Credit Cards of the Rich & Famous

By: Richard Greenwood

Most Prestigious Credit Cards
You may have heard of the recent antics of a high-rolling businessman and his recent night out with friends in an exclusive London nightclub.

  • In one evening, the businessman and 15 friends (excluding those who crashed the party) quenched their huge thirst with 102 bottles of champagne, 11 bottles of vodka and a huge Methuselah bottle of champagne (the equivalent of 8 regular-size bottles). The bill is a massive $105,805 for one night.

    The Dubai-based businessman had no problem paying for it. He simply whipped out his American Express Centurion (commonly known as American Express Black) card, and the bill was settled.

Most Prestigious Credit Cards
Top Credit Cards for The Super Rich & Famous
The market is rich, but there is increasing competition in attracting the elites to take up these credit cards. Here are some of the top credit cards for the rich and famous.

1) American Express Elite Credit Cards
Amex has taken the first and second slots in a ranking of credit card preferences among high-net worth (minimum $5 million) and high-income (at least $200,000 annually) consumers.

These two American Express credit cards are typical of the new credit cards for the elite - expensive card products that offer equally expensive perks, like access to private islands and private jets, to those willing to spend amounts ordinary mortals can only dream about.

  • American Express Centurion (Amex Black)
    The American Express Black cardholder should spend a minimum of $250,000 annually to be a member.  The American Express Black must also be one of the most exclusive cards. Membership is by invitation only and there is an annual fee of $2,500.
  • American Express Platinum.
    The American Express Platinum card may come at a lower fee than some other exclusive cards ($450 a year annual fee), but they will look after you with assurances such as their offer to evacuate injured American Express members and their families from wherever vacation location they are to where they can be given quality medical attention.

Credit cards for the mega rich are becoming attractive options and big earners for credit card issuers. They may not make much from finance charges but 4% merchant servicing fees can mean quite a bundle, if the purchase volume is high enough. That businessman's champagne-laden transaction could yield American Express at least $4,000 in processing fees.

2) Coutts World Mastercard Signia
They reportedly gives cardholders the opportunity to live like royalty, after all Queen Elizabeth II is a Coutts card holder. You pay $700 annual membership fee, but that is waived if you spend enough using your Coutts plastic - enough being $100,000 a year. You cannot apply for the Coutts Purple; membership for this too is by invitation only.

3) Smith Barney has its Chairman's Card
The annual membership is $400. They also offers special perks, including a facility that will set up your quiet dinner meetings at New York's most exclusive restaurants (and in Los Angeles).

4) Stratus Rewards Visa
By-invitation only card that allows you to fly on private jets when you redeem rewards points.

5) Accolades Card
Bank of America recently launched its Accolades card, which uses the American Express network and offers the common (for this elite class of cards) perks like premium tickets to concerts. The Accolades card has a match-your-donation offer (up to $2,500 a year) for its philanthropic cardholders who wish to make charitable contributions. Membership is reserved for those with at least $100,000 of assets in Bank of America's private banking division.

Most Prestigious Credit Cards
By using and being seen using these most prestigious credit cards, the Ultra Rich get the status symbol. But not only that, they also get big benefits when using these cards. They are in the stratosphere.

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