5 Credit Cards for the 1%

By Richard Cox
Richard Cox
Richard Cox
July 17, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Does your credit card allow you to get free tickets for next big rock concert? Does your card allow you to get free drinks, meals, make cheap foreign exchange transactions, or get hotel deals near airport? Have you ever been offered a free round of golf at a posh club or discounted tickets for next World Cup in Brazil? If your answer to all the above questions is “no”, you are probably not holding an elite credit card that stands far ahead the competition. As the economy continues to improve, credit card issuers have added extra incentives and enriched card features for their customers. Appealing to the consumer’s evolving taste, many card companies offer luxury hotel booking, foreign tours, online shopping and emergency credit for travelers. 

It has become increasingly true that many of the elite cards are available to those that are not even in the United States, as we continue to see greater international flexibility from credit card issuers. According to a Boston Consulting Group report, an increasingly high volume of elite card holders are being found in countries like Qatar, where 143 of every 1000 families have more than $1 million in net wealth. Here, we will look at five elite credit card offerings specifically catered to the world richest borrowers. But note, these cards have some lofty requirements in exchange for dozens of advanced features.

  • 1. Citibank Ultima Card

Citibank promotes its Ultima credit card by asking “what do you give a person who has already everything with him? Probably a bit more!” The Citibank Ultima annual fee varies and its services are offered in Asia only. The Citibank Ultima card has an updated minimum for users’ assets in order to qualify for this credit card. A minimum of $4 million in assets is required to get membership of Citibank Ultima Card.

The members of the Citibank Ultima Card are partnered with their own lifestyle manager along with special card services. A Wall Street Journal article from 2010 reported that Citibank Ultima was charging a $3,000 annual fee. Ultima cardholders get 5-times the number of air miles and access to more than 500 airport lounges around the world. It also offers VIP lounges in more than 400 cities around the world.

  • 2. Visa Infinite Card

Visa Infinite Card offers premium credit card services in Kuwait, Canada, China, France, UAE, Singapore, Kenya and Jordan. Visa Infinite Card is not available in the United States. The card annual interest fee varies and its annual fees are around $250 or 800 Malaysian Ringgit. It covers all the premium facilities for the elite class, such as buying air tickets around the globe, booking for music concerts, hotel tickets, cultural events and also if you want to charter a boat.

You can also travel and visit golf countries and a weekend in Malaysian or Thai resorts. In Kuwait, you are required to posess $175,000 or 50,000 Kuwaiti dinars to get Visa Infinite Card membership. The Visa Infinite Card annual fee in Malaysia is 800 Ringgit, or $250 here in the United States.

  • 3. Coutts World Silk Card

Coutts is an old bank in the United Kingdom, owned by Royal Bank of Scotland. The Coutts Black and Silk cards are only available to Coutts bank clients, and card membership requires $30,000 per month spending. “Coutts cards are known as a sought-after and prestigious card, said Anna Cohn atBestcredit.net. “but the annual fee for the Silk card doesn’t apply to those memberships who have less than $77,000 annual spending, so there are pretty strict requirements in loyalty usage.”

The Coutts Silk card is a charge card- a credit card type in which you have to pay the balance of card in full at the end of each month and therefore it has zero interest rate. The Coutts World Silk card offers some perks like chartered yacht trips, festival tickets, airline booking, special lounges around the world, restaurant reservations and even free tutors for your children. Its special executive entry membership allows you to access 600 airport lounges around the world. Its annual fee is $350.

  • 4. JP Morgan Chase Palladium Card

JP Morgan Chase Palladium and Gold card were launched in 2009 and feature an encrypted chip which makes safe processing and data storage possible. This card requires a previous relationship with a JP Morgan Investment Bank or Wealth Bank. For each $1 spent on travel, you will get two points and a bonus of 35,000 points when you’re spending exceeds the limit of $100,000 per annum. The card agreement offers a free biplane ride when your points reach 23,000 and a skydiving lesson is available when you will reach 27,000 points. The JP Morgan Palladium card annual fee is $595.

  • 5. American Express Centurion Card

The American Express Centurion card was launched in 1999 and still falls under the category of most expensive and exclusive features credit cards. The American Express Centurion Card includes a $2,500 annual fee and $5,000 joining fee. Cardholders must also spend more than $250,000 per annum using the Gold or Platinum card. Its annual fee is $2,500, but its benefits are equal to the Amex card for an annual membership charge of $450. With premium card membership, you get elite status on US Airways and Delta. For domestic flights, you are eligible for free first-class upgrades with the Centurion membership.

Richard Cox
Richard Cox