Decades ago credit cards were mostly just a form of payment, but today, they considered to be status and fashion symbols… in the same was as a piece of jewelry or the latest handbag. But what is the most prestigious credit card in the world? Well, here are several contenders…
The Top 7 Most Prestigious Credit Cards
#1- Sherbank Visa Infinite Gold Card
Thanks to a boom in oil and natural resources, the rich ins Kazakhstan are getting a whole lot richer. For that reason, Sherbank created this exclusive credit card for their top 100 customers. It is made with 26 diamonds and the card itself is made out of solid gold!
The cost of this card is more than what most Americans make in a year! For the first year you will have to pony up $100,000 – that’s $65,000 for the card and the $45,000 goes as a sort of security deposit for your credit line. Then after that, it’s “only” $2,000 per year.
#2 – Dubai First Royale MasterCard
Everyone knows Dubai is flooded with cash due to UAE’s massive oil revenue. First Dubai Bank created this ultra prestigious card for their richest jet setters. It’s actually made with real gold and a diamond!
Benefits include no spending limit, travel benefits, a personal “relationship manager,” and unlike the Centurion, the Dubai First Royal MasterCard actually has a very generous rewards program too – up to 4% cash back.
#3 – American Express Centurion
Without a doubt, this piece of titanium is the most well known and most sought after prestigious credit card in the world (although its requirements aren’t as exclusive as the Dubai First). It was launched in 1999 as an invite-only card with a $1,000 annual fee. Today, the annual fee is substantially higher; $2,500 per year plus a one-time initiation fee of $5,000 (so $7,500 for your first year).
Ironically, despite the higher price tag, there are actually far fewer benefits than the card had originally. For example, the best feature was giving cardholders automatic upgrade to first class (when available) but that benefit was cut. Today you still have benefits like phone concierge service and numerous travel benefits.]
#4 – JP Morgan Palladium Card
This card has been out for almost 2 years now and is one of the most flashiest pieces of
plastic metal around. Yep that’s right, it’s actually made out of metal; a palladium and 23 karat gold alloy. Lately the price of palladium has been fluctuating in price between $600 and $700. And gold is more than 2x that (but I doubt they use much gold in this). Since the card in and of itself weighs 1 ounce, it’s worth a pretty penny. Aside from being blingy, it has a laundry list of insurance coverages and travel benefits.
The annual fee is “only” $595 but that’s because they gear it towards JP Morgan private banking client. To be a member of that elite group, you typically need to have a minimum of $5 million in assets at their bank (and their average customer in that group reportedly has $25 million).
#5 – Royal Bank of Scotland Coutts World Card
This card is only available to Coutt’s clients who have at least $1,000,000 in the bank. The annual fee is £350 but that’s waived for customers that charge at least £50,000 per year on the card.
The range of benefits are great considering the relatively low annual fee. For example you get airport lounge access, concierge, comprehensive insurance benefits, and access/special offers for luxury goods and services – i.e. an around the world trip via private jet and the chance to have your biography written by a bestselling author.
#6 – Sotheby’s World Elite Mastercard
This prestigious piece of plastic is catered to art collectors whom regularly buy from Sotherby’s auction houses. In order to qualify for this card you must earn at least $250,000 annually and have $2,000,000+ in investable assets. The annual fee is $395.
Despite its relatively low annual fee, the Sotherby’s World Elite MasterCard has many benefits that compare to the other prestigious cards above. The card has concierge service included, free business-class companion airfare on some international flights, airport lounge access, and more.
#7 – American Express Platinum Card
This may not be the most prestigious credit card from American Express but it comes darn close. For a $450 annual fee, you get many of the same benefits that the Centurion card has.
Due to the rising annual fees and overly-saturated cardmember base, I have heard from many Centurion holders who have actually switched back to Platinum because the benefits are so similar. Take a look for yourself and check out my American Express Platinum review. But remember the $450 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.
A prestigious card without the high price tag?
Chances are, most of the above cards you won’t qualify for – and even if you do – they aren’t worth it for you to pay so much for them, right?
But if you still want a “wow” card that’s also affordable and that the average Joe or Jane can qualify for, then here are two you should consider:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:
This is not your ordinary piece of plastic! It’s made with real metal, so its heavy weight and feel make a real impression on people.
As funny as it may sound, I’ve heard from store clerks and waitresses who see it and say something like “wow, this must be like those black cards for VIPs!“
And right now with this link you can get 40,000 bonus points after spending at least $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Those 40,000 points can be redeemed for $400 cash back or $500 worth of travel rewards. Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card:
Here is another card that’s made out of real metal. Its smooth black finish makes it appearance pop even more.
Last month, in October, I opened up an account because of this ridiculous bonus offer they are running at the moment: Earn 50,000 Points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months from account opening. After your account is approved, you also get 1 free night stay at a Category 1-4 location. $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $85.
This post was written or last updated November 18, 2013