The 10 most exclusive credit cards in the world

Get a sneak peek at the perks that come with invitation-only credit cards designed for the super-elite. Roll out the red carpet and check out the 10 most exclusive credit cards.

Credit cards have many benefits. They can help you spread the cost of your spending, come with purchase protection and can offer a range of perks, such as cashback, loyalty points or even travel insurance.

But some credit cards are so exclusive that the provider needs to invite you to apply. These credit cards are designed to appeal to those who live the high life, offering concierge services, access to luxury holidays and invitations to exclusive events and experiences.

Here, we look at some of the most exclusive credit cards worldwide.

Overview of the top 10 most exclusive credit cards

  1. American Express Centurion
  2. JPMorgan Reserve
  3. Dubai First Royale Mastercard
  4. Coutts Silk Card
  5. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
  6. Citi Chairman American Express Card
  7. Stratus Rewards Visa
  8. American Express Platinum Credit Card
  9. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card
  10. Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

The top 10 most exclusive credit cards

amex-centurion

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 cardholder and be prepared to pay the £3,400 annual fee.

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 a range of exclusive perks. You’ll benefit from access to airport lounges across the globe, ‘gold’ status with certain airlines and top-tier status with 6 major hotel groups, including Hilton and Marriott. You’ll also get top-tier status with selected car hire companies, including Avis and Hertz, giving you a free additional driver and car upgrades, among other benefits.

Black credit cards tend to be reserved for those with the highest salaries and greatest spending power. As such, they tend to be offered by way of invite-only but come with a host of exclusive perks, such as round-the-clock concierge service and access to the best airport lounges around the world.

jp-morgan-card

2. JPMorgan Reserve

Made of metal and literally minted with palladium, 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$595 a year, this card offers travel perks, including a full United Club membership, unlimited lounge access and Priority Pass, access to a concierge service, a strong suite of travel insurance protection and emergency medical and dental cover. You’ll also earn reward points on dining and shopping, as well as at hotels and on car hire.

dubai-first-card

3. Dubai First Royale Mastercard

Embedded with a white .325-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.

This card’s qualification and fee details are almost as elusive as the card itself. Rumour has it the fee alone is nearly US$2,000. But if 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.

coutts-silk-card

4. Coutts Silk Card

The prestigious Silk Card offered by the Royal Bank of Scotland-owned UK private bank is exclusive to Coutts clients only. The card starts with about a £20,000 monthly credit limit, although this may differ depending on the bank’s personal assessment of your finances.

The Silk Card also has no annual fee and zero foreign transaction fees. With this card, you can expect a host of benefits, including airport lounge access, a range of exclusive retail deals and a series of member-only events. Plus, you’ll benefit from the Coutts reward programme that offers a range of luxurious gifts and experiences, and there’s a concierge service too.

chase-sapphire

5. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

This stylish credit card is a great option for those who regularly travel, but there is a US$550 annual fee to pay. Cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points if they spend US$4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. This works out to be US$900 towards travel when you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

You’ll also automatically receive US$300 in annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Plus, you’ll earn extra points on flights, hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

6. Citi Chairman American Express Card

You won’t be able to get your hands on this exclusive credit card unless you receive an invitation, and even then, you’ll need to have major investments in your Citigroup brokerage account. The card is rumoured to have a credit limit of up to US$300,000, and you’ll benefit from perks such as travel points, travel upgrades and access to private airport lounges across the globe. The card is said to have an annual fee of US$500.

stratus-visa

7. Stratus Rewards Visa

Fondly called the White Card, the Stratus Rewards Visa is often seen as the definitive card for ultra-elite jet-setters. To get this card, you need a referral from an existing cardmember or a Stratus Rewards partner company before you’re even 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 gives you access to personal concierge services, discounted charter flights, complimentary car services and luxury hotel upgrades, special events and exclusive gift bags.

merrill-lynch-octave

8. American Express Platinum Credit Card

This metal card from American Express lets you earn points whenever you spend, which you can redeem with a range of shopping, travel and lifestyle partners. You can also grab 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6,000 in the first 3 months of having your card.

On top of that, you’ll get comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for you and your family, complimentary airport lounge access across the globe, exclusive hotel benefits and the use of a concierge service. The card also gets you dining statement credit to spend both in the UK and abroad, as well as up to £100 in statement credits with Harvey Nichols.

The card has a £650 per annum fee, but you don’t need an invitation to apply.

9. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card

This is yet another card for keen travellers. You’ll earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend US$4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, equal to US$750 in travel. You’ll also get up to US$300 annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel and receive miles whenever you spend on the card. Cardholders also get 10,000 bonus miles on their account each anniversary year, plus unlimited access to airport lounges.

Although some of the perks aren’t quite so exclusive, its annual fee of US$395 is more affordable than some competitors.

luxury-gold-card

10.Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

Plated with 24K gold, this is a carbon Mastercard designed with rewards in mind. Unlike some of the others on this list, you can apply for this card without an invitation. But does that mean it’s not exclusive after all? 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 as well as a 2% redemption rate for airfares. This means that 50,000 points will get you a US$1,000 airfare ticket.

On top of this, you can get US$200 in airline credit yearly, a US$100 Global Entry application fee credit, VIP airport lounge access and Priority Pass, travel cover, luxury concierge services and exclusive luxury gifts.

Our verdict – what is the most exclusive credit card in the world?

This is not a straightforward question to answer, as it’ll depend on what benefits you see as being most exclusive and useful to you. What’s more, because many cards are invitation only, some of the exclusive benefits aren’t fully known.

However, if we had to pick one, we’d say the American Express Centurion card takes the top spot. Not a huge amount is known about this card, apart from the fact you’re likely to get top-tier status with a range of hotel groups and car hire companies, as well as access to a concierge service. But you’ll also need to be invited to join and cough up the annual fee of £3,400!

What features can you expect from an exclusive credit card?

An exclusive credit card is likely to offer some of the following features:

  • A 24/7 concierge service. Providing personal assistance and personalised services, such as booking dinner reservations, travel and theatre tickets.
  • Unique rewards. You’ll generally get more exclusive benefits than on a standard credit card, including enhanced cashback and reward points, access to private jets and special travel assistance.
  • Higher credit limits. As exclusive credit cards target those with a high income, they often offer credit limits in the high thousands.
  • High annual fees. They also tend to come with annual fees of between US$500 and US$1,000, with some even higher.
  • Made with rare materials. Some exclusive credit cards are also made from materials such as diamonds and gold.

Top 5 most exclusive credit cards in the UK

  1. American Express Centurion Card As well as being available in America, the American Express Centurion card is also available in the UK. Just remember you’ll need to be happy to pay a hefty fee of £3,400 a year, and you’ve got to be invited before you can even think about using this card.
  2. Coutts Silk Card The Coutts Silk Card gives you access to an exclusive reward programme, through which you can earn ‘Coutts Crowns’ whenever you spend. You can then redeem your Crowns for luxury items and experiences. You’ll also benefit from a concierge service and 0% non-sterling transaction fees.
  3. Harrods American Express Card To qualify for this card, you’ll need to be a UK resident, have a UK bank account and be a Gold or Black Tier member of Harrods Rewards. To be a Gold Tier member, you’ll need to spend £5,000 to £9,999 a year at Harrods, while to be a Black Tier member, you’ll need to spend £10,000 or more a year. The card enables you to earn reward points as you spend, and you’ll earn 5,000 points when you spend £3,000 or more in the first 3 months. You’ll also get a complimentary full-body cryotherapy treatment at the Wellness Clinic in Harrods and invitations to exclusive Harrods events. There’s an annual fee of £150.
  4. Santander World Elite Card This credit card from Santander only has a £15 annual fee, but to qualify, you’ll need to be a Santander Select or Private Banking customer. To be a Select customer, you’ll need to pay your main income of at least £5,000 per month into your Select current account or keep £75,000 in any Santander investments, savings or current account. To be a Private Banking customer, you’ll need savings or investments of over £500,000 or a gross annual income or more than £250,000. The credit card offers access to airport lounges around the world, a 40% discount on Santander travel insurance and cashback on purchases. Plus, you’ll get 24/7 access to Mastercard’s concierge benefits.
  5. American Express Platinum Card This card is great for regular travellers, offering everything from complimentary travel insurance and airport lounge access to a concierge service and exclusive hotel, car rental and airfare benefits. But you will need to pay a fee of £575 a year for the privilege.

Bottom line

To access the most exclusive cards, you have to be the sort of person who really… erm… doesn’t need a credit card. And, you have to be OK with hefty annual fees too… Status costs, apparently!

So now that you’ve seen the most exclusive credit cards in the world, if you want to look at cards for us mere mortals, check out Finder’s picks of the best credit cards on the market right now.

Who is most likely to be researching the most exclusive credit cards?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
65+3.57%1.13%
55-645.44%1.56%
45-549.77%4.28%
35-4415.28%5.03%
25-3421.97%8.58%
18-2416.13%7.25%
Source: Finder sample of 3,973 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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