Visa Black Card: What Do You Get from It?

Visa Black CardDid I mention a few days ago that I once had a “black” card?

Well, if you read the post, you know that I called the Discover card I owned a while ago a “black” card only because the card was printed with black color. That’s actually the only “feature” that made the card a “black” card. Nothing else. For me, I only have credit cards that don’t require an annual fee, those ordinary charge cards that simply give me a percentage point or two of purchases as rewards to encourage me to use them. That’s all.

So my “black” card is nothing but a fake one.

There’s, however, a real black card that seems to be more *affordable* than the American Express Centurion Card, if only looking at the cost of owning the card. It’s the Visa Black Card from Barclays Bank, a card that’s made with carbon, which itself is unique. Comparing to Centurion’s super-high $2,500 annual membership fee, Visa Black Card’s $495 annual fee does seem to be affordable, doesn’t it?  Despite the cost, by no means the card is for average Joe. In fact, according to Barclays Bank, the Black Card targets only 1% of the U.S. residents, those presumably super-rich 1%, by providing its members exclusive rewards and privileges such as Travel Lounge Priority Pass, 24-hour Concierge Service, and luxury gifts, etc. AdSavvy has a nice summary of what the Black Card can do for its owner:

For the ultra-rich, buying whatever you want can get boring; they need the ability to actually do something that other people can’t. A good concierge can do that. You need 12 Arabian horses for your daughters wedding? Call up the concierge, he’ll have them flown in from Dubai. You need a personalized and autographed copy of Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene for your son’s birthday, call up the concierge. The ability to get difficult things done is what sets these cards apart from just a card with a very high limit. Just the knowledge that cardholders have that ability, 24-hours a day, keeps them happy. And that’s what makes this niche so profitable.

Of course, the concierge service is not free. It’s only good when you can afford it.

But exclusive isn’t the only feature of the card. Cardholders also get to enjoy a not-so-exclusive 1% cash back on purchase, which you can pretty much get from any credit card these days (like the “black” card I had ;) ).

So how can you get a Visa Black Card if you want one? Well, it seems to be much easier to do: You can simply apply for one yourself because, though limited, the card is NOT by invitation only :)

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3 Responses to “Visa Black Card: What Do You Get from It?”

  1. The Weakonomist |  Apr 21, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I heard a podcast where a guy was talking about the black card. A CS rep from Visa told him there is no difference between black and platinum. The CS people are the same, it’s just that when a black customer calls they’re told to be a little bit nicer.

    That being said the card does look cool.