This week, we heard the news that Revolut have introduced a highly exclusive metal credit card. Made from reinforced steel and weighing a total of 18 grams, this is credit card that drips luxury. Designed to look great in the discerning customer’s wallet, this black card comes with a host of expected benefits: up to 1% cashback on purchases, free overseas medical insurance and delayed baggage/delayed flight insurance, and an exclusive concierge service.
So far, so impressive. But realistically, metal gimmicks aside, the new offering from Revolut is just one of many luxury credit cards available from all of the major brands. Each comes packed with their own perks. Here are a few facts about one of the more discrete financial products.
Exclusive credit cards are often reserved for premium customers
Before you ask us how to go about getting one, the most exclusive credit cards on the market aren’t available for just anybody. Take the new Revolut card, for example: at the moment, there are only 10,000 available and you’ll have to be a Premier Customer in order to get one. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – while this card should eventually be made available to other customers, many black cards are only offered to clients of particular firms. Even then, you would need to receive an invitation.
Of course, this is just the crème de la crème: there are also cards available that anyone can apply for. To get one of these, you need to have a high income or be able to maintain a high balance: The Natwest Black Card requires an annual salary of £70,000, whilst you can only have a Barclay’s Infinite Card if you maintain £50,000 in cash or investments with them.
Some luxury cards develop a cult status…
… to the extent that there’s a whole website dedicated to sharing information about exclusive cards, the famous figures who own them, and their place in pop culture. It’s not unusual to see somebody flash their exclusive Black Card in films and TV, usually as a sign that the character in question is flush with cash.
You have to spend big to save big
The luxury element of these cards comes at a price: usually a large annual fee plus, potentially, a larger-than-usual APR. For something particularly extravagant, look at the Coutts World Silk Card with an APR of 49.1%, or the Morgan Chace Palladium Card with an annual fee of $595.
Back on Earth, high-income customers looking for benefits such as air miles and access to exclusive customer lounges can expect fees of £150-£250.
Using an exclusive credit card
So whilst we’ve probably ruled out the invitation-only cards favourited by rappers and royals, should higher earners consider getting the luxury cards made available by their banks? Well, cards like the Revolut Metal or the Natwest Black Card could be good wealth building tools, if you cover a few criteria:
– You’re not already in debt, and you plan to use your card responsibly
– You have a high net worth, several times your annual wages
– The benefits that you receive will outweigh the annual cost (this can mean convenience as well as hard cash)
For the rest of us, well, it’s probably just as well that the temptation of a ludicrously high (or even limitless) isn’t available.