Home > Credit Cards > 5 Members-Only Credit Cards You Can Actually Get

Comments 0 Comments

Most credit card issuers are only too happy to accept your application, as the credit card industry is extremely competitive. At the same time, there are still some cards that are offered only to a select group of applicants, depending on their relationship with a particular organization. And in some cases, these cards can offer exceptional value.

Thankfully, you may already qualify for one of these cards without even knowing it, and there can be ways to join an organization that are fairly inexpensive. So here are five cards that have selective requirements to apply, and what you can do to be considered:

1. AARP Credit Card From Chase 

This card is offered by the AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership of more than 37 million. It offers a credit card through Chase that features 3% cash-back rewards at restaurants and for gas station purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no annual fee. In addition, new cardholders are being offered $100 in cash back after spending $500 within three months of account opening. To apply, you must be a member of AARP. Standard membership is open to those age 50 or older for $16 a year, but anyone can become an associate membership for just $12.50.

2. USAA Rate Advantage Platinum MasterCard 

The United States Automobile Association was founded in 1922 to provide financial services to members of our armed forces and their families. Today, it has more than 10 million members and is one of the top 10 credit card issuers in the U.S. It offers several different credit cards exclusively to members including its low-rate, USAA Rate Advantage Platinum MasterCard. This card features an interest rate of as low as 6.9% for the most qualified applicants, and no penalty interest rate. There is no annual fee for this card.

Membership is open to active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military, officer candidates in commissioning programs, adult children of USAA members, and along with widows, widowers and former spouses of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy while married.

3. PenFed Promise Visa Card 

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union is another institution founded to provide financial services to the military. Its Promise card is a unique product that offers no fees at all. The standard APR will be 7.99% to 16.99% APR, depending on your creditworthiness, and there is no annual fee, late fee, foreign transaction fee, balance transfer fee or penalty interest rate.

PenFed membership is available to members of the U.S. military and uniformed services, employees of qualifying government and defense organizations, or relatives and housemates of members. In addition, anyone can qualify for membership by joining a military support organization. For example, you can join Voices For America’s Troops for $14, which is a qualifying organization.

4. The American Express Platinum Card for Morgan Stanley

This card, which is available only to those who hold a Morgan Stanley account, offers everything that the standard American Express Platinum does, and a few additional benefits. Cardholders can earn $500 from Morgan Stanley after they spend $100,000 in purchases on their card each year by their anniversary date. An additional card is offered for free, instead of $175 per year with the standard card. There is a $450 annual fee for this card.

5. Palladium Card From Chase

This card is offered only to Chase’s private banking customers. It features no late fees, no foreign transaction fees and no pre-set spending limit. Cardholders earn double points in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program on all eligible travel expenses, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. In addition, cardholders will earn 35,000 points after spending $100,000 in a year. Other benefits include access to a JPMorgan Concierge and a membership to the Lounge Club airport lounge program. There is a $595 annual fee for this card.

Like any credit product, these cards all have their own specific credit score requirements. Before you apply, you can check your credit scores for free on Credit.com to see where you stand.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

More on Credit Cards:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team