“What is a Platinum Credit Card?”

If you’re confused about the various types of credit cards—you’re not alone. Years ago, credit card choices seemed to be limited to the classic (good), gold (better) or the exclusive platinum (best) level.

Today you can find prestige credit cards that are not just platinum card—but black, silver, clear, blue, green, plum, titanium and every hue in between.

The platinum credit card was once the preferred card level for status-conscious cardholders. Consumers who had high incomes and high credit scores were typically eligible for the lowest balance transfer and purchase APR offers, exclusive “members only” benefits and the best rewards programs.

Today, platinum-level credit cards are more accessible to the average consumer—generally those who have a solid credit history. Here are some things to consider when you compare the best platinum card offers:

Choosing the best platinum card offer for you.

With a little comparison shopping, you can find platinum card offers with a low or 0% intro APR and ways to earn top rewards at places where you spend the most. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your offer and understand how long your intro APR is available on purchases and balance transfers. Be sure to note what the APR will be after the intro period.

Logistics to consider when comparing platinum cards:

What fees apply? In addition to paying no annual fee, can you make same-day card payments for free? Do you pay foreign currency transaction fees? Will they waive your late fee if you miss a payment?  Are you charged for services that other card companies provide at no charge?

What benefits will save you money? For instance, are there travel protection, price protection or purchase protection benefits?

Are there financial tools that can help you save time and track your spending so you can better control your finances?

What unique benefits does your platinum card offer that another card might not?

How do others rate their customer service?

What security features are in place?

Though the types and terms of platinum credit cards may differ, many can provide you with a higher credit limit, a lower APR and valuable extra benefits than the standard classic or gold level cards. Having a platinum card is a reflection of your good credit rating and financial responsibility—and the rates, rewards and benefits are more attractive as befitting your consumer profile.

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