Platinum Credit Cards

penfed-platinum-rewardsBelow is a list of credit cards and charge cards with the “platinum” designation, which may mean something better than average on some cards, or be merely a cynical marketing ploy on others. We’ve ranked them in order from acceptable to ridiculous:

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa – While we don’t usually focus on credit unions because of their membership limitations, becoming a member of PenFed is super easy regardless of who you are, and this is a nice Platinum card. You get 5 points per dollar on gas purchases, 3 points per dollar on supermarket purchases, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Redeem points for a variety of merchandise or gift cards. Interest rate as low as 10.24% but could go up to 17.99%, which still isn’t bad in today’s market.
  • aadvantage-smallCiti / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard – Offers various American Airlines travel perks (like priority boarding and first bag checked free) along with the ability to earn miles on all your card purchases. $95 annual fee, but that is waived for the first year. As an alternative, there is also a gold AAdvantage card with a $50 annual fee and rewards that are reduced compared to what you get with the platinum.

  • Platinum Card from American Express – This is actually a platinum charge card, meaning you must pay the full balance each month. American Express has a green card and a gold card below the platinum card, so, unlike cards from many other issuers, “Platinum” really is used to distinguish this card from others. This card offers some nice travel perks, a concierge service, and more. Note that it has a big $450 annual fee, so you’ll want to make sure the rewards are going to make up for the cost.
  • Simmons Bank Visa Platinum or Platinum Rewards – Choose from a Visa Platinum with a very low 7.5% interest rate or opt for the Platinum Rewards card that offers a points program and only a slightly higher 9.5% APR. You’ll need excellent credit to get approved for either of these platinum credit cards.
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card – This platinum credit card, offered by American Express, is actually sandwiched between the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card and the Delta Reserve credit card in terms of rewards and perhaps prestige. It costs $195 per year (vs. $95 for the gold version and $450 for the Reserve card) and offers Delta travel rewards that might intrigue the frequent Delta traveler.
  • First National Bank Omaha Platinum Edition Visa – No annual fee credit card offers a 0% rate on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. (3% fee on balance transfers, though). The interest rate after the first 12 months could be 10.24% or 15.24% or 18.24% depending on your credit history. A decent deal, but debatable whether it’s got platinum credentials.
  • Shell Platinum MasterCard – “Platinum” has no special meaning with this card; it’s just marketing. Offers $.10 to $.20 off per gallon of Shell gas each month, provided you spend at least $500 with the card in any particular month.
  • U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card – Another “platinum in name only” card that sounds nice at first with its promise of a 10.24% interest rate, until you realize it might also hit you with a 21.24% interest rate.
  • Wells Fargo Platinum Visa – This platinum card offers no annual fee and an interest rate between a decent 15.4% and ridiculously high 25.24%. Hardly worthy of its platinum name.
  • Brooks Brothers Platinum MasterCard – “Platinum” has no particular meaning with this card, it just sounds better than simply saying “MasterCard.” You can earn Brooks Brothers rewards based on your purchases with the card.
  • First Tennessee Platinum Premier Visa – A platinum card with no annual fee and an interest rate between 14% and 19% depending on your credit history. Paltry rewards program offers cash back when you shop at certain retailers. Nothing to get excited about here.
  • Capital One Platinum MasterCard – Capital One deserves a spanking for calling this platinum. It has a 24.99% interest rate and targets what they call an “average” credit consumer, although we would call that a bad credit consumer, considering that having defaulted on a loan in the last 5 years is somehow considered “average.”