they do, those cards has perks that have cash values. Obviously most peopel won't be just paying AF for no reason.
The Platinum is definately worth it. The Ritz Card I could probably live without based on other cards I have, but the waitresses dig it so I'll keep paying...
For my use, the AMEX Platinum is a keeper. Also, I have found US Bank Altitude Reserve to be a great card thus far. (first year) The $325 in travel credit is immediate after the charge hits the account. Also, booking travel on their travel site has the points worth .015. Have had over $1,000 in benefits since receiving the card in October.
I have just one high-fee card, the CSR, and I can assure you that I monitor my cost-benefit status very closely. I value each point at 1.5 cents, and I assign zero value to lounge access or insurance benefits. If Chase decides to raise the fee from $450 to some higher number without a compensating change to the travel credit or the regular earnings, I will downgrade immediately.
Ok cool. I was looking at the Citi Prestige, how do you get positive value on that card if u have also the Amex platinum? Many of the benefits overlap. Also let’s says you use $250 travel credit. There’s still a $245 fee left.
Every1 has different spending habit, you only keep the card you can justify, if you cannot, then you should not keep it (after sub).
For prestige, it has a much better reward rate on dining, it has a cell phone protection, trip interruption protection, twice a year 5th night free at hotels.
Here's what I have that would be considered higher end and why they pay for themselves:
Amex Platinum - $550 + $175 AU - $200 airline credit, $200 Uber credit that works for UberEats, $100 Sak's credit, Amex Offers galore, 5x on airfare, incredible deals on rentals with status too, Centurion Lounge, roadside assistance. Other perks that are no longer pertinent to me like Marriott/Hilton status, Delta Sky Club for cardholders.
Amex Gold - $195 ($250 on next renewal) - $100 airline credit, $120 restaurant credit, 4x on restaurants and groceries, Amex Offers galore.
Amex Delta Reserve - $450 - Delta Sky Club access (redundant with Platinum), free first checked bag for me and up to 8 people traveling with me, upgrade priority over others with same status and fare code, essentially a 50% miles bonus for each $30,000 of annual spend, status qualifying miles bonus every $30,000 of annual spend, and then there's the annual companion airfare certificate for First Class that more than covers the AF on its own. This is my non-category card for 2019.
Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum - $195 - Perks redundant with Reserve, but it does come with an annual companion airfare certificate for Main Cabin that easily more than covers the AF. Tried to close the card when I got Reserve, but retention offer keeps it for another year.
Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business - $195 - Same as above as far as perks and companion certificate. Got it primarily for the welcome offer of points and MQM bonus to help with my 2020 status, but also to dip my toes into business cards for the first time. Not sure if this is a long-term keeper or not.
Amex SPG Luxury - $450 - For 2018 when it came out, it was a no-brainer. When the Marriott/SPG merge finally happened in August what was previously "Gold" status essentially became the new "Platinum." The card offered Platinum status at $75,000 annual spending which carried over from my regular SPG card. Since I was nearly at that already, it made perfect sense and now I'm Platinum. I can make Platinum on nights alone going forward thanks to the 15 elite night credits. The 6x points I earn for Marriott spending in addition to the 15x points I earn for being a Marriott Platinum plus the welcome gift points I get for being a Marriott Platinum gives me an insane return on paid stays. The free night certificate should also more than cover the AF on its own.
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $450 + $75 AU - $300 travel credit alone cuts the fee way down. The ability to use the card for revenue flights at 1.5 cents per point more than covers the rest, but the points can also be moved to other partners for potentially better value. This is primarily used to get 4.5% or more back on restaurant/travel purchases and to get 7.5% or more back on purchases made with my Freedom card, but it gets fairly heavy use when I travel outside of the US.
US Bank Altitude Reserve - $400 - Got it for the signup bonus, but it's probably a keeper. $325 travel credit each year, a dozen inflight WiFi credits each year, and the ability to instantly redeem eligible purchases at 1.5 cents per point makes it pretty easy to offset the AF. The key to this card is that it has 3x points on mobile payments. I've been using it just about everywhere that accepts Apple Pay for 4.5% back.
I've excluded DW's own Delta Reserve and Delta SkyMiles Platinum cards, but that's another $645 a year that's easily worth it due to the companion tickets. I've also excluded all of the sub-$100 cards, but each of those certainly earns their keep. I'm also considering adding the Citi Prestige ($495) and City National Bank Crystal Visa Infinite ($400) cards, both of which would more than pay for themselves for me.