Banking, Credit 

5 Affluent Banking Credit Cards You Can’t Afford

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That black beauty right there is the American Express Black Centurion Card. To make them, American Express harvested the cores of ten black holes and pressed them into little cards of pure consumerism-fueled spending bliss (hush all you physicists).

Want one? You’ll need $5,000 up front to pay for it, followed by $2500 a year in annual fees, plus a minimum spend of $250,000 a year. That’s right. A quarter of a million bucks. Whoo hooo, that’s some serious cash. But look at all the cool features of the American Express Centurion card! (a very extensive review of the AMEX Black by social marketing maven Neil Patel)

If that’s a little too rich for your blood, plenty of other companies are offering affluent banking services:

HSBC Premier

From Wikipedia:

HSBC Premier is the group’s premium financial services product. The exact benefits and qualification criteria vary depending on country, but typically require deposits and investments of at least $100,000, £50,000, or €100,000, or a mortgage of at least $500,000 or £250,000. Customers have a dedicated relationship manager, global 24 hour access to call centres and preferential rates.

Citi Chairman’s Card

Citi Chairman AMEX cardThis card doesn’t have any application requirements but the $500 annual fee is going to weed out its fair share of applicants. What do you get for five hundred bones a year?

  • 24/7 concierge to assist you with hotel, car & dinner reservations, vacation planning & gift ideas
  • Annual membership to Priority Pass Airport Lounge
  • VIP upgrades & savings at leading hotels. Plus, the benefits of a Hilton HHonors® Gold VIP member
  • Private jet services & chartered flight access from providers such as Marquis Jet
  • Access to exclusive VIP offers & discounts
  • Extraordinary travel benefits, unexpected rewards & personalized service


CitiGold Credit CardAccording to their FAQ, the membership requirements are “$100,000 or more in combined monthly balances, including eligible deposit, credit, investment and retirement products; OR $250,000 or more in combined monthly balances if your first mortgage is linked.” You have six months to reach that level, if you don’t you are subjected to account maintenance fees ($25/mo.). CitiGold also has a CitiGold Select if you have $500,000 in combined assets.

Other perks? If you’re traveling, you get access to CitiGold centers worldwide, which include phones, faxes, and meeting rooms. During an emergency, you can get up to $2,000 from your accounts within 30 minutes, preferential foreign exchange rates, and you can collect call CitiGold customer service.

Bank of America Accolades Card

Bank of America Accolades CardBank of America didn’t want to be left out of the affluent banking party and recently began offering their own version of the Black AMEX and calling it the Bank of America Accolades Card. It’s a Bank of America-American Express co-branded card and details of the program are still sketchy, despite it’s announcement a year ago. The “bar” for getting the card appears to be like the other affluent banking cards, $100,000 in assets invested ($295 annual fee is waived).

Forbes has a list of other affluent banking cards.

{ 5 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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5 Responses to “5 Affluent Banking Credit Cards You Can’t Afford”

  1. Miranda says:

    Nice. I suppose if you did a lot of travel some of these would be worth it — if you couldn’t arrange things yourself. However, it seems as though many of these cards cost more than they are worth. Especially that AMEX black.

  2. Fred says:

    Its hard to put a price on prestige. Clearly #1 on your list is the most prestigious. AMEX capitalized on the rumor of a “limitless black credit card” and came up with the Centurion Card – a card with great name (unlike BoA’s Accolade card which screams “rich poser”). Not that I can afford any of these 🙂

  3. jim says:

    Haha, they’re almost ALL more expensive than they’re worth.

  4. CK says:

    If you’re a true business road warrior, 200+ on the road, the Chairman card might be worth it. Access to airport lounges, room upgrades, and concierge service.

  5. Nellie says:

    I was once an assistant for a guy who had an AMEX Black Card. It was a blast to use (on his behalf). One memorable time was calling up AMEX and making arrangements for my boss and five other people to go to Doha, limousines from our small Midwestern town to the nearest big city airport (about 200 miles), fly first or business class, rooms for all of them plus 10 others at the Four Seasons (or better), a chartered tour for the men on second day, spa-type activities for the wives on the second day, a private party room with catering and a band on the second night, a yacht tour on the third day, and some other things I don’t remember (they returned home on the fourth day). The AMEX rep, who was probably the nicest, most accommodating and professional (and easy to understand), company telephone representative you would ever talk to, had most of it set up within a couple days. Like I said, a blast.

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