6 Credit Card Benefits That Make Expensive Annual Fees Worth the Money

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You can get great credit card deals by paying a higher annual fee.


key point

  • While not all credit cards have high annual fees, some do.
  • Many credit cards with expensive annual fees come with valuable benefits.
  • Dining and delivery points, travel points, and generous sign-up bonuses are some examples of credit card perks that might be worth the money.

Premium rewards credit cards are popular because in addition to giving cardholders the opportunity to earn rewards, these cards often come with attractive perks.

But most of the higher-tier rewards credit cards have high annual fees. You might try to avoid expensive annual fees, which can be daunting.

But for the right people, some of the benefits are worth the hefty annual fee. If you’re considering buying a credit card with a high annual fee, you might find the following benefits valuable — and worth the price.

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1. Dining and Delivery Points

If you eat out a lot or order takeout a lot, having one of the best dining credit cards in your wallet might help. Some of these credit cards include monthly or annual meal credits. This perk can make your next takeout order and date night even cheaper.

2. Hotel Points

Some travel rewards credit cards include annual hotel points, which can help you stretch your vacation budget. This is an attractive perk for travelers who frequently book hotel stays. Keep in mind that you may need to use your card issuer’s booking portal, or you may need to book through certain hotel brands in order to use these points.

3. Entertainment Points

Some credit cards include entertainment points as a perk. If you value entertainment and already pay for streaming services, this could be a huge win for your wallet.

Many households subscribe to multiple streaming services, so streaming service credit card points can help you put more money in your pocket.

4. Generous sign-up bonus offers

Many credit cards with higher annual fees offer attractive sign-up bonus offers for eligible new cardholders. Sign-up bonuses can be a great way to earn a lot of points or miles quickly if you meet the minimum spend required. This perk can make an expensive annual fee worthwhile — especially in the first year of card ownership.

5. Travel Credits

Some rewards credit cards come with annual travel points. These points are beneficial for frequent flyers who value flexibility. Typically, you can use these points for a variety of travel expenses, such as hotel stays, airfare and transit.

If you have a premium credit card that includes annual travel points, paying a higher annual fee might not be so expensive anymore.

Here is an example: If you have a $550 annual fee on your credit card, which includes $300 in annual travel credits that you’ll soon use toward what you plan to pay, you’ll feel as though you’ve only paid the $250 annual fee.

6. Checked Baggage Allowance Points

If you don’t travel light, you may be charged for checked baggage, and airline baggage fees can add up quickly. By using a premium airline credit card or travel card that includes airline baggage credits, you can save money without changing the way you pack.

How to choose the right credit card for you

Before getting an annual fee card, you should consider your personal finances and figure out which card is right for your credit profile, spending habits, and budget.

When you look at potential card options, don’t forget to research the benefits offered. Some credit card deals can be well worth the high annual fee.

However, not all card benefits are valuable to everyone, so consider which card features best fit your lifestyle. If you’re in the market for a new credit card, check out our list of the best credit cards to learn more.

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