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When I first started out in the world of miles, points and credit cards, I was loathe to pay the annual fee on any card.  I figured (rightly in most cases) that annual fees are for suckers.

(SEE ALSO: The only 4 cards I’m willing to pay the annual fee on)

But my maximum scorn was reserved for the “premium” cards.  You know, the ones like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige or Platinum Card® from American Express that come with the $450 annual fees.  With so many credit cards out there, why would anyone pay so much in fees?!?!?  I don’t know if any of you feel or have felt the same way

a credit card with a picture of a man in a helmet

Signing up for a “premium” card with a huge annual fee

And I think being skeptical of cards with annual fees, especially LARGE annual fees is healthy.  Even though I keep a page of some of the best credit card offers out there, I feel like I am constantly saying to people to only go as fast as they feel comfortable and to NOT JUST SIGN UP FOR A CREDIT CARD BECAUSE SOME GUY ON THE INTERNET SAYS YOU SHOULD!

Eventually, as I learned more about different cards, I did end up signing up for a few of these premium cards.  Up until now, while I have paid a few of the upfront $450 annual fees, those have usually been offset by multiple $200-$300 travel credits and I’ve canceled the card before the 2nd annual fee hit.

Am I really going to pay a $450 annual fee?

But now I’m in a situation where I am actually considering paying another hefty annual fee on my Citi Prestige card.  Though because I am a Citigold checking account member (having signed up for the 50,000 American Airlines miles awhile ago), my annual fee is only $350

Why would I do this?

Mostly, it’s for the travel insurance / delay protection.  Other cards have insurance protections, but only the Citi Prestige travel protection kicks in after 3 hours.  My thinking was that my $350 annual fee would be partially offset by the $250 airline credit.

(SEE ALSO: Don’t screw up your Citi Prestige airline credit like I did)

I hate when people subtract airline credits from an annual fee, since one is straight cash and the other is more delayed travel.  But…. that does make the annual fee at least CLOSE to $100.  My thought was that even ONE trip delay covered by the Prestige card would offset that.

That doesn’t take into account the other benefits of the Prestige.  Even though those benefits have been nerfed since the card first came out, there are still some of the Citi Prestige benefits that could be useful.  I don’t have a lot of 4 night paid hotel stays, and I have Priority Pass from another card and I don’t know that I’ve ever used the concierge

(SEE ALSO: Amex Platinum concierge vs. Citi Prestige concierge)

I have a few days left to make the decision and I have to admit – I’m torn

What about you?  Have you paid the annual fees on premium cards like this?  What would you do?


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