If you’re looking for a card that’s a cut above the rest, discover the perks of a prestige credit card.
If you regularly pay on plastic but want more out of your next credit card, a prestige credit card could offer the extra features you need. While low rate and no annual fee cards exist for cardholders who want a basic card with no frills, prestige cards are designed to complement the lifestyles of bigger spenders.
Unfortunately, this means they usually come at a higher cost. Use this guide to understand what constitutes a prestige credit card, the features and fees you can expect and how to compare them to find the right card for you.
What is a prestige credit card?
A prestige credit card refers to a card that offers extra features and larger credit limits, and comes at a higher cost. Gold, platinum and black credit cards are all considered prestige credit card products. Depending on the card, these products usually offer complimentary travel and purchase insurance, a more competitive earn rate, points cap and rewards program, and a higher credit limit. Some cards might also offer a concierge service, complimentary flights, airline lounge passes, free airport transfers and more. Usually, the more extra features on offer, the higher the annual fee will be.
Naturally, the eligibility requirements for these cards correspond to their costs, with minimum income requirements starting at $75,000. Needless to say, successful prestige card applicants also have the highest credit scores.
Compare Platinum, Gold and Black credit cards
What are the features of an elite credit card?
While elite credit cards offer similar features to standard credit cards, but differ from card to card, you can generally expect the following:
- Higher credit limits. Prestige credit cards come with higher credit limits, some of which may even be unlimited. The minimum credit limits for gold and platinum cards can start at around $4,000 and $5,000 respectively, but the minimum for black cards can range from $15,000 to $30,000.
- More competitive reward points earn rates. Most prestige credit cards come linked to a rewards program and generally offer a better earn rate than standard credit cards. This means that you will earn more rewards points per dollar spent and redeem rewards faster.
- Travel perks. Prestige cards provide complimentary travel insurance when you use the card to cover travel expenses and purchase protection when you use the card to buy eligible items. Some of these cards also offer airport lounge access, limousine services to and from the airport and free flight upgrades.
- Premium perks. Prestige cardholders have access to 24/7 global concierge services. A concierge can assist you with anything from booking a hotel reservation, organising a gift for a loved one or getting tickets to a sold-out show. You just need to contact your concierge, make a request and they’ll sort it out for you.
Which VIP credit cards are available in Australia?
|Card||Annual fee||Minimum income requirement||Minimum and Maximum credit limit||Features|
|American Express Centurion||$5,000 + $5,000 initiation fee||Undisclosed; application by invitation only||No pre-set credit limit (technically a charge card)||
|American Express Platinum Card||$1,450||$100,000||No pre-set credit limit (technically a charge card)||
|Citi Prestige Card||$700 p.a.||$150,000||Min: $30,000
|ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card||$375 p.a.||$75,000||Min $15,000||
- Rewards. Just about every prestige credit card comes linked to a reputable rewards program and you can usually expect a more competitive points earn rate than low rate and low fee cards. You can also expect a wide variety of redemption options when it comes to using your accumulated points for rewards.
- Travel benefits. Many of these cards offer access to domestic and international airport lounges as well as complimentary travel insurance. Discounts at partner hotels are not uncommon and you can also benefit by flying aboard partner airlines. If you’re a regular jetsetter, these complimentary extras could help you cut costs on your next trip.
- Extras. Most prestige cards offer a 24/7 concierge service that you can call on for anything from travel to entertainment to business. Many of these cards also offer extra perks including pre-sale tickets and exclusive event invitations.
- Annual fees. Prestige cards typically come with higher annual fees, so you’ll need to make sure the derived benefits of your card outweigh its costs.
- Interest rate. Prestige cards also tend to come with higher interest rates, so you only consider this type of card if you regularly repay your monthly balances in full and on time.
- Exclusive. These cards usually come with stricter eligibility requirements (such as a higher minimum income and excellent credit history), limiting the number of people who are eligible to apply for them. Make sure you meet these requirements before you apply.
If you’re shopping for a prestige card, consider whether or not you’ll make enough use of the perks to outweigh the cost of the card. However, if you are a regular spender who meets the eligibility requirements of a prestige card, it can be a smart way to get extra value from paying on plastic. As always though, make sure you compare your options before applying to find the best option for you.
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