The credit cards buried deep in your wallet signify your net worth. Just like the way you dress, the car you drive, the house you live in, and the social clubs you belong to.
And if you own a credit card that’s by invitation only, like an AMEX Centurion Card, simply flashing it to a waiter or receptionist tells them loud and clear that you are the 1%.
Are you thinking of upgrading from your run-of-the-mill credit cards to something as exclusive as that?
Then have a read on the 5 credit cards that only the super affluent 1% of Singaporeans can get their hands on and see how you can get yourself invited.
5 invitation-only credit cards in Singapore
|Credit card||Annual fee||Min. assets||Annual income||Annual spend|
|AMEX Centurion Card||Undisclosed||–||–||$250,000|
|Citibank Ultima Card||$4,160||$5 mil||–||–|
|UOB Reserve Card||$3,852||$2 mil||–||–|
|DBS Insignia Visa Infinite Card||$2,000||$3 mil||$500,000||–|
|OCBC Elite World Card||$1,605||–||$250,000||–|
*For DBS Insignia, you get an invitation when you either have $3 million in assets or earn $500,000 a year.
AMEX Centurion Card Singapore (AMEX Black Card)
Once upon a time in the 80s, it was rumoured that AMEX issued a black card to extremely wealthy individuals such as Bill Gates, which can be used to buy anything, with zero credit limit.
This card exists. But actually, it was only in 1999 that AMEX launched the Centurion card, a sleek black, metal card that is by invitation only. This means you won’t be able to find an application form for it.
You will only be invited if you charge $250,000 a year, and are probably already an existing American Express Platinum Card member. Then, you will pay a four-figure initiation fee to maintain this card at an undisclosed annual fee every year. Of course, this cannot be waived.
After you’ve proven yourself worthy of this piece of metal, the sky’s your credit limit (no limit). You will have a special concierge team at your fingertips to do anything and everything you want. Some ridiculous requests from cardholders that have been documented in the US include:
- Getting a special pass into an audition for a weekly soap opera on TV
- Having someone fetch sand from the Dead Sea and couriered to London for a school project
Travel benefits for the AMEX Centurion card are aplenty, including exclusive VIP Centurion Lounges, first-class flight upgrades, complimentary companion airline tickets (what?!), a personal shopper at high-end brands and a personal travel agent. You also will not incur any foreign transaction fee for all your overseas spend. Also, it goes without saying that you won’t need to buy travel insurance like “regular peasants”. It’s included.
Mile conversion for the Centurion is at the rate of $1.60 = 2.5 Membership Reward Points, or $1 = 0.87, which is not the highest accrual rate out there, but we’re guessing that’s not why the cardholders join.
The knowing looks from the general public that affirm you of your million-dollar annual income and tens of millions of net worth are probably enough.
Initiation fee: $7,500
Annual fee: Undisclosed
Citibank Ultima Card
With an annual fee of $4,160, Citibank’s Ultima Card is one of the most prestigious invitation-only cards out there. You’ll need $5 million in assets parked with Citibank, and then your personalised Relationship Manager will come knocking.
But who this card will truly benefit are travellers. See, with a Citibank Ultima Card, when you buy a full-fare First or Business Class ticket at an exclusive discounted rate of 15%, you can have a companion travel for free with you. That’s literally cheaper than 1-for-1!
Traveling becomes a completely smooth process as you will be met with staff that will help you check in, pass through immigrations, and provide one-way luxury airport transfer service. It’s literally the scene from Crazy Rich Asians.
Need to drive when overseas? No problem, you get free Hertz Gold Membership, enjoy 10% on self-drive rentals, and more. Plus, as long as you book 2 consecutive nights at any of the 900 luxury partner hotels globally, you get 1 night free.
Too tired for air travel? You can charter a yacht to relax at discounted rates of 15% to 20% from Singapore’s shores.
Annual fee: $4,160
UOB Reserve Card
In order to be invited to own an invitation-only UOB Reserve Card, you need to have at least $2 million in your reserves parked with UOB.
You get special First or Business class fares and VIP access into swanky airport lounges. Best of all, if you are into the miles game, this card gives you the ability to purchase unlimited discounted miles from UOB, or spend at a tremendous rate of 5 miles for every dollar spent.
Obviously, you automatically enjoy UOB Privilege Banking benefits, which includes special dining and hotel discounts and UOB Reserve Concierge at your service. Supposedly, you can have someone queue for you, book restaurants or reserve tickets at the most popular concerts. You can also enjoy complimentary medical concierge services by Parkway Hospitals Singapore.
See full UOB Reserve privileges.
Another luxurious benefit is getting to reserve a private yacht charter with 14 lucky members and enjoy your ride with a bottle of champagne on the house at a special price of only $2,540++.
Annual fee: $3,852
DBS Insignia Visa Infinite Card
There are two ways to get invited to join the world of the DBS Insignia Visa Infinite cardholders.
Either earn $500,000 a year, or have $3 million in assets with DBS. Then, you will receive the invitation to apply for the Insignia Visa Infinite, a sleek silver card personalised with the name of the very all-important person, that is you.
In terms of travel, you will enjoy $1 to 2 miles for overseas spending and $1 to 1.6 miles locally. You will also enjoy unlimited priority pass membership for access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. Plus, never wait in line again – at least in airports across Asia. You get to fast-track immigration with your card.
The credit limit on the card is $1 million.
Annual fee: $2,000
OCBC Elite World Card
The barriers of entry for the OCBC Elite World Card are among the lowest in this list, given the $1,605 annual fee and $250,000 qualifying annual income. You still get a concierge service and significant travel benefits.
With the Priority Pass membership card (issued after you receive your OCBC Elite World Card), you can enjoy 2 complimentary visits to over 600 airport VIP lounges. Spending overseas earns you 3 OCBC$ per dollar.
The most powerful benefit is this: Once you charge $75,000 on your OCBC Elite World Card (easy, pfft), within a year from approval, you can fly Business Class on the airline of your choice and get a cash rebate worth half of the purchase price or $3,000 (whichever is lower).
In Singapore, you get a special concierge who can help you source and purchase event tickets, and offer worldwide delivery of flowers and gifts to your loved ones. Golf aficionados will love the opportunity to play on exclusive golf courses as well.
Although the discounts on air travel are not as generous as Citibank’s Ultima Card, with the OCBC Elite World Card, you also get a meet & greet agent who will help you fast-track immigration clearance only at a much lower annual fee. Check out full benefits of the OCBC Elite World Card.
Annual fee: $1,605
Good luck at getting invited! Otherwise, check out these other credit cards right here.
Are you eagerly waiting to be invited? Are there any other exclusive credit cards that belong on this list?