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7 Credit Card Perks Only the 1% Enjoy


Take a peek at the credit card perks that only the biggest spenders can get.


Man with cash raining down on him.

Image source: Getty Images

While it’s easy enough to look up the features of most credit cards, there’s a small number of cards that are shrouded in mystery. These are the cards that credit card companies only offer to a select group of consumers, the kind of people who spend several hundred thousand, or even millions of dollars per year.

Given the exclusive nature of these cards, it’s natural to be curious about just how good their benefits can be. Who wouldn’t want to know what features you get when you’re carrying one of the rarest cards on the planet? Here are some of the perks that these types of cards have to offer.

1. A dedicated concierge

Clients with exclusive credit cards receive a level of service far beyond what you get with any other card. One way that credit card companies provide the absolute best service is by offering dedicated concierges.

A dedicated concierge is essentially there to fulfill any request that the client has, whether that’s making travel arrangements, ordering the perfect last-minute gift, or scoring front-row tickets to a concert.

Now, there are credit cards anyone can apply for that offer concierge service. The difference is that with those cards, any concierge who is available will assist you. With a dedicated concierge, you can get the same person every time.

2. Restaurant reservations at a moment’s notice

If you need a table at a popular restaurant, you either need to call well in advance, or hope that luck is on your side. Not so for those with the right credit card.

Some credit card companies make preemptive reservations every night at restaurants all over the world, specifically for cardholders who use their best credit cards. When a cardholder wants to dine at one of these restaurants, they can claim this reservation instead of needing to make one of their own.

3. Elite status with airlines and hotels

An exclusive credit card often means complimentary access to elite status with airlines and hotels, the kind of status you normally can’t reach unless you use them frequently.

To be fair, there are many "regular" travel credit cards that offer this as well, but they generally don’t get you up into the same tier of service that an exclusive card does. If a standard hotel card has complimentary silver status, an exclusive card may offer gold or platinum status. And higher status means a lot more perks.

4. A personal guide through customs

The most soul-sucking part of international travel is probably when you arrive at your destination after a long flight, only to end up in a customs line with 100 people ahead of you.

Those with the right high-end credit card don’t need to worry about these kinds of inconveniences, because at many of the biggest international airports, they get their very own guide to help speed them through customs and immigration. 

5. Complimentary gifts

Yes, when you’re rich enough, you can actually get gifts just for having a credit card. Credit card companies often reward clients that use their most expensive cards with special gifts, especially around the holidays.

What kind of gifts are we talking? Here are a few examples:

  • Dinner at an expensive restaurant
  • Limited-edition wines or Champagnes
  • Jewelry

These gifts are certainly a nice touch for those who get them. I wouldn’t feel too jealous, though, because those clients also need to pay hefty annual fees (often several thousand dollars) for the privilege of using their exclusive credit card.

6. VIP access to events

Like the popular kids at school, cardholders of the most luxurious credit cards also get invited to all the best parties. They receive offers for VIP experiences at big events that would be either off limits to the general public, or at least very difficult for most people to access.

7. Approval on every transaction

It’s always embarrassing when you’re buying a yacht and your credit card gets declined. At least, I’d assume so.

Certain exclusive cards have no spending limit and guarantee that every transaction is approved, no matter the cost. Although there are charge cards with no preset spending limits that anyone can get, their card issuers will still put a cap on how much you can spend.

Different types of credit card perks

What sets these exclusive credit cards apart is that their benefits are primarily aimed at improving the lives of cardholders. They’re certainly not intended to help clients save money or rack up a bunch of rewards. In fact, many of these cards have rather low rewards rates.

Even among people who qualify for this type of credit card, opinions are mixed. Some love exclusive cards and find their perks to be extremely useful, and others see these cards as nothing more than overhyped status symbols.

Whichever side you fall on, it’s obvious that no one needs these perks. They may be nice to have, but even if you’re one of the many who don’t qualify for a high-end card, there are plenty of other cards that are still chock-full of benefits.

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The Motley Fool owns and recommends MasterCard and Visa, and recommends American Express. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule. If we wouldn’t recommend an offer to a close family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Ascent either. Our number one goal is helping people find the best offers to improve their finances. That is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

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