Gone are the days of “black card” status being exclusively reserved for the uber elite. New York based SELECT is changing the game for one of the ultimate status symbols, offering the next generation of cardholders individual membership benefits like sizable discounts at top-rated restaurants, hotels, and retailers as well as access to exclusive events, speaker series, and a range of networking opportunities.
It’s little wonder SELECT is attracting new applicants every day and extending benefits to over 15,000 members in six cities across the country, with two new markets -- Orange County and San Diego – both being announced today. After successfully launching in New York in 2014 and going on to expand into Washington, D.C. in 2015, SELECT enjoyed follow-up success and growth in Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. To date, cardholders enjoy individual benefits with over 500,000 partner locations throughout the country and across the globe.
“As we continue to expand our membership and member benefits, Orange County and San Diego are obvious choices,” said founder and CEO Carlo B. Cisco. “Just a year after our expansion to LA, we’re excited to expand our community and benefits throughout southern California.” Not only are San Diego and Orange County popular travel destinations for existing members, but they are also personal favorites for Cisco himself.
In order to receive SELECT benefits, prospective members must apply through a fairly competitive process where they cite biographical, educational, and career information as well as general interests. Cisco notes that the company’s average member boasts a six-figure income but stressed that income is far from the company’s only criteria for membership. “For us, it’s about the curation of a leading community for the future, not some arbitrary financial barrier,” says Cisco.
Those accepted pay an annual fee of $300 to keep the benefits active, a tiny fraction of the fee charged by Centurion and less than other premier membership cards such as FoundersCard.
Kicking off the celebration of their San Diego market is a launch event at Oxford Social Club in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter on Friday, November 17th. The event will showcase the kind of VIP experiences and perks cardholders can expect from SELECT service, as members enjoy the premiere avant-garde lounge and nightclub that is quickly becoming San Diego’s most exclusive see-and-be-seen locale. SELECT has also announced its partnership with PARQ, another restaurant and nightlife VIP hotspot in the San Diego area, and promises to offer tons of exciting opportunities to take advantage of everything the city has to offer.
In Orange County, SELECT will connect cardholders with the chance to dine at Mastro’s Ocean Club and Mastro’s Steakhouse, highly acclaimed restaurants with world-class service and live entertainment, as well as distinctly flavored dining experiences like Javier’s Finest Foods of Mexico, which features elevated Mexican cuisine and rare tequilas. SELECT’s most recent partnerships with JetSmarter, a service that provides innovative shared flight services to make private jet travel more accessible, and CRUNCH Gyms, a national fitness chain, speak to the range of member benefits available to the SELECT community.
SELECT’s massive appeal is understandable when you realize just how committed they are to enriching members’ lives. SELECT turns any credit or debit card into a black card, granting cardholders special access to discounts, entertainment, experiences, and other exclusive brands. “Instead of cash back or travel points, we want SELECT to be an immediate upgrade for your everyday life -- whether that is getting on the guest list of a new club, getting access to a once-in-a-lifetime event, or getting a highly discounted rate on a high end hotel. We want to make a difference in our members’ daily lives,” says Cisco.
While older iterations like the American Express Centurion Card may still be more than a bit out of reach for the vast majority of us, it’s nice to know that innovators like Cisco are working to bring a perhaps a stronger suite of benefits to a larger audience – that is if they are accepted to the program.