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Popularity of Premium Cards

Recently, the popularity of premium cards has been through the roof.  Although these cards have high annual fees, the perks associated can go a long way in offsetting the fee.  The Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, and the Ritz Rewards Visa are all examples of premium cards.  They all have at least a $450 annual fee but they also have perks like travel credits, Global Entry reimbursement, lounge access, etc.  Again, all look great on paper but you should really make sure the cost of the card warrants a spot in your wallet.  Regardless of all the perks, if you don’t take advantage of these perks, you’re pretty much wasting your money.  

The great aspect of these cards is that instead of earning points toward a specific airline or hotel, you earn points in a sort of bank.  From there, you can transfer your points to a number of partners to redeem your rewards.  So regardless of what alliance an airline is with, you aren’t locked into that specific airline or their rewards program.  You can spend the points on British Airways flights today and Southwest tomorrow.  The flexibility this allows is massive and really allows you an incredible network of airlines to choose.  

Be honest with your situation and what your needs are.  On paper, everything looks nice.  But these cards wouldn’t be offering you these perks if they didn’t have skin in the game either.  If you don’t travel as much or worse, if you don’t pay off your balance in full every month, eventually the annual fee and the high interest rate will catch up to you.  

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