5 Most Exclusive Credit Cards

stack of multicolored credit cards on black background.
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Being rich is one thing; being so rich that you pay to have an exclusive credit card in order to spend your riches is another.

In a country saturated with credit cards, just five stand out as the most exclusive. These cards tout respectable perks, high annual fees and may act as wallet-sized status symbols. This is especially true in the case of the Centurion Card® from American Express, Member FDIC, also known as the Black Card.

Most Prestigious Credit Cards

Which are the most exclusive credit cards in the world? What do they offer and what does one need to be eligible for them? Take a look. 

Card Best For Fees
Centurion Card® from American Express High Net Worth Individuals Annual fee: $5,000 and a $10,000 initiation fee
APR: Unpublished
Memberships Annual fee:
APR:
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Business Rewards Annual fee: $695
APR:
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Frequent Travelers Annual fee: $395
APR:
Airport Lounge Access Annual fee:
APR:

Centurion Card® from American Express

  • Best For: Individuals with very high net worth
  • Welcome Offer: Unknown

How do you apply for an American Express Black Card? Don’t call them; they’ll call you. Half of what makes the Centurion Card — also known as the Black Card — from American Express so exclusive is the fact that it is available by invite-only. Additionally, it boasts very high fees: a $5,000 annual fee and a $10,000 initiation fee. The Black Card offers 1.5 points per dollar on purchases over $5,000 — up to 1 million additional points per calendar year — and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

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This card is veiled in mystery, which only adds to its exclusivity. There’s not much public information out there about it, but reportedly you must charge $100,000 a year and have excellent credit to qualify for it.

  • Best For: Individuals with memberships in various programs
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points by spending $6,000 in the first six months.

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers perks galore for a cool $695 a year. These perks include earning 5x membership rewards points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express® Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, and earning 5x membership rewards points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. It also offers $200 statement credits for airline fees and hotels.

This card shines in the variety of discounts and credits for various memberships it offers. Statement credits for digital entertainment — like Audible, Hulu and Disney+ — and memberships in Delta Sky Club, Hilton Honors and InCircle are just a few of the things you can get by paying with this card.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Best For: Business owners who travel frequently
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards Points by spending $15,000 in the first three months.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is another perks-heavy option that also comes at a rather steep membership fee of a year. You can earn 5x membership rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel and 1.5x points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

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And that’s just the tip of the Business Platinum iceberg — you’ll also have access to $400 in credits for Dell Technologies purchases, a $360 Indeed credit and a $150 Adobe credit, among other perks, to help your business thrive.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Best For: Those who travel frequently
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 miles by spending $4,000 in the first three months.

For $395 a year, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card holders can get the following and more: up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, 10,000 bonus miles — equal to $100 towards travel — every year, starting on your first anniversary, unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel. Not to mention the 2x miles for all other purchases.

This is a most exclusive choice for frequent flyers. Beyond the miles, this card offers airport lounge access in both Capital One lounges and its partners’ lounges, price matching within 24 hours for flight costs and access to Capital One Dining and Capital One Entertainment.

  • Best For: Those who use airport lounges
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points by spending $4,000 in the first three months.

The price tag on this card is steep for many, but that’s the cost of exclusivity — and the Chase Sapphire Reserve touts a number of perks that are great for travelers. Among them: a $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year; 5x points earned on flights and 10x points earned on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards once you’ve exceeded the $300 for the travel credit.

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You’ll also receive complimentary airport lounge access to over 1,300 VIP lounges worldwide when you enroll in Priority Pass Select. You’ll also have access to culinary, sports and entertainment experiences with Reserved by Sapphire, the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection and customer service specialists at all hours.

Final Take

All of these cards have their exclusive perks, and all of them tout moderate to high to very high fees to use. If you’re thinking about getting a prestigious credit card, make sure you have an excellent credit score and a history of paying your balance in full on time. And if you’re looking for an invite from American Express for its Centurion card, get rich and get charging — responsibly, of course!

FAQ

  • Which is the most prestigious credit card in the world?
    • The most prestigious credit card is the American Express® Centurion Card, also known as the Black Card. Shrouded in mystery, it is supposedly reserved for people who spend at least $100,000 per year, and an invitation directly from American Express is required to apply.
  • What cards do billionaires use?
    • The credit card billionaires most famously use is the Centurion® Card from American Express, which is reportedly designated for those who spend at least $100,000 a year on the card and are invited directly by American Express to sign up for the card.
    • Everything else on this list is available to the public, so while it may be exclusive for ordinary people, only the Centurion is elusive enough to be worthy of the wallets of the rich and famous.
  • What credit card do rich people use the most?
    • Rich people often opt for the Centurion Card® from American Express, an elite credit card that is expensive to keep and available by invite-only.
  • What's higher than a black card?
    • The black card is the most exclusive color credit card.
  • What is the credit card with the highest limit?
    • The Centurion Card® from American Express reportedly has no spending limit; but the balance must be paid in full every month.

Amber Barkley contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 17, 2023.

All information about American Express card offers has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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