Conventional wisdom says that if you’re looking for the best travel benefits or the greatest potential to earn rewards, you should be using an ultra-premium credit card.
Although there’s no official definition of an “ultra-premium credit card,” most people accept that a card with an annual fee of $395 or higher is an ultra-premium card.
And while these high annual fees may scare some people, the savviest realize that most worthwhile ultra-premium cards will provide a net value to you, whether it’s through statement credits, lounge access, or elevated rewards.
So, should you have more than 1 ultra-premium card? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the decision process from beginning to end.
We’ve studied breakeven costs to offset annual fees on credit cards in great detail. What we’ve found is that, despite high annual fees, the benefits you get with an ultra-premium card significantly reduce the breakeven cost.
In fact, by maximizing the benefits of ultra-premium cards, you can get a value that far exceeds the annual fee of the card itself. In that sense, it’s a lot like “paying $500 to get $1,000 back.”
The credit card universe is littered with shoddy options, but rest assured we focus only on the best products in the world. We’ve found that the best cards are consistently offered by the same group of issuers.
For example, American Express offers:
Capital One has:
As you can tell, American Express is the undisputed winner in the ultra-premium card space.
That said, all of these cards will deliver outsized value to the right person or business, whether it’s the incredible lounge access from the Amex Platinum card that’ll make you feel like a VIP or the simplicity of earning 2x miles on all purchases everywhere with the CapOne Venture X card.
Hot Tip: For full details on these cards and others, check out our guide to the best premium and luxury credit cards.
Some people think that you can only have 1 credit card with a specific bank, but this is not true for most of the major credit card issuers.
Many of the biggest issuers craft credit card products that complement each other so you can get the best rewards and benefits possible while staying within their ecosystem of financial products.
So, yes, you can absolutely have more than 1 ultra-premium card!
In the simplest possible terms, it makes sense to have more than 1 ultra-premium card if it makes sense for your individual situation. Everybody has different travel patterns, purchasing habits, and everything in between. If you can get more value from a card than you what you pay for the annual fee, it’s worth having in your wallet.
Here are some of the many factors to consider when weighing the decision to have more than 1 ultra-premium card:
Accessing More Bonus Categories
One of the best ways to make the most of credit cards is to get as much value back as a function of your spending habits. In other words, if you make specific types of purchases frequently, any extra return on that spending can compound over the long run.
For example, if you find yourself spending substantial sums of money on airfare over the course of the year, you’ll want to use a product like the Amex Platinum card to earn up to 5x points for each of those purchases.
Similarly, if you’re also a business owner and often make purchases at construction material and hardware suppliers, you’ll access even better rewards by using the Amex Business Platinum card in tandem.
Bottom Line: High spenders will find that accessing more bonus categories is an easy way to justify having more than 1 ultra-premium card.
Accessing More Benefits
Many ultra-premium cards offer useful benefits to cardholders.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a very easy-to-use $300 travel credit annually. In addition, it’s one of the only cards with the ability to redeem points for 50% more value (1.5 cents apiece) towards travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. This card also boasts the best travel insurance in the business and useful transfer partners like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt.
If you also have an Amex Platinum card in your portfolio, you can get the world’s best lounge-access privileges, additional transfer partners like ANA Mileage Club, and other lifestyle benefits.
With this duo of ultra-premium cards, you can get bonus rewards on airfare, dining, and travel. You can also get top-shelf lounge access, incredible travel insurance, and access to transfer partners to redeem your points for incredible value.
There’s always a balance to be struck between extracting as much value as possible from credit cards and keeping things simple.
We believe that having a few of the best credit cards is instrumental to getting as much out of your spending as possible. That being said, another great reason to have more than 1 ultra-premium card is that it helps keep expenses separate — this is especially true if you’re running a business.
Inherently, most businesses have different spending profiles from individual consumers. Consumers generally spend more on groceries, eating out, streaming, and gas, while businesses might spend more on office supplies, advertising, and hardware.
If you’re running a home-renovation company based in Atlanta, for example, your company might spend a lot of money on construction materials, advertising, and hardware — if this were the case, the Amex Business Platinum card would make a ton of sense for you. Plus, having the card and using it strictly for these business expenses can help you aggregate them and effectively identify any tax write-offs that may exist. Of course, you’ll want to consult your tax professional for assistance with this part.
At the same time, you might spend significant sums of money on personal travel for you and your family. And being based in Atlanta means you’re flying Delta Air Lines most of the time. So it might make sense to hold the Delta Reserve card.
While you’re on vacation, you find yourself mostly staying at Marriott Bonvoy properties, so you can use the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card to get the most out of your stays.
More Welcome Bonuses
Most of the ultra-premium credit cards worth having have enticing welcome bonuses. Welcome bonuses with 6 figures have become widespread in the world of ultra-premium cards.
If you sign up for more than 1 of these ultra-premium cards, you can accelerate your points earning, in addition to accessing all the extra benefits you’ll enjoy from having these kinds of products.
Overall, you should have more than 1 ultra-premium card in your wallet if you can justify it by gaining more in value than what you pay in annual fees for the cards.
The best ultra-premium card options come from American Express, Chase, and Capital One.
Having more than 1 ultra-premium card allows you to unlock extra benefits or better rewards. If you have the Amex Platinum card and the CapOne Venture X card, you’ll get the ability to access the Amex Global Lounge Collection from the Amex Platinum card and the ability to earn 2x miles with no caps on all purchases from the CapOne Venture X card.
Also, having more than 1 ultra-premium card allows for easier separation of expenses and accelerated points earning thanks to welcome bonuses.
Holding more than 1 ultra-premium card absolutely makes sense for the right type of customer. Look past the annual fee and think about how you can recover the entire annual fee (and then some!) from these cards.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, United Club℠ Business Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Citi Prestige® Card, and American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.