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Nobody would blame you if you’ve never heard of the private community known as “Select.” It’s an exclusive club that caters to select applicants it deems worthy of membership.
Select’s membership costs $450 per year — but they won’t take money from just anyone. You’ve got to submit an application with biographical information (things like income, interests, etc.), and the Select will approve you based on whether they think you would be an active member and get along with other members.
The community has now teamed up with Deserve to issue a credit card. The Select™ World Elite Mastercard® will confer membership to the Select community (among other benefits). It charges a $450 annual fee, so it’s a no-brainer option if you’d otherwise pay for membership outright.
Here’s what we know about the new Select credit card.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
The Select World Elite Mastercard (currently taking waitlist applicants here) has opened its waitlist as of February 2, 2023. It will begin to allow prospective cardholders to apply for their invitation-only Beta beginning the same month. Invitations will be granted sequentially. Current Select members — and prospective members who invite others to the waitlist — get priority.
It carries a $450 annual fee (waived for existing Select members), which is a standard fee for popular premium credit cards. Whether this card is worth it to you depends on how you value the following features.
The Select World Elite Mastercard comes with a welcome bonus of between $200 and $400 after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. The bonus you’ll receive depends on your method of referral — the details of which have yet to be revealed.
Either way, a bonus worth up to $400, while respectable for most cards, underdelivers when compared to competing cards that incur a similar fee. For example, the $395-annual-fee Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth an average of $1,275 in travel, per Insider’s points and miles valuations
The Select World Elite Mastercard also earns the following return rates for spending:
Note that you will not earn any rewards for utilities. For most purchases, this card will give you 2% cash back.
The Select World Elite Mastercard comes with standard World Elite Mastercard benefits, including access to the World Elite Concierge, Mastercard Luxury Hotels and Resorts, and discounts with Lyft, DoorDash, and Fandango.
The card’s biggest hook is that it provides you membership to the Select community for free. They can save you serious money depending on how often you use them.
Select’s dining program gives you priority access, exclusive savings, or VIP perks at over 600 premier dining and nightlife venues (including several Michelin-starred restaurants). In most cases, you’ll have to make a reservation through the Select concierge to receive these benefits.
For example, depending on the restaurant, you can get things like:
If you frequent a handful of restaurants on the list, you could well offset the annual fee with the frequent discounts and complimentary items you’ll receive. Just note that participating restaurants are mostly in big cities like New York, Chicago, and Miami. Currently, the areas that participate in Select’s program include:
This particular benefit has the potential to be one of the most powerful. However, you cannot peruse deals online unless you are a member. That makes it difficult for a potential customer to properly weigh this benefit.
Select says you’ll get preferred hotel rates up to 60% off the lowest available at hundreds of thousands of hotels and resorts — saving an average of $90 per night. You’ll also get free upgrades and amenities at certain properties. For example, members can receive:
Additionally, you’ll earn between 5% and 10% cash back at over a million hotels and vacation rentals.
The Select World Elite Mastercard offers statement credits, free trials, and even elite status.
As you’d expect, you’ll tend to get the best deals when booking experiences with those reserved for deep pockets. Think of things like:
However, you’ll also get discounts for less exclusive travel activities, such as a 5% discount on Hawaiian Airlines flights, an onboard credit worth up to $200 with Celebrity Cruises, and up to 25% off Avis car rentals.
Once again, Select highlights a target audience of affluence by providing discounts on luxury products and services, such as:
There are also more practical discounts, such as up to 35% off with HP, waived enrollment fees, and discounts at select gyms.
You’ll receive access to exclusive events such as cocktail hours and seminars — and even fashion and award show pre-parties. You can even receive free access to partner events. Select highlights New York and LA Fashion Week, Art Week, Miami Music Week, and the Emmys Pre Party as banner events you can access at a discount.
Again, the deals you can receive are behind the membership wall, so you won’t know if you can score a meaningful discount on something you’re interested in until you’re a member.
You can book things like Broadway shows, basketball tickets, and even theater admission at a steep discount with Select — up to 50% off. You’ll also find ski resort discounts of 30% or more consistently. A few examples:
From 50% discounts on shipping to 20% off professional office cleaning services to 15% discounts on office furniture, this card has benefits that sizable businesses can use. It also offers helpful discounts for small businesses, too — such as up to 25% off Lenovo products, 50% off UPS shipping, and 35% off with HP.
Select’s concierges are available every day and can be reached through the live chat feature on the Select website or through the Select app. They can help with recommendations and hard-to-get reservations. They can even go as far as planning your entire vacation.
Concierges live in the cities Select serves — namely, bigger US metropolises and Tulum, Mexico.
If either of the following bullets describes you, this card could be a good fit for you:
If you’d organically make use of Select’s features even a few times per year, this card may well save you money. Only note that your options will be more limited if you don’t have expensive taste.
One thing I will say about this card is that it can help to introduce you to things you’ve never heard of — and allow you to experience them more inexpensively than others. Whether it’s a discount on an expensive purse brand, a platform that allows you to rent exotic cars, or a sunset soiree in Manhattan, you’re likely to discover a brand or activity that you love.
And, of course, not all discounts are exclusively for the 1%.
However, if you’re simply looking for a travel credit card that can save you money on common travel expenses, you’ve got better options. Travel rewards cards with similar annual fees won’t often come with infinite restaurant discounts and exclusive nightlife invitations, but they can save you way more on airfare, hotels, rental cars, etc.
Again, the $395-annual-fee Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with benefits such as:
This card also offers a return rate of:
In earning rates, travel insurance, easy-to-use statement credits, and travel-related benefits, this card can quite easily save you $1,000 per year when taking even a single vacation.
Similarly, The Platinum Card® from American Express incurs a $695 annual fee but offers benefits like:
Read our post on how to book free travel with credit card rewards to see how powerful cards like these can be.
The Select™ World Elite Mastercard® offers a benefit that you won’t find on any other card — membership to the Select community, giving you exclusive access to various events, discounts on travel, and more.
This membership is most useful for those who live in major US cities such as Austin, Nashville, and Washington, DC. And its earn rate on most purchases (except groceries and service industries) is respectable. However, you’ll want to weigh the card’s annual fee against the benefits it provides to ensure it’s worth it for your spending and travel habits.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards.
Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
***Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details. Travel Accident Insurance is not guaranteed, it depends on the level of benefits you get at application.