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

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Picking the best credit cards for your wallet can be challenging. Each 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 available for new applicants. Here are the 10 premium rewards cards we’ll focus on:

The information for the Premium Rewards Elite, Altitude Reserve and Aspire Card 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, we’ve seen big shake-ups over the past two years.

a man sits outside a luxury resort using his laptop to shop online
MARTIN DIMITROV/GETTY IMAGES

The Capital One Venture X Rewards card debuted in late 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 Platinum Card from $550 to $695 (see rates and fees) in mid-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, and this once-popular travel rewards card can’t be obtained through product change from another card, either. 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.

Citi refreshed the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard in July 2023 with an increase in the annual fee from $450 to $595 and authorized user fees, and boosted earning rates in some categories.

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 (up to $550) at the start of 2020 but also added partner benefits with Lyft (through 2025), DoorDash (through 2024), Peloton (through March 2025), Gopuff (through end of 2023) and Instacart (ongoing) over the past two years.

In September 2022, Amex raised the annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card from $450 to $650 (see rates and fees). The annual free night gained value for cardholders, though the card’s annual $300 spending credits lost value.

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 cards should go in their wallet. When choosing which one is the best, premium credit 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

Card Annual fee Additional cardholder fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express $695 (see rates and fees). $175 for up to three additional cardholders (see rates and fees).
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card $395. $0 for up to four authorized users.
Chase Sapphire Reserve $550. $75 for each additional cardholder.
Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite
$550. $0 for each additional cardholder.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve $400. $0 for each additional cardholder.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card $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 American Express Card $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 World Elite Mastercard® $595. $175 annual fee for the first three authorized users, $175 for each authorized user thereafter

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. Most cards on our list don’t charge a fee for additional cardholders (though some limit how many complimentary users you can add).

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 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 World Elite Mastercard® receive Admirals Club access for themselves and their immediate family members or up to two traveling companions.

Ultimately, however, the winner of this category is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. 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.

a hand holding a credit card
THE POINTS GUY

These users get benefits such as unlimited access (with up to two guests) to Capital One Lounges and Plaza Premium lounges. They also get unlimited access to Priority Pass lounges. 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

Card Sign-up bonus/welcome offer TPG valuation*
The Platinum Card® from American Express Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership (possibly higher targeted offers through CardMatch, subject to change at any time). $1,600.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. $1,388.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. $1,200.
Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. $500.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. $750.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Earn 150,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership. $900.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Earn 95,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. $798
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases on your card in the first six months of card membership. $846.
United Club Infinite Card Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 1,000 Premier qualifying points, Premier qualifying flights (PQP) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. $880.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Earn 100,000 miles after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. $1,770.

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

Analysis

The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard‘s bonus comes out on top, assuming you can hit $10,000 in three months to earn the 100,000-mile bonus. However, the Platinum Card® from American Express’s 80,000 point welcome bonus is nipping at its heels — and note 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).

Conversely, if we rank this category by return on spending, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card’s bonus of 75,000 miles after $4,000 of spending wins. That’s a 34.7% return on spending. However, the lowest value is the bonus on the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite.

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

Points-earning potential

Card Earning rates
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • 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, then 1 point per dollar).
  • 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
  • 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • 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 (through March 31, 2025).
  • 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 travel portal.
  • 10 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $250 or more (through March 31, 2025, with a maximum of 50,000 bonus points).
  • 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.
Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and dining.
  • 1.5 points per dollar on other purchases.
  • Bank of America, Preferred Rewards members, can earn up to 75% extra on each purchase.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
  • 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels and rental cars booked in the Altitude Rewards Center.
  • 3 points per dollar on travel purchases outside this portal and on mobile wallet purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  • 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 (including takeout and delivery).
  • 3 points per dollar on all other purchases.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
  • 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • 3 points per dollar at worldwide restaurants and airfare purchased directly with the airline.
  • 2 points per dollar on other eligible purchases.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • 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 (including eligible delivery services).
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
  • 10 miles per dollar on eligible hotels booked through aa.com/hotels and eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars.
  • 4 miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Analysis

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes out on top. It earns valuable Ultimate Rewards bonus points on a wide variety of purchases.

a hand holds a credit card
WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Like the Captial One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve racks up more bonus points on various types of travel booked through Chase’s travel portal. However, the card pulls ahead of Venture X by earning more points on general dining and travel purchases — plus bonus earnings with several partners. That said, Venture X earns a solid 2 miles per dollar on everyday spending, which is pretty easy to maximize without needing to track spending categories.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 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 8.4% and 4.2% returns on spending, respectively, based on TPG’s valuations.

While Bank of America’s Premium Rewards Elite offering sounds enticing with bonus earnings for Preferred Rewards members, you’ll need significant money in a qualifying account to earn a 3.5% return on dining purchases — not impressive.

Redemption options

Card Redemption options
The Platinum Card® from American Express Numerous direct redemptions, such as gift cards, merchandise and travel, transfer points to 18 airline partners and three hotel partners.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Transfer miles to 15 airline and three hotel loyalty partners or redeem for travel purchases on your statement at 1 cent per mile.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Redeem 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 and three hotel partners.
Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Redeem points at a value of 1 cent each for travel, cash back, a statement credit, gift cards or experiences; redeem at 1.2 cents apiece when paying for airfare with the Bank of America Travel Center or concierge.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Redeem at a fixed rate of 1.5 cents toward travel via the Altitude Rewards Center or at varying values for statement credits, real-time rewards or cash.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Redeem points for stays at hotels in the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Redeem points for hotel stays in the Marriott Bonvoy program, along with useful airline transfers.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Redeem miles for flights on Delta and its various SkyTeam or non-alliance partners.
United Club Infinite Card Redeem miles for flights on United and its various Star Alliance partners (such as Lufthansa).
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Redeem miles for flights on American and its various Oneworld alliance partners and non-alliance partners like Etihad Airways.

Analysis

The best premium credit cards on this list are — the Chase Sapphire Reserve, The Platinum Card® from American Express and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card — as they’ve earned their spots thanks to the flexibility of transferable points that won’t lock you into a specific set of airlines or hotels.

Even though the Chase Sapphire Reserve has fewer transfer partners than the Platinum Card® from American Express, Sapphire Reserve cardholders can redeem points for travel directly through Chase’s portal at an elevated rate of 1.5 cents each. Meanwhile, the Platinum Card from American Express has 21 airline and hotel transfer partners in total and varied redemption options.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card takes third place by offering 15 airline and three hotel transfer partners. While you can transfer to most programs at a 1:1 ratio, there are some exceptions: ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1) and EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5).

Which of these three is best for you? That will depend on your preferred transfer partners and their alignment with your travel goals.

Statement credits

Card Statement credits
The Platinum Card® from American Express

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credit for bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal.
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit (once every four years).
Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Up to $300 in travel credits each account anniversary.
  • Up to $10 in monthly statement credits from Gopuff purchases (through December 31, 2023).
  • Up to $15 in monthly statement credits from Instacart purchases.
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus application fee statement credit (once every four years).
Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite
  • Up to $300 in airline incidental credits annually.
  • Up to $150 in lifestyle credits (such= as streaming, food delivery, fitness and ride-hailing app expenses) annually.
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit (once every four years).
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
  • Up to $325 in travel credits each account anniversary (dining purchases also count toward this credit).
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit (once every four years).
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  • Up to $250 in airline fee statement credits annually.
  • Up to $250 in Hilton resort statement credits each cardmember year.
  • Up to $100 in on-property credit for two-night Waldorf Astoria or Conrad stays.

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
  • Up to $300 in credit for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide (up to $25 per month).
  • Up to $100 in on-property credit for paid stays of two nights or more at St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton properties.
  • $100 Global Entry or up to $85 TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit (once every four years for Global Entry or every 4½ years for TSA PreCheck).

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • $100 Global Entry or up to $85 TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit (once every four years for Global Entry or every 4½ years for TSA PreCheck).

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

United Club Infinite Card
  • Up to $75 in statement credit as reimbursement for IHG Hotels and Resorts purchases charged to your card through December 31, 2023.
  • Up to $10 in monthly statement credits from Gopuff purchases (through December 31, 2023).
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus application fee statement credit (once every four years).
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
  • Up to $120 in Lyft credits after taking three eligible rides in a calendar month, you will earn a $10 Lyft credit, for a total of up to $120 Lyft credits annually.
  • Up to $120 back Grubhub purchases as a statement credit of up to $10 per monthly billing statement on eligible Grubhub purchases, for a total of up to $120 every 12 billing statements.
  • Up to $120 back on Avis or Budget car rentals as a $1 statement credit per $1 spent on eligible Avis or Budget car rental purchases, up to $120 every calendar year.
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit (once every 4 years).

Analysis

Amex has added a plethora of new lifestyle- and travel-focused credits to the Platinum over the past couple of years. The total value of these makes the Platinum card the best premium credit card in this category — if you can use the benefits. They’ll offset the card’s annual fee if you use them, but the value they provide in your situation can vary.

an unseen person hands the Amex Platinum Card to a cashier
THE POINTS GUY

The Sapphire Reserve is close behind. For starters, the $300 travel credit is higher than most competitors 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 Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card also has a $300 travel credit, though it’s more limited: It only applies to bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal. Conversely, the Altitude Reserve’s $325 credit applies to travel and dining purchases.

We should also mention the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 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

Card Lounge access
The Platinum Card® from American Express

Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite
  • Priority Pass Select membership (two free guests).
  • Up to three authorized users can get a Priority Pass Select membership during the life of the account.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Four Priority Pass visits per year, including a guest on each visit (does not include restaurants)
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Priority Pass Select (two free guests; does not include restaurants).
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Priority Pass Select (two free guests; does not include restaurants).
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Sky Club access when traveling on a Delta-coded or Delta-operated flight (up to two guests or immediate family are $50 each)
  • Cardholders receive two one-time SkyClub guest passes each year.
  • Access to Amex Centurion Lounges when flying Delta (up to two guests are $50 each or $30 for children ages 2-17).
United Club Infinite Card Full United Club membership (two free guests or immediate family).
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
  • 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 value of lounge access is based on many factors — from your typical departure airport(s) and your preferred airline(s) to how frequently you travel with guests.

The Platinum Card® from American Express provides access to the most lounges for the primary account holder; if you travel with others, the value changes. You may need to pay to add authorized if you aren’t spending enough on your card to earn guest privileges.

The Capital One Venture X Credit Card 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 late 2021, and there are plans for lounges at Denver International Airport (DEN) and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) in 2023, plus Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS) at an unknown date.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has the broadest Priority Pass membership, allowing you to visit Priority Pass-affiliated restaurants, spas and suites — which most other cards don’t permit. Chase has plans for a Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club in nine locations; facilities in Austin (a ‘terrace,’ not a lounge), Boston and Hong Kong are now open.

These three airline cards will be the handiest for folks who fly one carrier regularly and can take advantage of its lounges, making them the best premium credit cards for lounge access.

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:

Benefit The Platinum Card® from American Express Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card† Chase Sapphire Reserve Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card United Club Infinite Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Car rental coverage Yes (secondary; provides coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles).*§ Yes (primary). Yes (primary). 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). Yes (primary abroad; secondary in the U.S.)
Travel emergency assistance 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 from 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 (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 from 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 from 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 from 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 damage 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 (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 (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 covered trip; for New York state residents, coverage is up to $2,000 per bag). 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). Yes (up to $3,000 per covered traveler; for New York state residents, coverage is up to $2,000 per bag).
Baggage delay No. No. Yes ($100 daily for up to five days if bags are more than six hours late). Yes (up to $100 per day for three days if bags are more than six hours late). No. No. No. No. Yes (up to $100 per day for three days if bags are more than six hours late). No.
Trip delay 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 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 ticket for delays of more than six hours or overnight). Yes (up to $500 per ticket for delays of more than six hours). 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). Yes (up to $500 per traveler for delays of six hours or more).
Trip cancellation and interruption 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 $2,000 per person). Yes (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip). Yes (up to $2,000 per person). Yes (up to $2,000 per person). 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). Yes (up to $5,000 per trip).
Travel accident insurance No. Yes (up to $1 million). Yes (up to $1 million, plus up to $2,500 for emergency medical and dental coverage, subject to a $50 deductible). Yes (up to $1 million). Yes (up to $500,000). No. No. No. Yes (up to $500,000). No.
Emergency evacuation and transportation Yes (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; must be coordinated by the benefits administrator to be covered). Yes (up to $10,000; must be coordinated by the benefits administrator to be covered and is secondary coverage). 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 protection Yes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 annually per cardmember account).*~ 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 (within 90 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account). Yes (within 90 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account). Yes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 annually per cardmember account).*~ Yes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 annually per cardmember account).*~ Yes (for 90 days from the purchase date, up to $10,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 annually per cardmember account).*~ Yes (within 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year). Yes (within 90 days, up to $10,000 per incident and $50,000 per year).
Extended warranty Yes (adds an extra year to manufacturers’ 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 annually per account).*~ Yes (additional year on warranties of three years or less; covered up to the full amount charged to your card, minus 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 (additional year on warranties of three years or less). 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 (adds an extra year to manufacturers’ 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 annually per account).*~ Yes (adds an extra year to manufacturers’ 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 annually per account).*~ Yes (adds an extra year to manufacturers’ 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 annually per account).*~ Yes (additional year on warranties of three years or less). Yes (24 additional months, up to $10,000 per item).
Return protection 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 annually 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). No. Yes (90 days, up to $300 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 annually 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 annually 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 annually 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 protection 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 (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. No. 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).*^ No. No.

† Benefits available on Visa Infinite cards. For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
* 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 Chase Sapphire Reserve takes the cake here as the best premium credit card with its primary car rental insurance, emergency evacuation insurance and travel accident insurance. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes in second, thanks to fairly comprehensive protections that include cellphone coverage. The Platinum Card® from American Express 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 you may want to consider.

While many of these benefits look similar overall, your best bet is to examine the differences and gaps, then determine how likely those are to affect your trips.

Bottom line

You may think paying $395 or more for a card’s annual fee is prohibitive. As you can see, however, the best premium credit cards carry numerous benefits that can easily cover that annual fee and then some. As always, tailor your choice based on what’s most important to you. This guide should provide a framework to use as you decide which one of the best premium credit cards is a good fit for your wallet.

Official application link: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Official application link: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Official application link: United Club Infinite
Official application link: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Learn More: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.