Some things in life are harder to obtain than others. Rolex is harder than Timex. A mega yacht is harder than a pontoon boat. A Bugatti Veyron is harder to obtain than a Nissan Altima. The credit cards we’re going to cover today are the Rolex to a secured cards Timex. Some of these cards are not even acknowledged by the credit card companies. Rather, they reach out to you if and when they deem you worthy of the product. Some have annual fees which make cards like the Amex Platinum or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, look cheap. Those cards are $550 and $450 per year, respectively.
The benefits for the majority of these products are the things you don’t see, or are at least not reported. Banks want to maintain this idea of exclusivity and as such, they don’t often market all of the perks you can own as a cardholder. Its for that reason that the majority of the listed perks are largely similar to the premium products we all know and love.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard
To kick off our list we’ll start with the card thats easiest to acquire, relative to the rest of the cards on this list of course. The HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard currently boasts an a signup bonus of 50,000 points. Those are worth $750 when redeeming for airfare through HSBC rewards. It earns 3x on travel, 2x on dining, and 1x on all other purchases. Its annual fee is $395 but you’ll get $100 credits for both annual airline fees and Uber/Lyft rides. LoungeKey lounge access, TSA Precheck voucher, and Unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi access round out its top benefits. The card also offers assorted insurance coverages, though they’re pretty inline with what you’d get on other premium products.
As discussed in our stacking guide, the sign-up requirement for this card is that you must have an HSBC Premier checking account relationship. To have such a relationship you’ll need at least $100k in your combined bank and investment accounts with HSBC. This card is probably the most attainable on this list, but thats not saying much…
JP Morgan Reserve
This card used to be called the JP Morgan Chase Palladium, then the Sapphire Reserve came out. Shortly after the Reserve came out the Palladium was rebranded as the JP Morgan Reserve. The interesting thing about this card is that its stated benefit package is the exact same as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The difference? If you want to sign up for this puppy you’re going to need $10 million or more to invest with JP Morgan. My assumption is that once you’ve got the card its got some benefits that they don’t tout to the public. Otherwise its hard to understand why this card even exists.
American Express Centurion
The exclusive card which started it all. If history is to be believed, there was a time when flashing your Amex Black card got you whatever you wanted. Its tough to know if thats true, and even harder to know what its like to have this card in 2018. The invite only product is thought to only be offered to those spending and paying off at least $250,000 a year on their existing Amex plastic. Once you do get invited you’ll have the privilege of shelling out $7,500 to join, plus another $2,500 as the yearly annual fee. The publicly known perks of this card pretty much match that of the Amex Platinum. The ever elusive secret perks of this card are what keep people yearning for it.
Dubai First Royale Mastercard
One of the cards that we know the least about (and thats saying something) is the Dubai First Royale Mastercard. It is not available to the public, and no real information exists about how you can be extended an invitation to the cart. Some believe you must live in Dubai to qualify, others posit that this card is seen all over the world. Whatever the case, we’re given to believe that once you’re invited, the possibilities are endless. These have been said include; no credit limit, dedicated relationship manager, and “royale lifestyle management” services. Whatever that means. It seems like once you obtain this card, theres nothing it can’t help you do. Oh, and this card is outfitted with gold trim and a .235 carat solitaire diamond in the middle.
Santander Unlimted Black Card
With a reported annual fee of $275, the Santander unlimited is the cheapest card on this list. Still, its not easy to come by. Details are limited as to how you can sign up, but the rumors are that less than 3,000 of these cards are in existence, worldwide. Their publicly announced benefits include; 2.2 points per $1 spent, lounge access, private jet discounts and a 24/7 concierge service.
Stratus Rewards Visa
A competitor to the Amex Black card, the Stratus Rewards Visa is affectingly referred to as the white card. This card is truly for the elite. Rewards include redemptions for private jet flights, consultations with lifestyle experts, and more. At $1,500 per year it also includes complimentary car services, flight & hotel upgrades, and of course, a 24/7 concierge. The hard part is that in order to sign up you’ve got to know someone who already has the card. Rumor has it that to apply you’ll need to be referred from an existing Stratus cardholder.
Citi Chairman American Express Card
The requirements for this card are simply that you must have “significant” investments with Citibank. The card offers a rumored $300,000 credit limit. Its perks include concierge services, travel upgrades, lounge access and more. Its annual fee is $500 and we’re told its not waived for the first year.
Sberbank Visa Infinite Gold Card
Made from solid gold and boasting 26 embedded diamonds, the card itself is going to cost you $100,000. Sixty-five thousand goes for the card, the other thirty-five is used as your opening account balance. For what its worth, this is also the heaviest credit card we know of. Information on perks are few and far between, but thats to be expected for a credit card worth more than some homes.
Which card do you have?
Do you or someone you know have one of these credit cards? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Whats it like having one of the most exclusive credit cards in the world? What are the types of benefits you routinely reap from the card?