The 11 Most Exclusive Black Cards You Didn’t Know About
Beyond the slew of regular credit cards within reach of the masses are the gold cards, platinum cards and even the rare titanium cards that exist for those who qualify.
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But there’s also another, even more exclusive class of credit cards: Black cards. These ultra-high-status cards — which are generally granted by invitation only — often have no credit limit, in addition to a host of other features that cater to the dining, travel and entertainment proclivities of society’s most elite members.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 11 most exclusive black cards out there.
How To Get a Black Card
Members of the 1% — or perhaps the 0.1% — may get an invitation for a black card, as some of these high-status cards are only available to consumers that the issuing bank deems worthy. What makes one worthy? Not just how much you earn, but how much you spend. Black card issuers typically only consider clients who spend upwards of six figures a year with their credit card. Another possibility for receiving a coveted invitation is by having an account at a bank that is well aware of your income level, assets and outstanding credit — and/or if the issuing bank manages those assets.
Requirements for these cards are often kept under wraps, so it can be hard to determine the exact income, asset or spending levels that are needed to qualify. Though the saying, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it,” is in play here. That may sound like you’re totally roped off from acquiring these cards, but by building your wealth and using your existing credit responsibly, a black card could be in your future.
Top 11 Most Exclusive Black Cards
Hailed as symbols of status and wealth, these are the most difficult black cards to get. But if you qualify, there’s no harm in aiming for the best of the best. Here are the top 10 most exclusive black cards:
Dubai First Royale Mastercard
The Dubai First Royale MasterCard — a gold-plated diamond-embedded card available by invitation only — is believed to have only around 200 members worldwide. It has no spending limit, no restrictions and each cardholder has a dedicated relationship manager. The annual fee for the Royale Card has not been publicly disclosed, but is rumored to be around $2,000 .
Dubai First Amazing Card
The Dubai First Amazing Card is designed for those who frequent Dubai parks and resorts and charge liberally. The card touts 1 Free Annual Pass to 2 Dubai Parks and Resorts, 30% savings on 1-Day Tickets each time one visits Dubai Parks and Resorts, 15% savings on dining at all establishments within Bollywood Parks Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park and MOTIONGATETM Dubai, 10% savings on merchandise at Bollywood Parks Dubai LEGOLAND ® Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park and MOTIONGATETM Dubai, and allows holders to skip park lines with its Q-Fast privileges.
For each dollar charged, cardholders earn three Amazing Points when shopping inside the parks, two Amazing Points anywhere overseas and one Amazing Point within UAE. The annual fee for the Amazing Card is AED 1,500 or about $408 USD, and the monthly interest rate is 2.59%-3.59% or 31.08%-43.08% APR.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard
The HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard — featuring a variable APR of 14.99% to 18.99% –allows card holders to earn 50,000 Rewards Bonus Points worth $750 in airfare (when booked online through HSBC Travel from Rewards) upon spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Users can get 3X travel points, X Rewards Points on new travel purchases, 2X dining points, 2X points on new dining purchases and 1X points on all other purchases. To qualify, you must have a U.S. HSBC Premier checking account — and be willing to part with the $395 annual fee. Benefits such as ID theft protection, identity fraud expense reimbursement, and tap-and-go contactless payment are included. You can also use the card to protect your cellular wireless phone — HSBC will reimburse up to $800 per claim resulting from theft or damage.
American Express Centurion Card
The American Express Centurion Card features an initiation fee of $10,000, an annual fee of $5,000 and no preset spending limit. American Express may, however, decline a transaction based on its assessment of your creditworthiness or in the instance of what it believes to be a fraudulent transaction. The American Express black card APR equals the prime rate plus 25.24%. No application exists for the Amex black card available online, and the company is tight-lipped about the requirements for an invitation.
Luxury Card: Mastercard Black Card
The Black Mastercard from Luxury Card is within reach if you are willing to pay the $495 annual fee. In exchange, you get 2% value on airfare redemptions, 1.5% cash back and access to a Luxury Card concierge who will make travel reservations and assist with personal requests. Travelers also receive a $100 airline credit.
World Mastercard holders get a 3-month membership to DoorDash DashPass (plus a $5 discount on their first 2 orders every month through Sept. 30, 2022), a 5% discount on each HelloFresh purchase and up to a $90 discount on their first 4 orders. The perks extend to Lyft too, for which holders get a $5 credit after every 3 months, and a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which gets you unlimited free 2-day shipping and return shipping on over 100 retailers. Holders also get cell phone protection up to $1,000 in yearly coverage (maximum two claims per year, for up to $600 per claim) provided you pay your bills on time.
Citi Ultima Mastercard
The Citi Ultima Mastercard offers automatic travel insurance, Priority Pass membership and concierge service. Cardholders get a credit line up to RUB 1,500,000 (roughly $20,625 USD) foreign travel insurance up to $500,000, free Priority Pass membership and concierge service. The card charges 16 to 29% per year and 13.9 to 26% annual fees on Equal Payment Plan Transactions. To apply, you need a passport and 2 NDFL personal income tax forms (unless you receive a personal offer from Citibank).
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
Frequent fliers of American Airlines can get the ultimate in credit card perks with this prestigious card. Holders get 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles Features plus include a complimentary membership to the Admirals Club, priority check-in and boarding, a free checked bag for up to 8 people in your party and 25% savings on select inflight purchases. The annual fee for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is $450, and the the APR is up to 29.99% .
Citi Premier Card
Designed for travelers, the Citi Premier card enables holders to earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening, which are redeemable for $800 in gift cards. The card features an annual fee of $95, and 15.99% to 23.99% purchase rate. Holders also earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels, and 1X on every other purchase, redeemable for gift cards, travel rewards, and more.
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan
Few brands conjure up visions of grandeur and opulence like Ritz-Carlton, so carrying a black card that bears the name of this luxury hotel chain is impressive in itself. Cardholders get up to 21 paid nights at Ritz-Carlton upgraded to the Club Level, unlimited use of $100 discount on paid stays of 2 or more nights, up to $100 in statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, Marriott Gold Elite status plus the power to go Platinum after spending $75,000 on the card per year and more. No online application exists, however, those who want it can get it by opening any Chase Marriott credit card and waiting one year upon opening that account. You also need a total credit line of at least $10,000 with Chase.
J.P. Morgan Rewards Card
J.P. Morgan Rewards Card cardholders earn $300 annual travel reimbursement credit, 3X points per dollar spent on travel and dining (after the reimbursement credit us used, 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases.You’ll also snag 10X points per dollar on Lyft rides. The annual fee is $595.
Other Black Cards
If none of the above cards suit your fancy, there are a few more you might consider. Although some of them are not the most elite, they’re still pretty impressive.
Coutts Silk Card
Coutts is a private bank in the U.K. that issues its own annual-fee free charge card to its clients only. Your credit line and interest rate may vary depending on your creditworthiness, and you may be required to pay your balance in full each month.
Visa Signature Card
The Visa Signature Card offers travel benefits like complimentary concierge service, chauffeured car service and travel and emergency assistance services. Specific benefits, fees, interest rates and requirements vary depending on the issuing bank.
CONNECT Citi Chairman American Express Card
The CONNECT Citi Chairman American Express Card offers exclusive experiences, a travel rewards program and a concierge team to help you plan it all. Holders also get presale access to millions of tickets for live events. No online application exists, so information regarding interest rates or annual fee is not readily available.
Eurasian Bank Visa Infinite
The Eurasian Bank Visa Infinite offers holders up to 30% bonuses for every purchase. The 30% comprises + 1% guaranteed bonus, + 30% for payments in your favorite category in Smartbank, + 2% for contactless payments (Apple Pay / Samsung pay) and an additional purchase bonus of + 1%.
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Nicole Spector contributed to the reporting for this article.
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