Comparison of the Premium Rewards Cards

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There are a lot of premium cards available in the market now and they carry a hefty price tag. For starters, the annual fee may be over-whelming. To Justify the annual fee, each card is packed with a wide range of benefits . With a little effort, it is possible to enjoy benefits that can outweigh the annual fee.

In this post, we will compare the key features of the following cards

The Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Business Platinum

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Citi Prestige

US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

CNB Crystal Visa Infinite

United MileagePlus Club card

Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

Delta Reserve

SPG Luxury Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Annual Fee: Annual fee is key factor when choosing the premium cards and there could be additional fee for authorized users.

Card NameAnnual fee Fee for Authorized
Users
The Platinum Card from
American Express
$550 $175 (For upto three
additional card holders)
American Express Business
Platinum (Effective from Feb 01, 2019)
$595 $300
Chase Sapphire Reserve$450 $75
Citi Prestige$495 $75
US Bank Altitude Reserve
visa Infinite Card
$400 $75
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite$400 $0 for up to three additional card holders
United MileagePlus Club
card
$450 $0
Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard$450 $0 for upto 10 additional card holders
Delta Reserve$450 $0
SPG Luxury Card$450$0
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card$450$0

Rewards & Annual Credits:   Each card offers a variety of rewards and the annual credits plays a key role towards offsetting the annual fee.

Card NameRewards Annual Credits
The Platinum Card from
American
Express
5X on airfare
booked
directly with the
airline or through
Amex Travel and
on
prepaid hotels
booked through
amextravel.com
$200 credit towardsincidental expenses with
chosen Airline.

$200 in Annual
Uber Credits
American Express Business Platinum (Effective from Feb 01, 2019)5X on airfare and prepaid hotels
booked through
amextravel.com

1.5X on
purchases above
$5000
$200 credit
towards incidental
expenses with
chosen Airline.

$200 in statement
credits towards Dell Purchases
Chase Sapphire
Reserve
3X on Travel
and Dining
$300 towards Travel expenses
Citi Prestige5X on Air Travel
and Dining

3X on Cruise
lines and Hotels
$250 Travel Credit 
US Bank Altitude Reserve
Visa Infinite Card
3X on Travel
and purchases
made through
Mobile Wallets
$325 in travel
credit towards
purchases made
directly with
Airlines,
Hotels, Cruises,
Car rental etc..
CNB Crystal Visa
Infinite
3X on Gas,
Grocery, Travel & Dining
$250 towards
Domestic
Airline Incidental
credit per card
(even for
Authorized users x 3)
United MileagePlus Club
card
2X on United
Purchases and 1.5X on all other purchases
None
Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard2X on American
Airlines Purchases
None
Delta Reserve2X on Delta
Airlines Purchases
None
SPG Luxury Card6X on Marriott Purchases
3X on US restaurants and travel purchases made directly with Airlines
2X on all other purchases
$300 credit towards eligible purchases at Marriott Hotels
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card14X on Hilton Purchases

7X on flights booked directly with Airlines or Amextravel.com; US Restaurants or select Car rental companies

3X on all other purchases
$250 credit towards Airline Incidental purchases

$250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit

$100 Hilton On-property credit

Other Key Benefits: All cards offer No Foreign transaction fee as one common benefit. Apart from that, you could get Airport lounge access with limited options to vast options.

Card NameAirport Lounge
Access
Other Key Benefits
The Platinum
Card from
American
Express
Access to Amex
Centurion Lounges

Priority Pass Select Membership

Delta Skyclub
(When flying Delta)
$100 credit towards
GlobalEntry 
American
Expresses
Business
Platinum (Effective from Feb 01, 2019)
Access to Amex
Centurion Lounges

Priority Pass Select Membership

Delta Skyclub
(When flying Delta)
Get 35% of the points back when you book flights through
amextravel.com and pay with Membership rewards

Hilton Honors and Marriott
Gold status

One year Complimentary
Access to Weworks


Chase
Sapphire Reserve
Priority Pass Select Membership $100 credit towards
GlobalEntry or TSA PreCheck
application
Citi
Prestige
Priority Pass Select Membership Fourth night hotel free
( limited to twice per calendar
year)

$100 Global Entry
application fee
US Bank
Altitude
Reserve
Visa
Infinite
Card
Priority Pass Select
Membership
(Complimentary for
first 4 visits)
12 Go-go Inflight Wifi Passes

$100 towards GlobalEntry or
TSA PreCheck application
CNB
Crystal
Visa
Infinite
Priority Pass Select
Membership with Unlimited Guests
$100 towards Global Entry (X4 including three AU’s.)

12 Gogo inflight wifi passes per
card
United
Mileage
Plus Club card
Full United Club
Membership
Baggage Fee waived (Up to
2 bags) for you and a
companion when flying with
United

No fee on Close-in award
booking and expanded access
to United Saver awards
Citi/AAdvantage
Executive World
Elite
Master
Card
Admirals Club
Membership
(Access to AA Lounges even
when not flying with AA)
$100 towards Global Entry

Earn 10,000 EQM’s when you
spend $40K in a Year
Delta ReserveDelta Sky Club
lounge access for
card member only
Annual Companion Certificate
for flying Domestic

15,000 MQM’s when you spend 30K in a year and an additional 15,000 MQM’s when you spend an additional 30K in an year
SPG Luxury card
Priority Pass Select Membership 

Marriott Gold Elite Status

1 Free night award (Redeemable up to 50,000 points/night)


100 towards GlobalEntry or
TSA PreCheck application
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Priority Pass Select Membership 
Hilton Honors Diamond Status

1 Free weekend night award at participating hotels in Hilton Portfolio


Other Key Points to Consider: There are also other benefits like Concierge, Purchase protection etc.. which could further enhance the value if used appropriately. You may get a lot of value from the credit card the first year especially with the sign-up bonus. If you do not see much points earning benefit the next year you could always downgrade the card to a no fees card. This helps you establish a long credit history and you don’t come across as someone who just gets credit card for sign-up bonuses.

Conclusion: Several Premium cards are now available in the market and competing for your business. Even though these cards come with a huge annual fee, it is easy to reap huge value with little planning and execution.

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