Anyone who does the right things for long enough can build up a high FICO, and then you simply need to add a high income. There are plenty of people out there with 775-800+ FICOs and high incomes, so to be truly exclusive you should need more than that. Being exclusive by definition means to exclude, and not enough people would be excluded if those were the only two criteria involved (income and FICOs).
+1. So a trivial example would be a credit union with restrictive membership (no back door like Penfed). So one with a nice credit card is:
Probably not too many people here are eligible, so it's exclusive, but not exactly a status card.
If you mean hard to get, then Simmons first or Iberia. If you mean most prestigious, centurion and palladium. If you exclude centurion, then you make the question meaningless. Those are the only two cards you can't get just by having good credit and a decent income. Heck, I have a csp and I'm not even tenure track. There may be some obscure cards offered by private banks that also qualify, but I don't know of any off hand.
+1. Right. Prestigious and hard to get are not synonymous.
Some cards are considered prestigious by the masses beyond message boards and forums, and would include the Platinum AMEX. But it's not hard to get, as evidenced by the number of folks here who have one or aspire to one.
Cards that are truly hard to get, such as the Simmons First, IberiaBank, or 1st Command Bank cards, are due to their stringent underwriting process and the minimum requirements they have. Having 2 of those 3, I can attest that approval is not nearly as easy as your garden variety cards from the Big Banks.
I have the JPM Palladium .pdf app and its a plain-vanilla app like any other card, but its true now that these can only be submitted to a private banker ?
The only way to apply for the JPM Palladium is through a Chase Private Client Banker, or Chase or JPMorgan Private Bank Bankers. The Chase Private Client is the lowest level of these. In order to be Chase Private Client one must have at least $250K with Chase, whether that be investments, deposits, etc. Chase Private Client isn't offered at every branch though, so you may have to travel to get to a branch that has Chase Private Client.
Wouldn't most "prestigious and hardest to get" consists of the JPM Palladium, Amex Centurion and their ilk?
Prestige (regardless of one's personal views on the concept) always entail either a level of exclusivity and/or barriers to entry. In my view, going by a classic definition, few other cards qualify. The purpose of using an objective Fico scoring system is the democratisation of credit which is the very polar opposite of exclusivity. So, any card whose standard's are purely set by Fico would by nature *not* be prestigious per the classical definition.
By definition, the Amex Centurion and Palldium (I'm sure others too) require something "more" than a Fico score. There is no "democratisation" of credit with these two cards and both have barriers to entry. To those who say, "only have to spend $250K on the Amex Centurion, and that's it?" What do you think is harder to do? Spend $250k (post tax mind you, which makes it $400K pre-tax) on luxury spending (not manufactured spending such as business expenses or taxes), or have an 800 Fico?
With the right decisions and disciplines, anyone can achieve the high Fico scores to merit approval from any cards save those with additional barriers to entry, such as the Palladium, Centurion and others. To put in another way, 99% of the people with high Fico scores will *never* come close to $250K of personal luxury spending, let alone earning the $400K pre-tax income necessary to do it and PIF the entire amount.
My g/f has an American Express Black Card, I have heard those are pretty hard to get, and I don't know the specifics.
Wow... lots of misinformation in here re: the Palladium card. Let me set the record straight:
In order to get a J.P. Morgan Palladium card you need to do two things: (1) Have a wealth management relationship with JPMC and (2) qualify for the minimum $15k credit limit.
There are several ways to satisfy part 1, the wealth management relationship. The easiest is Chase Private Client, where the minimum is only $250k. CPC has Private Client Bankers and Specialists, they are not technically "Private Bankers" - real Private Bankers would be quite offended if you equated them to CPC employees, just as CPC employees would be offended if you equated them to tellers.
The next level up is the J.P. Morgan Private Bank - High-Net Worth. JPM PB-HNW used to be called J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management (JPM PWM), but they've since merged with the PB and have a HNW division within that. JPM PB-HNW is for $5M-$25M clients. After that is the JPM Private Bank - Ultra High-Net Worth, for $25M+ relationships. There is also J.P. Morgan Securities, which is $5M+ and they are positioned as independent advisors within J.P. Morgan - kind of like a boutique wealth management firm within JPMC.
You need a wealth management relationship to apply for a Palladium card because a banker has to endorse your application. And then you must qualify for a $15k credit limit just like a "regular" credit card. For those that can't qualify through standard means, there are ways to get exceptions.
Discover Premier Plus, a by invitation only exclusive upgraded Discover card with airport lounge access and other enhancements beyond the standard suite of benefits and offers.