Super premium credit cards are provided to a select few Ultra High Net Worth individuals, who can not only afford the high joining and renewal fee, but can also spend several lakh rupees with every swipe.
Super premium credit cards aren’t for the faint-hearted. These are provided to a select few Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals, who can not only afford the high joining and renewal fee, but can also spend several lakh rupees with every swipe. That’s easy to do when the credit card comes with practically no spending limit. Super Premium Cards (SPCs) also provide premium services such as unlimited access to lounges, high-quality concierge services, gift vouchers worth lakhs of rupees for luxury lifestyle brands, and curated experiences such as home visits from world class chefs.
Most credit cards can be applied for by going to the card’s website or bank branch. This isn’t the case with SPCs. They are typically an invitation-only offering. Credit card companies carefully create a list of customers who can be afforded this luxury. Persons who are not UHNW or not on the invitee list are not likely to receive these cards.
Often, the list contains customers who’ve already availed another one of the company or bank’s services, such as wealth management. They may also be holders of another credit card from the same company and may have become eligible for an SPC by spending up to a certain high limit.
It’s not unusual for an SPC to be lined with precious metal or jewels. For example, the AmEx Black Card is made of titanium. These cards provide great brag value. However, there’s much more they offer to those who can afford them. SPCs are a way the super-rich can accentuate their lifestyles.
For example, it is reported that an SPC company picked up and delivered sand from the Dead Sea to a customer’s child in London working on a school project about the Holy Land. In another instance, a card company delivered a rare, autographed copy of the latest book from the Harry Potter series. These are highly aspirational items that even money would struggle to buy. Those are just the concierge services. The typical SPC also provides gift vouchers for luxury brands such as Canali, Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta—goods worth lakhs of rupees. This helps recover the costs of joining and renewal fees, which are very high.
The joining and annual fees for SPCs range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 4 lakh. Even if you’re eligible for such a card, paying Rs 1-2 lakh in non-refundable fees may not be appetising if you’re not interested in what you get in return. These cards should be taken after careful evaluation of all benefits, gifts, and rewards. For example, a card provides you Hugo Boss gift vouchers every year. This offering is useful to you if you prefer Hugo Boss to other brands. The fee you pay may be repaid to you through these gifts and rewards; however, the card must help you maintain or improve the lifestyle that you want. As another example, a card may offer yacht lessons, but you need to be interested in sailing to find this useful.
In essence, an SPC provides UHNW individuals access to ultra-premium experiences in travel, lifestyle, entertainment, and fine dining. Additionally, they provide premium concierge services and curated experiences. However, these benefits need to be weighed against the fees.
The author is CEO, BankBazaar.com