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Best Premium Credit Cards of August 2020

NerdWalletAugust 3, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Premium credit cards come with outsized perks. Travel credits, high rewards rates on spending and rich redemption options are just a few of the benefits premium cardholders can expect.

Not everyone will qualify for premium cards. They are typically aimed at consumers with good to excellent credit. If your credit is poor or average, you’ll want to first work on improving your credit before applying for a premium card.

The premium perks also come with significant annual fees, going up to $550 and beyond. That means it’s important to make sure you will extract more value from the card than you pay. The card details below will help you find the best premium card for you.

NerdWallet's Best Premium Credit Cards of August 2020

Best Premium Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Overall premium card

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$550

Regular APR

16.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

Not only does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer a massive sign-up bonus and rich ongoing rewards, but cardholders also have a lot of flexibility in how they redeem those rewards, giving them access to a wide variety of airlines and hotel chains.

Pros

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® stands out for its large sign-up bonus as well as ongoing rewards: 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Those points can then be redeemed for 1.5 cents each when you book travel through Chase. You might even be able to squeeze more value out of your points by transferring them to the card's various hotel and airline partners. Other perks and highlights include an annual $300 travel credit, airport lounge access, application-fee credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, and no foreign transaction fees.

Cons

The $550 annual fee is a big one, and anyone who pays it should ensure they are getting more value out of the card than they are paying. If you use the $300 annual travel credit, then you’re already most of the way there.

Our pick for

Premium hotel card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$450

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
  • Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 7X Bonus Points for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies & at U.S. restaurants.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Enjoy up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card.
  • $450 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with a steep annual fee, but its generous perks make it near-must-have for hardcore Hilton loyalists.

Pros

You get a ton of points for travel and dining purchases (see the Product Details tab), but this card really pays you back with perks: generous resort and airline credits; airport lounge access; free weekend nights; automatic Diamond status, travel protections and more. And don't forget the big bonus offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Terms apply.

Cons

The $450 annual fee is a significant outlay, even considering the benefits you get in return.

Our pick for

Premium dining card

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$250

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

With rich dining and travel rewards, not to mention valuable credits, the American Express® Gold Card can offset the cost of indulging in a little luxury.

Pros

You get an impressive welcome offer: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. You also can earn high rewards rates in certain categories, including restaurants worldwide, U.S. supermarkets, and flights booked with airlines or through amextravel.com. The card also offers $100 a year in airline fee credits and $10 in monthly statement credits when you use the card at eligible merchants, including Grubhub, Seamless, and Shake Shack. Terms apply. The card has no foreign transaction fees. Its annual fee, $250, is also lower than the fees on other premium cards. Terms apply.

Cons

Unlike many other premium cards, this one doesn’t come with automatic airport lounge access. You might also still run into merchants who don’t accept American Express. And while the card's credits can help offset most of its annual fee, you'll want to make sure you can make use of those credits.

Our pick for

Premium card for business

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$595

Regular APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply
  • View Rates and Fees

For frequent business travelers, the perks that come with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are hard to beat: elevated rewards, access to airport lounges, hotel status, and credits toward airline fees.

Pros

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express comes with an impressive welcome offer, rich ongoing rewards, including 5X Membership Rewards on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com, and additional bonus points opportunities, including 35% points back on first- and business-class flights when you meet certain requirements. Terms apply. The card also gives you access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world that are part of The American Express Global Lounge Collection and an annual $200 credit toward airline fees. Terms apply.

Cons

The annual fee of $595 is high, but can easily be worth it if you travel a lot for business. The opportunities to earn bonus points can also get a little complicated.

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST PREMIUM CARDS

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Our pick for: Overall premium card

The high annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives many potential applicants pause, but frequent travelers should be able to wring enough value out of this card to more than make up for the cost. A fat sign-up bonus, annual travel credits, airport lounge access, 3X points on travel and dining, and a 50% boost in point value when you redeem for travel booked through Chase all add to the appeal. Points can also be transferred to about a dozen airline and hotel partners. Read our review. 

Our pick for: Luxury travel perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a hefty annual fee, but travelers who like to go in style (and aren't afraid to pay for comfort) can more than get their money's worth. Enjoy extensive airport lounge access, hundreds of dollars a year in travel and shopping credits, hotel benefits and more. That's not even getting into the high rewards rate on eligible travel purchases and the rich bonus offer for new cardholders. Read our review.

Our pick for: Premium airline card

Every airline has a premium card that gets you into its airport lounges, but the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card also gets you into American Express's Centurion Lounges when flying Delta, and it comes with an annual companion certificate that's good even in first class. Read our review.

Our pick for: Premium hotel card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with a steep annual fee, but its rich rewards (especially on travel and dining) and generous perks make it near-must for hardcore Hilton loyalists. Enjoy airline and resort credits, airport lounge access, automatic elite status, free weekend night awards and much more. Read our review.

Our pick for: Premium dining card

The American Express® Gold Card can earn you a pile of points from everyday spending, with generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, at restaurants worldwide and on certain flights booked through amextravel.com. Other benefits include hundreds of dollars a year in available dining and travel credits and a solid bonus offer for new cardholders. There's an annual fee, though, and a pretty substantial one, so it's not for smaller spenders. Read our review.

Our pick for: Premium card for business 

Like the consumer version of this card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a big annual fee. But business travelers who prefer to go in style will find plenty that appeals to them: high rewards on certain travel purchases, bonus rewards on larger non-travel purchases, a superb newcomer bonus offer, extensive airport lounge access, elite hotel status, hundreds of dollars a year in available credits and a list of perks as long as your arm. It's not cheap, but luxury never is. Read our review.

To view rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please visit  this page.

To view rates and fees of the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this page.

Last updated on August 3, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.