The wealthiest people in the world have long been able to have credit cards that the average person could never be approved for, but the latest trend in credit cards includes cards forged from real precious metals that come with a stunning array of benefits for those lucky enough to afford it.
Being able to buy gold is one thing, but being approved for a credit card made with more than two dozen diamonds and mother of pearl inlay is an out of this world idea for most of us. The card is not an investment product, but it does require that the person seeking to get one have at least $100,000 to obtain it.
According to an article in The Huffington Post, the card requires that the applicant have $35,000 in a Kazakhstani bank known as Sberbank-Kazakhstan. The other $65,000 of the card's price pays for the cost of producing one.
The precious metals and gem laden credit card is a Visa Infinite Exclusive and is limited edition. For those who can buy gold credit cards like this one, the appeal may be in the fact that the bank has stated it is the very first bank card on Earth to be made wholly of the yellow metal. While it is not being marketed as an investment product, some argue that the rarity of the card along with its high value components will definitely help it keep a high value as the years pass. Whether it will grow in value to exceed the cost of its $2,000 annual fee remains to be seen. The upside is that there are no fees for late payments and the card features a number of other key benefits such as a free Apple iPhone, concierge service and more than $250,000 of health and life insurance coverage.
Shockingly, the Sberbank-Kazakhtsn credit card is not the world's first card to incorporate real gold into its design. JP Morgan has offered a card including not just 23 karat gold, but also the rare precious metal palladium, which itself is quite expensive. The card is called the Palladium Card and includes a mandatory $250,000 in expenditures that must be made each year, but it's only $595 for its annual fee and has no foreign transaction fees. Additional perks for cardholders include hotel burglary insurance and even roadside assistance.
According to the article, "For residents in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai First Bank offers a card also made of gold and diamonds. The card has no spending limit and no annual fee, according to Credit Card Forum."
This lack of a fee is worth noting since the esteemed Black Card from American Express has a $2,500 annual fee. It's most likely that banks which issue cards aimed at the highest tiers of wealthy individuals don't experience the need for such high annual fees in light of the sheer spending volume these individuals would be capable of.
For those investing in gold, silver, palladium and platinum today it might be hard to imagine having such massive wealth, but it's always interesting to see how precious metals are used. It's one more bit of evidence that shows their value truly is timeless.