Premium credit cards

Compare premium credit cards in one search[1]

  • Discover the benefits of each credit card and the costs associated with it
  • Find out your likelihood of acceptance for premium credit cards with smart search
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What is a premium credit card?

Premium credit cards are an exclusive type of credit card typically aimed at people who are big spenders with a higher income. They may also be known as black credit cards.

You’ll usually be charged an annual fee for the card, but in return you’ll receive a higher spending limit and access to a range of exclusive perks.

To qualify for a premium card, you’ll usually need an excellent credit score and may need a higher annual income of more than £40,000 (although there are options that don’t require this).

And the exclusivity of some cards means they’re only available through a direct invitation from the card provider.

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What is included with a premium credit card?

What you get with a premium credit card will vary depending on the card and the provider, but the perks may include:

  • High credit limit
  • Worldwide family travel insurance
  • Access to exclusive airport lounges worldwide
  • A generous reward scheme, including air miles
  • Breakdown cover
  • 24/7 concierge or personal assistant services to book holidays, hotels and restaurants, or even to help buy gifts
  • Exclusive advanced tickets for events
  • Lower fees for using the card abroad

What’s the difference between a premium and standard credit card?

Both cards can be used to buy goods and services up to a credit limit set by the card provider, but there are some differences between them.

Premium credit cards usually come with a high annual fee, which standard credit cards usually don’t charge. They may also have a higher interest rate.

You’ll usually be given a higher credit limit to spend on a premium card, but you may need to pay off the balance in full each month - you’re not required to do this with an ordinary card (although it is recommended).

While some standard credit cards come with rewards, they don’t include as many benefits and won’t typically be geared towards travel as much as premium card perks.

How to check your eligibility for a credit card

Premium credit cards typically have stricter eligibility criteria and some exclusive cards will be offered on an invitation-only basis by the card provider.

Making lots of credit card applications can negatively affect your credit score. So before you apply, it’s a good idea to check which ones you’re more likely to be accepted for.

Our free smart search eligibility checker performs a soft credit search that won’t appear on your credit report - you can then use the results to help you choose which card to apply for.

What are the advantages of a premium credit card?

There are advantages to having a premium credit card, but how much you benefit from having one will largely depend on your financial situation and how you use the card.

One of the main advantages is the higher credit limit they offer - by allowing you to spend more, you can quickly build up points and rewards.

Many of the perks are centred around travel, so you can really make the most of the extra benefits on offer if you take frequent trips.

Plus, if you’re someone who’s short on time, the credit card concierge service can handle your travel arrangements, reservation bookings, personal shopping needs and even help to track down items you’ve lost or left behind in hotels.

What are the disadvantages?

Although premium cards come with plenty of perks and benefits, they’re not right for everyone.

One of the disadvantages is the high annual fee you’ll typically need to pay, which could cost up to £750. If you’re not going to make the most of the perks and rewards on offer, then a premium credit card probably isn’t the right choice for you.

Interest rates can also be higher than with standard credit cards, so if you don’t pay your balance back in full each month you can stack up debt quickly, which can wipe out any discounts or perks you’ve accrued.

The high credit limit that comes with premium cards may encourage you to spend more than normal, particularly if you’re trying to reach certain reward goals like air miles.

Who can get a premium credit card?

Given their exclusive reputation it’s perhaps not surprising that some premium cards are available on an invitation-only basis from the card issuer.

However, for those cards that are more widely available, whether you’re eligible will typically depend on you:

  • Being 21 years old or older
  • Earning more than a certain annual salary set by the card provider
  • Having an excellent credit record

How to apply for a premium credit card

The best way to apply is by using our smart search. This will tell you which cards you’re likely to be accepted for and let you compare options and apply online.

We’ll need to know:

  1. About you

    Information including your name, date of birth and email address

  2. Where you live

    Let us know whether you’re a homeowner and how long you’ve lived at your address

  3. Your financial situation

    Tell us about your employment status and annual income

Things to look out for

When you’re thinking of taking out a premium credit card there are a number of things you should consider:

  1. Annual fee

    This can vary between cards so check the fee before you apply and work out whether the perks are worth it

  2. Types of benefit

    Look at what’s being offered and choose a card with rewards you’ll really be able to use

  3. The rewards rate

    Certain spending can give you more rewards at a faster rate, so check which card will work best for your typical spending patterns

  4. Cost of repayments

    Be certain that you can afford to pay the balance in full every month, otherwise the interest you’ll have to pay will cancel out the value of the benefits

  5. Doubling up

    Make sure you’re not paying for products you already have, like breakdown cover and travel insurance

  6. Terms and conditions

    If you’re offered perks like travel insurance, check what’s covered as it may not be as comprehensive as taking out cover separately

Are there any alternatives?

Reward credit cards - Earn reward points for every pound you spend which will give you discounts and perks, like loyalty points or air miles

Cashback credit cards - Get a percentage of what you spend as cashback paid into your credit card account to reduce what you owe

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