Credit cards from credit companies, banks, and other financial institutions are readily available to most people who want them. Many of these lenders will aggressively market them to get as many customers as possible.
But for the world’s most exclusive credit cards, that’s not the case. Some of these credit cards can only be obtained upon invitation. Others require you to have a large spending limit annually. However, they do offer excellent perks.
But to obtain these credit cards, you have to be quite wealthy or an excellent client. You must also spend more than the average American earns.
The average American household earns an income of $78,500. That should give you an idea of just how much money you should be spending to qualify for such exclusive cards.
Here’s what you need to know about the most exclusive credit cards:
1. Centurion® Card from American Express, Aka the Black Card
The Centurion Card courtesy of American Express, aka the Amex Black Cards, is offered by American Express by invitation only. It is not a black card by Visa, but it is one of the most exclusive credit cards in the world.
The black American Express cards are mostly made up of anodized titanium. The cards have their information etched into the metal through laser technology. These cards are used for personal and business purposes.
These black credit cards come at a steep price, which is par for the course for exclusive cards of this nature. You must pay an initiation fee of $10,000 and an annual fee of $5000 to be part of the elite club of people who use this card.
One of the biggest perks of the credit card black from American Express it that it has no official credit limit. It enables its holders to spend without limits.
The Chinese Billionaire Liu Yiqian Liu once put a $36 million Ming Dynasty teacup onto his card. He then went a step further to put the $170.4 million cost of an Amedeo Modigliani painting titled Nu Couché on his card also!
The membership rewards point acquired from those two purchases alone are enough to earn the billionaire’s family a lifetime of free flights at any destination of his choosing.
But there is more!
Other exclusive perks of owning these cards include:
- Equinox all-access gym membership
- Access to 24/7 concierge services
- Airport lounge access in 32 airports.
- Hotel elite status with perks like free internet and room upgrades
- Quick and convenient customer services
- $0 in foreign transaction fees.
- Credits that can be used to high-end stores, etc.
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve also belongs to the exclusive credit card category. This credit card is worth having if you travel a lot. It’s a premium offering from J.P. Morgan Chase.
You must have a credit score of 800 to 850 to even have a chance of accessing the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. But that’s just the beginning. You must also be prepared to pay an annual fee of $550 for the privilege of having this card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card offers a fair share of excellent perks that make it the card to beat for global travelers. They include the following:
- If you can afford to spend $4000 within three months of your account opening, you will get 50,000 bonus rewards points. They are worth $750 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and can be redeemed for hotels, airfare, cruises, and even car rentals.
- $300 annual travel credit that is available to you as reimbursement for any travel-related purchases you make through your card.
- After you earn your $300 annual travel credit, you will receive 3X in points on travel and dining worldwide. You will also receive 1 point for each dollar you spend on other purchases.
- If you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can receive 50% more value for your points.
- $0 in foreign transaction fees.
- 1:1 points transfer to partner hotel and airline loyalty programs
- Lost luggage reimbursement for baggage valued up to $3000
- Trip cancellation or delay insurance valued up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip
- Provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage your travel rental cars in the U.S. and abroad
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of $100 every 4 years
- Complimentary Airport Lounge Access at 1,000+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide after a one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select etc.
3. The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card is also an exclusive credit card offering. And it’s not cheap either. It has an annual fee of $550.
Despite a high annual fee that could make you a little bit dizzy, these credit cards are worth considering. They offer lots of benefits that warrant this consideration. The cards’ benefits include the following:
- $15 in Uber Cash for rides or eats orders in the US each month
- You’ll also become an Uber VIP, where available, without having to meet minimum ride requirements
- $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com if you enroll for the program
- $200 in statement credits every calendar year when incidental fees, e.g. checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your card
- Earn 5X Points on Flights Booked Directly with Airlines or on amextravel.com
- Earn 5X Points on Prepaid Hotels when you book via amextravel.com
- Earn 1X Points on All Other Eligible Purchases you make via your card
- You could also earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 or more in eligible purchases on your Card within your first 3 months of opening your account.
- Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries
- Expedited screening at select airports after you get your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ benefits which include up to $100 in statement credit for the application fee.
- Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts® Program, which provides complimentary benefits such as room upgrade when available, complimentary Wi-Fi, etc.
4. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
American Express also offers a premium Business Platinum Card for business owners who travel a lot for work.
But this high-end metal card does not come cheap. To continue having the privilege of using this credit card, you will need to pay $595 in annual fees.
The prestigious credit card has a several perks that are worth considering. They include the following:
- In the first 3 months of card membership, if you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases, you will receive a welcome bonus of $75,000 membership rewards points.
- Up to $200 Annual Dell Technologies Statement Credit annually
- 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
- 1.5X points on every eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You could earn up 1 million additional points each calendar year
- 1 point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchase
- $200 in airline fee credit. These are in the form of statement credits for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your card.
- Access to 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries
- A 35% reimbursement for up to 500,000 points annually if you use the Membership Rewards® Pay with Points program for all or part of an eligible fare.
- $0 foreign transaction fees
- You can get a statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry or every 4.5 years after you apply for TSA Pre ✔® using an eligible card
- Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts® Program which offers complimentary benefits such as room upgrades etc.
5. Dubai First Royale MasterCard
The Master Card from Dubai First Royale is a credit card that has been dubbed a millionaire’s best friend. It’s a luxury card for the super-rich who can afford it. And it has the appearance to match.
The left-hand and to the edge of the card are gold-trimmed. And at the center is a white solitary diamond of .235-carat. Having a lot of wealth doesn’t give you access to this card. You must also be invited to apply.
The costs associated with these cards include an initiation fee of 7,000 UAE Dirham and an interest rate of 2.59% per month. The annual fee, however, is unknown.
Dubai Royale’s credit card perks are rather interesting.
The known perks that you can access if you have the exclusive Dubai First credit card include the following:
- Zero restrictions
- No credit limits – holders can buy a yacht if they want
- Access to a dedicated relationship manager
- 24/7 access to a lifestyle manager who will grant your heart’s desires
- Bragging rights – the diamond crest and the fact that it’s only limited to a select number of wealthy individuals make it is worth boasting about.
6. J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card
You can only access these credit cards from J.P. Morgan by invitation. To qualify you may need to be one of J.P. Morgan’s private clients with a net worth of $10 million. You should also be prepared to pay the $595 annual fee.
It’s made of brass then plated with Palladium. It also has a 23-karat gold construction. Information on the card is etched through laser technology.
The benefits of this credit card include:
- $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases through 2021 and a complimentary DashPass2 – a subscription service that provides unlimited restaurant deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12, for at least a year.
- $300 annual travel credit
- Complimentary airport lounge access – You and your enrolled authorized users can access 1,200+ Priority Pass Select VIP airport lounges worldwide
- Global Entry or TSA pre✔® fee credit in the form of a statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee
- Insurance for baggage delays, trip interruption or delays, auto rental collision damage, etc.
- Earn 3X points on travel worldwide after earning your $300 annual travel credit
- Up to $300 in statement credits annually as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your cards
- Roadside assistance
- Medical coverage for emergency evacuation and transportation for up to $100,000 etc.
7. Citi Chairman
Citi Chairman is an exclusive credit card that is available to those who can pay at $500 in annual fees. It’s by invite only.
You must also have significant investments with a Citigroup brokerage account. But the cards offer many benefits worth considering:
The perks of this card include:
- A $300,000 credit limit for its members
- Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Airport lounge access
- 5x points on air traveling and dining
- 3x points on hotels and cruise lines
- $250 travel credit
- Access to private jet programs
- Complimentary travel benefits for a traveling companion
- 24/7 access to a personal concierge service
- Complimentary hotel benefits such as upgrades
- Medical evacuation and transportation coverage
8. Stratus Rewards Visa
This rewards Visa card is another invite-only visa credit card. You can only be invited by the card company or another cardholder. The annual fee for this card is $1500. It has several luxury benefits for its members.
Some of the perks of the Stratus Rewards Visa include:
- VIP access to exclusive entertainment events like celebrity parties and track-side race viewing
- Membership rewards points redeemable for private jet travel
- Access to concierge services from Mint Lifestyle
- Membership to Sony Corp.’s “Cierge” electronics program
- Premium insurance coverage
- Membership to Abercrombie & Kent’s Marco Polo Club
Most Exclusive Credit Cards Compared
Here’s a comparison table that shows the world’s most exclusive credit cards:
|NAME OF CREDIT CARD||WHAT TO KNOW||ANNUAL FEE|
|1. Centurion® Card from American Express, aka the Black Card||• For business and personal use|
• Require an invitation to access it
• Has unlimited credit limit – once used to purchase a painting worth $170.4 million!
|• Initiation fee of $10,000|
• Annual fee of $5,000
|2. Chase Sapphire Reserve||• Great for global travelers|
• Must have a credit score of 800+
|• Annual fee of $550|
|3. The Platinum Card® from American Express||• Excellent for global travelers – offers up to 5X rewards points for some travel-related expenses||• Annual fee of $550|
|4. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||• Great for business travel around the world – you could earn as high as 5X points for each dollar spent and as much as 1 million points each year||• Annual fee of $595|
|5. Dubai First Royale MasterCard||• Great for bragging rights – the card has a diamond crest!|
• No credit limits on the card – if you want to buy it, you can swipe it
• Excellent for its customized concierge services – your wish is their command
• Excellent for the relationship management and financial advice
• Membership is only upon invitation – money can’t buy your way in
|• Annual fees are unknown|
• Initiation fees are 7,000 Dirham
• Flat rate interest rate of 2.59 monthly
|6. J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card||• Must be a private client of J.P. Morgan Chase – usually applies to those with a daily average of $250,000 in Chase investments and accounts|
• Must have an estimated wealth of about $10 million
• The card is Palladium- plated
|• Annual fee is $595|
|7. Citi Chairman||• Excellent for those with significant investment in a Citigroup brokerage account|
• Great for traveling as it offers as much as 5X rewards points for eligible dollars spent
• Access is by invite-only
• Credit card limit of about $300,000
|• Annual fee is $500|
|8. Stratus Rewards Visa||• An invite-only visa rewards card – an existing card-holder can also invite you|
• Great for global travelers who like VIP services in all kinds of events they attend
|• Annual fee is $1500|
How to Get an Exclusive Credit Card
Would you like to get an exclusive or black credit card? The following are the tips that will raise your chances of getting these kinds of credit cards:
1. Build a credit score of 800+
Your credit score must be more than average. It must be excellent. And that means you should build your credit score to be 800+. Doing that takes time and work. But you can start by:
- Creating a credit history by opening an account if you don’t have one.
- Paying your bills on time
- Paying off credit card debts if you have been making late repayments
- Avoid bankruptcy declarations where possible.
2. Maximize your income
Some of the prestigious credit cards are only available to those with high spending power. So, you need to maximize your income to be in that position. You can do several things to increase your income:
- Find a better paying job
- Take on more responsibilities at your workplace and apply for promotions
- Negotiate for a better salary
- Invest in your education so that you are more qualified
- Diversify your income sources by having one or more income streams
- Invest your income in multiple investment vehicles that bring in significant returns
3. Minimize Your Debt
If you can’t minimize your debt and manage it well, your credit score is likely to decrease. And even when it doesn’t, the amount of debt you have may make lenders afraid that you can’t pay it off, which means they may deny you access to their exclusive credit cards with huge limits.
Some of the strategies you can use to minimize and manage your debt include:
- Pay off what you owe on time
- Negotiate for lower interest rates
- Get credit counseling to learn how to manage your debts
- Increase the amount you pay towards debt payments
Accessing the most exclusive credit cards in the world is not easy. And it may not be up to you if you get accepted or not. But if you have an excellent score, low debt, and you are quite wealthy, you may be able to get access to one of these credit cards.