Kazakhstan bank offers real gold, diamond-encrusted credit card

Nov 01. Toronto Star

Kazakhstan bank offers real gold, diamond-encrusted credit cardThis is one credit card you really don’t want to lose

A Kazakhstan bank is offering its top 100 customers a luxurious perk that gives whole new meaning to the gold card.

In partnership with high-end credit card Visa Infinite, Sberbank announced it will offer a solid-gold credit card embedded with 26 diamonds totalling 0.17 carats, and including mother of pearl.

At a cost of $100,000 — $65,000 for the card alone with the remainder of the fee put into the account — the card is for the “ultra wealthy,” said James Lim, head of consumer products for Visa Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.

And with a $2,000 annual fee after the first year, it really is only for the very rich.

“We constantly strive to provide clients with unique and innovative cards and are excited to launch the first jewel-encrusted solid gold companion card,” he said.

Made by Rosan Diamond in Russia, the handcrafted card will be offered to Sberbank’s top 100 customers by invitation only and will act as a companion to the standard Visa Infinite card offered by the bank. Visa plans to make the card available in other countries to top-tier clients in the coming years.

“Issuance of such premium cards is part of a comprehensive program meant to ensure the highest level of Sberbank’s customers’ service,” said Sergei Inushin, deputy chairman of retail business for Sberbank. A number of the wealthiest people in Kazakhstan are connected to resources development in copper, oil, gold and silver and to the financial world.

While the regular Visa Infinite card is already for the wealthy, a Sberbank press release issued late last month said the new card will also offer access to a Sberbank personal manager, medical and information services, purchase protection and top-notch health and travel insurance.

Cardholders will also have access to unique privileges and benefits, from opportunities to tee off at some of the world’s top golf courses and luxury vacation getaways to round-the-clock personal concierge service and fast-tracked immigration at more than 280 airports worldwide.