Card issuers are eager to increase profits by signing up wealthier clients to their elite credit card accounts as not only do these clients charge large amounts to the credit cards racking up huge interest payments, but card issuers also receive a fee from merchants for each swipe of the credit card.
Looking To The Higher End of the Financial Spectrum
With today’s financial climate showing more and more consumers are struggling to repay debts, it seems only natural that banks and credit card issuers are looking to the higher end of the spectrum and focusing on wealthier clients with higher credit scores. The market for elite credit cards is ever increasing as more and more lenders flood it with elite credit card account options for a select number of clients.
These elite cards can often offer luxury perks and rewards which make the average credit card perks such as cash back and air miles pale in comparison. The cards are often seen as status symbols among the wealthy. Here is a closer look at some of the high end or elite credit card accounts available on the market.
Exclusive Black Centurion Card
One of the most exclusive of these credit cards is the Black American Express Centurion Card, offered only to American Express’s biggest spenders. The card is available by invite only to those clients who spend over the minimum annual limit set for acquiring the card. It is also subject to a substantial initiation fee and high annual charges. Account holders can enjoy exclusive benefits including personal concierge services, travel benefits including private jet charter service, and shopping options with exclusive high-end retail outlets.
Platinum Card From American Express
For those not quite reaching the minimum spend required for the Black Centurion Card, American Express offers a platinum account. It carries a lower annual fee, but still offers many of the same exclusive benefits as the Centurion account. A large number of Platinum cardholders are actually eligible for the Centurion account, but decline the invitation as they would not use the additional benefits and it would not be worthwhile to pay the additional charges.
Bank of America also offers a credit card aimed at clients with a high net worth. The Accolades card does carry an annual fee, although it is often waived for wealthier clients. The Accolades account offers cardholders a wide range of luxurious benefits and rewards. Account holders can access exclusive privileges such as event tickets, airline tickets, and restaurant reservations.
The account also carries a more basic range of privileges such as airport lounge access, free emergency medical coverage, identity theft protection, concierge services, and access to exclusive hotel services worldwide. Account holders can also opt to use their loyalty points to make a charitable donation.
One elite credit card which carries no annual fee is the Chase Sapphire, but the card is far less exclusive than the previously discussed cards. It is aimed at the top 15% of households in America. The substantial rewards program has no restrictions or black out dates and offers numerous bonus loyalty points when used to make purchases with preferred merchants and retailers. The account also carries many of the benefits that other elite cards have on offer, including concierge services, VIP passes to events, and special “once in a lifetime” events. However, the Chase Sapphire account does carry fairly strict penalties for late payments.
Visa Black Card
The Visa Black Card can be applied for online, and has a more affordable annual fee than many of the other elite credit card accounts, but membership is limited to only one percent of American citizens. As well as offering cash back on all purchases, the card awards loyalty points which can be redeemed for travel on any airline with no restrictions or blackout dates, for stays at top hotels and for car rentals. Cardholders of Visa Black Card can also take advantage of a 24 hour concierge service which assists members with business, travel, and leisure needs.
In conclusion, banks and credit card issuers are gearing products towards wealthier clients who are not only spending large amounts annually, but who are also willing to pay substantial fees in order to receive exclusive rewards and benefits. These elite cards are often seen as a status symbol, so even consumers who may not be interested in the extra services may be tempted to sign up in order to present a certain image.