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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 these top luxury credit cards.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Editor’s Note: Some of the offers below may have expired or are no longer available on our site.
Best Luxury Credit Cards
Firstly, in many cases, these travel cards have many overlapping benefits as their invite-only counterparts. And these cards may not be diamond-encrusted or be part of the best metal credit cards 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 $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 your Platinum Card®.
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.
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® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, The New York Times, and other participating providers. 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 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card.
Another exciting benefit is the ability for cardholders to get up to $300 back each year on an Equinox+ subscription or any Equinox club membership when they pay with their Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
Plus, get a $155 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.
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.
Welcome Bonus Offer
New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 on purchases on their new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
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 Ultimate Rewards® 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 the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. 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.
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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):
- The Cheesecake Factory
- 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 $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months. Cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
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
For a limited time, earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases through December 31, 2022. After that, earn 2 miles per $1 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 $450.
New Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® cardholders can earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Possibly the most lavish hotel credit card is the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.
Along with the ability to earn more at Hilton properties, it offers these hotel and air travel benefits:
- One free weekend night reward at account opening and each card renewal
- Second free weekend night by spending $60,000 a year
- Hilton Honors Diamond status (enrollment required)
- $250 Hilton Resort statement credit
- $100 Hilton on-property credit
- Earn up to 14x Hilton Honors points on purchases
- $250 airline fee credit for incidental fees after selecting one qualifying airline (terms apply, enrollment required)
- Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required)
- Terms apply
Each free weekend night is redeemable at most Hilton properties. The welcome offer is the ability to earn 150,000 bonus Hilton Honors points by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Award nights start at 5,000 points, therefore, the welcome bonus is worth up to 30 free nights.
The annual fee is $450 (See Rates & Fees), but this fee is easily recouped with the free night awards and other travel credits.
Citi Prestige Credit Card
The information for the Citi Prestige Credit Card 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 Prestige® Credit Card has gone through several benefit changes in recent years. However, it’s still one of the best luxury credit cards for booking airline and hotel rewards.
- $250 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass Select lounge access
- 4th hotel night free on 4+ night stays booked on Thankyou.com (up to twice per year)
- 1:1 point transfers
- Earn 5x ThankYou points on air travel and restaurants
- Earn 3x points at hotels and cruise lines
The most valuable benefit for the Citi Prestige is the 4th hotel night free. Citi covers the average nightly rate on the 4th night (you still pay any fees and taxes). But effective September 1, 2019, you can only redeem this benefit twice a year.
However, there still isn’t a nightly rate cap so you can easily save thousands if you stay at high-end hotels and resorts.
Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed on the Citi ThankYou Travel Center. However, a more valuable option is the 1:1 ThankYou transfer partners including Asia Miles, Etihad, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines.
Plus, you can earn a 50,000 points signup bonus (worth $500 in award travel) by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. However, this bonus isn’t available if you earned another Citi ThankYou bonus or closed a Citi ThankYou card (like the Citi Premier® Card) in the past 24 months.
The annual fee is $495.
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.
And for rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, please click here.