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Sapphire, Platinum and Black – Comparing Elite Credit Cards

When you’re in the market for a credit card, it’s invaluable to do some comparison shopping. This applies even when you’re part of the very small percentage of people in America who is eligible for an elite credit card. These super high-end cards come with a variety of perks and rewards for their users, and comparing them side-by-side is the best way to figure out which one best suits your lifestyle. Below is a quick comparison of some of the most common high-end credit cards.

1. Chase Sapphire This card is aimed at approximately the top 15% of American households based on income; while it’s one of the more reasonable of the elite cards, it’s still by no means designed for the average Joe. The variable interest rate sits around 12%, although it shoots up to 30% with any late payments.

Chase Sapphire offers a lavish rewards program, with one point for every dollar spent, 10,000 points with your first purchase, travel with no blackout dates, and concierge services. The card also stands as a VIP pass to plenty of high-brow events – in case you’ve ever wanted to go to a taping of American Idol. The standard version of this card has no annual fee.

However… The Chase Sapphire also offers a “preferred card” version, which includes enhanced identity protection and extra points for those who spend $50,000 or more per year. The annual fee is a modest $85, or at least modest compared to the next two cards.

2. Platinum Card From American Express The bar-setter for elite cards, the Platinum Card From American Express has been showing rich people a good time since 1984. A 15% interest rate and not-so-modest $450 annual fee pay your way to VIP concerts and events, airport lounges, 24-hour concierge service (anywhere in the world), limousine travel, and lots more in the same vein.

The Platinum Card From American Express is also a rewards card, with one point per dollar, and double points at certain retailers. To sum it up, the 24-hour service is the main thing about this card. If you need something, there is probably someone to provide it.

3. Visa Black Card Another $495 annual fee makes this card, like the Platinum Card From American Express, viable for approximately 1% of Americans. It, too, offers a 24-hour concierge service for assistance with traveling the world or finding just the right rare artifact for the mansion. Rewards points and 1% cash back on all purchases are paired with unrestricted travel, making this card a true heavy hitter. The interest rate sits around 13.24%. As with all of the cards listed above, there’s a serious penalty for late payments, but that’s to be expected: you’re talking about a lot of money here.

So how do you choose? It depends on what is most important to you. Based on just the facts given above (each card offers a lot more than just what is listed here, of course), someone who travels a lot might want to look closely at the Amex Platinum, since its perks tend to lean more towards the needs of someone who spends a lot of time in the air. On the other hand, someone who travels once a year will be wasting their time – and their free perks – if they take a travel-friendly card. Look for the perks that suit you and decide accordingly. Making an informed decision about your credit card is one of the smartest things you can do for your finances, no matter what is (or isn’t) in your bank account.

This post is by Kevin Fleming from CreditShout.com, a blog dedicated to helping people save money with their credit card and reviewing cards like Chase Freedom.

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