Premium and high limit credit card
A premium credit card is at the exclusive end of the credit card market. They're considered exclusive credit cards, as they open up a world of perks, rewards and services that are often available by invitation only.
Many premium credit cards come with an annual fee of several hundred pounds. In return they offer a high credit limit, enabling you to buy luxury goods and enjoy prestigious perks for you and your family.
Having a premium card has long been a powerful status symbol. There are extensive benefits for cardholders, from concierge services, to access to exclusive airport lounges.
So, if you're looking for a card with prestige that allows you to spend freely, then a premium credit card could be the way to go. If you're looking for a few simple rewards or maybe even some cashback, then look at rewards credit cards and cashback credit cards instead.
What is a premium credit card?
A premium credit card works in a similar way to an ordinary credit card – you buy goods and services and have a credit limit. In the case of these most exclusive credit cards, however, you will need to have an excellent credit history in order to be successful in your application.
This is because the difference with these exclusive credit cards is that the spending limit is much higher, and they come with a range of special perks and rewards.
High limit credit cards also tend to come with a fee, so if you're thinking of applying for one of these exclusive credit cards, you need to think about whether you will make the most of the services that are available. Otherwise you'll be paying the annual fee of several hundred pounds without getting any benefit from it.
What is included with a premium credit card?
The main selling point of premium cards are the exclusive benefits available to cardholders.
These will vary depending on the card you choose, but may include:
A high credit limit
Comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for you and your family
Breakdown cover or roadside assistance
Reward or loyalty points, which you can exchange for a wide variety of goods and services, including flights.
A concierge or personal assistant service, available 24 hours a day to help you arrange almost anything.
Access to exclusive airport lounges worldwide.
For some people, particularly those who travel frequently, these benefits can be very appealing – saving time and making life a little easier and more comfortable.
How does it compare to a standard card?
Exclusive credit cards almost always come with an annual fee, whereas many ordinary credit cards do not.
The rewards are greater than those available with ordinary cards, and you're able to spend a lot more on your premium credit card because the credit limit (the maximum amount you are allowed to spend) will be set much higher.
Some exclusive cards require you to pay off the whole of the outstanding balance each month – which normal credit cards don't make you do.
What are the advantages of premium credit cards?
Premium credit cards give you access to services that may be very useful for you if you travel frequently – for example access to premium airport lounges and comprehensive travel insurance.
Some of the very high-end premium credit cards are available on an invitation only basis, while others specify a minimum income that cardholders must meet.
Most premium credit cards will insist on a strong credit history, so it could be worth checking your credit report before you apply.
Some premium cards are actually charge cards. These differ from credit cards, in that they allow you to spend interest-free credit, but you must pay your balance in full every month. In other words, they do not allow you to borrow money in the same way as a credit card.
It's also worth considering how valuable the benefits that come with a premium credit card will be to you personally before you sign-up and start paying the annual fee.
Premium cards can be great value for money if the benefits are relevant to you and you will make the most of them, otherwise, a standard credit card may be a more economical option.
Are there any disadvantages?
The costs can be much higher than ordinary credit cards. If you make use of all the services then best premium cards can be worthwhile, but you need to weigh up whether you will make the most use out of the perks.
Also, because the credit limit is high, you may be tempted to spend a lot on the card, so you do need to have a plan to pay off the balance.
Interest rates can be higher than those of traditional cards, so if you're looking to reduce the cost of your debt then a high limit credit card is probably not your best option.
The added extras and personalised service that you get with a premium credit card doesn't come for free – with most premium cards you pay an annual fee, usually of around £250-300, although this varies.
Understanding the costs of premium credit cards
The APR on premium credit cards can also look very high – often around the 50% mark.
This is because the annual fee has to be shown as part of the APR under Consumer Credit Act regulations.
So if the standard APR for purchases was 16.8%, for example, and the card had a £250 annual fee, the APR would have to be shown as 51.8% taking the fee into consideration.
Who can get a premium credit card?
Not all these exclusive credit cards are available publicly - often you have to receive an invitation from the card issuer in order to get one.
You usually have to be earning at least £40,000 per annum and have a good credit record. They're not available to everyone.
These exclusive credit cards sometimes come in the form of a black credit card, platinum credit card or gold credit card, in order to stand out from ordinary cards.
How to apply for a premium credit card
Use our comparison tool to search for our best premium or high credit limit credit cards for you.
Make sure you check the terms and conditions carefully as you will need to meet the strict criteria set out by the card issuer. This includes the minimum annual salary, being over a certain age, and having a good credit history.
When you find a high limit credit card or premium card card that's the best for you, you might want to check your eligibility before you make a firm application. This is because if you make lots of applications for credit cards the information will appear on your credit file and it could count against you. Lenders might think it appeared as though you were desperate for credit.
Some of the card providers enable you to go through a quick eligibility check before you make a formal application in order to establish whether you are likely to be successful.
The advantage of doing the eligibility check is that you can see what your chances are without it being recorded on your credit file.
It only takes a few minutes and you put in your name and address and your annual income and any additional personal income.
You will then have a good indication of whether your application is likely to be successful and can go ahead with your application.
Find out more about credit cards with high credit limits.
What does 'most popular' mean?
When we use the term ‘most popular’ on Uswitch in reference to credit cards, these cards are ranked by the number of clicks they have received on the site in the past 48 hours.
The most clicked on cards are at the top, with the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to Uswitch.com. Consequently this is a good table to look at if you’re interested in seeing which cards most people think are worth getting.
Does Uswitch compare all the credit cards on the market?
We compare credit over 100 credit cards from all of the major banks and credit card providers.
However, we don't compare all the credit cards that are available in the UK.
This is because some credit card providers have offers that are only available exclusively through their own website or branch, or through other comparison websites - in the same way some credit cards are exclusively available through Uswitch.
There are also many credit cards that are only available to people in member organisations and clubs.
What does it mean if a card is listed as an 'advertisement' or 'promotion'?
We sometimes receive payment from card providers to display their cards in prominent locations.
These are adverts and are designed to be distinct and separate from the other cards on our comparison tables. We hope this makes it clear which cards are top-of-table deals, and which cards are paid for promotions.