Exclusive credit cards for the super rich

 ·6 Mar 2022

Credit cards catering to the ultra-rich offer insane rewards and lavish perks, with the Centurion Card from American Express seen as perhaps the most desirable piece of plastic.

The Amex Black Card, as it is popularly referred has seen many competitors entering the market in recent years, trying to differentiate themselves, whether it be by unique travel rewards, dining experiences, expensive gifts, or having the physical card be made out of a precious metal.

These cards are mostly invitation only offerings, depending on your bank balance, and investable assets, and come with hefty initiation, and annual membership fees.

Here are the most exclusive credit cards in the world and how much they cost:

Centurion Card from American Express

AMEX Centurion

  • Initiation fee: R153,000 ($10,000)
  • Annual fee: R76,500 ($5,000)
  • Minimum spending: upwards of R3,800,000 ($250,000)

The Amex Centurion was first introduced in 1999 to meet the special needs of American Express’ biggest spenders.

According to Forbes, exclusivity is the main draw of the Amex Centurion, and the air of mystery around the card is reinforced by the fact that someone can only get their hands on it by invitation.

“The criteria used to determine if you are worthy for the card are completely unknown; however, if you are not on a first-name basis with your American Express rep, the Amex Centurion is probably not in your wheelhouse,” said Forbes.

CreditCardInsider reports that according to online superstition, to get noticed by the invitees, you need to charge between R3,800,000 ($250,000) and R6,800,000 ($450,000) on your standard American Express card.

American Express’ most interesting perk for Amex Centurion cardholders is that they can get 50% rebates on airfares purchased with American Membership Rewards points. Other rewards include a 24/7 personal concierge, which can get you tickets to events,  reservations on flights, elite status at Delta Airlines, hotel bookings and car rentals.

JP Morgan Reserve Card

  • Annual fee: R9,123 ($595)
  • Minimum spending: N/A

The premium card provided by Chase is the J.P. Morgan Reserve. As another invitation-only card, it’s only available for people who have $10 million in assets.

Every gram of the 27g palladium metal card itself costs $83 (according to current market value), putting the value of the card at $2,241 (R34,300).

The Reserve Card offers its owners premium travel benefits, up to $300 annual travel credit, dining, and savings with Chase’s Ultimate Rewards. The most unique reward with this card is unlimited free deliveries for restaurants that use DoorDash or other American delivery services.

A cardholder also has access to private dining events where reservations, takeouts, or seating are arranged.

Dubai First Royale Mastercard

Dubai First Royal

  • Joining fee: R29,100 (7,000AED)
  • Annual Fee: Unknown
  • Minimum spending: No minimum spending and no maximum credit limit.

Dubai’s First Royale Card is another invite-only credit card available exclusively for the ultra-rich.

The card itself is trimmed in gold and has a .235-carat diamond on the front face. According to the bank’s website, it is “desired by many but attainable by only a select few”.

The requirements necessary to be considered for this card are unknown, as are many of the benefits it boasts. Dubai Firsts Royale card has no credit limit and zero restrictions, therefore allowing the most affluent to enjoy complete financial freedom. One of the most impressive rewards is a 24/7 ‘lifestyle manager’ whose job is to cater to the cardholder’s every need.

Mastercard Gold Card

  • Initiation fee: N/A
  • Annual fee: R15,260 $995 (R4,500 ($295) for each Authorized User added to the account)
  • Minimum spending: unknown

The Mastercard Gold is a luxury credit card aimed at the super-rich who are happy to keep a 24K-gold plated credit card in their wallet. The 22g card itself amounts to roughly R20,900 (based on current 24K gold pricing).

Forbes stressed that the card offers 1 point per dollar on purchases. “Points are worth 2 [US] cents each when redeemed for airfare or cash-back,” said Forbes.

Other rewards include but are not limited to $200 annual airline credit, 0% foreign transaction fees for each transaction in US dollars, and luxury travel services that include a 24/7 concierge service.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

  • Annual fee: R9,100 ($595)
  • Minimum spending fee: unknown

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is catered primarily toward wealthy business people who are frequent flyers. The card’s benefits are focused more on travel benefits than lifestyle rewards.

The Sapphire Reserve is not an invite-only card, and as a result, much of the card’s exclusivity does not come from the mystery around it but the high fees necessary to become a cardholder.

Benefits include annual $300 travel credit and 3 points on travel and dining purchases; those who have this card can get access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide when enrolled in the Priority Pass Select program. Additionally, cardholders have dedicated travel assistance.

Stratus White Card

  • Initiation fee: N/A
  • Annual fee: R22,900 ($1,500)
  • Minimum spending fee: unknown

The Stratus White card stands out among other cards on this list, adopting a more subdued look. Despite its appearance, this credit card is invite-only. Once invited or nominated they have to money pay the hefty annual fee of R22,900.

CreditCardInsider reports that you may need to spend at least R1,527,000 ($500,000) a year to get an invite for this card. Once the annual fee is paid, the cardholder can redeem rewards for charter flights or even private flights.

Citi Chairman American Express Card

  • Initiation fee: N/A
  • Annual fee: R7,660($500)
  • Credit limit: Rumoured to be R4,580,000 ($300,000)

The Citi Chairman is an invite-only card for people with high credit scores and high monthly incomes.

According to Credit Shout, for every dollar that the cardholder charges will receive ThankYou points from Citi, which they can redeem for hotel stays, flights, and merchandise.

Further benefits include 24/7 concierge services, 24-hour emergency travel – which includes everything from medical and legal referrals to help with lost luggage – and VIP upgrades to specific hotels.

Read: Here are Europe’s best cars for 2022

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter