The other day, I was talking to my boss, and he got a call from his credit card concierge confirming that they have managed to find a ring with the exact shade of jade that his wife wanted. I was mesmerised. Does a credit card concierge work on requests like this? All my credit card concierge does is book flight tickets and hotel accommodation for me.
At best I can make him order flowers for my husband. My boss told me that he had one of those fancy invitation-only credit cards that allowed him to utilise a concierge like a personal secretary. I was like – wow! I’d heard of several invitation-only places in Singapore, but credit cards you can get only if the bank invites you to try it out – that is taking exclusivity to a new level!
Awestruck, I decided that I would take a closer look at some invite-only credit cards in Singapore:
1. American Express Centurion Card
This is a card that many of us might have heard of, but few might have seen. It reminds me of the Yeti – mythical, mysterious, and with an I-think-I-saw-it-but-it-might-have-been-just-a-furry-coat-on-a-Sherpa-guide kind of air to it.
In fact, the card is so shrouded in secrecy that the American Express website doesn’t even have a page for it. There’s very little information available about the card. But we do know that the card comes with unlimited credit usage and has an annual fee of a whopping S$7,490.
2. UOB Privilege Reserve Card
UOB has redefined ‘privilege’ with its Privilege Reserve Card. If you are one who doesn’t mind paying for a service done right, this is the card for you. Some of the perks of this card are:
- Special treats in your birthday month: Get complimentary service for 2 persons at a spa day at The Luxe House, Dempsey. Or savour an authentic Japanese Omakase meal at Shinji by Kanesaka.
- Cruise with the Privilege Reserve Yacht: Sail in luxury – with 14 persons at the most – for 4 hours at just S$2,540. The experience includes a complimentary bottle of champagne, waiver of all corkage charges, and private shuttle from the Club’s Lobby to boarding berth by ONE°15 Marina Club buggy, among other benefits.
- UOB Medical Concierge services: Don’t add tension and stress to your health problems. Just contact the medical concierge services offered by Parkway Hospitals. You can get assistance to find the right medical specialist, to schedule appointments, to get fast-track admission, and for room booking and upgrade.
- UOB Travel Concierge services: Get customised reservations for your trip and enjoy free treats at selected hotels. The perks include Luxury Hotel Privileges, Signature Travel Programme with Singapore Airlines, culinary vacation at Michelin-starred restaurants all over the world, luxury cruise bookings, and golfing freebies.
- UOB Reserve Concierge services: Say goodbye to queues and waiting periods and do more with your precious time! This service will take care of all your travel, dining, healthcare and shopping needs.
Check this out: Best Credit Cards for Dining in Singapore
3. Citibank Ultima Card
The Citi Ultima Card allows you many more benefits than those you can dream of. The privileges include:
- Ultimate reward earnings: The card gives accelerated rewards – earn 25 ULTIMA Dollars for every S$1 spent on hotel reservations through Kaligo, and 7 ULTIMA Dollars for every S$1 spent on hotels and flights through Expedia. For all other retail purchases, you earn 1 Citi Dollar.
- Airport privileges: Fly in style with luxury airport transfer, Meet & Assist at airports, and faster immigration processing. You can also enjoy restriction-less access to more than 600 VIP lounges through Priority Pass membership, discounts on First Class or Business Class fares with Cathay Pacific airlines, and a free ticket for your companion under the Airfare Privilege Programme.
- Rent-a-car deals: Enjoy discounts, car and usage upgrades, and complimentary membership at Avis and Hertz Car Rentals.
- Stay in the lap of luxury: Pamper yourself with free night’s stay at over 900 luxury hotels globally in addition to room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, complimentary continental breakfast and late check-out.
- Epicurean delights: Special dining deals and discounts at 5-star, Michelin-star and other luxury gastronomic experiences.
Other benefits include green fees waiver, free spa services at Club 21 Style Services, special rates at the Ritz Carlton Spa, luxury yacht perks, and special rebates and fee waivers on luxury yacht charters.
Want to know what we think of other Citi Singapore cards? Take a look at this.
4. DBS Insignia Visa Infinite Card
All Visa Infinite credit cards are a pleasure to own. But the DBS Insignia Card stands out because it is a metal card, and you get a credit limit of up to S$1 million. Oh-so-classy! The key privileges include:
- Fast-track air miles earnings: You get a whopping 100,000 miles as welcome bonus, though the miles-earning rate is just 2 miles per S$1 spent outside Singapore and 1.6 miles per dollar spent in Singapore.
- Airport perks: Access up to 1,000 Priority Pass lounges any number of times in a year, apart from expedited immigration clearance at selected airports in Asia through Airport Speedpass.
- DBS Insignia Service Ambassador: Get anything and everything done through the Insignia Service Ambassadors – be it hotel or flight bookings, buying a ticket to that always-full theatre performance, or getting you that antique dagger you saw in London.
- Hotel exclusives: Choose one of the 40 luxury resorts or hotels in Asia and enjoy a free two-night stay upon getting the card. Or, enjoy a stay at Hyatt Hotels in most countries at special rates.
- Spa therapy: At Damai Spa, take part in free Yoga, Pilates Zumba and Circuit Training classes, or enjoy saunas, steam baths, pools and gym. Spa services also come at discounted rates.
- Smooth sailing: Luxury yachts of ONE°15 Marina Club too come at special rates on this card.
5. Standard Chartered Bank Priority Banking Visa Infinite Card:
SC takes Visa Infinite to another level through their Priority Banking Visa Infinite Card. This card earns you points and benefits based on your relationship level with the bank. You can enjoy the following privileges as a Priority Banking Visa Infinite cardholder:
- Priority Pass airport lounge access: Get between 4 to unlimited entries to Priority Pass lounges at over 1,000 airports, depending on your banking relationship with Standard Chartered.
- Free travel insurance: Make at least one transaction using the card outside Singapore and get travel insurance coverage of up to S$50,000 for you and your spouse.
- Visa Infinite Concierge: Make your life easier with help from concierge and emergency services offered by Visa Infinite.
- Visa prerogatives: Enjoy movies with the Gold Class Infinite Experience Package, or drive abroad at cheaper rates through car rental discounts. Pamper yourself with the Hilton HHonors Gold Status or a staycation at one of the Visa Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
- The Good Life privileges: Endless promotional offers come your way through The Good Life benefits.
However, this card doesn’t do well as a miles card because you only earn 1 mile per S$1 spent using your card. But, you also get up to 25 reward points per month depending on the type and number of products you have with Standard Chartered. A total of 32,000 points equals cashback of S$100, and 2,500 points can be converted to 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles.
Some other credit cards that can only be obtained by the most prestigious and rich are the American Express Platinum Card, the UOB Visa Infinite Card, the Maybank Diamante Visa Infinite Card, and the OCBC Elite World Card.
Are you wondering how you could get invited to one of these card clubs? Not all banks will allow you to even raise your hand to show your interest. However, some banks take registrations – or ‘expression of your interest’ – for these cards on their website.
Already have an invitation-only card? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!