What Are The Most Prestigious Credit Cards in the World?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

While many people consider their cards to be nothing more than payment tools, others consider them to be status and fashion symbols… like a piece of jewelry or the latest handbag. But what is the most prestigious credit card in the world? Here are several contenders…

The Top 7 Most Prestigious Credit Cards

Sherbank Visa Infinite Gold Card
Thanks to a boom in oil and natural resources, the rich in 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.

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,” it has a very generous rewards program too – up to 4 percent cash back.

The card isn’t available to everyone. It’s invite only and reserved for a “select group of people representing royalty and the upper echelons of the social and business community,” according to the bank’s website.

American Express Centurion
Without a doubt, this piece of titanium (also know as the Black Card) 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).

Despite the higher price tag, there are actually fewer benefits than the card had originally. For example, the best feature was giving cardholders automatic upgrades to first class (when available) but that benefit was cut. Today you still have benefits like phone concierge service and numerous travel benefits, including lounge access. American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner.

JP Morgan Palladium Card
JP Morgan PalladiumThis card has been out since 2009, and it’s one of the flashiest pieces of plastic metal around. It’s actually made out of metal; a palladium and 23 karat gold alloy. 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).

Royal Bank of Scotland Coutts Silk Card
This card (formerly the “World” card) is available only to Coutts private banking clients. 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, as your spending level increases, access/special offers for luxury goods and services (“art and heritage experiences,” wines and “luxury indulgences,” according to the website). You also get VIP membership with a variety of the bank’s partners, including private jet companies, cruise lines, hotels and airlines.

Merill Lynch Octave

Merrill lynch octave cardThis card has an annual fee of $950 a year and is available (by invite only) to those with $10 million in assets with Merrill Lynch.

In addition to offering rewards on every dollar spent, the card comes with airport concierge service, airfare discounts, a choice between a $350 credit and Delta SkyClub membership, savings on private jet flights and more. Read more about the Octave here.

American Express Platinum Card
This may not be the most prestigious credit card from American Express (since anyone can apply) 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, you won’t qualify for most of the cards listed above – and even if you do – they may not be worth the high price tag (unless prestige is important to you)

If you still want a “wow” card that’s also affordable and within reach for the average Joe or Jane, here are two you should consider:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:

Chase Sapphire PreferredThis 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 $4,000 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:

photo of Marriott Premier metal cardHere is another card that’s made out of real metal. Its smooth black finish makes its appearance pop even more.

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 July 25, 2014

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

20 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Bill October 3, 2014 at 8:17PM

    Years ago, Amex green was common place, gold was the standard, and platinum was invite only. The service was impeccable and the year-end summary was very beneficial. However, when customer service was offshored and the service nose dived, we both cancelled our cards. To us, Amex is not what is was (service and status) and is merely another credit card. If you derive your self worth from cleverly marketed pieces of plastic, then by all means get an American Express card. You’ll feel better, the shareholders will love you, and I’ll laugh quietly as you pull out your Platinum card to purchase your 2 percent milk and cereal at Target for the points. Personally, I prefer what few people don’t see and that is an 800+ FICO. Remember, people that “have it” don’t need to flaunt it.

    • NotAnIdiot December 2, 2014 at 3:47PM

      Credit, is obviously the only thing that you have. I flaunt what I got. Sorry.

    • Rick February 7, 2015 at 9:31AM

      What’s the point of an 800 fico score if you can’t flaunt a little of the benefits, then you might as well have a 300 fico. People who have an 800 earned and deserve it, let them have that 1/2 second feeling of being just a little special when they go buy a house,car, or pull out that credit card for only those with excellent credit. Bill, Lighten up and have some fun, all of us will take our fico scores with us when we leave this world. So pull out that Amex Black card and buy some milk and throw a movie on there.

  2. Darren July 29, 2014 at 10:24AM

    Love the list, I have an amex platinum and Marriott premier myself. Hoping to have a black amex and Marriott someday but I doubt I’d ever get to 250k on a credit card in June year (and get my wife to sign off on the AM :P)

  3. Jim M. July 15, 2014 at 2:11AM

    I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred card several years ago and I am delighted with it. The benefits are good (That 40,000 for $3000 in three months is a “gimme”) and the card does draw some attention when people here it’s metallic “clang” when dropped on a sales counter. And I have had good, prompt customer service. I travel extensively and this card does not charge a foreign transaction fee (Which was why I originally applied for the card.)

    Complaints? The dark blue color of the card makes it hard to read at first. And I often have to flip the card over to prove to the vendor that it IS a Visa card!

  4. bill February 15, 2014 at 9:35AM

    nice math on the first credit card…. 65,000+45,000 doesn’t equal 100,000 last time i checked

  5. Jimmy August 2, 2013 at 6:46PM

    Hey let the super rich enjoy it and you don’t want to carry a debit card these cards here offer prestige and perks a debit card does not. It’s not bad to be super rich. I am not one of them. The worse crime on earth are the speculators on WALL STREET that destroy our economy by driving the price of oil and food up for no reason. The oil rich people are just enjoying life but the speculators are dirt, they hurt the working class of american making the american dream DEAD AND GONE ! Love to see that market crash 7000 points on Monday. wow that would be a trip. I thought Obama was going to be the one president in my life that really made change and I am a white dude but he turned out just like all of them he caters to wall street and to capitalist america. The working class and poor are left behind. So if we see something in the store we need we just take it. Speculators do so we do as well. No not the best idea on earth but sure feels like we are getting something back. Nice to walk out with 300 in items and paid for 15.00 worth. Now that is the new american dream. Dream on Dream on till your dream is dead.

  6. Barbara July 10, 2013 at 12:52PM

    I guess what I do not understand is, if you have billions or even millions, why wouldn’t you just use a debit card and take the cash directly from an account? It is essentially for vanity, no? At the end of a statement cycle you have to send them actual money plus potential fees and interest anyway, on top of the annual fee. How can someone see the benefits of a few silly flight or concierge services if you are in that club?

    • Kelvin February 1, 2014 at 7:28AM

      That my friend, is where the rich get richer. You see, many people who don’t have millions in their bank, tend to forget that the bank pays interest to you when you store money with them. For example, let’s say your bank gives you a 1% interest rate per annum. An average american with, oh let’s say about 25000 in his bank most of the year, will receive 250 dollars at the end of the year in interest. Now let’s put that in super rich terms, let’s say mister rich had 100,000,000 in his bank all year round. That would mean that the bank will give him 1,000,000 every year, just for keeping his money in the bank for the bank to invest with. Suddenly, that 4000 dollar annual fee doesn’t seem like such a big deal to mister rich anymore does it? But that means mister rich has to maintain his bank balance for the whole year, which means he will try to refrain from using his cash in his bank, but rather, pay when he receives his interest. Tadah, rich get richer, and the regular folk don’t really benefit because, as we can see, most of them tend to forget about the interest the bank pays them, and see the bank as only a place to hold money.

      • Nina March 6, 2014 at 8:33AM

        Wow, this was a well done analysis. Very smart. Thank you for sharing!:-)

      • Cole May 2, 2014 at 1:53PM

        Most people who have never had wealth don’t understand how to use currency. The first thing is rich people always use other people’s labor, knowledge, and money to get a head.
        Lets say i have a Honda car and i am buying it out right on payments. Only so much can i right off on taxes but let say I bought a Mercedes on a lease for company use 100 percent is a wright off to me and it is a free car. Same money I would have had to pay in taxes. So i can get a new car $60,000 every year cheaper than you can pay for a 22,000 dollar car. So on credit cards I can wright off what i spend month which is 430,000 a month. If I paid cash I could not and the IRS would audit all the time.

    • Christine March 7, 2015 at 4:13PM

      Barbara, it doesn’t matter if you have millions, billions or just a few hundred dollars, it’s always best to not use your debit card anywhere! Identity theft is extremely easy and it would be devastating to anyone to have their debit card information stolen and in a matter of minutes to hours, you could find your bank account completely cleaned out. The banks do NOT refund any fraudulent charges with debit cards. But mostly every credit card monitors for unusual charging activity, contact you immediately to confirm that you are making purchases or not, and if any charges were made fraudulently on your credit card, they don’t charge your account, immediately issue you a new card with a new number mailed to you via FedEx overnight, and immediately initiate an investigation. I speak from experience. On 2 different occasions on 2 different credit cards in less than a year, I was immediately notified by my credit card companies of suspicious activity. These 2 separate identity thieves attempted to go on an incredible spending spree. The first occasion would’ve cost me over $5000 had I used my debit card. The second occasion would’ve cost me over $10,000. I was told that these identity thieves were who able obtained my credit card information from any purchase I made at any store, restaurant, gas station, online, etc. Had I used my debit card, I would be completely liable for all the charges without much recourse. So it’s definitely better to avoid using your debit card EVER! We were so thankful that we use our credit cards to pay for everything and then pay the balances at the end of each month.

  7. johnny nguyen May 11, 2013 at 7:53PM

    the sad thing is even if we won the lottery we would still not be able to get this card if we where lucky and won it 5 times and had about half a billion i think our chances would be 2 percent for card 1 and 2….. iv have seen all of these cards and only seen card 2 once in my whole life so far and it was from a prince of Saudi Arabia at a venue i worked at in Manhattan but still haven’t seen card 1 yet so who know maybe one day.

  8. Mr. JP Morganless December 22, 2012 at 6:20AM

    Hmmm….enlightening nevertheless, but WHY I even took a gander at these cards is beyond me. My broke butt will never be sufficiently out of debt and/or be the recipient of such cards, if for nothing more than I will never realize “monetary compensation” (ie; salary or income) to even QUALIFY for such cards.

    **sigh** Oh well!! Dollar General, WAL MART, and cash it shall remain for me!

  9. Garrett March 29, 2012 at 5:13PM

    Funny… How one of the most prestigious credit cards in the world is not even on this list.. It outshines almost every card on here except MAYBE the one from Dubai..

    Look up J.P. Morgan Palladium… Nothing beats this card after reading through the benefits..

    • AMEX platinum card / visa signature owner September 16, 2012 at 9:51PM

      It might be a prestigious card but it doesn’t even compare to the AMEX Plat when you compare them head to head. Plus the annual fee is more than double than that of the Amex Platinum card.

    • Ian b February 21, 2013 at 4:43PM

      see card #4……

    • Lucas April 30, 2013 at 9:27AM

      Look at card # 4.

    • alan June 20, 2013 at 1:44PM

      The palladium card is mentioned its #4

  10. M. Wentworth December 5, 2010 at 5:10PM

    Good job on this list of the most prestigious credit cards. One thing I would like to add is to be careful with the Coutts card. It is a charge card that has close to a 50% interest rate if a balance is carried.

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