Exclusive Credit Cards Set The Ultra-Affluent Apart
Exclusive credit cards are usually associated with the in-crowd. As we get older, we want the designer clothes, the luxury car and the friends with all the best connections. From those teenage years on, we want to prove our worth and exclusive credit cards are the new cool table.
Available only to the ridiculously-affluent, the credit card industry has been offering exclusive credit cards to people who wouldn’t mind flaunting their status. If you’re wondering who gets these cards, let’s just say they aren’t for people who are going to worry over paying their credit card balance in full each month. Exclusive credit cards are more for people who might buy a small plane on a random Tuesday because it caught their fancy.
The cardholders aren’t just handed over these golden tickets, they’re typically packing a whopper of an annual fee. The draw is that you get perks that can be extravagant. Exclusive credit cards basically offer limitless credit limits and a red carpet rolled out for you when you use it.
American Express Centurion
The most well known of these exclusive credit cards is the American Express Centurion card, more casually called “the black card.” American Express launched the card in 1999 after rumors had circulated for years that they provided black credit cards to ultra-wealthy customers. The company decided to run with the tale and create the card.
If you ask an American Express employee about the perks of the card, you won’t get specific. You also get access to a 24-hour American Express concierge who can fulfill your every whim. Some reports say you can not only get personal shoppers when you need them but request luxury shops to close and let you shop by yourself.
The black card is given out by invitation only if you meet the requirements. First, you have to be a cardholder for more than a year and have charged a minimum of $250,000 on that card in a year’s time. If you meet those requirements and whatever others AmEx hasn’t disclosed, don’t jump for joy until you see the fees. There’s a one-time joining fee of $7,500 and an annual fee of $2,500 to cover all those perks. There’s no interest because it’s not a credit card, it’s a charge card. The balance needs to be paid in full each month. There is also no known spending limit.
J.P. Morgan Palladium
This exclusive credit card is made of 23-karat gold. Melted down, the physical card itself would be worth around $1,000, so it comes with a plastic version for everyday use.
To apply for the card, you must be invited. Once you’re in, the rewards are stellar. According to Chase’s website, the card provides a concierge service that’s available at all times to handle travel, dining and ticket arrangements as well as anything else you might need. As for points, all dollars spent on travel are double points in the rewards program, where dollars spent on anything else are one point.
There’s an annual fee of $595 but all other fees are waived. There is also no spending limit.
Stratus Rewards Visa
Taking a break from the black cards, The Stratus Rewards Visa is a stark white card, available by invitation only to high-net-worth current cardmembers. The card is aimed at individuals desiring the use of private jet travel because it allows them to obtain it as a reward.
The perks don’t stop with a private jet. You also get a personal concierge, luxury hotel upgrades, car service, gifts, special discounts on expensive merchandise and more. The annual fee is $1,500.
Visa Black Card
Visa’s response to the American Express Centurion card is its Black Card, which anyone can apply for. Cardholders get access to concierge service to help with everything from hotels to golf outings. You also get unlimited 24 hour VIP airport lounge visits at 350 locations around the world. A big perk for those who love to travel is the added travel insurance. You receive reimbursement for lost/delayed luggage and protection of auto rentals. Cardholders even get luxury gifts.
The downside to the card is the hefty annual fee of $495. Cardmembers do get 1% of their spending as cash back or 2% if redeemed as airline reservations.
While not easily obtainable for most, these exclusive credit cards are an interesting look at what doors can open to you when you flash the right plastic.