Credit cards have become part of our everyday lives and many of us would simply be lost without them (if a little more debt free!). They can come with hefty APR’s and charges at times but on occasions they are nothing short of lifesavers, but have you ever wondered what the world’s richest carry around in their wallets? The premium plastic? The cream of the credit?
Here are a collection of the 12 most exclusive credit cards available on the financial market:
1. Coutts and Co World Card
While it’s hard to pin down exact details of usage, due to the fact that any financial information is highly sensitive, it’s generally accepted that the World Card from Coutts and Co is the most exclusive in the present day.
Only 100 people are believed to possess one and with a qualifying income of $300 million, that’s hardly surprising. Holders of the Coutts card include Queen Elizabeth II and Elton John but many identities are completely secret.
The card is issued by invitation only and benefits include worldwide travel insurance and access to exclusive airport lounges. However, with an APR at 49.1%, even the Queen will make sure that monthly payments are made on time.
2. American Express Black Card
If you own an Amex platinum card and thought that it was pretty exclusive then you may be disappointed to learn that it is merely a gateway to the elusive black card.
By holding an Amex platinum for a year, you may be invited to take the black card but you also need to spend around $250,000 per annum and pay your balance on time. Just like when you need to spend over a fiver in a pub then!
Benefits include your own concierge and chauffeur driven limousines to major events. The Amex Black has an illustrious list of known cardholders, including Beyonce, Noel Gallagher and Simon Cowell.
3. The Stratus Rewards Card
We all like to get a little something back from our credit cards and that’s why many companies introduce exclusive rewards schemes. However, your air miles are likely to be insignificant compared to what’s on offer from the white Stratus card.
Spend $195,000 and you can hire your own seven seat Cessna jet for an hour. The card does come with an annual fee of $1500 but if you’re looking to spend up to $200k to claim this reward then it shouldn’t be a problem.
4. Barclays Black Card
Competition is rife, even in the world of high end credit cards. The fee for Barclays’ own black card is a mere £300 but the services you receive are quite amazing. Your personal concierge is provided but he or she can be on hand for 24 hours a day if required.
Private jets are also available but if that wasn’t enough to sway you, the card is made from graphite making it sleek and virtually indestructible.
5. Diamond-Studded Dubai First Royale MasterCard
Who needs graphite when you can have precious gems? This credit card is literally studded with diamonds to the extent that only three can be manufactured each day.
It’s only available in Dubai and despite this being known as a nation of the super-rich, it’s pretty exclusive with only 200 people reported to own one. Membership gives you a personal manager and access to exclusive VIP events and venues.
6. Amex Red
This card not only appeals to the celebrities’ idea of status it also panders to their conscious and allows them to be seen undertaking important charity work.
The Amex Red card donates to charities fighting AIDS and HIV in Africa and as such it has been used and endorsed by the likes of Bono, Elle MacPherson and Gisele Bundchen.
7. Citibank Chairman’s Card
This is another extremely exclusive card that is issued by Amex on behalf of Citibank’s own wealth management clients.
At an annual fee of around £300 the rate is low but the benefits are sky high and include such luxuries as reduced private jet fees and access to VIP airport lounges. Champagne anyone?
8. Merrill Accolades American Express Card
Formerly the Bank of America Accolades Card until Merrill’s takeover, this was issued back in 2004 as a direct competitor to the Amex black card, as well as other premium cards on the market.
Benefits initially included the concierge service as well as many other VIP deals but it seems that these have been drastically cut back in recent times: Even the mega rich have to tighten their belts occasionally!
A step on the ladder for those aspiring to owning a Citibank Chairman’s card, requirements begin with a combined monthly balance of $100,000.
Benefits may be a little slim with access to meeting rooms and other Citi facilities so clearly the target market here is the travelling businessman.
10. HSBC Premier
Many of these cards have been exclusive to one country but for those based in the UK and Europe, the HSBC Premier Card is arguably the one with the highest status.
Deposits of at least £50,000 or a minimum mortgage of £250,000 give you access to this card, together with preferential rates and a dedicated personal manager.
11. American Express Centurion Card
This is another credit card whereby the right to possess one comes by invitation only. One of those prestigious clients is fictional however, but what could be cooler than possessing a card owned by James Bond?
The annual fee is $2,500 and membership is so secretive, you have to own one to even log in to an account to view the benefits.
12. Citibank Ultima
India is now one of the fastest moving countries when it comes to the super rich and the Ultima card arguably offers some of the best benefits of anything on this list.
For 50,000 Rupees a year you can have your concierge, but access to private islands is also thrown in!
Author Bio: This post was written by Matt Payne of Made By Oomph. Oomph are a plastic card printing company who offer plastic card services, membership cards, gift cards, contactless cards, loyalty cards and plastic business cards. Visit them at http://www.madebyoomph.co.uk/