The 5 Most Expensive Credit Cards of All Time (and How to Get the Same Perks for Cheap)

Years ago, credit cards were a product that was only available to those that lived a lifestyle of luxury. These days, nearly anyone can get a credit card account, as long as they’re capable of paying the bill on time.

Lifestyle of Luxury

To fill that high-end demand, there are a whole slew of luxury cards just for the rich. If your current financial situation has you knee-deep in cash, here are some upscale options available to you: The 5 Most Expensive Credit Cards of All Time.

1. American Express Centurion Card

American Express Centurion Credit 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.

2. Stratus White Card

Stratus Rewards White Credit 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.

3. American Express Platinum Card

American Express Platinum Credit 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.

4. Citibank Chairman’s Card

Citi 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, so it also has many of the requisite benefits that are also offered by the Platinum and Centurion cards described above.

5. Visa Black Card

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. Which may make it lighter weight and easier to lose, but it’s apparently a feature.

Luxury Credit Card Alternatives

If you want to feel like a big deal, but don’t want to drop several hundred dollars on a premium card, there are cheaper alternatives that allow you many of the same benefits.

One of the biggest perks of status cards is VIP airline lounge access. This is really only useful if you’re a frequent travelers—but if you are, then you can get annual access to these lounges for a few hundred dollars. Some airlines even allow you to pay for access with miles. Having access to these lounges is nice because they offer free wireless internet and put out healthy food options, which is great for traveling.

American Express’s recent introduction of covering a few hundred dollars of airline fees for its cardholders is a smart move, especially with the ridiculous number of service fees that airlines now add on. Of course, if you had the money for these cards, you probably wouldn’t be complaining about having to pay for an in-flight meal, right?

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