If you’ve often wondered how the other half live, you might be amazed to find that, like the rest of us, they have a habit of using credit to get by and here are some examples of the most extravagant credit cards you will find
However, this is credit with a difference. The most exclusive credit cards available are reserved for a chosen few who think nothing of amassing thousands of dollars a week on their fancy pieces of plastic and still be able to pay it off without any hassles at the end of the month. In return for using these highly-prized cards, holders are rewarded with prestigious services that few will ever experience. We can only read on in aspiration.
1. American Express Centurion Card
Born as a result of an urban legend, this exclusive card is awarded by invitation only. In the late 1980s and ’90s, rumours circulated that a magic credit card existed that would grant the carrier instant luxuries, so American Express cleverly devised the Centurion Card, which allows owners to order pretty much anything they want through an elite concierge service. Potential card holders have their net worth and spending power scrutinised before being invited to join the exclusive card club. The average household income, according to Journal International, is $940,000 and the average total net worth of holders is $6.5million, with a disposable monthly income of $12,700. Carriers of the titanium card are charged a sign up fee of $5,000 and pay $2,500 annually for the privilege of having privileges.
2. Visa Black Card
Designed to compete with AmEx’s Centurion Card, the Visa Black Card totes itself as the card “for those who demand only the best of what life has to offer”. With a 24-hour concierge service dedicated to fulfilling the cardholder’s every whim, Visa’s Black Card holders are offered assistance with their business, personal and travel needs. Holders are granted VIP access to various airport lounges worldwide, and can redeem points for 1% cash back or airfare on any airline of their choosing. Unlike the outrageously high annual fee of the Centurion Card, Visa keeps it real with an annual fee of just $495 a year and even offers a low introductory rate for the first six months, just like the man on the street cards, which may not be exclusive enough for some people.
3. Diamond-Studded Dubai First Royale MasterCard
For those wanting to show their worth in more ways than one, then there’s no other option but to aim for the diamond-encrusted, gold-plated Dubai First Royale Mastercard. The catch is you’ve got to be living in Dubai. The rather flashy card was introduced on to the market in 2008, when Dubai was at its peak financially. The select group chosen to have one of these cards has to possess very specific criteria in terms of social standing and profile, and are allowed unlimited spending. Manufacturing the handcrafted card is a delicate process, with only nine cards being produced in a day. There are thought to be less than 200 holders of this diamond-studded card.
4. The Krungthai Card
If diamonds appeal but you’re not yet ready to move to Dubai to sate your appetite for sparkles, maybe you could seek out the Krungthai Card, which is decorated with 0.06g carat diamonds and 6 carat gold. Launched through Thai Airlines in cooperation with Mastercard, this card ensures first class service on Thai Airlines and offers a number of travel benefits, including free upgrades, access to VIP lounges, discount hotel rates and emergency medical assistance when travelling. Like the other exclusive cards, holders can also partake of the personal concierge service affiliated to the card, and membership is by invite only.
5. Stratus Rewards Visa
If you consider yourself as a high flyer, then the Stratus Rewards Card might be what you’ve been waiting for. Known as the ‘White Card’, the Stratus card offers its holders points through purchases, which can be redeemed for flights on private jets. Why go cattle class when you can buy your way to luxury? Membership is gained through the ‘who you know’ club, or through nomination by one of their luxury brand partners with whom you may have done business with.
6. Visa Infinite
The Visa Infinite card is probably one of the most versatile of the exclusive offerings in that it is available to so many countries through various guises. The Visa Infinite card for Asia may be totally different from the Visa Infinite card for Canada, but they all share the same perks. And while the criterion for membership is slightly different in each country, all are through invitation only. The perks offered through the Infinite card include travel insurance, car insurance, a personal concierge service and travel points that can be redeemed either through airlines or hotels.
7. Coutts World Card
Arguably one the most sought after cards in the world, a Coutts World Card is rarer than hens teeth, so to be invited to become a member of this exclusive club is privilege indeed. The Queen’s bank only offers cards to those who have totted up at least a million in assets, and if holders spend over $90,000 (£50,000) per year the annual fee is waived. Perks include the usual priority passes at airport lounges, concierge service, annual travel insurance and a Coutts loyalty program where holders can earn one Coutts Courtesy Point for every £1 they spend at home or abroad.
Exclusive Credit Cards for Australians
There are a small handful of credit cards here in Australia that offer the same amount of exclusivity as the above. A card that can fall into this category is the Westpac Altitude Black card. This card is almost a sign of your social stature.
Westpac Altitude Black card offers the ability to earn rewards points in the form of Westpac Altitude points and Qantas Points. It also offers the ability to earn an uncapped amount of points.
You can find out more about other prestigious credit cards available to Australians or read our reviews of the new range of Black Credit cards.