Having come into contact with high-net-worth individuals all around the world, Christopher Scanlon made an interesting observation. They all had unique stories, very different tastes and very different lifestyles, and yet all their bank cards looked exactly the same.
So Scanlon launched Aurae at the end of 2015. Membership of this uber-exclusive lifestyle club comes with a 14-carat or 18-carat yellow or rose gold, custom-designed MasterCard, weighing a whopping 43 grams to 60g. The card can be etched with a design of your choice – existing examples include a lion’s head with sapphire eyes, a dragon, floral patterns and Chinese symbols, while one UAE member has had a portrait of Sheikh Zayed engraved onto the front of hers.
Your card, which is crafted by master jewellers and produced under a patented process in a high-security facility, can also be embedded with diamonds or other precious stones, and will be presented to you in a handbuilt box. Should you be prone to misplacing your valuables, fear not. Your card is covered by Lloyd’s of London, the company responsible for insuring Toni Braxton, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen’s vocal chords.
Beyond the card, Aurae Lifestyle members are privy to elite concierge services. Need someone to organise a private jet? Travel itineraries? Dinner reservations at a Michelin-starred restaurant? A New Year’s Eve party at your mansion? Aurae is on hand to help. You’ll also be invited to events on the Aurae Social Calendar, which include the Billboard Music Awards and Monaco Grand Prix.
There are three membership tiers, and services vary accordingly. It will cost between US$25,000 and $100,000 (up to Dh367,315) for the card itself, and a further $5,000 (Dh18,365) in annual membership fees thereafter, although the first year is free. The Executive Lifestyle tier includes an Aurae-branded MasterCard in 14-carat gold, as well as concierge services that can include personalised travel and private aviation services, exotic-car rental, negotiated rates for first class and business class travel, as well as hotels around the world, personal-shopping services and luxury-product procurement – which can cover anything from a Matisse to a Maserati.
You’ll get all that and more if you’re a member of the top-tier Elite Lifestyle, including a customised and jewelled MasterCard in 14-carat gold (with an 18-carat option), a butler and personal assistant, a personal style consultant, property-management services, airport transfers and even time-management services.
“Credit is given. Status is earned” is Aurae’s strapline. And a solid-gold debit or credit card will certainly impress your dining companions when it’s time to pay the bill. Needless to say, membership is by invitation only, and just 1,000 people are admitted globally each year – so you’ll have to go to the website and see if you’re eligible first.
Read this and other stories in Luxury magazine, out with The National on Thursday, June 23.
Source: art & life