5 Credit Cards that only High Net Worth Individuals know about
Credit cards are often associated with various benefits such as cash back, dining promotions, card rewards and miles redemptions. Conferring a wide range of benefits upon the cardholder, the credit card is also often regarded as a status symbol, even landing itself a spot in the famous Singaporean “5Cs”.
For the super wealthy, credit card perks can take on a whole new level. Imagine a card with an unlimited credit limit and the ability to grant the cardholder endless exclusive invites and VIP treatments. Fulfilling any request takes just one phone call away. The perks are seemingly endless. They say the world is in your hands – in this case, one’s credit card.
These ultra elite and exclusive cards do exist, but membership carries an extremely high-income requirement. In fact, the application is strictly by invitation, extended to handpicked HNWIs (high net worth individuals). In other words, acquiring one of these cards would simply remain a dream for most of us.
Prestigious plastic perks
Common benefits across these cards include a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which grants the cardholder unlimited visits to over 1,000 airport lounges across the globe. For some, an airport “red carpet” meet and greet and limousine transfer would also be in order.
Air miles in the form of KrisFlyer miles or Asia miles would also be awarded upon annual fee payment, although the number of points and annual fee charged would vary.
On top of exclusive memberships and gaining special access, other common card benefits include many luxurious dining and accommodation privileges.
If you’re ever lucky and wealthy enough to acquire any of these highly unattainable plastics, here’s a rough guide of what you can expect.
UOB Reserve Card
Eligibility: Exclusive to UOB Privilege Reserve Client, or S$2 million assets under management with UOB
Annual Fee: S$3600 (before GST)
Being at least $2 million deep in reserves would most likely entitle one to an invitation for the UOB Reserve card. For the annual fee, cardholders will get 100,000 miles, plus an extra 100,000 miles if the cardholder manages to spend S$250,000 in a year. Additionally, and most notably, cardholders of the UOB Reserve Card are able to purchase unlimited discounted miles from UOB at a rate of S$19 per 1,000 miles.
Leading a lifestyle of luxury no stranger to the holder of the UOB Reserves card, who will get to enjoy complimentary personalized concierge services and limousine transfers (with a minimum spend required) as well as a four-hour private yacht experience (for up to 14 people) with complimentary champagne.
Elite membership and members-only access are part of the package, with a complimentary Gold Hilton Honors and a Club at the Hyatt membership which offers special room rates and up to 50% off on dining. In participating with luxury hotels such as Banyan Tree Resorts & Hotels, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Mandarin Oriental, the cardholder also gets to enjoy many perks that include room upgrades, welcome amenities, daily breakfast and late check-outs.
On top of enjoying special First/Business class fares, cardholders will get unlimited access to over 1000 airport lounges worldwide. Special access to Tower Club and China Club and selected clubs overseas such as Home House and Eight Members Club in London will be granted as well.
American Express Centurion card
Eligibility: Exclusive to American Express Centurion private banking partners
Annual Fee: S$ 7490
Once dubbed a myth and informally known as the AMEX black card, The Centurion Card is by far the most exclusive among the credit cards available in Singapore. The Centurion card boasts an unlimited credit limit, provided that the user maintains a clean credit history and hits the annual spending of $250,000.
A notable distinction from the other cards is that this card grants the cardholder the most number of elite status in hotel and airline loyalty programmes. Upon acquiring the card, cardholders will be instantly upgraded to elite status in hotel loyalty programmes such as IHG (Platinum), Shangri-La Golden Circle (Diamond), Hilton Honors (Diamond) and SPG (Gold), and airline loyalty programmes such as Emirates Skywards (Gold) and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (Gold). This gives the cardholder access to over 600 airport lounges.
Apart from getting VIP access to many other places such as the AMEX lounge, Delta Sky Club and Eurostar lounge, the cardholder also gets to enjoy a 24/7 personal concierge service as well as a “red carpet” meet and greet in 53 destinations when flying First or Business class. The cardholder is guaranteed to receive the most personal and exclusive treatment for travelling abroad.
DBS Insignia card
Eligibility: S$500,000 annual income, or S$3 million assets under management with DBS
Annual Fee: S$ 3000 (before GST)
Behold the first metal card in the world that comes with a contactless pay-wave function, the DBS Insignia card.
With one million credit to your name, the DBS Insignia card entitles the cardholder to exclusive access to facilities and endless top-notch privileges as well. A welcome gift of 100,000 air miles would be awarded, including a luxurious two-night stay at a luxury hotel or resort of the user’s choice.
Apart from getting access to over 1000 airport lounges worldwide with the PriorityPass, the cardholder also gets to breeze through immigration in Asian airports with the Speedpass.
Elite membership and special access are part of the package, awarding a Gold Hilton Honors and a Club at the Hyatt membership which includes many accommodation privileges and up to 50% off on dining. Access to luxury yachts at ONE°15 Marina Club and Damai Spa are also other notable perks.
In line with DBS’s customer-centric philosophy, the cardholder also gets to enjoy a personal concierge service with a dedicated team of DBS Insignia Service Ambassadors on standby 24/7.
Citibank ULTIMA card
Eligibility: $5 million assets under management with Citibank
Annual Fee: S$ 3,888
The Citi Ultima Visa Infinite is the second most pricey credit card to hold, with an annual fee clocking in at almost S$4,000. It shouldn’t be an issue to the cardholder, as the qualifying criteria are to have $5 million in assets under management at Citibank.
For that, every cardholder gets 150,000 air miles and a dedicated Lifestyle Relationship assigned to him to meet his needs. A Diamond with Hilton Honors will also be included, a notch is higher than Gold membership of other VISA cards. The cardholder also gets a complimentary night stay (with a minimum hotel booking of 2 nights) in over 900 selected properties and complimentary breakfast at participating Ritz Carlton and Starwood Luxury properties.
Apart from getting the airport red carpet treatment and getting access to over 1000 airport lounges worldwide with the PriorityPass, the Ultima Visa Infinite cardholder also gets a complimentary air ticket with a full fare first/business class flight booking.
OCBC Elite World card
Eligibility: S$250,000 annual income. Exclusive to OCBC Premier Banking customers
Annual Fee: S$1,605
With relatively lower qualifying criteria, The OCBC Elite World card is a (slightly) more attainable option among all the cards on this list. To qualify, the cardholder simply has to be an OCBC Premier Banking customer with an annual income of S$250,000.
With the card, exclusive dining privileges at Michelin-star restaurants are no longer a dream. Grand invites to top-class and even the most privy closed-door events would be extended to the cardholder. For the golfing enthusiasts, the OCBC Elite World Card entitles exclusive access to the same courses where the PGA pros play.
When it comes to going abroad, the cardholder gets to enjoy an immigration clearance and the VIP red carpet treatment and limo transfer. “No request is too great” for the elite too, with exclusive MasterCard personal concierge services.
Table summary for comparison:
These prestigious cards meant for the elite 1% may have seemingly endless perks, however, there are still plenty of credit cards that carry a wide range of benefits and rewards that don’t require you to be a multi-millionaire.
To find the best credit card that fits your needs, click on the articles below.