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The best premium credit cards: A side-by-side comparison

Nov. 18, 2022
35 min read
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Picking the best travel rewards credit cards can be challenging. Each one offers different perks, and this is especially true for premium cards. And because issuers keep upping the ante by launching new cards, adding benefits and increasing the cards’ annual fees, there’s more competition in this space than ever.

Today, we’ll compare the benefits and value propositions of some of the best premium credit cards currently available. Here are the eight premium rewards cards we’ll focus on:

The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuers.

Methodology for the best premium credit cards

While this list of cards has remained relatively stable lately, there were some massive shake-ups in 2021.

SURADECH PRAPAIRAT/SHUTTERSTOCK

The most significant new addition to the premium card marketplace is the Capital One Venture X card, which debuted in November 2021 with excellent travel perks and an annual fee of $395 — the lowest of any card on this list.

Meanwhile, American Express increased the annual fee on the Amex Platinum Card from $550 to $695 (see rates and fees) in July 2021. While the issuer added several new annual statement credits to offset this higher annual fee, many consumers were disgruntled by these changes. Also, Citi discontinued applications for its Citi Prestige® Card, throwing in the towel on this once-popular travel rewards card for the foreseeable future. Thus, Citi doesn’t have a card earning its own points — Citi ThankYou Rewards — as a contender among the best premium credit cards, which is not normal.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For its part, Chase raised the annual fee on the Sapphire Reserve by $100 to $550 in January 2020 but has also added limited-time partner benefits with Lyft (through 2025), DoorDash (through 2024) and Instacart (permanent).

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With all that in mind, we’ll compare these cards across seven categories:

  • Annual fee.
  • Current welcome offer.
  • Point-earning potential.
  • Redemption options.
  • Travel credits.
  • Lounge access.
  • Travel and purchase protections.

This analysis is based on a generic traveler trying to decide which one of these eight cards should go in their wallet. When it comes to choosing which one is the best, premium cards have varying perks and benefits — so the one that’s right for your wallet will depend on your specific wants and needs.

Annual fee

CardAnnual feeAdditional cardholder fee
Amex Platinum$695 (see rates and fees).$175 for up to three additional cardholders (see rates and fees).
Capital One Venture X$395.$0 for up to four authorized users.
Chase Sapphire Reserve$550.$75 for each additional cardholder.
Hilton Amex Aspire$450 (see rates and fees).$0 for each additional cardholder (see rates and fees).
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant$650 (see rates and fees).$0 for each additional cardholder (see rates and fees).
Delta SkyMiles Reserve$550 (see rates and fees).$175 per additional cardholder (see rates and fees).
United Club Infinite$525.$0 for each additional cardholder.
Citi / AAdvantage Executive$450.$0 for up to 10 authorized users.

Analysis

It would be easiest to pick the cards with the lowest annual fees, but that doesn’t tell the full story.

Whether or not a card charges for additional cardholders also makes a difference. The Hilton Amex Aspire, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, United Club Infinite Card, Citi / AAdvantage Executive (up to 10 authorized users) and Capital One Venture X (up to four authorized users) don’t charge a fee for additional cardholders.

The Hilton Amex Aspire allows authorized users to enjoy an up-to-$100 property credit for eligible two-night stays at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties. Meanwhile, authorized users on the Citi / AAdvantage Executive card receive Admirals Club access for themselves and up to two traveling companions.

JOHN GRIBBEN FOR THE POINTS GUY

Ultimately, however, the winner of this category is the Capital One Venture X. First and foremost, the $395 annual fee is much lower than the rest of the crowd. Plus, you can add up to four authorized users for no additional charge.

They’ll get benefits such as unlimited Capital One Lounge, Plaza Premium and Priority Pass lounge access for themselves and up to two guests. That might be handier than Admirals Club access for many flyers — especially those who travel internationally where the Admirals Club might not have many locations.

Related: Credit cards with the greatest value for authorized users

Current sign-up bonus/welcome offer

CardSign-up bonus/welcome offerTPG valuation*
Amex PlatinumEarn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in the first six months of cardmembership (possibly higher targeted offers through CardMatch, subject to change at any time).$1,600.
Capital One Venture XEarn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.$1,388.
Chase Sapphire ReserveEarn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.$1,600.
Hilton Amex AspireEarn 150,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of cardmembership.$900.
Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantEarn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of cardmembership.$1,260.
Delta SkyMiles ReserveEarn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of cardmembership.$705.
United Club Infinite CardEarn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.$1,210.
Citi / AAdvantage ExecutiveEarn 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.$885.

* Based on TPG valuations and not provided by the issuer.

Analysis

Both the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve have 80-000 point welcome bonuses and equal valuations, but we give the edge to the Sapphire Reserve. The limited-time bonus on it requires $2,000 less spending than the Amex Platinum. However, keep in mind that some folks might find an even higher welcome offer on the Amex Platinum by checking the CardMatch tool (offers are subject to change at any time).

Related: The best increased card offers to sign up for this month

Points-earning potential

CardEarning rates
Amex Platinum
  • 5 points per dollar on airfare purchases booked through the airline or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year).
  • 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
  • 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.
Capital One Venture X
  • 10 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 2 miles per dollar on other purchases.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides.
  • 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • 5 points per dollar on flights booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • 3 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
  • Elevated earning rates apply only after exhausting the $300 annual travel credit.
Hilton Amex Aspire
  • 14 points per dollar at Hilton portfolio properties worldwide.
  • 7 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel.
  • 7 points per dollar on car rentals booked directly from select companies.
  • 7 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants.
  • 3 points per dollar on all other purchases.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
  • 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • 3 points per dollar at worldwide restaurants.
  • 3 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with the airline.
  • 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve
  • 3 miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases.
  • 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases.
United Club Infinite
  • 4 miles per dollar on United purchases.
  • 2 miles per dollar on all other travel and dining purchases.
  • 1 mile per dollar everywhere else.
Citi / AAdvantage Executive
  • 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases.
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Analysis

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes out on top here due to the fact that it earns valuable Ultimate Rewards bonus points on a wide variety of purchases.

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Like the Venture X, the Chase Sapphire Reserve racks up more bonus points on various types of travel booked through Chase’s own travel portal. However, the card pulls ahead of the Venture X by earning more points on general dining and travel purchases. That said, the Venture X earns a solid 2 miles per dollar on everyday spending, which is pretty easy to maximize without having to carefully keep track of spending categories.

The Hilton Amex Aspire takes the third spot thanks to an incredible 14 points per dollar at Hilton properties and 7 points per dollar on airfare, car rentals and U.S. restaurants. These bonuses represent a return of 8.4% and 4.2%, respectively, based on TPG’s most recent valuations.

Redemption options

CardRedemption options
Amex PlatinumNumerous direct redemptions such as gift cards, merchandise and travel; transfer points to 17 airline partners (including Etihad and Singapore Airlines) or three hotel partners (Choice, Hilton and Marriott).
Capital One Venture XTransfer miles to 15 airline and three hotel loyalty partners (including Air Canada and Wyndham) or redeem for travel purchases on your statement at 1 cent per mile.
Chase Sapphire ReserveRedeem points at a rate of 1.5 cents each toward travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal, offset some purchases through Chase’s Pay Yourself Back or transfer points to one of 11 airline partners (such as British Airways or Southwest Airlines) and three hotel partners (such as Hyatt).
Hilton Amex AspireRedeem points for stays at hotels in the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantRedeem points for stays at hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program, along with useful airline transfers.
Delta SkyMiles ReserveRedeem miles for flights on Delta and its various SkyTeam or non-alliance partners.
United Club Infinite CardRedeem miles for flights on United and its various Star Alliance partners (such as Lufthansa).
Citi / AAdvantage ExecutiveRedeem miles for flights on American and its various Oneworld alliance partners and non-alliance partners like Etihad.

Analysis

The top three cards on this list — the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Platinum and Capital One Venture X — earned their spots thanks to the flexibility of transferable points that won’t lock you into a specific set of airlines or hotels.

RYAN PATTERSON FOR THE POINTS GUY

Even though the Chase Sapphire Reserve only has 11 airline and three hotel transfer partners, it also allows cardmembers to redeem points for travel directly through Chase’s portal at an elevated rate of 1.5 cents each. Meanwhile, the Amex Platinum has 20 airline and hotel transfer partners in total and varied redemption options.

The Capital One Venture X takes third place since it offers 15 airline and three hotel transfer partners. While you can transfer to most programs at a 1:1 ratio, there are a couple of exceptions: ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1) and EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5).

Statement credits

CardStatement credits
Amex PlatinumMore than $1,800 in annual statement credits, including:

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Capital One Venture XUp to $300 in annual travel statement credit for bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Up to $300 in travel credit each account anniversary.
  • Up to $10 per month in statement credit from Gopuff purchases (through December 31, 2023).
  • Up to $15 per month in statement credit from Instacart purchases.
Hilton Amex Aspire
  • Up to $250 in airline fee statement credit each calendar year.
  • Up to $250 in Hilton resort statement credit each year of cardmembership.
  • Up to $100 in on-property credit for two-night Waldorf Astoria or Conrad stays.

Terms apply. Enrollment is required.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
  • Up to $300 in credit for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide (up to $25 per month).
  • Up to $100 in on-property credit for stays of two nights or more St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton stays when paying cash.

Terms apply.

Delta SkyMiles ReserveNone.
United Club Infinite CardUp to $75 in statement credit as reimbursement for IHG Hotels and Resorts purchases charged to your card in 2022.
Citi / AAdvantage ExecutiveNone.

Analysis

Amex has added a plethora of new lifestyle- and travel-focused credits to the Platinum over the past couple of years, which easily take the cake in this category. Even if you don’t maximize every single credit each year, you’re still looking at a ton of potential value from the statement credits alone.

The Sapphire Reserve is close behind. For starters, the $300 travel credit is a relatively high dollar amount and applies to any travel purchase (as opposed to just fees or airfare, like some of its competition). In addition, the credit posts very quickly, while other cards require you to wait an entire statement period or even force you to call and have customer service manually issue you a credit.

The Venture X takes third place with its (similar) $300 travel credit, though it’s more limited since you’ll only receive reimbursement for bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal.

We’ll award fourth place to the Hilton Aspire because of the potential to receive more than $500 in travel credits each year. Although the Aspire’s airline fee credit requires you to designate a single airline and technically only applies to incidental charges like checked bags, the up-to-$250 resort credit is easy to use if you visit an eligible resort.

Lounge access

CardLounge access
Amex Platinum

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Capital One Venture X
  • Capital One Lounges (two guests, then $45 each).
  • Priority Pass Select (complimentary access for all guests traveling with the cardholder).
  • Plaza Premium lounges (two guests, then standard lounge entry charge applies, cost varies by lounge)
  • Each authorized user receives the same lounge privileges, including guest privileges.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Hilton Amex AspirePriority Pass Select (two guests).
Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantPriority Pass Select (two guests).
Delta SkyMiles Reserve
  • Sky Club access when traveling on a Delta-coded or Delta-operated flight (up to two guests or immediate family are $39 each) and two one-time SkyClub guest passes each year.
  • Access to Amex Centurion Lounges when flying Delta (up to two guests are $50 each).
United Club Infinite CardFull United Club membership (two free guests or immediate family).
Citi / AAdvantage Executive
  • Full Admirals Club membership (two free guests or immediate family).
  • Each authorized user receives Admirals Club access for themselves and up to two traveling companions.

Analysis

This category is much tougher to rank, given that the true value of lounge access is based on so many factors, from your typical departure airport(s) and your preferred airline(s) to how frequently you travel with guests. The Amex Platinum gives you the most flexibility, and being able to bring two guests for free to most lounges is a huge perk (although the guest benefit is going away in February 2023 at Centurion Lounges).

Amex Platinum cardmembers can access Centurion lounges around the world. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The Venture X comes in a close second with Priority Pass, Plaza Premium and Capital One Lounge access. The issuer debuted its first lounge at Dallas Forth Worth International Airport (DFW) in October 2021, and there are plans for two more lounges at Denver International Airport (DEN) and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) in 2023.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the two hotel cards offer fairly standard Priority Pass membership, while the three airline cards will come in handiest for folks who fly one carrier most often and can take advantage of lounges in the airports they pass through the most. Chase has announced plans for a Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club in nine locations; the first location in Hong Kong is now open.

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

Travel and purchase protections

All of these cards also provide various coverages and protections when you’re traveling or making purchases. This is probably best visualized in a table:

BenefitAmex PlatinumCapital One Venture X†Chase Sapphire ReserveHilton Amex AspireMarriott Bonvoy BrilliantDelta ReserveUnited Club InfiniteCiti / AAdvantage Executive
Car rental coverageYes (secondary; provides coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles).*§Yes (primary).Yes (primary).Yes (secondary; provides coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles).*§Yes (secondary; provides coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles).*§Yes (secondary; provides coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles).*§Yes (primary).No.
Travel emergency assistanceYes (access to the  Premium Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day/7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Emergency medical transportation assistance and related services may be provided at no cost, but third-party services may still have costs to you.).*#Yes (provides referrals only; you are responsible for all costs involved).Yes (provides referrals only; you are responsible for all costs involved).Yes (access to the  Premium Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Emergency medical transportation assistance and related services may be provided at no cost, but third-party services may still have costs to you.).*#Yes (access to the  Premium Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day/7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Emergency medical transportation assistance and related services may be provided at no cost, but third-party services may still have costs to you.).*#Yes (access to the  Premium Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Emergency medical transportation assistance and related services may be provided at no cost, but third-party services may still have costs to you.).*#Yes (provides referrals only; you are responsible for all costs involved).No.
Baggage loss or damageYes (Baggage Insurance Plan can cover lost, damaged or stolen baggage on a common carrier when the entire fare is paid for with your eligible card. Limits are $2,000 for checked bags and $3,000 for carry-on bags, in excess of coverage provided by the carrier. There is a limit of $3,000 aggregate per covered trip. For New York state residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each covered person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip).*~Yes (up to $3,000 per covered trip; for New York state residents, coverage is up to $2,000 per bag).Yes (up to $3,000 per passenger).Yes (Baggage Insurance Plan can cover lost, damaged or stolen baggage on a common carrier when the entire fare is paid for with your eligible card. Limits are $2,000 for checked bags and $3,000 for carry-on bags, in excess of coverage provided by the carrier. There is a limit of $3,000 aggregate per covered trip. For New York state residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each covered person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip).*~Yes (Baggage Insurance Plan can cover lost, damaged or stolen baggage on a common carrier when the entire fare is paid for with your eligible card. Limits are $2,000 for checked bags and $3,000 for carry-on bags, in excess of coverage provided by the carrier. There is a limit of $3,000 aggregate per covered trip. For New York state residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each covered person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip).*~Yes (Baggage Insurance Plan can cover lost, damaged or stolen baggage on a common carrier when the entire fare is paid for with your eligible card. Limits are $500 for checked bags and $1,250 for carry-on bags, in excess of coverage provided by the carrier. For New York state residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip).*~Yes (up to $3,000 per passenger).No.
Baggage delayNo.No.Yes ($100 per day for up to five days if bags are more than six hours late).No.No.No.Yes (up to $100 per day for three days if bags are more than six hours late).No.
Trip delayYes (up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed by more than six hours, capped at two claims per eligible card in 12 consecutive months).*^Yes (up to $500 per ticket for delays of more than six hours).Yes (up to $500 per ticket for delays of more than six hours or delays requiring an overnight stay).Yes (up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed by more than six hours, capped at two claims per eligible card in 12 consecutive months).*^Yes (up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed by more than six hours, capped at two claims per eligible card in 12 consecutive months).*^Yes (up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed by more than six hours, capped at two claims per eligible card in 12 consecutive months).*^Yes (up to $500 per ticket for delays of more than 12 hours or overnight).No.
Trip cancellation and interruptionYes (with a maximum benefit of $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card in a 12-month period).*^Yes (up to $2,000 per person).Yes (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip).Yes (with a maximum benefit of $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card in a 12-month period).*^Yes (with a maximum benefit of $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card in a 12-month period).*^Yes (with a maximum benefit of $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card in a 12-month period).*^Yes (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip).No.
Travel accident insuranceNo.Yes (up to $1 million).Yes (up to $1 million).No.No.No.Yes (up to $500,000).No.
Emergency evacuation and transportationYes (up to $100,000 per trip; must be coordinated by the Premium Global Assist Hotline; otherwise, you must pay for it).*#No.Yes (up to $100,000; must be coordinated by the benefits administrator to be covered).Yes (up to $100,000 per trip; must be coordinated by the Premium Global Assist Hotline; otherwise, you must pay for it).*#Yes (up to $100,000 per trip; must be coordinated by the Premium Global Assist Hotline; otherwise, you must pay for it).*#Yes (up to $100,000 per trip; must be coordinated by the Premium Global Assist Hotline; otherwise, you must pay for it).*#Yes (up to $100,000; must be coordinated by the benefits administrator to be covered).No.
Purchase protectionYes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (within 90 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account).Yes (within 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year).Yes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (within 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year).No.
Extended warrantyYes (adds an extra year to the manufacturer’s warranty on warranties of five years or less; covers the actual amount charged to your eligible card, with a maximum of $10,000 per item and $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (additional year on warranties of three years or less; covered up to the full amount charged to your card, minis shipping and handling fees, with a maximum of $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder).Yes (additional year on warranties of three years or less; up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account).Yes (adds an extra year to the manufacturer’s warranty on warranties of five years or less; covers the actual amount charged to your eligible card, with a maximum of $10,000 per item and $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (adds an extra year to the manufacturer’s warranty on warranties of five years or less; covers the actual amount charged to your eligible card, with a maximum of $10,000 per item and $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (adds an extra year to the manufacturer’s warranty on warranties of five years or less; covers the actual amount charged to your eligible card, with a maximum of $10,000 per item and $50,000 per cardmember account per calendar year).*~Yes (additional year on warranties of three years or less).No.
Return protectionYes (covered for up to 90 days from the purchase date; American Express will refund up to the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per calendar year per eligible card account; you must pay for the entirety of the item with your card and it must be purchased in the U.S. or its territories).*Yes (90 days, up to $300 per item and $1,000 per year).Yes (90 days, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year).Yes (covered for up to 90 days from the purchase date; American Express will refund up to the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per calendar year per eligible card account; you must pay for the entirety of the item with your card and it must be purchased in the U.S. or its territories).*Yes (covered for up to 90 days from the purchase date; American Express will refund up to the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per calendar year per eligible card account; you must pay for the entirety of the item with your card and it must be purchased in the U.S. or its territories).*Yes (covered for up to 90 days from the purchase date; American Express will refund up to the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per calendar year per eligible card account; you must pay for the entirety of the item with your card and it must be purchased in the U.S. or its territories).*Yes (90 days, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year).No.
Cellphone protectionYes (covers phones that are damaged or stolen but does not cover cosmetic damage or lost phones; maximum coverage is $800 liability per claim, less a $50 deductible, and limited to two claims per eligible account in a 12-month period; limited to cellphone lines listed on a mobile phone plan paid for with an eligible card in the most recent billing period).*^Yes (up to $800 per claim or $1,600 per 12-month period; a $50 deductible applies; coverage applies to theft, damage or involuntary and accidental parting of your phone when associated with a cellphone plan paid for with your card during the previous month.)No.No.Yes (covers phones that are damaged or stolen but does not cover cosmetic damage or lost phones; maximum coverage is $800 liability per claim, less a $50 deductible, and limited to two claims per eligible account in a 12-month period; limited to cellphone lines listed on a mobile phone plan paid for with an eligible card in the most recent billing period).*^Yes (covers phones that are damaged or stolen but does not cover cosmetic damage or lost phones; maximum coverage is $800 liability per claim, less a $50 deductible, and limited to two claims per eligible account in a 12-month period; limited to cellphone lines listed on a mobile phone plan paid for with an eligible card in the most recent billing period).*^No.No.

† Benefits available on Visa Infinite cards.
* Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details.
^ Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
~ Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
§ Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
# If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, cardmembers are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

Analysis

The Sapphire Reserve takes the cake here with its primary car rental insurance, emergency evacuation insurance and travel accident insurance. The Venture X comes in second thanks to fairly comprehensive protections that even include cellphone coverage. The Amex Platinum offers significant travel insurance coverage, but note that the rental car benefit provides secondary coverage and there is no baggage delay coverage. If you’re a United flyer, the United Club Infinite also offers a robust slate of protections that you may want to consider.

MIXETTO/GETTY IMAGES

Bottom line

You may think that it’s crazy to pay $395 or more for a card’s annual fee. As you can see, however, the best premium credit cards carry a host of benefits that can easily cover that annual fee and then some. As always, you should tailor your choice based on what’s most important to you, but this guide should give you a framework to use as you try to decide whether one of the best premium credit cards is a good fit for your wallet.

Official application link: Amex Platinum.
Official application link: Capital One Venture X.
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant.
Official application link: Delta SkyMiles Reserve.
Official application link: United Club Infinite.
Official application link: Citi / AAdvantage Executive.

Additional reporting by Senitra Horbrook, Ryan Wilcox, Stella Shon, Chris Dong, Ethan Steinberg and Ryan Smith.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Aspire Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, click here.

Featured image by THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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