Officially called the American Express Centurion card, the “black card” – named so due to its colour – is regarded as the most exclusive credit card in the world.
The competition however, comes from ‘companion cards’ made of solid gold and embedded with diamonds, while others try and lure the mega-rich with access to a fleet of private jets.
Confused.com, a British price comparison website, has compiled a list of the top 5 most elite credit cards on the market.
1. AMEX Centurion
The Amex Centurion card was introduced in 1999 to customers who meet American Express’ eligibility criteria.
What began as a rumour and myth American Express turned into reality, by creating an all-black titanium card to serve the needs of its super rich customers, by invitation only.
The card requires a $7,500 initiation fee, as well as a yearly account fee of $2,500, while it is reported that customers must be willing to spend around $250,000 a year.
Card holders perks include travel benefits in the form of airline and hotel upgrades and access to airport lounges. It also provides access to a 24-hour concierge service and VIP access to exclusive events.
2. JP Morgan Palladium
The standout feature of this credit card is that its made out of palladium and 24K gold and laser engraved with cardholder information.
The JP Morgan Chase Palladium Card has an annual fee of only $595, however, the rewards are the real attraction.
Perks include complimentary access to a fleet of private jets, a concierge, while its ‘Ultimate Rewards program’ allows to two points per dollar spent on travel, along with a of 35,000 additional points for clients who spend $100,000 annually.
3. Dubai First Royale card
Royale Card is the region’s first diamond-embedded World MasterCard, and is available by invitation only, “and is bespoke for a select group of people representing royalty and the upper echelons of the social and business community”.
Set on a black background is a white .235-carat solitaire diamond, two of the card’s edges are also trimmed with gold.
Benefits include round-the-clock “lifestyle managers” and Ibrahim al Ansari, Dubai First CEO said: “You ask for the moon and we try and get it.”
4. Coutts & Co. World Card
As few as 100 people are estimated to own one of these credit cards with the bank also known as the “Queen’s Bank” as it is believed to be the bankers to the British Royal Family. An ATM is in the basement of Buckingham Palace for use by the Royal Family and Household.
A client would need £800,000 ($1.2 million) in disposable cash to own a credit card, but it comes with a 24/7 concierge service, and access to private shopping at designer stores.
5. Sberbank Visa Infinite Gold Card
The limited edition Visa Infinite companion card is made of solid gold and embedded with 26 diamonds, totaling 0.17 carats, and mother-of-pearl, with a brushed gold finish.
The credit card originates from Sberbank-Kazakhstan, a Kazakhstani bank, and provides cardholders with access to a “Sberbank First” personal manager, preferential treatment at some of the world’s best golf course, luxury vacation getaways, and fast-track immigration at more than 280 airports worldwide.
It is reported to cost $100,000 to acquire the credit card: $65,000 of which is for the card itself, while the remaining $35,000 is put towards the client’s opening balance.
Nedbank Centurion Card
Issued by Nedbank Private Wealth, Centurion is now available by invitation only or upon appointment to a select group of individuals in South Africa.
The Centurion Card is made of titanium, one of the world’s most precious metals. After being heated to a temperature of 1 688°C, the metal is carefully handcrafted and emblazoned with the Member’s name in individually set lettering – making it the only one of its kind.
See other elite cards in SA here