Having a “black card” has become a symbol of wealth and status, at least in pop culture. But there are a few different black cards, and the famous one doesn’t even have “black” in its name. It’s actually the American Express Centurion Card, which is black in color and available on an invitation-only basis to people who charge hundreds of dollars per year. So having that black card says a lot about how much money you make and spend.
Having the Mastercard® Black Card, on the other hand, just means that you’re overpaying. After all, that particular black card charges a $495 annual fee and doesn't offer nearly enough rewards to make it worthwhile.
That being said, here’s a recap of some of the most difficult credit cards to get.
|Hardest For||Credit Card|
|Hardest Overall||Centurion® Card from American Express|
|Luxury Travel||J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card|
|Rewards||Chase Sapphire Reserve®|
|Business||Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card|
|Low Interest||Simmons Bank Visa®|
|Travel||U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card|
Ignore Exclusivity & Focus on Terms
Getting approved for an exclusive credit card might seem like a major victory. But is that a game you should even be playing in the first place? Not quite. Your focus in choosing a credit card should always be on its terms – rewards earning rates, fees and APR, in particular. It doesn’t matter what your card looks like or how many people have the same kind. Such things won’t save you money, and no one really looks at your credit card anyway.
So, if you pay your bill in full every month, compare rewards cards in search of an offer that complements your lifestyle. If you have debt you’d like to pay down faster, focus on 0% balance transfer cards and don’t forget to consider the cost of transfer fees. And if you have a major expense coming up, consider cards giving you 0% on new purchases.
Finding the right credit card is only half the battle, though. For tips on responsible credit card management once you have your shiny new plastic (or metal), check out our Guide for Credit Newcomers. You can also review our breakdown of the Biggest Credit Card Mistakes for an idea of what not to do.
Methodology for Selecting the Hardest Credit Cards to Get
To identify the hardest credit cards to get, both overall and by category, WalletHub’s editors compared more than 1,500 credit card offers based primarily on their stated approval requirements as well as customer reviews and card terms. Particularly attractive rewards, rates, fees and luxury benefits are a sign of exclusivity, after all, hinting at more difficult underwriting requirements for applicants to pass.
To ensure that consumers have the latest intelligence on this issue, WalletHub’s editors regularly update their selections based on any new credit card offers that hit the market as well as any significant changes to existing offers.