The J.P. Morgan Reserve Card - This Secret Credit Card Costs $10 Million To Open
Updated: Jan 11
J.P. Morgan Reserve Card - The Millionaire's Credit Card
A few months ago, I wrote about the secrets behind one of the most outrageous status symbols in the finance game: The American Express Centurion Black Card. For a full write-up of the insanity of that card, check out my full piece. The short version: It's an invite only card with a $10,000 initiation fee and a $5,000 annual fee. While it gives you elite hotel and airline status, it doesn't really do anything else in terms of points bonuses, so it's really built for Instagram, putting it in your lyrics or tossing on the table of MI6 if you're James Bond in Quantum of Solace. When I came to this conclusion in my last article, the responses I got were...interesting.
My favorite response was this one, questioning why rich people don't just use debit cards.
It appears as though I need to do a primer at some point on why credit cards are as important as they are, but that's for another day. What I want to do today is piss these people off even more by showing them an even more exclusive credit card, so let's dive into the insane world of the J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card.
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What Is The J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card?
To even begin to qualify for this credit card, you have to be part of the J.P Morgan Private Bank wealth program. The cost of entry to be in the program? $10 million of investable assets.
This is an invite only card that will reveal itself to you like your Patronus after the Dementors hit. However, unlike the Amex competitor that invites you after you notch some high-end spending habits, the J.P. Morgan Reserve Card has more of a velvet-rope and 350-pound bouncer approach. Now pick your jaw up off the floor and let's chat about why you might want this card.
Benefits of the J.P. Morgan (Palladium) Reserve Card
Formerly known as "The Palladium Card," Bloomberg once described this credit card as "the card for the 1% of the 1%." As mentioned above, it's for those with $10 million in investable assets with J.P. Morgan, and it shows right away in the card itself. Made with palladium, titanium and 23-karat gold, it weighs five times what a normal plastic credit card weighs, which has somehow become a flex with millennials and I'm not completely sure why. "Yeah bro my pocket is way heavier than yours" isn't something I saw coming.
Anyway, the card itself, due to the precious metals and 23 KARAT GOLD, costs $1,000 to make, immediately launching itself into the "why the hell do we do this as humans" category of junk.
Originally introduced in 2009, the card has evolved through the years to meet the needs of its users. Originally rolled out as a card for travelers that essentially went point-for-point in its transfers to external partners, the card has evolved into the ultimate travel card. The J.P. Morgan Reserve Card offers the a ton of benefits, such as:
United Club membership
5x points on flights
10x points on hotels and car rentals
10x points on dining purchased via Chase Dining
3x points on all other restaurants
1x points on everything else
50% point redemption bonus on travel
$300 travel credit valid via statement reimbursement
Elite sports and entertainment access
Dedicated customer service line
1:1 point transfers across its partners
No foreign transaction fees
It's a Visa card, so it's accepted wherever Visa is accepted
The point categories are actually pretty sweet, especially when compared against the Centurion Card that doesn't really offer point bonuses outside of massive purchases. The Reserve Card also has two key advantages over the Centurion Card:
1. It's a Visa. The Visa point is key if you are a world traveler, as American Express has not experienced the international adoption that Visa and MasterCard have from merchants thanks to their extremely high fees. I can personally attest to this as, during my honeymoon to Paris, my wife's American Express was denied nearly everywhere and we had to run everything through my MasterCard.
2. There's the annual fee of $595. The annual fee for this is actually cheaper than the much more common American Express Platinum Card, which is outrageous. Granted, there's a $10 million entry fee, but it seems to be smooth sailing after that.
This card also has a nice list of travel and hotel partners that you can transfer too, essentially rounding out the partner list of every company American Express hasn't fully locked down. CreditCardInsider.com has the full list:
Those in-the-know and like to travel to Europe know how important that Virgin Atlantic partnership is, as that's frequently by-far the cheapest way to get to Europe. That being said, if you have $10 million in investable assets then you probably aren't worried about how cheap something is.
Finally, the card is changing with the times. With a shift to the work-and-live-remote lifestyle, the card perks have adjusted to match. You can know earn points on J.P Morgan's relationship with Peloton, earning 10x points on equipment purchases and statement credits for the membership costs.
The Downsides of the J.P. Morgan Reserve Card
I've already covered this ad-nauseum, but having $10 million in investable assets means this pretty sweet travel card will likely never be yours. The good news? It doesn't have to be! You can pretty much get all of the same perks (except elite airline/hotel status) with another one of Chase's cards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The CSR card is one of the most popular credit cards among credit card enthusiasts due to its insane earnings rates. Like the Reserve card, the CSR grants you 10x points on hotels and car rentals, 5x points on air travel, 3x points on "other travel" and dining and 1x points on everything else. It also includes a sweet welcome bonus and the same 50% redemption on points, as well as the $300 travel credit reimbursement. You're essentially getting all of the same benefits without the headache of having to be generationally wealthy. Not bad, right?
Is The J.P Morgan Reserve Credit Card Worth It?
While infinitely more useful than the American Express Centurion Card, the J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card is still effectively a flex. The only reason you would have this card is because you accidentally qualified for it, and in that it's a nice bonus item. The relatively reasonable $600 annual fee is much more palatable than the Centurion Card in which you have to sell one human kidney per year to afford. The travel statements, points redemption and travel partners are all top notch, but you could get all of that with the much more approachable Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Getting the upper level Reserve card, if you have it, was likely a mistake. I would definitely own one if I could, but if I were you, I'd throw that $10 million in an index fund and grab yourself the CSR.
What do you think of the Reserve Card? Would you snag it if you could? Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to sign up for my email list so you can get these in your inbox as soon as they post!