $5,000 in the first three months of being a cardholder. In addition, you will receive 10,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the same three-month period.

As a cardholder, you will be able to upgrade to Club level three times per year when you are staying for seven or more nights. Anytime you stay for two or more nights, you will receive a $100 hotel credit. This can be used on dining, spa treatments, or any activity through the hotel. Cardholders will receive Ritz-Carlton Gold Elite status and if you spend $75,000 or more per year, you will be upgraded to Platinum Elite status. The card carries a variable APR between 16.24% and 23.24%.

There is a $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $300 annual travel credit, $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check, and because this is a Visa Infinite card, you will also receive a $100 airfare discount when you purchase two or more airline tickets.

At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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The Credit Cards That Will Get You Past the Bouncer

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Do you enjoy going to special events? Unfortunately, it’s become increasingly difficult to obtain tickets to the most popular sports and entertainment extravaganzas, and there’s many other experiences that never offer passes to the general public. Some credit cards, however, can offer you access to these events, including VIP experiences that can provide a glimpse “behind the velvet rope.”

Of course, you’ll need to read the terms and conditions carefully of any plastic you are considering to find the credit card that’s right for you. And you’ll also want to check your credit before applying. A good credit score helps you qualify for the better products on the market and you’ll want to be sure your credit score can handle a hard inquiry. (You can see where you currently stand by viewing your two free credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com.)

Having said that, here are some credit cards and a few credit card rewards programs available with many cards that you can use to gain greater access to your favorite events.

1. The NFL Extra Points Card From Barclaycard

The NFL Extra Points Card from Barclaycard offers points that can be redeemed for tickets to NFL games or exclusive football experiences. Tickets are available to regular season games, the playoffs and even the Super Bowl. You can also redeem your points to attend experiences that are not sold to the public, such as a sideline pass for pre-game warm-ups, a chance to see your team emerge from the locker room or a post-game press conference. Cardholders choose a team before applying and the exclusive experiences can vary based on what that team offers. There is no annual fee for this card; it has a variable annual percentage rate of 15.24%20.24% or 25.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.   

2. The Platinum Card From American Express

One of the numerous benefits of American Express’ Platinum Card (see full review here) is its By Invitation Only program that gives cardholders access to extraordinary experiences including sports, fashion shows, fine dining and performing arts events. These experiences are customized for Platinum Card Members and are typically not available to the general public. This card also offers preferred seating to popular concerts, sports and entertainment events. There is a $450 annual fee for this card.  

3. The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card From American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card (see full review here) allows you to earn points in the Starwood Preferred Guest program which features SPG Moments, a chance to redeem points for exclusive access to music, sports and entertainment events. For example, packages that have been available include your own private luxury suite at Wrigley Field in Chicago, a luxury suite at Madison Square Garden to see comedian Amy Schumer and an event where you can meet Jennifer Lopez and enjoy VIP seats to her show in Las Vegas. There is a $95 annual fee for this card, waived the first year. Its APR is between 15.49% to 19.49% variable, depending on your creditworthiness. 

4. Citi Private Pass

This benefit is offered to Citi credit card and debit card holders, and features special access to live music, sports, dining, and family entertainment events. For example, events have included pre-sale concert tickets to see country music star Toby Keith, VIP and preferred pricing to a youth football camp with Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and an event featuring Cameron Diaz and Rachael Ray. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, American Express and Barclaycard advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

5. MasterCard Priceless Cities

Credit cardholders that are part of the MasterCard network can sign up for its Priceless Cities program, which features exclusive access to special events in some major cities. Offers have included a private Monument Park Tour at Yankee Stadium in New York and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles.

6. Visa Signature

Credit card users who hold a Visa Signature card have access to exclusive events. For instance, events have included a free round of golf at Pebble Beach Golf Links with a two-night minimum stay at The Lodge, The Inn or Casa Palmero. In addition, preferred seats have been available to Cirque du Soleil shows.

At publishing time, the NFL Extra Points, American Express Platinum, Starwood Preferred Guest and Citibank credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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The Best Elite Credit Card in America

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Premium credit cards offer not just greater rewards and benefits, but they can provide a more enjoyable experience when traveling. Considering the ordeal that modern travel has become, these benefits alone are often worth the higher price that cardholders must pay to hold a premium credit card.

What to Look for in an Elite Credit Card

At its core, a premium credit card is a rewards credit card, and you should look for the most valuable rewards for the spending you do. Most of these cards offer a single point or mile per dollar spent, with bonus points or miles for spending on certain types of purchases. For example, a card that offers airline frequent flier miles will typically offer double points for purchases from that airline, while other cards might offer additional points for dining or entertainment purchases. But as with other rewards credit cards, those who tend to carry a balance should look for a card that offers the lowest possible interest rates, not rewards for spending. These credit cards often require an excellent credit score to get approved. You can check your credit scores for free on Credit.com to see where you stand.

Next, you have to consider the benefits of these cards, and your ability to use them. For example, a premium credit card affiliated with a single airline will offer perks like free checked bags and priority boarding, which can be valuable, but only when flying on that airline. Furthermore, premium credit cards will offer an airport lounge benefit, but you have to learn which lounges they provide access to, and if they also provide access for guests. Finally, you have to consider the price of these premium cards, which includes an annual fee of $400-$500.

The Winner: Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Why It Won: This card now goes above and beyond all other premium credit cards by offering lounge benefits not just for the primary cardholder, but for all authorized cardholders as well.

The Benefits: When traveling on American airlines, cardholders receive their first checked bag free for themselves and up to eight additional people on their reservation. Cardholders also get to use the priority check-in areas at ticket counters and the expedited airport screening lanes, as well as priority boarding privileges. Furthermore, all cardholders including additional authorized users receive American Airlines Admirals Club membership for themselves and their immediate family members, or two guests. And since there is no additional charge to request cards for authorized users, you can offer lounge club membership to anyone you choose to add to your account. (Just be aware that adding an authorized user to your account leaves you open to responsibility for any charges they incur using the card.)

Cardholders also receive a $100 statement credit towards an application for the Global Entry program. Reach elite status sooner by earning 10,000 AAdvantage elite qualifying miles every year when you spend $40,000 on purchases. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

The Costs: There is a $450 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.

Want to see the other winners in the Best Premium Credit Cards in America ranking? You can read more on Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

More on Credit Cards:

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