The Samuels Diamond Elite Credit Card is an ultra-premium travel and rewards card aimed at affluent consumers who want luxury perks and excellent point earnings on their spending. With a steep $995 annual fee, this card is only worth it if you can maximize the many benefits.
In this review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Samuels Diamond Elite card, including fees, rewards, perks, approval requirements, and more. You’ll be able to decide if the luxury status and rewards are worth the high annual fee for your needs.
Fees and APR
The Samuels Diamond Elite card has one of the highest annual fees among luxury cards at $995. However, it may be possible to get the fee waived for the first year through select offers.
The APR is 19.99% variable for purchases and balance transfers, which is relatively high compared to other cards. This makes it important to pay your bill in full each month.
There is a penalty APR of 29.99% that may apply if you miss a payment or otherwise default on the account terms. You want to be sure to avoid the penalty rate.
Rewards and Redemptions
The Samuels Diamond Elite card earns:
- 5x points on airfare purchased directly with the airline
- 4x points at gas stations
- 3x points restaurants and on travel
- 2x points for all other purchases
Points can be redeemed for:
- Cash back at 1 cent per point
- Travel reservations through the Samuels travel portal
- Gift cards and merchandise
- Airline transfer participating frequent flyer programs
- Hotel stay through Samuels Hotels & Resorts
To get the maximum value from your points, transfer them to airline partners or redeem them for high-end hotel stays. Setting up a Samuels account makes it easy to track your rewards and redemptions.
The Samuels Diamond Elite card comes with an array of luxury travel and shopping benefits:
- Airport lounge access– Access over 1,300 airport lounges globally through Priority Pass Select. You can also access exclusive Samuels lounges.
- $200 annual airline fee credit– Get statement credits for checked bags, in-flight food and drinks, and other incidentals.
- Hotel elite status– Enjoy automatic Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.
- Rental car privileges– Score complimentary upgrades, discounted rentals, and more with Avis, Budget, and Hertz.
- $100 annual credit Saks Fifth Avenue for purchases.
- Purchase protection– Eligible new purchases are covered against damage and theft for 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim.
- Extended warranty– Double the original manufacturer’s warranty up to 1 additional year on warranties of 3 years or less.
How It Compares to Similar Cards
The Samuels Diamond Elite Card compares favorably to other premium travel cards like the Platinum Card from American Express and the Citi Prestige Card.
The 5x earning on airfare is the same as the Platinum Card, though the Platinum offers a broader 5x category for flights booked through AmexTravel.com. However, only the Samuels card offers bonus points on gas and dining.
The Samuels card also provides better perks for airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and luxury benefits. However, the Platinum Card does offer some unique credits and coupons.
Compared to the Citi Prestige, the Samuels card has a higher annual fee but better earnings potential in select categories. Both offer similar travel protection benefits.
Overall, the Samuels Diamond Elite card shines if you want top-tier travel rewards, status, and luxury perks. Frequent flyers who spend a lot annually on airfare, dining, and other travel can get tremendous value.
Due to the high annual fee and elite status, the Samuels Diamond Elite card is harder to get than most cards. You will generally need:
- Excellent credit– Minimum credit score of 720 or higher
- High income– Preferred minimum annual income of $150,000
- Spotless credit history– No recent missed payments, bankruptcies, or other derogatory marks
Space is limited for this exclusive card, so not all applicants will be approved. Having an existing relationship with Samuels can improve your chances.
To apply, you can apply online or visit a local Samuels branch. Be sure to provide all required financial information including income, assets, and liabilities.
Pros of the Samuels Diamond Elite Card
Some of the top advantages of the Samuels Diamond Elite card include:
- Lucrative bonus categories– 5x on airfare and 4x gas makes it easy to rack up points fast
- High-end travel perks– Lounge access, hotel elite status, and luxury benefits provide exceptional value
- Flexible redemptions– Points can be used in many ways including cash back, travel, gift cards, transfers, and more
- Excellent Visa Signature benefits– Perks like rental coverage, travel insurance, concierge service, and special access
- Prestigious status symbol– The metal card design and luxury rewards help attract affluent cardholders
Potential Downsides to Consider
A few drawbacks to weigh before applying are:
- Very high annual fee– The $995 fee is one of the most expensive among rewards cards
- Difficult to qualify-Strict application requirements beyond just good credit
- High APRs– Both the regular and penalty APRs are relatively high
- Limited welcome bonus– The current offer is just 40,000 points after meeting the minimum spend
- Many luxury perks require annual credits– You need to use the airline and Saks Fifth Avenue credits each year to maximize value
What is the APR on the Samuels Diamond Elite card?
The APR is 19.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers, and 29.99% for the penalty rate.
Is there a foreign transaction fee?
No, the Samuels Diamond Elite card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
Can you product change to the Diamond Elite card from another Samuels card?
Unfortunately, you cannot product change to this card. You must apply and be approved for a new account to get the Diamond Elite card and benefits.
What types of purchases qualify for the $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit?
Eligible purchases include clothing, shoes, jewelry, beauty, and more. Excluded purchases are gift cards, salon services, alterations, and corporate gifts.
Can authorized users get airport lounge access? Yes, authorized users on the Diamond Elite account receive complimentary Priority Pass Select membership and access to Samuels lounges.
Does the rental car coverage provide primary or secondary insurance?
The rental car insurance acts as primary coverage when renting for business purposes. For personal rentals, your insurance is primary.
The Samuels Diamond Elite Credit Card lives up to its name by providing truly elite luxury rewards and status for jet-setters. If you frequently travel by air, stay at upscale hotels, and desire prestige benefits, this card can provide tremendous value.
Just be sure to evaluate if you can realistically spend enough annually in the 5x and 4x bonus categories to offset the $995 annual fee. Good credit is also a must for approval. But for those who live a luxury lifestyle and want special treatment, the Samuels Diamond Elite card offers an exceptional high-end experience.
Faizan Ahmad is a financial analyst and writer who specializes in investments, banking, and corporate finance. He has over 7 years of experience working in the finance industry in various roles.
He leverages his strong financial modeling and data analysis skills to provide insightful commentary on business, markets, and economic trends.
At Ventures Money, Faizan covers topics including Credit Card Reviews, Loans, Insurance, and Mutual Funds in the banking sector. He provides in-depth analysis of the latest news and trends to help readers make smart investment decisions.
Outside of writing, Faizan enjoys following the stock market, rooting for his favorite sports teams, and spending time with his family.