American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
- 10,000 Membership Rewards point welcome bonus
- 2 complimentary airport lounge visits per year
- No annual fee in year 1
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 57.6% APR (variable).
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 holder who spends at least an estimated £200,000 a year.
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.
2. JPMorgan Chase Palladium
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 $250,000 (£190,000) privately managed by them.
For $450 (£340) 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 covers and access to private jets if you should prefer to fly that way. You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 (£0.77) spent on travel, 1 point on all other eligible purchases, and 35,000 bonus points if you spend more than $100,000 (£75,000) 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 (£1,500). 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.
4. Coutts World Silk Card
The prestigious Silk Card offered by the Royal Bank of Scotland-owned UK private bank is exclusive to Coutts clients only – including the Queen. 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 has an annual fee of £350 that’s waived if you spend above £50,000 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 a neat $100,000 (£75,000) upfront. Of this money, $65,000 (£50,000) is an account fee, and $35,000 (£30,000) goes to the account’s opening credit.
Aside from the pleasure of owning a solid gold status symbol, cardholders enjoy above $250,000 (£190,000) life insurance coverage, exclusive concierge services, VIP access at some of the world’s finest golf courses, luxury holidays and fast-track immigration treatment in hundreds of airports globally.
6. Eurasian Diamond Card (Visa Infinite)
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 (£230,000) a year to qualify.
Annual card fees range between $460 (£350) and $1400 (£1,100), depending on the size of your current bank balance. Perks include personalised 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 $1,500 (£1,150), 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.
8. The Merrill Lynch Octave Black Card
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 $10 million (£7.7 million) sitting in a Merrill Lynch account and also be a Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management or US Trust client.
Lucky cardholders pay $950 (£700) in annual fees and enjoy perks including no pre-set credit limit, 2.5 rewards points per $1 (£0.77) spent on all eligible purchases, an annual $350 (£270) 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 (£210) 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 covers. You also earn 2.2 points for every $1 (£0.77) spent on the card.
10.Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Plated with 24K gold, 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 does that mean it’s not exclusive after all? With unpublished income requirements and a $995 price tag, it’s still considerably pricey for a card.
The perks you can expect include 2% cash back or half-priced air fare redemptions when you spend above 50,000 points on flights, $200 (£150) in airline credit yearly, a $100 (£75) Global Entry application fee credit, VIP airport lounge access and Priority Pass, luxury concierge services and exclusive luxury gifts.
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