With wealth and money comes a lot of highly exclusive clubs whose doors open wide for the rich to enter through. Just one of those doors is the highly exclusive world of credit cards. For average citizens, credit cards are a means of either getting by when money is tight or a method of making extra purchases from time to time. But for the ultra-wealthy, credit cards come with power and some very nice perks. From average perks like hotel upgrades and private airport lounges to highly coveted private jet rides and vacation getaways, exclusive credit cards offer the best that money has to offer. But getting access to these perks isn’t easy. It takes a lot of money and a whole lot of status. Many exclusive credit cards come only by invitation. Some exclusive credit cards cater only to the top 1% of the population and require at least six-figures to be charged to the credit card each year. Some cards only allow the elite members of private banks to even apply for the credit card. While others are so exclusive that the details of their qualifications remain shrouded with mystery. Below are the Top 10 Most Exclusive Credit Cards in the World.
10. Black Brazilian MasterCard from the Santander Group
For those living in Latin America, the Black Brazilian MasterCard is the height of exclusivity. It is offered by invitation to members of the Santander Group’s private bank. It is still unknown as to how much money a client must have in their bank account to qualify for an invitation. What is known is that there are only 3,000 cards in circulation in Latin American. The perks of the Black Brazilian MasterCard include 24/7 concierge service, private jet discounts, and worldwide airport lounge access. All of this is available to cardholders at a mere annual fee of $349.
9. Merrill Accolades American Express
To even come close to this card, consumers need to be a clients of the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management division. Even then, an invitation must be extended to the client. The black card, which carries the golden Merrill Lynch bull logo, carries a low annual fee of just $295. However, that fee will be waved if the client keep a minimum of $250,000 in their Merrill Brokerage Account. There is a $500,000 spending limit on the card. The Merrill Accolades American Express also provides the cardholder with hotel discounts, complimentary amenities at select resorts, discounts toward Sentient Jet private jet membership, and of course a 24/7 concierge service.
8. NatWest Black MasterCard
With a spending limit of $1.5 million, the NatWest Black MasterCard is one of the most exclusive credit cards in the world. It’s preferred by many because while it boasts a high spending limit, its annual fee is slightly less than its competitors. With a mere $395 per year, the NatWest Black MasterCard will open doors nearly everywhere the cardholder goes. Travel accommodations, flight upgrades, and 24/7 concierge services are included in the credit card’s many perks.
7. Citigroup Black Chairman Card
Wealth is not the only factor that determines a consumer’s ability to get their hands on this credit card. To get the Citigroup Black Chairman Card a consumer must be a member of Citi’s private bank and investment units. Only 5% of the population will have the chance to own this card. Those that do will have a $300,000 credit limit with a $500 annual fee. In addition the cardholder will get private access to airport lounges, upgraded travel accommodations, and 24/7 concierge services.
6. Visa Infinite
For the wealthy who reside outside of the United States, the Visa Infinite is the credit card of choice. Countries such as Jordan, Russia, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada, and France can issue the ultra-exclusive card, but only to those who qualify. As each country is different so are the credit card requirements. A general requirements in all countries is that customers must have six-figures in their account. They will also need to pay an annual fee which is generally a few hundred dollars. As with other high-end credit cards, the Visa Infinite comes with an array of concierge services such as travel planning, air travel upgrades. dining at five star restaurants, shopping at exclusive high-end stores, and even health advice.
5. Coutts World Silk Card
Want to live like royalty? Then the Coutts World Silk Card is for you. England’s exclusive credit card is used by Queen Elizabeth II as well as about 100 other people who have at least $1 million in a Coutts account. The royal purple credit card carries an extremely high annual percentage rate of 49.1%. As with other credit cards, the Coutts World Silk Card comes with 24/7 concierge service, access to exclusive airport lounges, and private shopping at designer stores.
4. Stratus Rewards Visa
Black cards may be all the rage, but one exclusive credit card is breaking the mold. The Stratus Rewards Visa is bright white. The color of this credit card isn’t its only unique quality. Like many other exclusive credit cards, the Stratus Rewards Visa card is available only through invitation to high-net-worth consumers. But what is unique to the Stratus Rewards Visa is the cardholder’s ability to pool their reward points with friends and other cardholders to use toward flight hours on private jets. Other perks include personal concierge services, discounted charter flights, car service, upgrades at luxury hotels, merchandise discounts, and/or a consultation with lifestyle experts. There is a $1,500 annual fee for the Stratus Rewards Visa.
3. Dubai First Royal MasterCard
If you love the sparkle of diamonds and the glitter of gold, then the Dubai First Royal Master Card is for you. The left and top sides of the credit card are trimmed in gold. There is also a .235-carat solitary diamond in the center of the face of black card. But this card comes with a lot more perks than just diamonds. According to Ibrahim al Ansari, the chief executive of Dubai First, “You ask for the moon and we try and get it.” With that kind of philosophy it’s no wonder that a major perk of the Dubai First Royal MasterCard is a team of round-the-clock “lifestyle managers” whose sole purpose is to fulfill the cardholder’s every request. And with no credit limit and zero restrictions, Dubai First Royal MasterCard cardholders are free to spend as much as they desire. Getting this card requires a special invitation from the Dubai First.
2. JP Morgan Chase Palladium
Nearly ten years after the first American Express Centurion Card was made, the JP Morgan Chase Palladium entered the scene. Made of laser-etched palladium and gold, this card is reserved for those who have a relationship with JP Morgan private bank, wealth management or investment bank. Unlike the American Express card, the JP Morgan Chase Palladium Card has an annual fee of only $595. There is no set spending limit either. What the JP Morgan Chase Palladium Card does offer is a very high rewards program. Every one dollar that a cardholder spends on travel equals two points in the rewards program. Cardholders also receive a bonus of 35,000 additional points after they spend $100,000.
1. American Express Centurion Card
The number one most exclusive credit card in the world, resides with the original “black card.” Launched in 1999, the American Expression Centurion Card has maintained its high status through the hard work of American Express to keep a veil of mystery around the card. While American Express won’t release the full details of how one becomes a cardholder, a few details have made their way onto the internet over the past 15 years. Before you can even come close to carrying this card in your wallet, you must have been an American Express Platinum cardholder for over one year. You must also have charged at least $250,000 on the American Express Platinum card within one year. After you have been deemed an established American Express cardholder you must still be invited to join the high rankings of American Express Centurion cardholders. If you are lucky enough to be invited you will need to pay an initial fee of $5,000. After you have paid the hefty fee you will need to pay an annual fee of $2,500. But don’t worry, all of these fees will get you some very nice perks. There is a 24-hour American Express concierge that you may call upon whenever your heart desires. You will also have access to flight upgrades, complimentary hotel rooms, personal shoppers, and even the ability to shut down a luxury retail story so you can shop in privacy.