Reading the recent post about the AMEX Black credit card reminded me of my first foray into the world of paying via plastic.
At age 25 (yes, I was a late bloomer!), I received an application for a Discover card. I’m pretty sure as far as credit cards go, Discover is the easiest to get. Unfortunately, soon after turning in my credit card application, I was laid off from my job.
The folks at Discover card did not know that, however, and mere days after receiving my walking papers I also received my brand new Discover card. I called my Mom to share the glorious news. “They gave a credit card to an unemployed person?” she said. (Mom always has a way of seeing the clouds in the silver lining…) “Is this a great country or WHAT?!” I replied.
Thus I entered the “grown up” world of credit cards. Soon after getting my Discover card, I applied for a Visa card because, as we all know, there are a number of places that won’t take Discover. After a few years of timely payments, my Visa credit card company offered to upgrade my card to the “Gold” strata . This was my first experience with a status credit card. It came with an increased spending limit–which I never took advantage of–and a number of other benefits that I remained blissfully ignorant of. I was just happy to have the superior status designated by the gold-toned piece of plastic.
It wasn’t too long until the Visa people again upgraded me to Platinum. “Seriously?” I thought, “There’s something better than GOLD?” I decided to check with the Discover card people since that was my main source of credit. “Y’all wouldn’t happen to have a PLATINUM Discover card?” I inquired. “Yes, we do. Would you like us to upgrade your account?” the customer service person replied.
You better believe I would!
After reaching the platinum strata, it occurred to me: What could the NEXT level possibly be? Titanium? Plutonium? Unobtainium, perhaps?
It turns out the pinnacle of credit card status symbols is the aforementioned American Express Black card which is made of titanium. With an initiation fee of five grand, an annual fee of $2,500 and a minimum spending level of $250,000 per year, it’s doubtful I’ll ever achieve titanium level. Neither of my Platinum cards have any annual or membership fees attached to them and I make nowhere near $250,000 a year, so it’s unlikely that I’d be able to meet the minimum spending requirements.
(I know that’s not an issue with some credit card users, but I’ve always adhered to the “Spend less than you make” philosophy of finance…)
Ironically, my “Platinum” Discover card is no longer actually platinum in color as I’ve chosen a more personalized design of a colorful sunburst on a black background (I always get compliments on my credit card!) . As intrigued as I am by status credit cards–despite never using any of the benefits afforded by them–that’s about as close as I’ll get to possessing a Black card.
If Discover or Visa adds a PLUTONIUM level, however, I may very well have to check it out.
Do you have or have any interest in status credit cards? Which ones and why?
- AMEX Black: The Most Interesting Credit Card in the World…
- Visa Black Card Review
- Talbots Credit Card
- What is different about gold credit cards?
- The 5 Most Expensive Credit Cards of All Time (and How to Get the Same Perks for Cheap)
- Charge Card vs Credit Card: Which is Better?
- Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union Visa Titanium Credit Card