In October 2016, CANSTAR released our research and ratings on 69 premium credit cards from 27 financial lending institutions. We’ve scoured the market to find the best rates, features, and rewards programs on offer for Premium credit cards.
What is a Premium credit card?
A premium credit card is a type of rewards credit card that comes with “premium services” such as concierge services, complimentary airline lounge passes and travel insurance, and other exclusive benefits.
Premium credit cards are designed for an elite class of cardholders with high incomes, so they have higher credit limits than other cards, but they also charge higher interest rates and annual fees.
Premium credit cards are available in many different types:
- Black credit cards (e.g. the mysterious AMEX Centurion Black Card)
- Platinum credit cards
- Titanium credit cards
- Diamond credit cards
Understand the difference between silver and gold, platinum and titanium, black and diamond credit cards with our handy explanation.
Who should get a Premium credit card?
If you are looking for a new credit card, a card from our Premium cards profile might suit you if some of the following apply:
- You pay your closing credit card balance in full each month (because interest rates on Gold, Platinum, and Black cards are often around 20% p.a.).
- You are interested in earning rewards points, but you aren’t trying to get the absolute maximum amount of rewards for your spending (you see the points as more of a bonus).
- You want all of the bells and whistles that come with Premium-style cards such as:
- Complimentary travel insurance for when you go overseas
- Inconvenience cover if your domestic flight is cancelled
- Price protection cover if you buy something from a retailer and soon after it drops in price
- Extended warranty cover for when something breaks down outside the manufacturer’s warranty
When should you not get a premium credit card?
A Premium credit card may not be for you if:
- You only use your credit card occasionally.
- You rarely pay off your balance in full.
- You want the best rates when redeeming points for flights or upgrades through airlines.
- You want the absolute maximum return on spending in the form of rewards – whether cash back, gift vouchers, or merchandise.
Still confused? Learn about the different types of credit cards to find out what type of card is best for you, then compare credit cards on our website:
What’s new with Premium credit cards?
Here’s one new product (and please note this isn’t a recommendation to buy). Many of us have had the misfortune of dropping our smartphone and having the screen shatter into a thousand unusable shards of once-pristine glass.
It can be an expensive repair (at the time of writing, Apple charges $208.95 to replace an iPhone 6s screen) and you might have decide whether to repair or to bite the bullet and upgrade to a new model.
If however, you had purchased your smartphone (or paid your monthly plan instalments) on your American Express Essential Credit Card, you would have cause to breathe a sigh of relief. Smartphone Screen Insurance is new from American Express and currently comes only on their new Essential Credit Card. Clearly marketed towards a younger audience, this card it lacks an annual fee and has a purchase rate of 14.99% p.a. and a linked rewards program (which do not often come on Low Rate cards).
The insurance covers repairs of up to $500 on a smartphone screen, with an excess payable of 10% of the repair cost, so your iPhone 6s could be as good as new for as little as $21.90 out of your pocket.
Smartphone Screen Insurance is an interesting new “Premium” card inclusion and it will be interesting to see if it is offered by more issuers in the future.
The featured inclusions mentioned represent a selection of what is available on the market at the time of writing. Additional terms and conditions may apply to different features. Additional fees may apply to different features. Please ensure that you read the product disclosure statement (PDS) to determine all the current options and feature inclusions for the product you are considering.
CANSTAR provides an information service. It is not a credit provider, and in giving you information about credit products, CANSTAR is not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular product. If you decided to apply for a credit card, you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with CANSTAR. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution. Please see CANSTAR’s Financial Services and Credit Guide (FSCG) for more information, and read our detailed disclosure, important notes, and additional information.
What rates are on offer for Premium credit cards?
Cards with premium facilities, such as international travel insurance, tend to have higher fees and purchase rates than those without the added benefits. Make sure that you weigh up the costs and benefits before taking out a credit card to get these “free extras”.
|Overseas Travel Insurance||Average Annual Fee||Average Purchase Rate (p.a.)|
|Source: CANSTAR. Rates and fees current as at 22 March 2017.|
CANSTAR can’t tell you what card to buy, but we can help guide you through this financial decision. Compare Premium credit cards using the CANSTAR comparison tables to ensure you’re making a decision that benefits your needs.