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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.
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.