South Africa’s most exclusive credit cards – how much you need to earn to get them

 ·13 Nov 2022

A big appeal of an elite credit card is the status associated with owning one, including some of the exclusive perks you get with them. However, you’ll have to earn a substantial amount of money if you hope to gain access to such a banking suite.

The credit cards on this list, and their associated banking suites, are tailored to high-income earners, with some targeting VIP customers accustomed to a millionaire lifestyle.

To afford these status statements, customers have to be within the top 10% of income earners in South Africa, with some even requiring prospective cardholders to be in the top 1%.

According to the World Inequality report 2022, the country’s top 10% of income earners earn around R783,750 per annum or R65,310 per month, while the top 1% earn an estimated R2.58 million per annum or R215,330 per month.

Additionally, to break into the top 1% in South Africa, the report suggests one has to earn at least R1.81 million per year or R151,500 per month.

These types of salaries are what will put you in a position to potentially own one of these exclusive credit cards, which follow a minimalistic, sleek and black design – while others have tried to differentiate themselves like the noticeable and vibrant purple vertical card from Discovery Bank.

Many of these cards are offered in metal for a premium feel while also being more durable and environmentally friendly.

BusinessTech looked at some of these exclusive bank cards available in South Africa and how much you need to earn to get them. The cards and their associated requirements are listed below.

Discovery Bank Purple Wealth Suite

The Discovery Bank Purple Suite targets the ultra-rich, requiring prospective cardholders to have an income of more than R2.5 million per annum, and charges a monthly fee of R570 per month.

According to Discovery, some of the perks of this offering include up to 75% off on local and international business class flights for themselves and a spouse, free gym memberships, better rates on investments, and luxury accommodation through the Purple Hotel Collection.

FNB Private Wealth

The FNB Private Wealth Credit Card is available to South Africans with an annual income of at least R1.8 million or people with a net asset value over R15 million and charges a monthly fee of R555 per month.

According to FNB, the main draw of this card is the exclusive eBucks lifestyle benefits, including access to over 1,000 airport lounges globally and iStore, Cycle Lab, and The Pro Shop exclusive FNB offers.

Nedbank Private Wealth

The Nedbank Private Wealth Bundle Account requires prospective cardholders to earn a minimum of R1.5 million per annum or people with investable assets to the value of R5 million – charging a monthly fee of R468.

According to Nedbank, this premium banking suite offers a 24-hour service for cardholders that require help with any banking enquires, booking of events, redeeming rewards, or any lifestyle needs.

Standard Bank Signature Banking

Standard Bank’s Signature Banking Account is offered to those that earn over R92,000 per month or just over R1.1 million per annum, which costs R480 per month.

According to Standard Bank, this suite offers over a dozen perks, including access to over 900 airport lounges, 20% off on Emirates flights, up to 15% off luxury serviced apartments, and access to an offshore bank account and qualify for UCount Rewards Tiering Points based on your offshore balances.

Investec Private Banking

Investec’s Platinum Individual Accounts are reserved for South Africans that earn over R800,000 per annum, charging a monthly fee of R575.

Investec’s private banking cardholders are afforded several benefits, including complimentary local and international lounge access and earning one rewards point for every R5 spent on your Investec Visa card (online or in-store).

RMB Private Fusion Account

The RMB private bank credit card is afforded to those that earn over R750,000 per annum or people with a net asset value over R15 million and costs R555 per month.

The RMB Private Fusion Account offers similar exclusive eBucks lifestyle benefits as FNB, giving you special deals on travel, tech, and accommodation. It also offers Purchase Protect cover of up to R15 000 on items such as furniture, clothing, cellphones and laptops purchased using your RMBPB Virtual Credit Card.

Absa Private Banking

To qualify for Absa’s Private Banking Signature credit card, a prospective cardholder would have to earn R750,000 annually or R62,500 per month. This offering also comes in at the lowest monthly fee of R185.

This banking suite offers 57 days interest-free on qualifying transactions and offers complimentary visits to Bidvest Premier Local and International Airport Lounges, 24-hour private banking assistance, as well as access to Visa’s luxury hotel collection.

Read: New bank branches where you can get your Smart ID and passport in South Africa

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