Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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aj023
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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby aj023 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:49 am

kdm31091 wrote:
aj023 wrote:
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Good perks are pretty rare on no-AF cards. Amex cards have ShopRunner. Discover has great customer service.

I'm not sure if you mean Chase Sapphire or Chase Sapphire Preferred. Chase Sapphire (the no AF version) is nothing special. Only Chase Sapphire Preferred (with an AF) has perks like primary rental insurance.

Edit: One option might be to get a premium AF card from Amex, and then try to get a retention offer of a statement credit in the amount of the annual fee. The trade-off is that it takes a lot of spending (several tens of thousands) to earn a substantial offer. Such requests are an inconvenience and there's no guarantee of success.


I posted already on the cards I have including Sapphire no fee. As far as primary rental insurance, Sapphire has rental car benefits in no fee version. I do not have a car as I live in NYC and can get a driver when I want whether it be cab or uber or even mass transit so that is not an issue to me. However it is true only some credit cards have this feature but for me it isn't relevant. I haven't checked benefits to see if this was included but it is true that for many it is important.

I don't spend enough for the annual fee to be worthwhile.


If you don't spend enough to justify an annual fee (and I'm in the same boat), you are probably unlikely to receive a retention offer for an AF card from amex. There are people on MF who spend 15k on a card in a year, which is still chump change in amex's eyes, and get nothing from retention. They either had to downgrade, close, or pony up the fee. So while it's always possible to get an offer, like carefulbuilder says it's not guaranteed by any stretch.

That said -- with the low spending/no annual fee thing, you are not going to find a card with a huge amount of travel/luxury/etc perks.


The perks on free Amex, and Chase Sapphire and Barclays Arrival seem to be best fee free cards.

I have Hilton Hhonors which I use and a Blue and Clear card from years ago which they never cancelled. The Hilton one looks more like a true Amex card.

Barclays has a small number of purchases on cards compared to Chase and American Express who have the most purchase volume. Capital One also has a smaller volume than the biggest players.

Barclays seemed to be improving as of late growing in marketshare.

The best Visa/MC issuers I see for no fee cards are Chase Sapphire for those who have it, Barclays Arrival, Capital One Venture seems to be behind the other two but in third place as an alternative. Products from other issuers tend to be weak and non competitive.


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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby takeshi » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:07 am

aj023 wrote:I am looking for the best no fee credit card on the market in terms of perks and customer service and luxury appeal. Rewards are secondary.

Generally speaking, you're not going to get something for nothing. Don't just look at AF and consider total cost/benefit. Best is always highly subjecitve so give us some details. What specific perks are you looking for? "Luxury appeal" isn't a useful criterion. It's also very subjective. Cards like the Visa Black and it's replacement are designed for those fixated on "luxury appeal" (i.e. those trying to impress others by flashing a card) but it comes with a high AF.

aj023 wrote:To me the Chase Sapphire seems to be the most distinctive

The Sapphire is not distinctive. Even the CSP isn't distinctive.

aj023 wrote:I am looking for same perks that Chase Sapphire has now with lost baggage, trip delay, cancellation, price protection and all the other included features. If a card has an additional feature that is useful over Chase's included features, perhaps more access or pull with concierge or something else that is no fee.

There are a number of cards that offer such features and we really don't tend to track such features. You'd really just have to look around. "Useful" is also highly subjective. You need to clearly state exactly what you're looking for. We have no idea what you find useful and what you do not find useful.

Everyone wants "the best" for no AF. However, compromises have to be made.

aj023 wrote:Doesn't look like I qualify for the cards for the wealthy elite which also have large fees or require huge min balance requirements or both which have exclusivity others can't offer. I am looking for the highest card thats a step under those with no fees.

Large fees are not just for the "wealthy elite". No card that I know of has a minimum balance requirement. You can pay any card in full and with rewards cards you definitely want to pay in full as interest will more than wipe out any rewards.

"Exclusivity" is not a useful criterion either and you're not going to find an exclusive card with no AF. "Highest" doesn't mean anything as it is also very subjective. Stop trying to impress others with your cards and instead, use your needs/wants to select that suit you.

aj023 wrote:I don't spend enough for the annual fee to be worthwhile.

You probably have plenty spend on items you already pay for that would more than cover an AF in rewards. Do you buy groceries? Do you eat out? Do you shop?


Again, you're not going to get something for nothing. You won't get exclusivity, distinction, luxury, prestige, etc from a card and especially not for no AF and for no spend. The cards you want have AF's and are designed for high spenders. That said, you probably already have spend that can earn you rewards that will more than cover the AF's of many cards. You should know where your money is going and you can use that info to determine where your spend is going and to earn rewards on that spend.

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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby aj023 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:49 am

takeshi wrote:
aj023 wrote:I am looking for the best no fee credit card on the market in terms of perks and customer service and luxury appeal. Rewards are secondary.

Generally speaking, you're not going to get something for nothing. Don't just look at AF and consider total cost/benefit. Best is always highly subjecitve so give us some details. What specific perks are you looking for? "Luxury appeal" isn't a useful criterion. It's also very subjective. Cards like the Visa Black and it's replacement are designed for those fixated on "luxury appeal" (i.e. those trying to impress others by flashing a card) but it comes with a high AF.

aj023 wrote:To me the Chase Sapphire seems to be the most distinctive

The Sapphire is not distinctive. Even the CSP isn't distinctive.

aj023 wrote:I am looking for same perks that Chase Sapphire has now with lost baggage, trip delay, cancellation, price protection and all the other included features. If a card has an additional feature that is useful over Chase's included features, perhaps more access or pull with concierge or something else that is no fee.

There are a number of cards that offer such features and we really don't tend to track such features. You'd really just have to look around. "Useful" is also highly subjective. You need to clearly state exactly what you're looking for. We have no idea what you find useful and what you do not find useful.

Everyone wants "the best" for no AF. However, compromises have to be made.

aj023 wrote:Doesn't look like I qualify for the cards for the wealthy elite which also have large fees or require huge min balance requirements or both which have exclusivity others can't offer. I am looking for the highest card thats a step under those with no fees.

Large fees are not just for the "wealthy elite". No card that I know of has a minimum balance requirement. You can pay any card in full and with rewards cards you definitely want to pay in full as interest will more than wipe out any rewards.

"Exclusivity" is not a useful criterion either and you're not going to find an exclusive card with no AF. "Highest" doesn't mean anything as it is also very subjective. Stop trying to impress others with your cards and instead, use your needs/wants to select that suit you.

aj023 wrote:I don't spend enough for the annual fee to be worthwhile.

You probably have plenty spend on items you already pay for that would more than cover an AF in rewards. Do you buy groceries? Do you eat out? Do you shop?


Again, you're not going to get something for nothing. You won't get exclusivity, distinction, luxury, prestige, etc from a card and especially not for no AF and for no spend. The cards you want have AF's and are designed for high spenders. That said, you probably already have spend that can earn you rewards that will more than cover the AF's of many cards. You should know where your money is going and you can use that info to determine where your spend is going and to earn rewards on that spend.


While Chase Sapphire no fee isn't in the league of one of the super luxury cards with annual fee, at least it is higher end than a gold or platinum card and is distinctive from the other run of the mill visa signature tier cards.

Initially gold or platinum was harder to get, then they started giving them out to more and more people degrading the exclusivity back in the old days.

Over time the card companies gradually upgraded me so all my Visa cards are now Signature tier and my Mastercards are now World.

I guess other than fee based Visa Signature or World Mastercard Elite, Sapphire is probably the most dictinctive of Visa Signature tier cards. It used to be a World Mastercard. My Barclays arrival is now World Mastercard while Chase is now Visa Signature.

I guess if a new product is offered, I will get preapproved and invited for it.

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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby Vattené » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:00 pm

Most people (at least around here) would consider an Amex Platinum to be "more elite" and "higher luxury" than even a CSP (the $95 AF version), certainly more than the no-AF, now-discontinued Chase Sapphire.

By "super luxury cards" do you mean something like an Amex Centurion? Aside from this kind of invitation-only card, nothing is really that exclusive. It's just a matter of having good enough credit to qualify (which isn't a very high bar to clear) and being willing to pay for the perks offered. "Luxury cards" with perks come with annual fees, period. If you want the illusion of status and extra perks, you'll have to pay for it. A Platinum has great perks, unimpressive rewards, and a high annual fee. For the right person, the perks more than pay for the annual fee. There are good rewards cards with no annual fees, but you say you're not interested in that. That's the tradeoff, in a nutshell.
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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:44 pm

Yeah, the no-AF Sapphire is pretty much the opposite of elite. It conveys a message of, "I'm familiar with luxury cards, but I can only afford the no-AF version." With the Freedom, a much more mainstream card, there's the possibility that the holder just wanted a generic rewards card and to avoid anything complicated.

From a rewards standpoint, the no-AF Sapphire is inferior to even the no-AF Arrival unless you have a way to transfer URs. There can, however, be valid reasons to have one:
1. You eat out a lot, you have an Ink Plus (or an old Ink Bold), and all your travel is hotel stays.
2. You're maximizing your AAoA between CSP apps for multiple bonuses.

But neither of those make a person "distinctive" (at least not in a good way).

Your standards of what makes a card luxury are different from ours. If you think Visa Signature and World MasterCard are so great, what is it that you see in them? Which specific benefits make them so great? The good benefits tend to come from the issuers, not Visa or MC.

It sounds like you've been seduced by marketing sizzle, while we look for steak.
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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby aj023 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:43 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Yeah, the no-AF Sapphire is pretty much the opposite of elite. It conveys a message of, "I'm familiar with luxury cards, but I can only afford the no-AF version." With the Freedom, a much more mainstream card, there's the possibility that the holder just wanted a generic rewards card and to avoid anything complicated.

From a rewards standpoint, the no-AF Sapphire is inferior to even the no-AF Arrival unless you have a way to transfer URs. There can, however, be valid reasons to have one:
1. You eat out a lot, you have an Ink Plus (or an old Ink Bold), and all your travel is hotel stays.
2. You're maximizing your AAoA between CSP apps for multiple bonuses.

But neither of those make a person "distinctive" (at least not in a good way).

Your standards of what makes a card luxury are different from ours. If you think Visa Signature and World MasterCard are so great, what is it that you see in them? Which specific benefits make them so great? The good benefits tend to come from the issuers, not Visa or MC.

It sounds like you've been seduced by marketing sizzle, while we look for steak.


I disagee. Sapphire no fee treats me better and I get 2 points constantly on restaurants. I am not interested in a quarterly reward program. With the no fee Sapphire I save hundreds of dollars on annual fees I don't need to spend. Better service where a rep picks up instantly. With Freedom it takes longer to reach an agent and I need to go through telephone prompts. I want simplification, not specifically having to know on which months to spend money on to improve rewards.

Visa Sig and World Mastercard aren't like when they first came out. World elite isn't even that special either.

Sapphire does give a little bit more than the regular Chase cards. Preferred gives even more for those where annual fee is worth it.

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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby Nixon » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:17 pm

As much as we fly out of DFW, the AMEX Platinum make its bones for us regarding the annual fees.

The 100K MR bonus alone on the Platinum as it is has already offset over $2,000 in airfare spread over half of the bonus (50K).

Combined with the visits for my guests and I at the Centurion lounge and the airline credits I am about 10x over the annual fee for one sign up.

What does that mean? Well, It means I could pay the AF for the next 9 years and still break even.
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Re: Best perk/luxury/service card on the market?

Postby kdm31091 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:00 pm

aj023 wrote:
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Yeah, the no-AF Sapphire is pretty much the opposite of elite. It conveys a message of, "I'm familiar with luxury cards, but I can only afford the no-AF version." With the Freedom, a much more mainstream card, there's the possibility that the holder just wanted a generic rewards card and to avoid anything complicated.

From a rewards standpoint, the no-AF Sapphire is inferior to even the no-AF Arrival unless you have a way to transfer URs. There can, however, be valid reasons to have one:
1. You eat out a lot, you have an Ink Plus (or an old Ink Bold), and all your travel is hotel stays.
2. You're maximizing your AAoA between CSP apps for multiple bonuses.

But neither of those make a person "distinctive" (at least not in a good way).

Your standards of what makes a card luxury are different from ours. If you think Visa Signature and World MasterCard are so great, what is it that you see in them? Which specific benefits make them so great? The good benefits tend to come from the issuers, not Visa or MC.

It sounds like you've been seduced by marketing sizzle, while we look for steak.


I disagee. Sapphire no fee treats me better and I get 2 points constantly on restaurants. I am not interested in a quarterly reward program. With the no fee Sapphire I save hundreds of dollars on annual fees I don't need to spend. Better service where a rep picks up instantly. With Freedom it takes longer to reach an agent and I need to go through telephone prompts. I want simplification, not specifically having to know on which months to spend money on to improve rewards.

Visa Sig and World Mastercard aren't like when they first came out. World elite isn't even that special either.

Sapphire does give a little bit more than the regular Chase cards. Preferred gives even more for those where annual fee is worth it.


If you really want simplicity, get a 2 percent everywhere card instead of using a Sapphire for 2x on one category



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