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Most of us don’t have the staggering net worth to qualify for the most exclusive credit cards. But you can still qualify for the best luxury credit cards for world-class rewards and benefits. Further, the best part is that you don’t need to wait for an invitation to apply for the best luxury credit cards.

Toronto YYZ to New York LGA July 2023. Credit: Johnny Jet

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Best Luxury Credit Cards

Firstly, in many cases, these travel cards have many overlapping benefits with their invite-only counterparts. And these luxury credit cards may not be diamond-encrusted or be part of the best metal credit card group. Yet, the best luxury credit cards still have access to some of the best rewards programs and travel benefits available.

The Platinum Card from American Express

How The Platinum Card® from American Express packs so many travel benefits into a single card is a mystery sometimes. The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400. But using these benefits can easily be worth a lot more:

  • 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel partners
  • Access to airport lounges
  • Terms apply

Cardholders earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, and earn 5x Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Cardholders can get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when they pay with the Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.

Also, select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

Other Benefits

There’s also a digital entertainment credit, making this card one of the best for streaming services. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when they pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.

Another exciting benefit is the ability for cardholders to get up to $300 back each year in the form of statement credits on an Equinox+ subscription or any Equinox club membership when they pay with their Platinum Card. Enrollment required.

Plus, get up to a $155 annual Walmart+ credit, which covers the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. The cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.

Get the full details and learn more in our in-depth The Platinum Card from American Express review.

Welcome Bonus Offer

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $8,000 on purchases on their new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. 

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.

Besides all the travel perks, this card lets you earn almost double the points on flights and hotels than most travel credit cards. Your points are redeemable for award travel through AmexTravel.com. However, they are most valuable why you transfer them to 1:1 airline and hotel Membership Rewards travel partners, including Delta, Emirates, British Airways, and Singapore Airlines.

Related: What’s the Highest Level Card with American Express?

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The best Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

It doesn’t have as many perks as the American Express Platinum Card. But you can still easily leverage the benefits to maximize award travel:

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge membership
  • Primary rental car collision damage waiver
  • 50% travel redemption bonus
  • 1:1 point transfers to airlines and hotels

Plus, earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

This card makes it easy to earn and redeem Ultimate Rewards points. Each point is worth 1.5 cents each when booking any travel through Chase Travel℠. A better option can be transferring them to the Chase transfer partners including Southwest, United, British Airways, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual fee is $550. However, the benefits and the Chase Sapphire Reserve trip delay perks help offset the cost.

If you happen to have $10 million at J.P. Morgan, you can qualify for the J.P. Morgan Reserve Card. The card benefits are similar to the Sapphire Reserve. However, your card is made from the luxurious palladium metal.

Related article: Check out the other Chase Sapphire Reserve travel benefits.

American Express Gold Card

If you don’t travel enough to maximize the Platinum Card, you might consider the American Express® Gold Card. It doesn’t come with airport lounge access, but it still offers benefits with a smaller $250 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).

  • Premium roadside assistance (Free assistance up to 4 times a year)
  • 1:1 Membership Rewards airline and hotel transfers
  • Terms apply

The American Express® Gold Card earns 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earns 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Plus, earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Another perk is the ability to earn up to $10 in statement credits on a monthly basis when you use your Gold Card to pay at the following dining establishments (enrollment is required):

  • Grubhub
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Goldbelly
  • Wine.com
  • Milk Bar
  • Shake Shack (only at participating locations)

This perk can save you up to $120 annually.

Your points are still most valuable when transferred to the 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer partners. The Amex Gold does a good job of balancing food and travel spending with its bonus categories.

New American Express® Gold Card cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months. Cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold. 

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® provides free access to the Admirals Club lounge. Also, up to 2 travel companions or your immediate family can accompany you.

You also get these air travel benefits:

  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same domestic American Airlines itinerary
  • Priority check-in, security, and boarding privileges
  • 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases

Earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.

Earn 1x AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.

Plus, earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.

Like the other cards listed above, this one also comes with a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. These are just some of the reasons why it’s one of the best credit cards for travel miles.

The annual fee is $595.

New Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® cardholders can earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, enjoy a complimentary Admirals Club® membership (a value of up to $850).

Summary of the Best Luxury Credit Cards

In conclusion, the most frequent and loyal travelers can enjoy the best travel benefits through the use of luxury credit cards. As a result, perks include things like free nights, airline fee credits, and passes to airport lounges are offered to consumers. Therefore, travel days can be more peaceful and less expensive with one of these credit cards.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

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