World’s Most Expensive Credit Cards

Thanks to high unemployment and rising personal bankruptcies, banks in the credit card business suffered their first losses in decades last year. The rich still love their plastic, and banks are ready to soak them for all they’re worth with an array of elite cards–keys to exclusive and expensive privileges most working stiffs can only dream about.

They can be used to secure a private jet, rent a yacht at a moment’s notice or drop in the VIP tent at the Monaco Grand Prix. Even the cards themselves are different, made with titanium or carbon or embedded with diamond chips. Such cards will “generally” also offer genuine benefits to their customers such as reduced interest rates on your balance, a higher spending limit, better terms and conditions, attractive reward schemes and other benefits.

These credit cards will in most cases have a name such as a gold card or a platinum card and many customers will buy them simply for the prestige they promise.

American Express Centurion Card

Annual Fee: $2,500

Benefits: Complementary companion airline tickets, privileges at high-end hotel chains, card made out of real titanium.

Renowned the world over as THE “AmEx Black Card“, this is the crème de la crème of luxury cards—including the pricey $2,500 annual fee. But the reality is that since the card itself has particular spending requirements – you need to spend over $250,000 per year – the people who use this card can afford it. This card gives you all the benefits of an American Express Platinum (see below) and many more, like complimentary airline tickets plus a card that can’t go through a metal detector without setting it off.

Stratus White Card

Annual Fee: $1,500

Benefits: Marquis Jet Rewards, access to exclusive Vivre Rewards, Sony VIP Shopping service.

Owning to the notion that the world needs a true competitor to American Express’s Centurion Card, the Stratus Rewards Visa White card puts a spin on things. For one thing, the card assumes that the ultra wealthy don’t really use commercial airlines and thus forgoes many of the benefits associated with high end cards by providing private jet services via Marquis Jets, among other crazy benefits.

American Express Platinum Card

Annual Fee: $500

Benefits: VIP airport lounge access, $200 airlines credit, roadside assist.

The American Express Platinum Card was once the standard of premium cards. It still is, in the eyes of mere mortals who must toil away for an employer, but for the steep annual fee you do get access to private airline lounges, a credit for spending extra cash on flights, and “free” perks like concierge and roadside assistance. Plus the points that you earn on the card can be redeem for a wide array of products in Amex’s online mall.

Citibank Chairman’s Card

Annual Fee: $500

Benefits: flight time credits for Marquis Jet, VIP airline lounges, free breakfast and upgrades at hotels.

The Chairman’s card from Citi is an exclusive card that is offered to the bank’s wealth management customers. It offers eye-popping benefits such as reduced fees associated with private jet usage that only the richest card holders could afford anyway. It’s issued by American Express.

Visa Black Card

Annual Fee: $495

Benefits: VIP airport lounge access, luxury Gifts, card made out of carbon.

The Visa Black Card is the company’s card to try to woo those who may be interested in American Express’s Centurion Card. The annual fee is not ridiculous (comparatively), and the requirements to become a member are not as extravagant. But you can still get some pretty good benefits that are on par with the Amex Platinum, plus you get a card that is black in color and made out of carbon.