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Best Luxury Cards of 2021

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Luxury cards offer a wealth of rewards and benefits, especially when it comes to travel. Depending on the card you choose and your travel habits, it can be easy to make up for the card's steep annual fee and more.

If you're considering a luxury card for your wallet, here are our top picks to help you pick the right one for you.

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Our Picks for the Best Luxury Cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

5 Membership Rewards Points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year

5 points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel

1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of card membership

Earn 10 points per dollar spent at eligible restaurants worldwide, and at retailers participating in Shop Small, on up to $25,000 in combined purchases during the first 6 months you have the card.

$695 annual fee

American Express® Gold Card

4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1 point per dollar spent)

3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com

1 point per dollar spent on other eligible purchases

60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 6 months

$250 annual fee

Luxury Card<sup>™</sup> Mastercard<sup>®</sup> Titanium Card<sup>™</sup>

Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card

1 point per dollar spent (redeem at 1% value for cash back or 2% value for airfare redemptions when redeeming through MyLuxuryCard.com)

$195 annual fee

Luxury Card<sup>™</sup> Mastercard<sup>®</sup> Black Card<sup>™</sup>

Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card

1 point per dollar spent (redeem at 1.5% value for cash back or 2% value for airfare redemptions when redeeming through MyLuxuryCard.com)

$495 annual fee


The Platinum Card® from American Express

While The Platinum Card® from American Express isn't a heavy-hitter when it comes to rewards, its outsized suite of benefits is impressive, even with its $695 annual fee:

  • Up to $200 annual airline incidental fee credit per calendar year for one select qualifying airline
  • Up to $200 annually in Uber Cash for use on food delivery or rides in the U.S. once the card is added to your Uber account
  • Annual digital entertainment credit worth up to $240 (up to $20 monthly for purchases with select partners)
  • $200 annual hotel statement credits on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection reservations made through Amex Travel
  • Up to $179 annual credit for a CLEAR membership
  • Up to $100 annual credit for shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com; that's $50 from January to June and another $50 from July to December. Enrollment required.
  • $300 annual Equinox credit for select memberships (up to $25 monthly) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • Complimentary access to the following airport lounges: The Centurion Lounge, American Express Global Lounge Collection, Airspace Lounge, Delta Sky Club, Escape Lounge, Priority Pass, Plaza Premium and Lufthansa
  • Automatic elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors
  • Special perks with select hotel brands
  • Premium travel insurance protections

Unlike traditional credit cards, however, The Platinum Card® from American Express lets you carry a balance only for certain charges—not all of them. Terms apply.

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American Express® Gold Card

If you want solid perks, but you aren't sure you can stomach the high annual fee that comes with luxury cards, the American Express® Gold Card could provide a happy medium. The card charges a $250 annual fee, which is still pricey but much more modest than other top luxury cards.

While the card's rewards program is impressive on its own, you can easily make up for its annual fee with the added value of its perks alone:

  • $120 annual Uber Cash benefit ($10 in Uber Cash each month for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides) once you add the American Express® Gold Card to your Uber account
  • $120 annual dining credit (up to $10 in monthly credits) when you dine at participating locations. Enrollment required.
  • Complimentary 12-month Uber Eats Pass membership, worth up to $119 ($9.99 per month). Must enroll by December 31, 2021.
  • Perks with select hotel brands

If you have both The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card, all of the points you earn with both cards could be pooled together. Unlike traditional credit cards, the American Express® Gold Card lets you carry a balance only for certain charges—not all of them. Terms apply.

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Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card

This luxury travel card doesn't provide as much rewards power as the others on our list, and there's no welcome bonus at all. But it still deserves a spot because it provides luxury perks similar cards don't offer:

  • Airport meet-and-assist service
  • Special perks with select hotel brands
  • Private jet benefits through TCS World Travel
  • Access to carefully curated travel experiences
  • Access to a 24/7 concierge service

The Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card charges a $195 annual fee, but you could potentially make up for its cost every year with the card's benefits.

Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card

Apply

on Luxury Card's website

Very Good - Exceptional

Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card

APR

14.99% Variable

Intro APR

0% for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 45 days after account opening

Rewards

2% cash back on Airfare Redemption

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Annual Fee

$195

Card Details
  • Patented brushed stainless steel front and carbon back—weighing 22 grams
  • 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat. Reach out to manage tasks big and small.
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, amenities, room upgrades and complimentary food and beverages) at over 3,000 properties.
  • Luxury Card Travel Rates & Benefits
  • Members-Only LUXURY MAGAZINE
  • 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers posted within 45 days of account opening. After that, the APR will be 14.99%, a variable rate based on the Prime Rate.
  • Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus Lyft credits, ShopRunner membership, Fandango perks and more.

Rates and Fees

Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card

Like its sister card, the Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card offers some impressive perks you might not get with most other cards. And because this one has a $495 annual fee, you can get a bit more from it. Benefits include:

  • $100 annual airline credit
  • Application fee credit for Global Entry and TSA Precheck
  • Complimentary access to Priority Pass Select airport lounges
  • Airport meet-and-assist service
  • Special perks with select hotel brands
  • Private jet benefits through TCS World Travel
  • Access to carefully curated travel experiences
  • Access to a 24/7 concierge service

This card offers more generous benefits than the Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card, so consider how often you travel to determine if that extra cost is worth it.

Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card

Apply

on Luxury Card's website

Very Good - Exceptional

Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card

APR

14.99% Variable

Intro APR

0% for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 45 days after account opening

Rewards

2% cash back on Airfare Redemption

1.5% cash back on All Other Purchases

Annual Fee

$495

Card Details
  • Patented black-PVD-coated metal card—weighing 22 grams
  • 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat. Reach out to manage tasks big and small.
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, amenities, room upgrades and complimentary food and beverages) at over 3,000 properties.
  • Annual Airline Credit—up to $100 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
  • Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry.
  • Enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest limit.
  • Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus Lyft credits, ShopRunner membership, Fandango perks and more.
  • Members-Only LUXURY MAGAZINE
  • 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers posted within 45 days of account opening. After that, the APR will be 14.99%, a variable rate based on the Prime Rate.

Rates and Fees

Benefits to Look for in a Luxury Card

As you shop around to find the right luxury card for you, here are some common features you'll want to look for:

  • Annual and monthly credits on travel and dining
  • Airport lounge access
  • Elite status benefits with hotels or car rental companies
  • Perks with select luxury hotel brands, including on-property credits and other amenities
  • Concierge service
  • Valuable travel insurance benefits

How to Choose the Best Luxury Card

Luxury cards typically offer a flurry of travel perks, but they're not the same for every card. As a result, it's important to consider how you travel and what types of benefits you prefer. Here are some things to think about as you shop around:

  • Check the annual fee. There's nothing inherently wrong with paying an annual fee, but it may not be worth it if it's outside of your budget—even if the card's perks are valuable.
  • Review the rewards rates. In a lot of cases, luxury cards aren't rewards-earning powerhouses, at least on an ongoing basis. That said, if you plan to use the card regularly, it's important to determine which card will give you the most value on your everyday spending.
  • Evaluate the added benefits. As you shop around, check to see how much the benefits are worth and how that figure compares to the card's annual fee. Be sure to only consider perks you think you'll actually use. For example, while the $300 Equinox credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express is nice, it won't be worth anything to you if you don't plan to use it.

Check Your Credit Before You Apply

It's important to note that luxury cards are typically designed for people with good to exceptional credit. Check your credit score before applying to make sure your score meets that standard, which can vary depending on which card you're considering.

If your score needs some work, take time to improve your credit before you apply. Even if you have a high income, that might not be enough to get approved if your credit is in poor shape.