A premium credit card is at the elite end of the credit card market - frequently defined by their colour, gold, platinum and black cards sit at the top of many providers’ offerings.
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.
Premium credit cards offer rewards simply not available elsewhere."
The main selling point of premium cards is the exclusive benefits available to cardholders.
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.
Others might decide the benefits simply aren't worth the fee being charged.
"Premium credit cards can provide a lot more than just a status symbol to owners."
Benefits depend on the exact card you choose, but frequently 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
A premium credit card works similarly 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 at least one of an excellent credit history, a related bank account or a high salary 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.
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. These are known as charge cards.
You get more, but pay more too."
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.
Some premium credit cards will have high-income requirements, and you’ll need 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.
If it's the colour that matters the most, there's some good news however.
While many gold and platinum cards are exclusive, there are some that are far more easily accessible than you might think.
There's at least one gold card available to people with annual salaries as low as £7,000 (the First Direct Gold credit card only asks for a minimum annual income requirement of £6,800). But it doesn't come with the full range of perks some of the others offer.
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 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 you were desperate for credit.
Some 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.
You can use our card finder tool below to see which of our premium cards you qualify for:
Some premium credit cards are invitation only, but there are plenty of others that aren't."
APR stands for "annual percentage rate" - it's the interest rate charged on money borrowed on your credit card.
It reflects the costs you'll pay over the course of a year and includes any standard fees associated with the card.
So if you borrow £100 at 20% APR you'll pay £20 interest on that loan over a year.
In most cases you can avoid paying interest by paying off your credit card balance in full by the due date of every billing cycle.
There’s no prescribed number of credit cards you should have. It all depends on your personal circumstances. Conventional wisdom suggests that it’s a good idea for most people to have at least two credit cards. One for everyday spending that helps earn rewards or cashback, which you’d preferably pay off in full every month. Another which you keep for emergencies, to pay for unexpected expenses such as car repairs, or having to travel at short notice.
The APR on premium credit cards can 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.
When we use the term ‘most popular or ‘popularity’ 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 30 days.
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.
We compare over 100 credit cards from all of the major banks and credit card providers.
However, we do not 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.