Archive for February, 2010

Credit Card Issuers Now Courting the Super-Rich

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Why are credit card issuers vying for business from the super rich?

Because they spend money, and when they spend money, the card issuers make money. Some of the super-wealthy spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year – using plastic because it is so much easier than writing a check or carrying cash.

And every time a merchant swipes one of those cards for a major purchase, the credit card issuer gets a share.

So how do they compete to get the wealthy customers? By appealing to their love of the prestige and the exclusive perks that come with these exclusive cards.

Surprisingly, some do it by charging such huge application and annual fees that just being seen with the card is a status symbol. The American Express Centurion also known as the “Black Card,” is reputed to be the most expensive and exclusive card in the world.

Supposedly, the initiation fee is $5,000, and the annual fee an additional $2,500.

What do card carriers get for their money – in addition to status? Perks include free stays at luxury resorts, free companion airline tickets on international flights, private shopping services at the most expensive retailers, and 24-hour concierge service.

If status is your thing, you might also need the ultra-elite Stratus Rewards Visa White Card. To carry this card you must have an affiliation with one of Stratus’s luxury partners or be nominated by another card member.

This is for consumers who love to travel – and travel in private. It offers discounts on private jet travel, chauffeured car services and stays at luxury resorts. Cardholders also get gift bags stuffed with exclusive items from upscale retailers – much like those handed out to celebrities at awards shows.

The price for this luxury? A $1,500 annual fee.

Bank of America takes a slightly different approach with its Accolades card.

This card is aimed at the frequent traveler and offers such things as complimentary access to private airport lounges around the world, and access to exclusive events, attractions, and adventures. Of course, the full-service concierge is a standard benefit.

Accolades card holders earn rewards points, and these points may either be cased, or used to make a donation to charity – in which case Bank of America will match the contribution.

The Chase Sapphire is less exclusive, but still aimed at the top 15% of American households.

This one comes, once again, with concierge service and travel perks. Members can get VIP access to events such as the Food & Wine Classic in Colorado, live television tapings, and other once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

Industry experts predict more offerings such as these in the months to come. your resource for free credit report offers and the most current information regarding credit news. We also provide free tips and techniques to repair your credit for free. “Remember your credit report and credit score is more important than ever now.”