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Updated April 26, 2017

These Credit Cards Have a $95 Annual Fee, but Here's Why It's Worth Considering

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These credit cards have an annual fee, but if you have great credit, we will explain why they might be worth it for you.

If you spend less than $334/month, then consider no annual fee cards instead.

Many people are quick to dismiss credit cards with an annual fee. After all, why would you pay to use something you're meant to spend on?

However, if you're regularly spending $1000 a month on your credit card, here's why you should consider it:

Credit cards with annual fees typically offer much better rewards than their no annual fee counterparts. Whether it's big bonuses, better rewards, or more flexibility, the rewards you receive could far outweigh the annual fee.

We find that cards with a $95 annual fee fit in that sweet spot of good rewards and perks while still being affordable.

You Wouldn't Believe Its Rewards

Do you like to travel? Travel credit cards can help you earn flights and hotel stays.

Our favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It offers a huge bonus as well as premium travel benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This card lets you earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

Points can be transferred 1:1 to leading frequent travel programs including airline transfer partners. The card has a $0 foreign transaction fee. The card also comes with premium travel and purchase protection benefits (including trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver). There is a $95 annual fee.

Just imagine what you would do with an extra $750?

You could turn it into a flight to Vegas or a weekend hotel stay in New York.

While $4,000 might sound like a lot to spend in 3 months, keep in mind that the average household spends over $10,000 a year on food, apparel and entertainment alone. Check your credit card statements to see how much you usually spend.

Tip: Psst. Here's a trick airlines don't want you to know: You don't have to fly to earn airline miles. A few credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, let you earn reward points that can be transferred to miles with airline transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio.

Chase Sapphire Preferred's airline transfer partners include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways (oneworld), Air France (SkyTeam), Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance), and Virgin Atlantic.

Chase Sapphire Preferred also has hotel transfer partners if you'd rather convert your points to free hotel stays. Hotel transfer partners include Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and The Ritz-Carlton.

One thing to know about this card, though, is that it's only for people with excellent credit.

To learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred, click here to visit Chase's secure website.

Remember, banks change their promotional offers all the time, so if you have great credit, now is the time to apply.

Grocery and Gas

Do you spend over $334 per month? Do groceries and gas take up most of your budget? If so, Blue Cash Preferred from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner, has an interesting rewards structure that might interest you.

Blue Cash Preferred
Apply for Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred offers a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your new account. This card earns 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, and buses. This card earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000/year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on other purchases. There is a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24% (See Rates & Fees). There is a $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). Terms apply.

To learn more, read our Blue Cash Preferred review or visit American Express' secure website.

Fly Delta? Here's Why It's Special

Do you want to check your first bag for free on Delta flights? Do you want priority boarding?

Gold Delta SkyMiles
Apply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
Gold Delta SkyMiles offers 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your new account. In addition, you can earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within your first 3 months. This card earns airline miles: 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases. There is a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year) (See Rates & Fees).

If you fly Delta, here's what you should know: you can check your first bag free on Delta flights with this card - that is a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of 4. Plus, you can enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding. Terms apply.

To learn more, read our Gold Delta SkyMiles review or visit American Express' secure website.

Bottom Line

Credit cards with annual fees are not right for everybody. But for some, they work brilliantly.

  • If you don't have great credit, focus on improving your credit management skills with credit cards for people with fair credit or no credit. Avoid prepaid debit cards as those do not help you build credit history.

  • If you don't pay off your balance in full each month, focus on cards with low interest rates instead of rewards cards.

  • If you don't spend over $334 per month, focus on a credit card with no annual fee instead.

Terms and limitations apply.

Charles Tran is the founder of CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Charles Tran at charles@creditdonkey.com

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles card, please click here.

More from CreditDonkey:


Chase Sapphire Preferred Review


Blue Cash Preferred Review


Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

More Articles in Reviews


Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
$95


Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Limit

Many Chase Sapphire Preferred users receive a credit limit of $5,000 - $20,000. Find out how Chase determines your credit limit and how to get an increase.
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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.