12 Best High-End Credit Cards (2017)

12 Best High-End Credit Cards

credit card advice

Adam West
By: Adam West
Posted: October 3, 2017
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

The phrase “high end” can mean take on different meanings for everyone. Some may envision luxurious fabrics and sparkling jewels, while others imagine fast cars and rivers of champagne. Or perhaps, as part of the digital generation, you picture the epitome of modern technology and automation.

While the world of high-end credit cards doesn’t have a lot of silk or octane, it is rich with exclusive perks and rewards that can make you feel like more than an ordinary consumer. These high-end cards will also often have the latest financial technology and security, offering peace of mind as well as a top-of-the-line experience.

At the same time, our favorite high-end credit cards aren’t the most exclusive cards or the most expensive ones. In fact, our list of the best high-end credit cards are actually attainable, giving you many of the bells and whistles reserved for the crème de la crème — without the exorbitant costs and income requirements that put other cards out of reach.

Big Spenders | Cash Back | Points | Travel

Best High-End Cards for Big Spenders

For many, nothing says high-end more than dollar signs — lots and lots of dollar signs. These consumers want to see plastic that can purchase just about anything, regardless of its cost, and the high-end cards are those that can make it happen. You won’t need an invite-only Black Card to obtain a credit limit that would make a movie star take notice; you simply need great credit and the right high-limit card.

Indeed, the high-end cards on our list for big spenders have reported credit limits in the tens of thousands (and beyond). In fact, our top pick, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, is rumored to offer credit limits up to $100,000 for the most qualified cardholders. While the others on the list don’t get quite that high, you can still look forward to limits far and above the average everyday card.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

+See More High-Limit Cards

Of course, it’s important to remember that just because you can charge tens of thousands of dollars to your credit card doesn’t mean you should — and you most certainly shouldn’t carry that balance for very long. Even an interest rate at the very bottom of your credit card’s range can mean hundreds to thousands in interest fees on a five-figure balance.

Furthermore, receiving a limit over $25,000 most likely means your credit is excellent, and jeopardizing that credit by carrying a massive balance is more than simply unwise — it’s downright reckless. Your minimum payment may eventually be unable to keep up with your interest fees, and if you become delinquent on just one payment, your excellent credit score can plummet faster than you can say “new home entertainment system.”

Best High-End Cards for Cash Back

To me, one of the most (colloquially) ironic occurrences is that people are constantly giving free stuff to celebrities, a.k.a. the people who least need free stuff. Well, with the right card, you can feel more like a celebrity everywhere you go as you earn cash back on every purchase — especially when you receive a hefty bonus just for signing up and hitting the spending requirement.

The best part of boasting one of our favorite high-end cash back cards? You won’t be stuck paying high-end fees for the privilege. You can enjoy unlimited cash back, quarterly rotating bonus categories, and sweet signup bonuses all without ridiculous annual fees. Even better, many of our picks won’t actually charge you an annual fee at all. How’s that for high end?

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® - Cashback Match™ Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards instantly at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

+See More Cash Back Cards

When comparing cash back cards, be sure to select the rewards program that best fits your personal spending habits. For example, if most of your spending occurs in popular categories, you may earn the most cash back from a program that offers bonus categories. If your spending is more generalized, however, you may be better off with a flat-rate unlimited cash back program.

In most cases, your cash back rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit you can put toward your card balance, or as a check through the mail. Many programs also give you the option to redeem your cash back rewards for gift cards to popular stores and restaurants or even as a charitable donation to your favorite cause.

Best High-End Cards for Points

While the exact definition of a high-end credit card varies from person to person, I think most of us can agree that one surefire way for a credit card to qualify for “high-end” status is to unlock exclusive, awe-inspiring rewards for its cardholders. Well, the cream of the credit card crop includes a range of high-end points cards that do just that.

These cards allow you to earn and redeem your way to unforgettable trips, the latest technology, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Rewards points programs operate in much the same way as cash back programs, offering a set rate of points per $1 spent, with some programs providing bonus categories for extra points. What’s more, our best high-end points cards have reasonable annual fees and may offer an introductory 0% APR on your new purchases.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 3X points at U.S. gas stations, 2X points at U.S. restaurants, 1X point on other purchases
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, cash redemption options or merchandise through Go Far® Rewards
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
  • Earn an annual relationship bonus of 10% on non-bonus rewards points if you maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo account
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
10.99% for 14 months
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

+See More Rewards Points Cards

The best way to get the most out of your credit card points is to research the per-point value of your redemption options. For instance, the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers Chase Ultimate Rewards, which can be redeemed for travel purchases at a better value than if used for cash back. But the best value comes from transferring your points to a partner airline or hotel, where they’re worth up to $0.04 per point.

Best High-End Cards for Travel Rewards

When you look up the top high-end cards, a great many of them are often pricey travel cards, though with good reason. For those who spend a lot of time in the air or on the road, access to the perks and rewards offered by a high-end travel card can make the difference between munching on peanuts in coach — or sipping bubbly in first class. And that’s not to mention the money-saving possibilities of paying no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.

As you compare your high-end travel card options, consider how you’re most likely to use your rewards. If you’re loyal to a specific airline or hotel brand, you can typically get the best rewards and perks from a branded card. On the other hand, our top-rated picks for high-end travel rewards credit cards offer more flexible redemption options, as they won’t limit you to a specific brand nor will you be subject to bubble-bursting blackout dates.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit

+See More Travel Rewards Cards

You can really jump-start your travel rewards experience by taking advantage of the great signup bonuses that come with high-end credit cards. These bonuses allow you to earn tens of thousands of miles simply by meeting the spending requirements, and are often enough to get you flying for free right away.

Of course, you should never charge more on your card than you can afford to repay in a timely manner. Ideally, pay off your entire balance each month to avoid paying any interest fees. The longer you carry your balance, the more interest you’ll have to pay, and you can quickly eat into any savings earned through your rewards and signup bonus with excessive fees.

”High-End” Doesn’t Need to Mean “High Fees”

We all have our own definition of a high-end product. For some, it’s all about the rich finishes, such as the sleek metal of the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. For others, it’s all about access, like the blackout-free travel rewards from a Capital One® Venture® Rewards card. Whatever your fancy, you can probably find a high-end credit card to fit the bill.

The question is, can you afford it?

Happily, “high end” doesn’t need to mean “high fees.” With a little research, you can enjoy the perks and rewards of a high-end credit card without the high cost, and those with the best credit can revel in high limits, great bonuses, and all the points and miles you can stand.