Will that be credit, debit or 23-karat gold? For a small number of very wealthy consumers, that’s not a hypothetical question. The JPMorgan Chase Palladium card is made out of laser-etched palladium and gold. It makes even the standard-bearer for high-roller credit cards — the American Express Centurion or Black Card — pale in comparison. Wondering if you can get your hands on one? It might help if your last name is Trump. Or Gates. Or Buffett. “We have probably half of the world’s billionaires as clients,” an unnamed source at the bank tells a Bloomberg columnist.
This card has actually been around for a few years, but word about it has just begun spreading beyond the private jet-set. “The JPMorgan Palladium card is typically for customers who already have a relationship with our private bank, wealth management or investment bank,” bank spokesman Rob Tacey says via email. He doesn’t put a dollar amount on just what it takes to acquire one of these cards, but Bloomberg does, saying, “[I]f you happen to have an extra $25 million that you are willing to let JPMorgan Chase manage for you,” you can get the card.
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There’s also a $595 annual fee, which actually sounds like kind of a deal, according to Bloomberg’s calculations, which price the value of the 23-karat gold and palladium in the card at around $1,000. The AmEx Black Card? Pffft. It’s made of titanium, and it requires a $5,000 initiation fee and a $2,500 annual fee.
For the Thurston Howells who do have the card, the perks are pretty sweet. In addition to 24/7 concierge service for tasks like making reservations and travel arrangements, as well as access to airport lounges — amenities that are pretty much standard among high-end credit cards these days — cardholders also get special deals with private jet service NetJets and access to all sorts of upgrades at hotels.
There’s also a rewards program, which is typical in that it awards two points per dollar spent on travel and one point per dollar on other purchases. What’s not typical is the 35,000-point bonus cardholders can earn after they spend more than $100,000 a year.
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The card is also signature-based as well as equipped with chip-and-PIN. This EMV “smart chip” technology is the status quo pretty much everywhere outside the U.S., which is why Americans return from Europe with tales of being stumped when an unmanned bus or metro ticket dispenser won’t accept their card. (It’s still unlikely that you’ll catch a Palladium cardholder riding the bus, though.)
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