Elevator first bomb: high-end card (main sticker)
second bomb: ordinary consumer card
third bomb: category consumer card
fourth bomb: best dual card combination
fifth bomb: “drawer card”
sixth bomb: free additional rights
Seven bullets: Free overseas handling fees. Since the top post has been outdated for a long time, I actually wanted to summarize the American credit card . Many people know that I have a website/blog in English (no ads and referral links at all), but I still want to summarize it here. First of all, this post does not intend to discuss signup bonus, because this change is too fast. If your consumption is not very large and many co-branded credit cards are not available, I suggest that you apply for several new cards every six months (preferably limited to one per bank) on the basis of increasing your credit score, then your consumption is basically All of them are on the completion of the minimum consumption, then there is no need to consider that daily consumption needs to use God Maca to maximize revenue. If you spend a lot of money and need a few cards to maximize revenue, or you need some special rights and interests of the cards, then this post will be a very good discussion post. I hope this post is an interactive platform.
The first bomb: high-end card (annual fee of more than 300 knives)
Amex Platinum: The annual fee is 450 knives, and if you add three Platinum Card secondary cards, you only need to add 175 knives. There are 200 airlines in each year, so the equivalent annual fee is 250. Two highlights: Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) is currently the best selection of luxury hotels provided by credit cards. For unfamiliar children’s shoes, please see my constantly updated long posts. The airport VIP lounge includes 100+ domestic American (DL , AS, Airspace, Centurion, Priority Pass Select) and 550+ international (Priority Pass Select), most of them are free only by the cardholder (Airspace and Centurion continue to allow 2 free guests). In addition to the $200 credit is shared by the entire account, the deputy card has all other rights including FHR and lounge. In addition, the Goldman Sachs version rewards cardholders with annual consumption of over 100K an additional 40K points.
Amex Delta Reserve: Annual fee is $450. Three highlights: more than 50 DL lounges (from May 1 only the main card holders are free), a free domestic first-class or economy class air ticket for each year in the United States, annual consumption of more than 60K additional bonus 30K MQM and Ordinary mileage.
Chase United MP Club Card: an annual fee of $395. Three highlights: United Club includes 50 domestic domestic and 200+ international lounge main card holders plus two guests free of charge, ordinary consumption of 1.5 mile/$ is the highest rate of return for accumulating UA miles, and finally is the Primary car rental insurance .
J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Card: an annual fee of $395. Each year, 300 airlines use it (5/1/2014 increased from 200 to 300), so the equivalent annual fee is 95. Four highlights: 3 RC hotel executive room upgrade coupons each year, RC or Marriott Gold Card (direct gift in the first year, and annual consumption of 10K to maintain in the future), Lounge Club includes 25 domestic American and 330 international lounge cardholders Add a guest for free (the deputy card is also available for report application), and finally the Primary car rental insurance.
J.P. Morgan Palladium: an annual fee of $595, which is currently open to JPM and Chase private banking customers. Four highlights: Lounge United Club includes 50 domestic domestic and 200+ international lounge main card holders plus two guests free of charge, and Lounge Club includes 25 domestic domestic and 330 international lounge main or secondary cards Cardholder plus one guest is free, Palladium Luxury Hotel Selection (the number of contracted hotels is much less than FHR), double points for travel return travel and 35K points for annual spending over 100K (maximum rate of UR points earned) , And finally is the Primary car rental insurance.
Citi Executive/AAdvantage WEMC: Annual fee 450 knives. Two highlights: Admirals Club includes 50+ US domestic (AA, US and specific AS) and 30+ foreign (Qantas, etc.) lounge main cardholders plus two guests free of charge, and an additional 10K EQM after 40K annual consumption.
Citi Prestige (before October 19, 2014): Annual fee is 450 knives and 50 knives per sub-card. There are 200 airlines in each year, so the equivalent annual fee is 250. Four highlights: one free domestic or international economy class ticket per year, 15% discount on ticket, AA’s 40 lounge main card holders plus two guests free (new benefits in March 2014) and Airport Angel’s 11 The cardholders or deputy card holders of domestic and 400+ international lounges in the United States are free of charge, and finally the potential huge consumption gains (up to 4% for ordinary consumption, up to 6.4% for meals, in fact, 15% ticket discounts can also be seen Disguised consumer income). The $200 credit is shared by the entire account. The secondary card cannot enter the AA lounge but enjoys Airport Angel and its own air ticket and air ticket discount. In addition, the free benefits of this card such as travel delays, luggage loss damage, luggage delays, price guarantees, etc. are basically the best of high-end cards (at least on paper). The equivalent annual fee of 250 knives has various practical rights and high consumption income, and the sub-card of 50 knives is also great value. It makes Citi’s Executive/AA feel so bad. We think this card is the king of high-end cards. The only hope is that Citi will not devalue it.
Citi Prestige (from October 19, 2014): Annual fee of 450 knives, 50 knives per vice card. There are 250 airlines to use each year, so the equivalent annual fee is 200. Three highlights: (1) AA’s 40 lounge host card holders plus two guests are free and Priority Pass Select includes AS and other domestic and international 600 lounge main card or sub-card holders plus two guests free ; (2) Hotel benefits include free for the fourth night; (3) Still have the best consumer income among many high-end cards (airline/hotel/travel agent includes triple points for various travel websites, double for meals/entertainment) Points, ordinary consumption single points, and citigold have 15% annual rewards, while private bank users have 25% annual rewards). Although I think that the depreciation of the old card for most people, it is still the leader in high-end cards.
Diners Club Card Elite: an annual fee of 300 knives and 150 knives per vice card. Three highlights: unique 3-1 consumption income (unlimited shopping/fueling/drug store triple points), Diners Club’s own lounge plan includes 18 major domestic or more than 500 airport lounges in the United States The card holder is free of charge and the primary car rental insurance.
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite: The first Visa Infinite card in the United States, with an annual fee of $400 free for the first year. Every year, 250 airlines use it, so the equivalent annual fee is 150. Four highlights: (1) Priority Pass Select has nearly 600 lounge cardholders at home and abroad (main card or sub-card, up to two memberships) plus free for guests (it is not clear whether it is one or two); (2 ) Free CLEAR member, fast-track security at certain airports in the United States; (3) The hotel benefits are the same as the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection. The coverage is the same as that of the ordinary Visa Signature, but the rights are similar to FHR’s 100-dine catering/spa/consumption vouchers. Very powerful. In addition, the Roland Chateau Hotel welcomes gifts and breakfast; (4) US domestic economy class tickets are discounted at $100 and can be used countless times.
Visa Black Card by Barclays: an annual fee of 495 dollars, 195 dollars per vice card. Three highlights: Lounge Club includes 25 domestic and 330 international lounge main card or deputy card holders plus two guests free of charge, Black Card VIP Hotel and Travel benefits (Ensemble, Mandarin Oriental, Villas of Destination three parts) More than 3,000 hotels or villas in the world, 2% equivalent cashback (redemption of air tickets).
Finally, summarize a few main rights and interests:
Airport lounge: Since Amex Platinum lost AA/US this year, if you need a domestic lounge in the United States, the choice will be very limited. DL regulars are better than Amex Platinum. Of course, if you need DL MQM, you can consider Delta Reserve AA/AS regulars should choose the new version of Citi Prestige. It is better to consider Citi Executive/AA only when you have a need for EQM. UA regulars choose Chase MP Club is quite good, of course, if you can get JPM Palladium.
Luxury hotel: Amex Platinum is still the best, Visa Black Card and CNB Crystal are relatively good, if you often RC and Marriott but do not live in a gold card or need RC lounge, JPM Ritz-Carlton card is also very good .
Consumer income: Although the new version of Citi Prestige has depreciated, it is still a leader in high-end cards. Diners Club Elite’s unrestricted refueling/grocery shopping/pharmacy triple points are also very powerful. The Goldman Sachs version of Amex Platinum earns 1.4 points/$ after annual consumption of more than 100K. The annual consumption of 60K in Delta Reserve is 1.5 mile/$. MP Club Card income is 1.5 mile/$ regardless of annual consumption level. The annual income of JPM Palladium after consumption exceeds 100K is 1.35 points/$. Visa Black is a simple 2% cash back.
Elite membership mileage: 30K MQM will be sent after Delta Reserve spends 60K annually. Citi Executive/AA will send 10K EQM after 40K annual consumption.The original English version is more detailed for reference；In this featured review, we will compare some of most popular high-end cards in the market, which carry annual fees between $400 and $600. If you want to know about the super exclusive “black card”, read our Amex Centurion review. All the following cards come with dazzlingly long lists of benefits such as airport lounge access, luxury hotel privileges, 24/7 concierge service, global assistance, by invitation only events, and some offer airline companion pass, elite hotel status, cruise privileges, etc. However, here we want to get down to the core perks of each product to make the comparison simple for most readers.
- Amex Platinum Card: annual fee is $450 and $175 for up to three additional Platinum Card users. The card used to dominate this niche market, and over the years we have seen the benefits diluted mostly due to changes in the airline industry which were out of Amex’s control. Even after the 2014 changes (American Airlines and US Airways left the lounge program in March 2014, and Delta stopped allowing free access for guests starting May 2014), it is still considered our benchmark. Since the card comes with the annual $200 airline incidental credit, the effective annual fee is considered to be $250. For that money, Amex offers two major perks: Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) which is arguably the best luxury hotel program provided by a credit card, and access to 100+ domestic lounges (Delta, Alaska, Airspace, Centurion, Priority Pass Select) and 550+ international lounges (Priority Pass Select), mostly for yourself only. Note that for an extra $175/year, you can have up to three additional Platinum Card users and each will have airport lounge access and FHR benefits. If you spend more than $100K a year, try to get the Goldman Sachs version which, in addition to all standard Platinum features, offers a 40KMembership Rewards points booster.
- Amex Delta Reserve: annual fee is $450. Its three major perks are 1) access to 50+ Delta Sky Clubs for the primary cardholder only, 2) an annual domestic coach/first class companion pass, and 3) a 30K Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) bonus after $60K spending. It makes sense when you make use of the last two perks; otherwise you would be better off with Amex Platinum.
- Chase United MP Club: annual fee is $395. The three major perks are 1) the full United Club membership allowing access to 50+ domestic lounges and 200+ international lounges for the primary cardholder plus two guests, 2) the highest earning rate for United miles at 1.5 mile per dollar spent, and 3) primary rental car insurance.
- J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton: annual fee is $395 but with the annual $300 airline incidental credit, it is considered to be $95. The Ritz-Carlton Card has four major perks: 1) three club level upgrades at Ritz-Carlton each year, 2) complimentary Ritz-Carlton & Marriott Gold status for the 1st year and after $10K annual spending thereafter, 3) primary rental car insurance, and 4) access to 25 domestic lounges and 330+ international lounges for you (primary cardholder and authorized users) plus one guest through Lounge Club.
- J.P. Morgan Palladium: annual fee is $595 and $99 for each authorized user, but this card is only available to J.P. Morgan Private Bank or Chase Private Client customers. Its exclusivity and premium image makes it harder for us to compare with other cards with similar annual fees. However, we still list it here just for the sake of comparison. The major perks are 1) full United Club membership allowing access to 50+ domestic lounges and 200+ international lounges for the primary cardholder plus two guests, 2) Lounge Club membership allowing access to 25 domestic lounges and 330+ international lounges for you plus one guest (an authorized user also receives Lounge Club membership), 3) Palladium Hotels program which is similar to Amex FHR but has much smaller footprints, 4) primary rental car insurance, and 5) 2x points on travel an annual 35K points booster after you spend $100K – 1.35 point per dollar spent is the highest earning rate forUltimate Rewards points. The last one makes Palladium a great card to charge daily if your annual spending exceeds $100K.
- Citi Executive/AAdvantage WEMC: annual fee is $450. The two major perks are the full Admirals Club membership allowing access to 50+ domestic lounges (American, select Alaska) and 30+ international lounges (Qantas etc.) for the primary cardholder plus two guests, and an annual 10K Elite Qualifying Miles bonus after $40K spending.
- Citi Prestige WEMC: annual fee is $450 and $50 for each authorized user but with the annual $250 airline credit, it is considered to be$200. It offers three major perks: 1) access to 40 American Admirals Clubs for the primary cardholder plus two guests and 20+ domestic lounges (including Alaska) and 550+ international lounges through Priority Pass Select for you (primary cardholder or authorized user) plus two guests; 2) hotel privileges including 4th night free at any hotel at your choice through International Complimentary Night Hotels & Resorts (ICNHR) program; 3) a 3-2-1 ThankYouearning structure with a potential 15%-25% annual relationship bonus. The late 2014 change of Citi Prestige is considered as devaluation for most consumers; however, when compared to other high-end cards, it still shines in both lounge access and points earning.
- Diners Club Card Elite: annual fee is $300 and $150 for each additional card. Its three major perks are 1) the unique 3-1 Club Rewardsearning structure (unlimited 3x on groceries, gas and drugstores), 2) access to 18 domestic lounges and over 500 international lounges for the primary and additional card members through Diners Club’s airport lounge program, and 3) primary rental car insurance.
- CNB Crystal Visa Infinite: annual fee is $0 for the first year and $400 thereafter. The annual fee is considered $150 for the second and subsequent years after using the $250 annual airline credit. With that, you receive four major perks: (1) Priority Pass Select membership(s) with unlimited access to 600+ airport lounges for you (primary cardholder and up to one authorized user) and your guests, (2) a free CLEAR membership for quicker security at select airports, (3) hotel privileges through Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection and at Relais & Chateaux, and (4) $100 companion discount per trip for domestic coach class airfare.
- Visa Black Card by Barclays: annual fee is $495 and $195 for each authorized user. It offers three major perks: 1) Lounge Club membership with unlimited access to 350 airport lounges worldwide for you plus two guests, 2) Black Card VIP Hotel & Travel program through Ensemble Hotel and Resort Collection, Mandarin Oriental, and Villas of Destination, which gives you Booking benefits at over 3,000 luxury hotels and villas worldwide, and 3) 2% cash equivalent travel rewards for all expenses.
The bottom line is that each of these products targets a certain group of consumers and can be of great value even with the seemingly hefty annual fees. Finally, let’s summarize our comparison based on the four most sought out perks:
- Airport Lounge Access: while they all have some coverage of airport lounges when it comes to international travel, for domestic airport lounge access in U.S. which is harder to obtain through premium cabin travel or elite status, a frequent flyer of a particular airline has very limited choice. If you are a Delta flyer, you can’t beat the value and perks of Amex Platinum. If you need Delta MQMs in addition to Sky Clubs, Amex Delta Reserve is worth checking out. For American and Alaska flyers, Citi Prestige will be the best choice. If you need American EQMs, Executive/AA will be your sole option. For United flyers, United MP Club Card is a solid option while JPM Palladium is probably the card you will get if you qualify due to its exclusivity and enhanced features.
- Luxury Hotel Privileges: All cards come with some sorts of luxury hotel benefits, but you have to look into details to decide which suit your need. If you frequent luxury hotels, Amex Platinum has long been considered the best bet due to FHR’s wide coverage of over 750 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide, consistent benefits, and various promotions. Visa Black Card VIP program, via Ensemble Hotel and Resort Collection, Mandarin Oriental, and Villas of Destinations, is a great alternative to Amex Platinum’s offering. Crystal’s Visa Infinite Hotel Collection is also worth considering, due to the enhanced benefits over regular Visa Signature cards. Palladium’s hotel collection is similar to these three programs in benefits but only covers a little more than 100 hotels. If you frequent Ritz-Carlton and Marriott, you will certainly like what JPM Ritz-Carlton Card offers. Finally, you may still get some good value out of Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection (via United MP Club, JPM Palladium, or JPM Ritz-Carlton), World Elite Luxury Hotels & Resorts (via Executive/AA, Citi Prestige, or Diners Club Elite), and Citi Prestige ICNHR’s 4th night free.
- Rewards: Citi Prestige’s 3-2-1 earning structure with great flexibility in redemption (1.6 cents per point when redeeming for American flights or transfer to 10 partners including Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia) still make it the benchmark among the high-end cards when it comes to rewards. Diners Club Elite offers 3 points per dollar spent on groceries, gas, and drugstores and Club Rewards points can be transferred to 20+ partners programs including Alaska, Southwest, Delta, British, Air Canada, Singapore, and Korean Air. United MP Club Card returns 1.5 miles per dollar spent and is extremely attractive when you are collecting United miles. When you spend at least $60K a year, Delta Reserve returns 1.5 miles per dollar spent but Delta miles are generally not as valuable as many other airline miles. When you spend over $100K a year, Goldman Sachs version of Amex Platinum returns 1.4 points per dollar spent and Membership Rewards points can be transferred to 20+ partner programs including Delta, British, Air Canada, ANA, Singapore, etc. Also with an annual spending over $100K, JPM Palladium returns 1.35 points per dollar spent and Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to 11 partners including United, Singapore, British, Korean, Southwest, and Hyatt. Visa Black Card returns fixed value 2% cash equivalent travel rewards for all purchases.
- Reach Elite Status Faster: while several cards come with some elite like perks such as priority boarding and waived baggage fees, only two cards offer a way to reach the next level of elite status faster through spending. Delta Reserve’s 30K MQMs bonus after $60K spending could be huge to a Delta flyer. Citi Executive/AA’s 10K EQMs bonus after $40K may seem not much, but American EQMs are extremely hard to come by thus it may still make sense to some.