One of the “rules of thumb” that is often expressed when it comes to credit cards is that it’s important that you avoid paying an annual fee.
Even with rewards credit cards, many suggest that you stay away from the annual fee. After all, your annual fee reduces the value of the rewards that you earn.
There are some credit cards, though, that might be worth the annual fee.
These are premier credit cards, and they often come with annual fees that many of us consider excessive: $100, $200, or even $450.
Why would you pay that much for a credit card?
As with all things personal finance, it largely depends on what you expect to do with the credit card, and the benefits that you get. If you really look at the perks associated with a premier credit card, you might be surprised.
Here are Some of the Things You Can Expect from a Premier Credit Card:
Super-Charged Rewards Programs
Many premier credit cards come with super-charged rewards programs.
These rewards programs often feature the opportunity to earn double or triple rewards points on a number of purchases. Many of them feature bonus points when you reach a certain spending level, or your card membership anniversary. These extra points can be redeemed for rewards that might exceed the annual fee easily, depending on the program you are on, and how often you use the premier credit card in question.
One of the things that make premier credit cards so attractive is the extra perks.
Airline credit cards, for example, might offer you free access to the airport lounge. You might get free upgrades periodically as well. Other premier credit cards might provide you with the chance to score hard-to-get tickets to various entertainment events. You might even get them at a discount. Some premier cards are even adding “experience” perks, like the ability to get good seats at the Kentucky Derby, or meet celebrities.
Consider the extra perks that come with a premier card.
If you travel a lot, and would like the upgrades, free checked bags, or access to the lounge, then the value of these perks might be worth an annual fee. Those that enjoy discounts at a favorite restaurant might find the annual fee worth it for a dining experience they enjoy. Look into those types of extra perks, which often come on top of regular credit card benefits including different types of insurance, fraud liability protection, and purchase protection.
Personal Concierge Services
Many premier credit cards also offer personal concierge services.
These services can help you book travel, and find the most interesting and best deals. These services might be able to help you get tickets, as well as enjoy experiences that you might not even know about. You can call to get directions, to get help finding specific merchandise that you want, or for a number of other reasons.
While the products you get might not be free, the services provided are free. Personal concierge services can be great for those who want a great deal of convenience, as well as for those who want to know exactly how to enjoy the best of the best wherever they go.
How to Make a Premier Card Worth the Price
If you decide to go with a premier credit card, you will need to work a little harder to ensure that it is worth the cost.
A premier card with a high annual fee can quickly become too expensive. Instead, you need to plan your spending so that you receive the rewards — and the personal services — that make the cost of the card worth it.
With the right approach, the perks you receive from a premier card can more than pay for your annual fee. If the rewards program is an especially good one, consider using the credit card for all your cash flow needs. Use the card to make every day purchases, as well as pay your bills.
You do need to pay off the balance each month if you expect to succeed, however. The interest rates on these premier credit cards can be a bit high, resulting in even more costs. If you aren’t planning to keep within your budget and pay off the card each month, a premier card probably won’t work for you. But, if you are savvy about your use, you can use the extra perks and super-charged rewards to more than offset the annual fee.