The Best Credit Cards for Wealthy Travelers (Who Like to Do it in Style)

If you consider yourself wealthy and you prefer to travel in luxury, these credit cards will give you all the perks you need to accomplish your travel goals.
12/4/19 | By Brett Holzhauer
Best Credit Cards for Wealthy Travelers

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Being wealthy comes with many perks, and one of them is the ability to benefit from outstanding rewards credit cards. Since it’s likely you have already earned a great income, made solid decisions with your investments, and are saving for retirement, you can take some time to enjoy the fruits of your labor with credit card rewards from your purchases. These rewards can earn you luxurious travel like first-class flights on world-class airlines and suites at five-star hotels.

So what exactly is considered “wealthy”? In the 2019 Modern Wealth Survey published by Charles Schwab, Americans believe being wealthy means having a net worth of $2.3 million or more. But, in the same survey, 80% of people considered themselves wealthy even though their net worth was $700,000. As you can see, there is a bit of a gap in the number. This is because wealth is slowly being redefined as not just a number — but a way of life.

The same survey reported that 72% of people define being wealthy as “the way they live their life.” So even if your net worth isn’t as high as the figures above, you may fall under your own definition of wealth. Regardless of whether you are wealthy by net worth or wealthy by your own criteria, you have a great opportunity in front of you when it comes to travel rewards credit cards.

In this article, I will discuss the best credit cards for wealthy people. These credit cards will include outstanding travel perks, rewards for your expenses, and the possibility for you to reach your definition of a rich life.

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How to choose the best credit card if you're wealthy

Choosing a credit card can be a bit difficult task, especially since you may be receiving endless offers via email or traditional mail. How do you know which credit card will actually be the most beneficial for you?

To make the decision simpler, it is best to “reverse engineer” your thinking process. This means starting with your end goal, and then working backwards to pick out the perfect credit card. To do this, ask yourself:

  • Are you interested in cash back or travel rewards?
  • Are you dreaming of luxury hotel stays?
  • Are you envisioning luxury flights for your upcoming travel?
  • Do you want a card to simply earn rewards? Or are you looking for more of a lifestyle card with concierge services?

Take some time to think through questions. Once you decide on the answers, you will be armed with the information you need to select the card(s) that will work best for you. To get you started, I’ll present a few of the best credit cards for those who are wealthy, and you can decide which card works best for your needs and goals.

The best credit cards if you’re wealthy

Card Best for Welcome bonus Rewards rate Annual fee
The Platinum Card from American Express A frequent traveler wanting luxury service from start to finish Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months up to 5X points $550
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card Someone looking for hotel status and valuable points, but with a manageable annual fee Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months up to 12X points $95
American Express Gold Card Foodies, both for dining out and grocery shopping Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months up to 4X points per dollar $250
United MileagePlus Club Card Frequent United flyers Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months up to 2X miles $450
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express Frequent Delta flyers Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months up to 2X miles $450

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is an outstanding charge card (which is not the same as a credit card) and it can take your travels to a whole new level of luxury. With this card, you will have access to the following perks:

  • American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $200 in annual Uber credits
  • $100 fee credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry to get through airport security quickly
  • $100 annual credit to Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Complimentary elite status at Hilton and Marriott properties
  • Complimentary subscription to Departures Magazine for travel inspiration
  • Dedicated concierge service
  • Complimentary benefits at Fine Hotels & Resorts

The American Express Global Lounge Collection is a group of lounges you will have access to at airports across the country. This long list of lounges will allow you to escape the unrest of airport terminals for a place to unwind before your flight. The most iconic on the list are the exclusive American Express Centurion Lounges, which are only available to people who have a Platinum Card or Centurion Card. While the Centurion lounges are most notable, there are only a few locations. But wherever you are in the world, you will be hard pressed to find an airport without a Priority Pass lounge. With over 1,300 locations worldwide, you will be able to escape the airport madness for a much more relaxing space.

In addition to a relaxing airport experience, the American Express Platinum Card will give you ample perks at locations that are part of the Fine Hotels & Resorts group. The Fine Hotels & Resorts program features the most luxurious hotels and resorts around the world. Not only could you be staying in some of the most luxurious hotels around the world — like the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, the Four Seasons Maldives Kuda Huraa, and Hotel Amigo in Brussels, Belgium — but you will have exclusive perks waiting for you when you book your room using the Platinum Card from American Express. Your perks will include:

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • A room upgrade when available
  • A property amenity worth $100 — things like a spa, dining, or property credit
  • Guaranteed 4PM late check-out
  • Noon check-in when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

You can see which hotels participate in the program by visiting the Amex Travel website.

Overall, the Platinum Card from American Express is a great idea for someone who wants a luxury touch in addition to great points earnings. Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. Additionally, you will earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. These Membership Reward points can be transferred to a long list of American Express travel partners, and you will be able to use these points to book first-class airline tickets or elegant hotel suites.

Keep in mind this card comes with a $550 annual fee, but this can easily be offset by utilizing the card’s long list of luxury benefits.

Best Luxury Travel Benefits

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card is a great card to keep in your wallet. First, it comes with automatic Gold Elite status in the Hilton Honors Program. With Gold Elite status, you will earn great perks at all Hilton properties, including room upgrades when available, free breakfast at all properties, late checkout, and more.

If you want to earn even higher status, you can be bumped up to Diamond if you use this card to spend $40,000 per calendar year. Diamond status comes with the same perks as Gold, but also includes executive lounge access inside the hotels (which feature complimentary breakfast, snacks, drinks, a dedicated host, and private check-in and check-out), a 48-hour room guarantee (if you book within 48 hours of arrival, they guarantee you will have a room), and premium Wi-Fi.

Additionally, this card will earn you a great amount of Hilton Honors points. Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. When you use the card, you will earn 12X points when spending directly with an eligible Hilton hotel or resort; 6X points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases. By regularly using your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, you will also be able to earn a Weekend Night Reward — this happens after spending $15,000 on your card in one calendar year. This reward can be redeemed at any Hilton property.

All these perks comes at a manageable $95 annual fee. So if you’re interested in a card that rewards you for your spending with luxurious travel, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card could fit your needs.

Robust Welcome Offer

Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

Benefits

  • 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Point welcome offer
  • 12X points at participating Hilton hotels and resorts
  • Free weekend night reward stay after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply

American Express Gold Card

If you appreciate delicious food as much as you love to travel, the American Express Gold Card will become your go-to card. When this card debuted, it instantly became my all-time favorite credit card because of the perks and earnings.

With the American Express Gold Card, you will enjoy the following perks:

  • $100 airline fee credit. This can be used to pay for airport lounge access or for a cocktail during your flying.
  • Perks when booking with The Hotel Collection when you stay at least two consecutive nights. Perks include a $100 hotel credit to spend on the property and room upgrades when available.
  • Access to American Express Preferred Seating to get premium seats for cultural and sporting events
  • $120 dining credit

The most unique perk on that list is that $120 dining credit. With this perk, you are allotted $10 per month to use at the following restaurants:

  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Shake Shack (participating locations)

You can also use your dining credit for food delivery services like Grubhub or Seamless. So if you prefer to order takeout instead of driving to dinner, you can kick your feet up while your food comes to you. Or, if you dread grocery shopping, you can order groceries on Boxed.com, and this will count toward your dining credit as well. Keep in mind this is a “use it or lose it” perk. So, if you do not use this credit one month, it does not roll over.

While these perks are great, the true value in this card are the earning categories. 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide, 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases. The major earning comes in your spending, though. You will earn 4X on U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year), restaurants worldwide. My wife and I are avid foodies, and have been able to earn a ton of American Express Membership Rewards with this card.

Big Rewards for Dining Out

American Express Gold Card

American Express Gold Card

American Express Gold Card

Benefits

  • 35,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer
  • High rewards rate in certain categories
  • $100 airline fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply

United MileagePlus Club Card

The United MileagePlus Club Card is the perfect card for someone who is loyal to United Airlines and who is also a fan of their Polaris business class and first-class seats. Whether you live near a United hub or simply prefer to fly on United because of their lounges, the United MileagePlus Club Card will suit your travel experience well.

As a holder of the United MileagePlus Club Card, when you fly on United you will experience a list of Premier Access travel services that include priority check-in, expedited security screening when available, priority boarding, and priority baggage handling.

Once you are through security, you will be able to access the United Club lounges. There are 45 United Club lounges worldwide. These lounges include things like free food, free drinks, showers, comfortable seating, and family rooms (certain locations) that will make your pre-flight experience much more enjoyable.

Additionally, you have access to a long list of travel coverages in case things go wrong simply by having the United MileagePlus Club Card. These coverages include:

  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Rental car insurance

Additionally, you can earn valuable United Airlines miles when you use the United MileagePlus Club Card. You will earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. As you use the card for your expenses, you will earn 2X miles on United purchases and 1.5X miles on all other purchases.

The card has a $450 annual fee. While this is a bit steep, it is worth it for the lounge membership and travel insurance policies alone. These perks can make your trip a much more luxurious and stress-free experience.

Earn Valuable United Airlines Miles

United MileagePlus Club Card

United MileagePlus Club Card

United MileagePlus Club Card

Benefits

  • 50,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on United purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
  • Free first and second checked bags

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

If you regularly fly Delta, the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express can make your flying difference much more enjoyable. First, this card comes with access to Delta SkyClub lounges when you fly on Delta. Similar to the cards above, you will be able to access these lounges to get away to a more relaxing environment that comes with complimentary food and drinks.

You will also earn bonus SkyMiles and qualifying miles toward earning status after you spend $30,000 and $60,000 per calendar year. These miles and qualifying miles will help you earn your way toward free flights and possible upgrades to premium class seating.

You will also receive a Delta Reserve Companion Ticket, which is a certificate that gives you a free ticket for a companion to fly with you, regardless of the fare class you book. So if you are interested in flying first class, using your companion ticket will get you a second ticket for just the price of taxes and fees.

To continue the ease of your travels, you will also receive your first checked bag free and priority boarding.

With this card, you will be able to earn valuable Delta SkyMiles toward your next flight. Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, and you can earn 2X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1X miles for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases.

Access to Delta SkyClub Lounges

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Benefits

  • 40,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles welcome bonus
  • Generous rewards rate for Delta flyers
  • Complimentary Sky Club access
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply

The best business credit cards if you’re wealthy

If you are a business owner, you have an incredible opportunity to also take advantage of business credit cards. These cards can earn you valuable perks to enhance your travel even further. Here are three cards to consider as a wealthy business owner.

Card Best for Welcome bonus Rewards rate Annual fee
The Business Platinum Card from American Express A business owner with large expenses looking to travel first class on points Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points: 50,000 points after you spend $10,000, then another 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 on purchases within the first 3 months up to 5X points $595
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card A business owner looking to enjoy hotel status and rewards for their expenses Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months Up to 12X Bonus Points $95
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express A business owner looking to maximize their expenses to earn points that can be redeemed for luxury travel 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months Up to 2X points $0

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is an outstanding card to have in your possession, especially if you love luxury travel. This card is similar to its personal card counterpart, The Platinum Card from American Express. But it comes with even more perks, at a slightly higher annual fee.

With this card you will have:

  • $200 annual credit for U.S. purchases with Dell
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $100 credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry
  • Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors
  • Complimentary benefits for Fine Hotels & Resorts
  • Access to the Global Dining Collection

Simply by having this card, you will earn elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, two of the largest hotel rewards programs. With Marriott Bonvoy, you will earn Gold Elite status. Gold Elite will get you the following perks: late check-out, dedicated elite reservation phone line to ensure your needs are taken care of, and room upgrades when available. With Hilton Honors, you will also earn Gold Elite status. This will grant you the option for late check-out, two bottles of water upon check-in, room upgrades when available, and complimentary breakfast at all hotels.

If you decide to book a luxury hotel stay through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you will enjoy additional perks when you use the Business Platinum Card from American Express. Along with a list of ultra luxury hotels to choose from, you will receive complimentary breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, late check-out, early check-in when available, and a unique property amenity valued at $100. The amenity can be a credit toward dining, spa treatments, or property activities.

Deciding on a delicious restaurant for a date night or business occasion can be a bit stressful, especially in a city you may not be familiar with. The American Express Global Dining Collection can help solve these stresses as it offers a finely selected list of restaurants around the world recommended specifically for American Express cardholders.

In addition to outstanding food, when you use the concierge service to book a reservation within the Global Dining Collection, you will enjoy special access to custom dining experiences not available to the public. These experiences may include kitchen tours, special menus and complimentary beverages. So next time you are looking for a special evening out, the American Express concierge service can assist you with an evening of delicious bites and memorable experiences with their Global Dining Collection.

While these perks are outstanding for maximizing your business and leisure travel, the card also provided outstanding earnings for your spending. When you use the Business Platinum Card from American Express for your expenses, you will earn 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. On top of that, you can earn up to 75,000 membership rewards points: 50,000 points after you spend $10,000, then another 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

Additionally, when you book a business class or first-class fare using your American Express Membership Rewards, you will receive a 35% rebate back in points when you book business or first class tickets. So that 200,000 points you need for a business class flight to travel abroad will actually only cost you 130,000 points.

The card comes with a $595 annual fee, but this can easily be earned back in the valuable perks the card offers.

Premium Business Rewards

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Benefits

  • Up to 75,000 point welcome offer
  • 5X points on qualifying flight and hotel purchases
  • 1.5X points on eligible purchases over $5,000
  • Up to $200 statement credit per year for airline incidental fees
  • Terms apply

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

If you want to avoid a big annual fee but love luxury hotel stays, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card can be an outstanding card to use for your business expenses. With the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, you will have automatic Gold Elite status with Hilton Honors, 10 visits to Priority Pass Select lounges, car rental insurance, and baggage insurance throughout your travels.

Additionally, you can earn a free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a calendar year, and a second weekend night after spending $60,000 in a calendar year. To add, you can be bumped up from Gold Elite to Diamond status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. This Diamond status will last to the end of the next calendar year. And, once you earn Diamond Elite status, you will have access to the following features:

  • Executive lounge access to enjoy free snacks and drinks at all Hilton hotels
  • Late check-out
  • Fifth night free when you book your room using Hilton Honors points
  • Premium speed Wi-Fi
  • Room upgrades when available
  • Complimentary breakfast where available

You can maximize the potential of this card by using this for your day-to-day business expenses such as gas and shipping costs. While each of these purchases may be small in size, they can add up to a large amount of Hilton Honors points and other perks.

Earn 12X Bonus Points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton, 6X Bonus Points on select business travel and purchases, and 3X Bonus Points everywhere else. Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months to give your points balance a great boost at the start.

The earning potential is large, while the annual fee is a manageable $95.

A Slew of Valuable Business Perks

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Benefits

  • 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Point welcome offer
  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible Hilton purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

I mentioned the American Express Platinum Card and American Express Gold Card as great options for a credit card if you’re wealthy. If you enjoy collecting American Express Membership Rewards, those two cards along with the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express will finish off the Amex Trifecta strategy to earning Membership Rewards.

The Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card doesn’t come with a valuable welcome bonus, but you will earn a respectable 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that. This card is perfect to use in your “Amex trifecta” as it will earn you Up to 2X points points on all purchases that wouldn’t fall under the spending categories of the other two cards.

The card also comes with a $0 annual fee and a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

Simplified Earnings for Small Business Owners

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

Benefits

  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
  • 2X Membership Rewards Points on first $50,000 each year
  • Global Assist hotline
  • No annual fee
  • Terms apply

Why we chose these cards (methodology)

When you travel for work or pleasure, there are endless opportunities to make your experience much more luxurious. Perks like airport lounge access, priority boarding to get comfortable on your flight, and potential room upgrades at your hotel can be the difference between a good experience and a great experience. Each of the cards come with several perks to give you the best opportunity to have a plush travel experience.

The second reason for choosing each of these cards is that each presents a specific opportunity to earn valuable rewards for your personal and/or business purchases. Whether it is earning you hotel points, airline miles, or points that can be transferred to airline or hotel reward programs, each of these cards has outstanding potential.

The bottom line on the best credit cards for the wealthy

All of these cards present great opportunities for enhancing your travel experience and delivering value back to you. Now that you know a few of the best credit cards if you’re wealthy, you can decide which type of rewards you want to earn, what you want to do with these rewards, and how you can potentially maximize your purchases when it comes to earning rewards.

Whether its luxurious flights, reservations at outstanding restaurants, five-star hotel suites overlooking the ocean, or personalized concierge attention, these credit cards offer you endless opportunities for fun and luxury. So enjoy a glass of champagne on your next flight, delicious snacks in an airport lounge, or a relaxing spa day at your hotel courtesy of the best credit cards for the wealthy.

Best Luxury Travel Benefits

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

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
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