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Rewards Credit Cards

How to Get The Most Out of Your Luxury Credit Card

Luxury rewards cards come with some serious perks—and some serious annual fees. That doesn't mean they don't deserve a place in your wallet; it just means you should make sure you squeeze them for everything they're worth.

Whether you've had your card for a while or just got it, here are some ways to maximize your card's rewards.

Sign Up for Any Opt-In Services

Luxury cards often come with amazing benefits—like Uber credits and airport lounge memberships—but to get them, you have to make sure you're signed up for the services. Doing this as soon as possible can help you plan ahead, saving you time and money.

Find credit cards for reward points in Experian CreditMatch.

Here are a few popular luxury rewards cards and some of the opt-in services they offer.

The Platinum Card® From American Express

  • Uber credits. This card comes with $15 in monthly Uber credits. The only catch is that you have to link the card with your Uber account for the credits to appear
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. With this card you get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, but before you can use it you need to register for a Priority Pass account and receive your membership card. Do this as soon as you can so you can lounge in luxury the next time you fly.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue credits. To get your $100 per year of Saks Fifth Avenue credit, you must first register for the benefit through your American Express online account. Once you opt in, you can shop at Saks Fifth Avenue and receive two $50 credits each year after making a qualified purchase at the store.
  • ShopRunner membership. ShopRunner is a service that offers expedited two-day shipping with certain retailers. To activate this benefit with The Platinum Card®, you have to verify your eligibility on ShopRunner's website using your Platinum credit card number.
  • Boingo Wi-Fi membership. This card perk comes in handy when traveling in places without free access to Wi-Fi. Boingo offers a network of hotspots you can connect to for free, but you have to register with Boingo using your Platinum credit card number to activate your account.

American Express® Gold Card

  • $120 dining credit. This card comes with monthly $10 statement credits when you use it for purchases at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House or certain Shake Shack locations. To access this credit, you must first enroll your card on American Express's website.
  • ShopRunner membership. To activate this benefit with the Gold Card, you have to verify your eligibility on ShopRunner's website using your credit card number.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. Before you can use this perk, you need to register for a Priority Pass account and receive your membership card.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit. You can get a reimbursement of $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck when you use your card to pay the application fee. The reimbursement applies to whichever of the two programs you apply to first, and you are eligible for this credit every four years.

Luxury CardTM Mastercard® Black CardTM

  • Global Entry application credit. This card will reimburse the $100 Global Entry application fee when you use your card to pay it. Your card must be open for at least seven days before the charge hits, and a statement credit will appear in two to three weeks. This credit is only offered once every five years.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. Before you can use this perk, you need to register for a Priority Pass account and receive your membership card.

Remember to Get Your Travel Reimbursements

Many high-end cards now come with some sort of travel reimbursement, but how you can cash in on them differs from card to card. Here is a breakdown of what you have to do to qualify for your travel reimbursement with a few popular luxury rewards cards.

The Platinum Card® From American Express

  • $200 airline fee credit. To receive this credit, you have to select a qualifying airline in the American Express online portal and then make a qualifying purchase. In this case, the only purchases that qualify are incidental fees—like checked baggage or in-flight meals—that are charged to your card. Make sure to select your airline before traveling to get reimbursed for any incidental fees you might incur. This credit can be used once every calendar year.

American Express® Gold Card

  • $100 airline fee credit. To qualify for this credit, you have to select a qualifying airline in the American Express online portal and then make a qualifying purchase. In this case, the only purchases that qualify are incidental fees—like checked baggage or in-flight meals—that are charged to your card. Make sure to select your airline before traveling to get reimbursed for any incidental fees you might incur. This credit can be used once every calendar year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • $300 annual travel credit. This credit is relatively easy to get. As you use your Chase card for purchases coded as "travel," you will be automatically credited up to $300 each year. Travel, as defined by Chase, includes everything from airlines and hotels to campgrounds, trains, ferries, taxis and more.

Luxury CardTM Mastercard® Black CardTM

  • $100 annual airline credit. This credit applies to purchases made with a qualifying airline for things like airfare, baggage, lounge access and some in-flight purchases. Once these charges appear on your account, you will automatically be eligible for the $100 credit. The credit is only good once every calendar year.

Plan Your Spending

Another great aspect of these high-end cards is that they typically offer more rewards points for each dollar you spend. For example, The Platinum Card® offers 5 reward points for every dollar spent on purchases made directly with airlines; the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases; and the American Express Gold Card offers 4 points for every dollar spent on purchases at restaurants.

These amplified rewards can be seriously valuable for people who spend a lot in certain categories each year. As with everything, if you plan ahead and understand what your card offers, you should be able to maximize your reward spending and use the right card for your purchases.

Utilize Other Luxury Services

Luxury cards come with many benefits, but some of them get buried in the fine print. Maximizing your card's value starts with knowing everything it offers—both big and small.

Find credit cards for reward points in Experian CreditMatch.

Check out these cards and their often-overlooked card benefits. It could save you some serious cash and could come in handy when making big purchases or traveling.

The Platinum Card® From American Express

  • Fine Hotels & Resorts program, offering exclusive access to top spaces
  • Platinum Concierge

The Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, offering access to luxury stays
  • Trip cancellation or interruption insurance

Luxury CardTM Mastercard® Black CardTM

  • Luxury Card Concierge
  • Global luggage delivery option when you travel
  • Charter service for luxury travel

If you don't already have a luxury rewards credit card and want to check out some of your options, browse through Experian's credit marketplace to see what is available. You can also use Experian's CreditMatchTM tool to be matched with cards that might be right for you using your FICO® Score* . As always, if you are thinking about applying for new credit, it's a good idea to check your credit reports and score to know where you stand. You can get a free copy of your credit report from Experian.

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