The Most Lucrative Credit Cards for High Spenders in 2020

Ditch your current credit card for one of these and get more for your spending.
Last updated Mar 17, 2020 | By Ben Luthi
The Most Lucrative Credit Cards for High Spenders

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We all know that the more money you spend on a rewards credit card, the more you’ll earn in cash back, points, or miles. But with some credit cards, higher spending can also make it easier to justify getting a credit card with a higher annual fee and luxury perks along with it.

If you’re a big spender, it’s important to make sure you’re making the most out of your credit card spending. Here are some of the best credit cards for high spenders and how to pick the right one for you.

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How to choose the best credit card for high spenders

There’s no single best credit card out there for everyone, but there are some cards that are better suited to big spenders than others. More specifically, premium credit cards with long lists of luxury travel benefits should be on your radar.

In addition to next-level perks to elevate your travel experience, premium credit cards also often have high credit limits, making it easier to use your card for everyday purchases without maxing out your credit limit. (An added bonus: Staying well below your credit limit can help your credit utilization, which in turn can improve your credit score.)

Many of these cards also have valuable rewards programs that allow you to get more value out of your points or miles than you would with a typical cashback credit card. Whether through transfer partners or partner airlines, you could turn your spending into lucrative travel redemptions.

The best personal credit cards for high spenders

Card Best for... Welcome bonus Rewards rate Annual fee
The Platinum Card from American Express Luxury travel perks Earn 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases $550
Chase Sapphire Reserve Flexible rewards and benefits Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else $550 
Citi Prestige Citigold clients Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening 5X points on airline purchases and restaurants; 3X points on hotels and cruise lines; and 1X points on all other purchases $495
Hilton Honors Aspire Card Hotel elite status and perks Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months 14X points on eligible purchases within the Hilton portfolio, 7X points on qualifying travel purchases made directly with airlines/select car rental companies or Amextravel.com, 7X points at U.S. restaurants, and 3X points on all other purchases $450
United Club Card An elevated flying experience Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months 2X miles on United purchases, and 1.5X miles on all other purchases $450

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express could be a great fit if you travel a lot and want a more luxurious experience. The card offers several benefits that can improve every aspect of your trips. That includes:

  • A $200 annual Amex airline credit with an airline of your choice
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber credits — that’s $15 most months and $20 in December
  • An application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Complimentary airport lounge access to the Centurion Lounge, The International American Express Lounge, Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass and other lounge networks.
  • Complimentary benefits at Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection properties
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Complimentary membership in premium rental car programs that include special discounts and upgrades

The card also offers 60,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first first 3 months, plus 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Those points can be incredibly valuable with the right redemption. Amex allows you to transfer your Membership Rewards points to a number of airline and hotel rewards programs. Depending on how you use them this way, you could get far more than the standard 1 cent per point in value.

The primary drawback of the Amex Platinum is its $550 annual fee. But if you’re regularly taking advantage of the card’s benefits, you stand to gain far more than its yearly cost in value.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a lot of premium benefits, but big spenders will likely get the most out of the card’s rewards program. When you get the card, you’ll earn earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus you’ll get 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else.

A 1X base rewards rate may not sound like a lot, but here’s the kicker: When you use your points to book travel through Chase, they’re worth 50% more. That means you’re getting a base rewards rate of 1.5%, or possibly even more if you transfer your points to one of Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners.

The card also offers some incredible perks, including:

  • A $300 annual travel credit
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit (available Jan. 12, 2020)
  • An application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Complimentary access to Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Special rental car privileges with National, Avis, and Silvercar, including discounts and upgrades
  • Special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection and Relais & Châteaux properties
  • A suite of valuable trip protections

The card’s annual fee is $550 , but the annual travel credit effectively drops it to $250. If you spend and travel a lot, you can easily make up for the rest through the card’s rewards program and perks.

Citi Prestige

The Citi Prestige isn’t quite on the same level as the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve, but it may make sense to apply if you’re a Citigold banking client.

To qualify for the Citigold account package, you need to maintain a combined average monthly balance of at least $200,000 between eligible deposit, retirement, and investment accounts with the bank. If you meet those requirements, you’ll get an annual credit for $145 on the Citi Prestige, which brings the card’s $495 annual fee down to $350.

The card may make more sense for someone who’s a big spender on travel. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening, as well as 5X points on airline purchases and restaurants; 3X points on hotels and cruise lines; and 1X points on all other purchases.

The card also offers some solid benefits, including:

  • A $250 annual travel credit
  • An application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • A complimentary fourth night free when you book at least four consecutive nights in a hotel (although, Citi just capped this perk at two nights per year)
  • Complimentary access to Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Cell phone protection for up to five phones on your monthly phone bill

You can use your rewards to book travel directly through Citi, or you can transfer them to one of the Thank You Rewards program’s airline partners.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

You don’t need to spend a lot to get a lot out of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, but it doesn’t hurt either. The card offers a free weekend night award every year when you pay your annual fee, plus another one when you spend $60,000 in a calendar year.

The card also offers several other valuable perks for Hilton Honors enthusiasts, including:

  • Complimentary Diamond status, the hotel’s highest status level
  • A $250 annual Hilton Resort statement credit
  • A $250 annual airline fee credit
  • A $100 Hilton on-property credit at eligible Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts properties (when you book at least two nights with your card at HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard)
  • Complimentary access to Priority Pass airport lounges

You can also rack up a lot of points easily: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. You’ll also get 14X points on eligible purchases within the Hilton portfolio, 7X points on qualifying travel purchases made directly with airlines/select car rental companies or Amextravel.com, 7X points at U.S. restaurants, and 3X points on all other purchases.

Just keep in mind that Hilton Honors points are worth about 0.5 cents apiece on average. But even then, you’re getting a 1.5% rewards rate at a minimum, and the card’s perks essentially pay for the $450 annual fee if you can max them out.

United Club Card

Whether you fly within the U.S. or abroad, you stand to get a ton of value with the United Club Card. You’ll start off with the chance to earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus an ongoing 2X miles on United purchases, and 1.5X miles on all other purchases.

United MileagePlus miles are worth 1.35 cents apiece on average, giving you an effective base rewards rate of more than 2%. Not many cards will give you that kind of rewards rate on everything, especially considering you could get more than the program’s average value per mile, depending on how savvy you are.

In addition to a valuable rewards program, the card also offers several lucrative perks, including:

  • Complimentary United Club membership, the airline’s lounge network, valued at $650
  • Complimentary membership in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle, which provides bonus rewards on Hertz car rentals, guaranteed upgrades and more
  • Priority check-in, security screening, boarding, and baggage handling privileges
  • Two free checked bags on United for you and one companion on your reservation

The card charges a $450 annual fee, but high spenders and frequent flyers will make up for that in a flash.

The best business credit cards for high spenders

Card Best for... Welcome bonus Rewards rate Annual fee
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Premium perks Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases $595
Chase Ink Business Preferred Valuable rewards Earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else $95
Brex for Startups Card VC-backed startups 30,000 Brex Rewards points upon sign-up 7X points on rideshare, 4X on Brex Travel, 3X on restaurants, 2X on software subscriptions, and 1X on all other purchases with Brex Exclusive $0

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Like the consumer version of the card, the Business Platinum Card from American Express offers plenty of luxury travel perks, plus some business-related ones. Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect:

  • A $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $200 in annual Dell credits
  • A fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Gold Elite status with Marriott and Gold status with Hilton
  • Complimentary airport lounge access to the Centurion Lounge, The International American Express Lounge, Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass and other lounge networks
  • Complimentary benefits at Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection properties
  • Complimentary membership in premium rental car programs that include special discounts and upgrades

You’ll also get extra rewards when you spend a lot. Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

You’ll also get 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases.

The card’s annual fee is $595, but there’s a clear path to make up for it and more through the rewards program and added benefits.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred doesn’t charge a hefty annual fee ($95) like most of the other cards on our list, but its rewards program could be a boon for big business spenders.

You’ll start off by earning 100,000 after spending $15,000 in the first first 3 months — that’s worth $1,250 in travel when you book through Chase, or potentially more if you transfer your points to one of Chase’s travel partners.

You’ll also earn 3X points on first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines.

You’ll get 1X points on all other eligible purchases, but if you spend a lot in the card’s bonus categories, you can rack up a serious rewards balance quickly.

Brex for Startups Card

If your business has been backed by a venture capital firm and has at least $100,000 in your business bank account when you apply, you could be in for some serious rewards and perks with the Brex for Startups Card.

The card has a $0 annual fee, although there is a $5 monthly fee for each additional card beyond the first five cards on the account. That said, you can earn a whopping 7X points on rideshare, 4X on Brex Travel, 3X on restaurants, 2X on software subscriptions, and 1X on all other purchases with Brex Exclusive.

You’ll also get discounts on typical business services, such as Google Ads, Zendesk, Amazon Web Services, and WeWork. Also, there’s no personal credit check when you apply.

If your business qualifies and spends a lot in the Brex for Startups Card’s bonus categories, it could be a no-brainer.

Why we chose these cards

We chose our best credit cards for high spenders based on features that essentially reward you for putting a lot on your credit card. Whether it’s bonus rewards or perks with high spending requirements, elite benefits and valuable rewards programs that make up for steep annual fees, or just the chance to get more bang for your buck, there’s a card for you.

We also split our list into consumer and business credit cards because each group of people has a different set of needs and spending habits.

The bottom line on the best credit cards for big spenders

If you spend heavily, getting one of these credit cards can help you put your dollars to work by providing better rewards and benefits every time you use it.

There’s no single best credit card out there for everyone, though, so it’s important to choose a card based on your lifestyle. As you compare the different cards on our list, along with other top credit cards, focus on which features you want and how each card rewards your particular spending habits.

Once you’ve found the best card for you, make sure you understand the ins and outs of its rewards program and benefits, so you can take full advantage of each.

Best Luxury Travel Benefits

Benefits

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
  • 5X points on eligible flights and hotels
  • $15 in free U.S. Uber rides each month ($20 in December)
  • $200 airline fee credit each year
  • Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Terms apply