Get a platinum card and you can enjoy everything from rewards programs, travel insurance, 24/7 concierge service and sign up bonuses.
Platinum credit cards have the unmistakable smell of money and power, as well they should for the types of perks they provide to their holders. While not for everyone – the cost is far higher and the approval rate much lower – platinum cards have become a regular annual expenditure for many, particularly travellers.
The annual fee on platinum cards, after introductory offers, normally ranges from $100 to $200, but it can be as much as $1,200. While it’s certainly steep compared to even gold cards, the features are also well beyond those available on lesser credit cards. Depending on the deal, platinum cards can offer far more generous rewards programs, such as 2 points for a dollar and no expiration, complimentary travel insurance and extended product warranties, deep discounts on entertainment, and even around-the-clock concierge services. For frequent travellers, for example, the high annual fees can be easily offset by the savings on travel insurance alone.
Going platinum is not easy: you’ll need close to perfect credit scores and a salary of $60,000 or more; some have cardholder age minimums. If you don’t qualify for a platinum card, take a look at the gold cards, which offer less perks but have less stringent income and credit history requirements.
It’s a high-end card with more perks than your average card, with more cost involved in having one and more requirements needed to be eligible. You’ll need a salary of at least $50,000, and often up to $60,000 or $70,000, and be able to prove that this is a steady income, and have a near-perfect credit rating. Finally, there will also be a minimum age of 18 or 25 in some cases. You’re usually looking at around $100 to $1,000p.a in annual fees. Keep in mind that the benefits could actually save you more than the annual fee because of the bonuses and features.
The benefits may include one or more of the following: highly competitive rewards programs; personal 24/7 concierge service; complimentary travel insurance; contents insurance; discounts and offers (entertainment, car hire and more); purchase security; cover and warranty; and commission-free traveller cheques.
The earn rate (points per dollar spent) is usually higher than standard reward program credit cards. You might earn 1 point per $1 spent on a regular credit card, 1.5 points per $1 spent on a gold card but up to 2 points per $1 on a platinum card. Additionally, caps or limits on the points you can earn will usually be higher, meaning you can go further with your points. The points don’t expire as soon as on regular cards, and sometimes not at all.
It depends on the card, but usually travel, fuel, groceries, merchandise, gift vouchers or cash back.
The two of the things of most value are the security features that protect your identity and finances and the high credit limits. Additionally, the complimentary travel insurance is a huge plus, saving cardholders hundreds each year if they travel regularly. You just have to be careful to check what the insurance actually covers. Coverage varies significantly from simple lost baggage cover to accident cover, and all the way to legal and medical assistance.
Balance transfer rates and periods are something else to keep a look out for. It is not uncommon for platinum cards to have a very long, low interest balance transfer deal.
Finally, the 24/7 personal concierge service that most platinum cards come with can be a life-saver for the busy cardholder. Your concierge is able to assist with flight and hotel bookings, helping you find a laundromat or a good place to eat. All those little things you can run out of time to sort out can be done for you.
Any card isn’t worth it if you’re paying more than what you’re getting out of it whether that be in terms of convenience or rewards and so on. As mentioned above, if the annual fee is higher than what the card is saving you by having and using it, you’ll want to look into another card.