The 10 most exclusive credit cards in the world

These premium cards offer access to extraordinary privileges.

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There are some credit cards designed specifically for those with a high income and status. These products are rarely advertised and are only offered by private invitation to the super elite.

While they might not be within your reach right now, it can’t hurt to imagine what it’s like to hold one of these powerful cards. Let’s see what the 10 most exclusive cards in the world have to offer. Want status without the actual gold and diamonds in your credit card, check out our list of the most prestigious credit cards in Canada.

Most Exclusive Credit Cards in the World Image: Finder

The top 10 most exclusive credit cards

1. American Express Centurion

Also known as the Black Card, the American Express Centurion is an elusive and exclusive card issued by invitation only. To be invited, you must be an existing American Express cardholder who spends more than US$250,000 a year (or likely the Canadian equivalent). This card is available to Canadian American Express credit card holders, as well as Americans.Apart from having no credit limit on your card and a rumoured 24/7 dedicated concierge who will get you practically anything you want, this card offers perks so exclusive that they’ve never been advertised. Premium travel and hotel privileges, rare dining and entertainment experiences, as well as excess insurance for top-of-the-line luxury car rentals – we can only imagine what other doors this card opens.

front view of amex centurion card

2. JPMorgan Chase Palladium

jp morgan card front view

Made of metal and literally minted with palladium and 24K gold, this is one card you can’t take with you through the metal detectors. Although previously available by application, this card is now only offered by invitation to clients of JPMorgan’s private banking wealth management or investment banking arms. This means you’d have to have at least US$250,000 privately managed by them.For US$450 a year, this card offers travel perks including a full United Club membership, unlimited lounge access and Priority Pass, a strong suit of travel insurance coverage and access to private jets if you should prefer to fly that way. You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel, 1 point on all other eligible purchases and 35,000 bonus points if you spend more than US$100,000 a year.

3. Dubai First Royale Mastercard

Embedded with a white .235-carat solitaire diamond and trimmed with gold, this elaborate card is the Dubai Group’s exclusive offering to UAE royalty and the region’s top millionaires.The qualification and fee details of this card are almost as elusive as the card itself. Rumour has it the fee alone is nearly $2,000. But if you had the honour of being offered one, you could enjoy no pre-set credit limit, your own dedicated relationship manager and “Royale Lifestyle Management” services. Based on what we’ve read about this card, it seems you can get anything you want with it.

dubai first card front view

4. Coutts World Silk Card

coutts silk card front view

The prestigious Silk Card offered by Coutts, a private bank and wealth management division of the Royal Bank of Scotland, is available to Coutts clients only – which includes the Queen. The card starts with about a $26,000 monthly credit limit, although this may differ depending on the bank’s personal assessment of your finances.

The Silk Card has an annual fee of over $450 that’s waived if you spend more than around $65,000 in your card membership year. With this card, you can expect a host of insurance, travel lounge and Priority Pass perks, luxury brand offers, concierge services and exclusive memberships with hotels, airlines, jet and cruise companies.

5. Sberbank Visa Infinite Gold Card

If being crafted from solid gold isn’t quite enough, throw in .17 carats worth of diamonds (totalling 26 stones to be precise) and some mother-of-pearl. Issued by Kazakhstani outfit Sberbank to only 100 of its top clients, this Visa Infinite Gold card reportedly costs around $100,000 upfront. Of this money, about $65,000 is an account fee, and around $35,000 goes to the account’s opening credit.Aside from the pleasure of owning a solid gold status symbol, cardholders enjoy above $250,000 life insurance coverage, exclusive concierge services, VIP access at some of the world’s finest golf courses, luxury vacations and fast-track immigration treatment in hundreds of airports globally.

sberbank gold card front view

6. Eurasian Diamond Card (Visa Infinite)

Eurasian Diamond Card (Visa Infinite) front view

Another Kazakhstani offering, the Eurasian Bank Diamond Card is an elite Visa card for invitation-only clients. This striking black card features a pure gold inlaid heart with a .02-carat diamond centrepiece, and can only be obtained by recommendation of the bank’s management board, or upon referral of two existing Diamond cardholders. You must also make more than $300,000 a year to qualify.

Annual card fees range between $460 and $1400, depending on the size of your current bank balance. Perks include personalized concierge services, VIP airport lounge and Priority Pass access, as well as super-charged Visa exclusives such as hotel discounts, ticket pre-sales, luxury dining, spa offers and purchase protection from loss and theft.

7. Stratus Rewards Visa

Fondly called the White Card, the Stratus Rewards Visa is often seen as the definitive card for ultra elite jetsetters. To get this card, you need a referral from an existing cardmember or a Stratus Rewards partner company before you’ll even be considered for an exclusive invitation.As far as features go, this is the card for those who want to fly in privacy and style, with a rewards program that offers private jet flight-time as a redeemable reward. If you like, you could also trade your reward points in for a personal consultation with a famed lifestyle expert. At US$1,500, this card will give you access to personal concierge services, discounted charter flights, complimentary car services and luxury hotel upgrades, special events and exclusive gift bags.

stratus visa front view

8. The Merrill Lynch Octave Black Card

merrill lynch octave front view

Made of black metal and sporting an American Express logo on its front, the Merrill Lynch Octave Black Card is an invitation-only card that caters to the American bank’s highest-net-worth clients. To qualify, you must have over US$10 million sitting in a Merrill Lynch account and also be a Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management or US Trust client.Lucky cardholders pay US$950 in annual fees and enjoy perks including no pre-set credit limit, 2.5 rewards points per $1 spent on all eligible purchases, an annual $350 worth of travel credit or a Delta SkyClub Executive membership, select airline and private jet flight discounts and premium concierge services.

9. Santander Unlimited Black Card

This understated Black Card represents the “unlimited credit” that Brazilian Santander Group offers to its elite private banking customers. Although eligibility details are undisclosed, only about 2,000 to 3,000 cards are in circulation.For approximately $275 annually, card perks include high, flexible spending limits, 24/7 concierge services, VIP airport lounge access, Priority Pass, private jet discounts and the usual suite of insurance coverage. You also earn 2.2 points for every $1 spent on the card.

santander unlimited front view

10. Luxury Card Mastercard Gold Card

luxury gold card front view

Plated with 24K gold, the Luxury Card Gold Card is a carbon Mastercard designed with rewards in mind. Unlike the others on this list, you can apply for this card without an invitation – but that doesn’t mean it’s not exclusive. With unpublished income requirements and a US$995 price tag, it’s still considerably pricey for a card.The perks you can expect include 2% cash back or half-priced airfare redemptions when you spend above 50,000 points on flights, US$200 in airline credit yearly, a US$100 Global Entry application fee credit, VIP airport lounge access and Priority Pass, luxury concierge services and exclusive luxury gifts.

What makes a credit card exclusive?

Like the clients who carry them, exclusive credit cards share notable similarities. The following factors can elevate a card’s status and barrier to entry.

  • High cost.

    Some cards are issued at no cost to high net worth members. More commonly, exclusive cards come with high annual fees of $1,000 or more, and some require additional initiation fees. At the extreme, a card might cost an outrageous $100,000.

  • Available only to a select few.

    Card providers make it more difficult to get exclusive cards by making their products invite only, requiring the backing of existing members or imposing minimum investment quotas. To join the club, you must have the ability to pull strings — or flash enough money to barrel your way in.

  • Made of rare materials.

    An exclusive credit card should feel exclusive. That’s why it’s not made of mere plastic, instead boasting such precious metals as gold, titanium or palladium. It might even come with inlaid diamonds for good measure.

Will you get one of these credit cards someday?

The cards on this list are crafted for exclusivity — but they’re not impossible to obtain.

For the most part, getting one requires a high net worth. Building wealth starts with mastering financial principles like saving, investing and using credit responsibly, which anyone can do with focus and perseverance.

Regardless of where you are in your financial journey, Finder is here to support you. We’re thrilled to share with you everything we know. And we can’t wait to see you with an exclusive credit card of your own.

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