Plastic. It’s the one-word term used by many to mean “credit card” — because in almost all cases, credit cards are made out of that flexible, durable material. But not all cards are created equal — literally. Early this year, investment bank J.P. Morgan Chase announced a new credit card, called the J.P. Morgan Palladium Card.
The card itself is made of a mix of palladium — a rare, silvery-white, and very shiny metal — and 23 karat gold. At current prices, the card, if melted, would fetch about $1,000 for its metal alone. The card’s annual fee is only (only?) about half that, at $595. And that comes with free laser engraving — the cardholder’s name is etched into the metallic card by the bank.
To start with, cardholders are given access to Marquis Jets, a private jet company which sells access to a fleet of roughly 800 private planes at in increments of 25 hours. Palladium Card members receive one free hour — valued starting at just over $5,000 — per 25 purchased. And if you happen to be flying commercial, the card has you covered there, as well: access to private lounges in 600 airports worldwide; a free upgrade to first class when flying British Airways to London; and if you’re flying British Airways in business class elsewhere, well, how’s a free ticket for a companion traveler sound? Consider it done.
Other benefits: Need to be evacuated from an emergency situation? They’ll pay for it up to $100,000.If the airline loses your bag? J.P. Morgan will give you up to $500 to replace “essential.” And, heaven forbid, if you die while traveling, they’ll pay up to a grand to bring your body back home. (The full list is available here.) Oh, and of course, the card has no pre-set spending limit.
All of this, for $595? If you think that there has to be a catch, you are correct. Membership is limited to a customers of a select group of J.P. Morgan private bank offerings. The average customer of one of these has over $30 million invested with the bank.
And at $30 million, what’s $1,000 worth of palladium among friends?
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Related: Have $595 laying around but don’t have $30 million in the bank? Sorry. But if you have $999.99 to spare (including $4.99 for shipping), you can buy an ounce of palladium.