The Most Difficult Credit Card to Get, Ranked

Choose the credit card you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 15, 2024 06:30
Many consumers find themselves puzzled by the complexity and exclusivity of certain credit cards, which are often characterized by stringent eligibility criteria. These elite cards, coveted for their prestige and benefits, remain out of reach for the average applicant. Understanding which are the hardest to obtain can help potential applicants set realistic goals and focus their efforts more effectively. This site offers a dynamic ranking system where you contribute by voting for the credit card you believe to be the most challenging to acquire. By participating, you not only learn about others' experiences and perceptions but also help form a comprehensive community-driven guide. The rankings update in real time, reflecting the latest input from voters like you.

What Is the Most Difficult Credit Card to Get?

  1. 1

    J.P. Morgan Reserve Card

    An exclusive card offered to private banking clients, known for its high spending limits and luxury benefits.
    • Annual Fee: $595
    • Eligibility: Must be a J.P. Morgan Private Bank customer with a minimum of $10 million in assets
  2. 2

    Chase Sapphire Reserve

    A popular card among travelers for its rewards and benefits, including access to over 1,000 airport lounges.
    • Annual Fee: $550
    • Eligibility: Good to excellent credit score required
  3. 3

    American Express Centurion Card

    Often known as the 'Black Card,' it is one of the most exclusive credit cards in the world, requiring an invitation and significant spending.
    • Annual Fee: Varies by country, generally around $2,500 USD plus one-time initiation fee
    • Eligibility: By invitation only, reportedly requires hundreds of thousands in spending annually
  4. 4

    Coutts Silk Credit Card

    Offered by a prestigious UK bank, this card comes with a range of exclusive benefits and requires an account with Coutts.
    • Annual Fee: No fee, but requires a Coutts account
    • Eligibility: Must have a Coutts account; typically for high-net-worth individuals
  5. 5

    Stratus Rewards Visa

    Known as the 'White Card,' this card offers luxury travel benefits and is available by invitation only.
    • Annual Fee: Not publicly disclosed
    • Eligibility: By invitation only, targeting high-net-worth individuals
  6. 6

    Sberbank Visa Infinite Gold Card

    This Russian bank offers a gold-plated card with a diamond embedded and a range of exclusive benefits.
    • Annual Fee: Not publicly disclosed
    • Eligibility: By invitation to Sberbank's top clients
  7. 7

    Dubai First Royale Mastercard

    Targeted at the ultra-wealthy, this card is trimmed with a diamond and offers personalized service.
    • Annual Fee: Not disclosed
    • Eligibility: By invitation only to Dubai First's most affluent clients
  8. 8

    HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

    A premium card offering extensive travel benefits, available to HSBC Premier customers.
    • Annual Fee: $395
    • Eligibility: Must have an HSBC Premier account
  9. 9

    Citi Chairman American Express Card

    An exclusive card with a high credit limit and personalized concierge service, offered to Citi's top clients.
    • Annual Fee: Not publicly disclosed
    • Eligibility: By invitation to Citi's wealthiest clients
  10. 10

    American Express Platinum Card

    Well-known for its travel benefits and rewards, this card is aimed at frequent travelers and high spenders.
    • Annual Fee: $695
    • Eligibility: Good to excellent credit score required

Missing your favorite credit card?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult credit card to get. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or card is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 19 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each card once every 24 hours. The rank of each card is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Difficult Credit Card to Get

J.P. Morgan Reserve Card
Rank #1 for the most difficult credit card to get: J.P. Morgan Reserve Card (Source)
Credit cards vary in their level of exclusivity. Some cards are harder to get due to the high standards set by the issuers. These cards are designed for those with excellent credit scores and substantial incomes. The application process is rigorous, and approval is not guaranteed.

To qualify for these cards, applicants need a strong credit history. This means a long track record of on-time payments and low credit utilization. Lenders look for scores often above 750. They also prefer applicants with diverse credit portfolios, including loans and other credit cards.

Income is another key factor. Issuers want to see high, stable income levels. This reassures them that the cardholder can handle the credit limit and repay any debts. Some cards even require proof of assets or employment. This adds another layer of scrutiny to the application process.

These cards often come with high annual fees. While this might deter some, the benefits can justify the cost. Perks can include luxury travel rewards, access to exclusive events, and concierge services. Cardholders might also receive higher credit limits, which can improve their credit utilization ratio.

The application process for these cards can be invasive. Applicants might need to provide detailed financial documents. This could include tax returns, bank statements, and proof of income. The issuer might also conduct a thorough background check. This ensures the applicant meets all the criteria.

Approval rates for these cards are low. Even well-qualified applicants can face rejection. This exclusivity adds to the card's prestige. Those who manage to get approved often see it as a status symbol.

Maintaining the card also requires discipline. Cardholders must continue to meet the issuer's standards. This means keeping credit scores high and making timely payments. Failure to do so can result in losing the card and its benefits.

Many people aspire to own these cards. They see them as a mark of financial success. However, the stringent requirements ensure that only a select few qualify. This exclusivity is part of what makes these cards so desirable.

The benefits offered by these cards can be substantial. They often include travel rewards, cash back, and access to airport lounges. Cardholders might also get special offers on luxury goods and experiences. These perks can make the high annual fee worthwhile.

In summary, the most difficult credit cards to get are reserved for those with excellent credit and high incomes. The application process is detailed and rigorous. Approval is not guaranteed, even for well-qualified applicants. The exclusivity and benefits of these cards make them highly sought after. However, they require ongoing financial discipline to maintain.

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