Visa Black Card Secrets Revealed

visa black cardThe Visa Black Card entered the status card market about seven years ago, so there’s been a lot of time to see if its advertised promises of luxurious perks have come to fruition. Is it just another high-end, high-annual-fee card dressed up in a color often associated with exclusivity? Or do the benefits justify its expense? Read this review to find out whether you should get a Black Card of your own.

First, let’s roll back some of the hype surrounding this card:

Black card?

This should not be confused with the Centurion “black” card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner). That rare bird requires $7,500 in fees just for the first year ($5,000 initiation fee and $2,500 annual fee) and is by invitation only for AmEx’s biggest spenders (you have to spend a minimum of $250,000 annually on another American Express charge card in order to be considered for membership in this exclusive club.

In a nutshell, Visa Black Card is just the issuer’s trademarked name for the card … there is no such thing as a higher “black card” tier for Visa cards. In other words, black is just a color for the physical card — not an official designation of higher status. The Visa Black Card is issued by Barclaycard and is somewhat unique in that it is neither a plastic or metal card but rather made from carbon fiber.

photo of Marriott Premier metal cardIf a card that’s black and made out of metal is what you’re really after, then save some money and go for the Marriott Rewards Premier – it has a $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $85. Compare that to Visa Black which charges a $495 annual fee which is NOT waived for the first year.

And with the Marriott you can get a good bonus offer:

  • 80,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Plus you get 1 Free Night Stay after account approval in Category 1-4 locations. And then every year after your account anniversary date, you receive 1 free night stay at a Category 1-5 location.
  • Here is the link to get this offer while its available

Exclusivity?

The Visa Black Card is positioned as being highly exclusive, but what are the Visa Black card requirements? According to numerous sources across online discussion forums, it sounds like they are not much different than the requirements for most credit cards (for example, be a U.S. resident, have a qualifying credit score, etc).

If indeed this card doesn’t have any extraordinary requirements then it appears that a large number of Americans would easily qualify if they truly wanted the card. In fact, there are stories out there of people from many walks of life getting a Visa Black Card application in the mail, including rumors of college students with limited income, etc. (however I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that those were sent by accident). The kicker is the annual fee – that’s probably what keeps the masses away.

First-class airport lounge access?

This credit card comes with membership to Priority Pass. It’s the largest airport VIP lounge program, which gives complimentary access to more than 350 airport lounges across the world.

For the first couple years or so after the card launched, they only gave cardholders four free lounge visits per year (you would have to pay per visit after that). I highly criticized this, because the American Express Platinum gives unlimited visits at no charge. However, sometime in 2011 Black Card changed it for the better and they now also give unlimited visits.

I do commend them for doing that, but it still falls well short of the American Express Platinum Card’s lounge program, because that gives you unlimited Priority Pass PLUS access to the Delta Sky Club, Airspace Lounges and Centurion Lounges.

Luxury Gifts?

The card touts various luxury gifts as perks that Visa Black Card members get, but it’s hard to say what exactly these gifts are. When the card first launched, it did sound like members were getting some decent options. However, sometime after that, a first gift that was mentioned frequently in the blogosphere is a Cross pen set … not exactly exciting, given the $495 annual fee.

Superior rewards and benefits?

Nice perks aside, offsetting an huge annual fee through rewards, cash back (or cash back equivalents) and/or benefits is what can make any high-end credit card worthwhile.

With the Visa Black Card, you earn 1 point for every dollar in card purchases. When redeeming, you get 1% on cash back, gift cards and merchandise and 2% back when you book airline tickets through the card’s rewards program.

Considering the $495 annual fee, that is not a unique or compelling rewards proposition. Cards with lower annual fees let you earn double or triple points on everything from dining, to groceries .

As for the benefits, the card offers a suite of travel protections and insurance, 24-hour concierge and luxury upgrades (spa treatments, complimentary breakfast and late check-out) at participating hotels via the Black Card VIP Program. It also waives foreign transaction fees. However, such perks aren’t anything that comparable cards don’t offer already. And notably missing are the things that make the lower-priced AmEx Platinum unique (the $200 airline fee credit and reimbursements for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck).

Take my advice, skip the Visa Black Card application and go for…

…the American Express Platinum Card. The annual fee ($450) is slightly lower and the benefits are head and shoulders above those of the Visa Black Card. Check out the American Express Platinum Card benefits to see for yourself. But if you don’t want to pay 450 smackeroos (which admittedly, is a lot) consider one of these cards instead…

Last updated July 14, 2015

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

I save an average of over $3000 annually using my black card traveling and eating out. I LOVE IT!. If you only go to a local pub for chicken fingers and a bud light then it’s not for you. The points alone pay for the membership! You are just big whiners..if you want it get it, if not don’t! Some people spend twice as much as the annual membership fee going to a NASCAR race but you don’t see me ragging on them.. for each his own people!!

My husband got me this card and I’ve used several of the benefits already. I travel a lot and entrance to the airport lounges are wonderful. Particularly love KLM Royal Lounge Houston. I’ve used their concierge service several times for booking tickets and hotels. One time saved me over 400- on football tickets than what I would have paid thru stub hub or ticketmaster and over 275- at a resort in Naples which was even cheaper than with my groupon or Priceline. If you take advantage of the benefits it’s definitely worth it.

So I read all these submissions above and it sounds like a lot of people are just mad they might not be able to afford the fees and then they dis the card and say its a waste of money. I mean, myself personally, I have a Black Centurion card from AMX, I decided to go with the Black Visa because AMX is not accepted everywhere. Also having the metal card doesn’t hurt, but hey if people don’t want to spend the up front fee I get that. That is why credit card companies make cheap plastic cards as well. There is something for everyone. As far as the rewards and service goes, the points seem to be fine, nothing different then what I already receive with AMX. AS for concierge, cant say I have used them because I call AMX first.

I have the visa black card and i have had nothing but aggravations with them. Their customer service leaves something to be desired! For the amount that Im paying in fees a year, NOT WORTH IT!!
I have the american express gold card and IMO they are wayyyyy better for a fraction of the cost!! Their customer service at american express is the way to go! I never expected the treatment that I have received from the visa black card.

I make $150k a year with a stay at home wife (for now with the 3 young kids). I’ve had the card and enjoy the benie’s when we travel etc..plus people’s reactions to the card never get old (the punk wanna be baller kid in me)

I THINK THAT IS WONDERFUL FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY…I JUST HAD A NEW BABY AND I AM A SINGLE MOM AND I WOULD LIKE TO TRAVEL ALSO ENJOY LEISURES WITH MY LITTLE ONE.WHAT STAY AT HOME DO YOU DO?

IM SORRY READ THAT WRONG YOU SAID A STAY AT HOME WIFE NOT JOB>>>>

Anytime you have to let the public know your so called worth, you aren’t worth a dime. Bragging about things and what you have shows low self-esteem…and to say your wife is a stay at home Mom…good for you….want a cookie or a pat on the back….well, that little bit of money you make….I remember those days….but if you didnt read the fine line that the Card is no different than any other card to pay on fees and other unnecessary crap shows you where your priorities are…read a book dude or the small print…you may amount to something one day in your life…like a human being

No different than buying a Porche, BMX or Mercedes…if that is what you want so be it!

What everyone is focused on is the fee.Then its not your card move on.Its not trying to be centurion black at All.If you fly last minute and use this card a lot.then the 495 fee is a steal considering your flights are half price on points.In the past month I have saved over 4000 on domestic flights.I have this card for this reason only and its simplicity of booking the flights.You also get the points from your airline on a non restricted ticket as if you are paying cash.If you don’t travel. This is not your card!!
Stop focusing on the negative people.If you don’t pay fees fine.Some people like basic cable some people like all the channels.

What everyone is focused on is the fee.Then its not your card move on.Its not trying to be centurion black at All.If you fly last minute and use this card a lot.then the 495 fee is a steal considering your flights are half price on points.In the past month I have saved over 4000 on domestic flights.I have this card for this reason only and its simplicity of booking the flights.You also get the points from your airline on a non restricted ticket as if you are paying cash.If you don’t travel. This is not your card!!
Stop focusing on the negative people.If you don’t pay fees fine.Some people like basic cable some people like all the channels.

I did the math, if you want to earn a benefit from this card, you need to spend at least $4125 each month (none of it cash transactions), and pay your bill in full each month. That’s the only way you really benefit from this card. If not, you’re throwing your money away for your own ego.

I spend more than that every month , pay off the balance 100% and still would never touch a card I had to pay for. Get a free card that gives cash back and be done with it.

Want to impress people with a card with more swag the any black card? Get a swag bucks credit card! I haven’t heard of anyone having a swagbucks card!

they’ll market this card to anyone…I’m 53, have average credit, 50K disability income, six credit cards in good shape, and I’ve received two offers in the past two months for this card. Trash can time!

Paying $500 a year for a black card gold card or any kind of card is appealing to the ego and as a result some people will be lured in. This is a predatory company that plays on peoples desires to be someone there not because anyone with any common sense and any financial IQ will keep there $500 annual and invest it in something that will yield money not take it. The voice of wisdom says you must be crazee. I would buy some ocean front property in Arizona before I give my money to these fools. Keep your money or send it to my PO Box LOL Peace

I’ve had the Visa Black Card for a few years now through Barclays, but it has never done much for me. The rewards are sparse and paltry, and the Lounge card is mediocre as well. We consistently spend a considerable amount with Amex for all company expenses and last year I (finally) received the Centurion invitation.

The difference is staggering. The two “Black” cards couldn’t be more different. Whereas the Visa Black is Sam’s Club when compared to the standard Walmart Visa, Centurion is Tiffany’s. The Concierge service of Centurion is a real, genuine service that is very personal. With VB it’s some foreign, part-time migrant worker with 15 minutes of training, and the results are abysmal by comparison.

$2500 is a bargain for the level of service, exclusivity, amenities, and rewards that Centurion provides.

Visa Black is a Brooklyn Rolex.

I am a senior in college and just got an application for the Visa Black Card. This program isn’t that exclusive. Can only hope one day my education pays off and I can get an actual exclusive credit card. For now, feels good to have some metal in my pocket.

This card is for people who want the prestige of a centurion but cannot qualify. Anyone who knows credit cards will probably feel sorry for whoever has this card. All these “perks” are hardly different from any other card with little to no annual fee & I know a few people who got an invite and have barely middle class income. its a sham and a shame.

Don’t get this card because it will make you look like a die hard $30k millionaire wanna be. OR if you have 6 figures or so, it will make you look ignorant because there are MUCH better deals out there.

I love my AMEX card.

I applied for the card .stupid idea im a college student. in my email it says I have an account..I have not received anything yet and not linked a bank account. How do they get there anual fee ,the card isn’t activated. I don’t want this so what do I do ,nothing ?

If these credit card people are saying that you already have an account with them, and you have not activated your credit card, then you had better call this credit card company immediately, and get things straightened out with them, right away! It sounds like fraud. Another student could have gotten access to your personal information in someway, and is now using a credit card in YOUR name. Call this credit card company, immediately; and, get to the bottom of this; and, DON’T delay, or put this off. The sooner it is resolved, the better.

Sorry, I refuse to pay a fee for ANY credit card, no matter its “benefits.”
They’re making money every time I charge something. My no-fee cash back cards are vastly superior to this black card.

My vanity credit card is a regular no fee Visa from my bank… …added to Apple Pay so I don’t need to even flash it. Ooooh…. Ahhhh….. This black mag stripe garb is so last century. Pass.

“Note: Members holding a Priority Pass Select membership card and Priority Pass cardholders in the U.S. that receive their membership through a U.S. financial institution will not be allowed access to this Lounge.”

I went to the Priority Pass website to look to see how I would benefit based on the airports I travel to weekly. Both locations (AUS & DCA) were for the United Clubs. The excerpt above was from each of the clubs at this location. So based on this, it seems that this club would not allow entry with the Visa Black Card.

Am I reading that correctly?

I was denied access to every lounge that I tried to use this card. It just does not work nor does it get accepted. Black Card is sham and I am ending mine and getting back the % of the annual fee. It sucks.

I just got an invitation for this card and I qualified for EIC last year. Now that was due to being in a tax free zone (military) so my actual income was higher, but still it doesn’t seem very exclusive if I’m getting an invite at my income.

Just received an offer for this card, went into the fine details and learned about the fee, and it is quite steep for the benefits of the card, I don”t travel enough to be able to benefit from this card although it was a nice offer

Just received my invitation for a Barclay’s Black Card in the mail today. Should I return the application? Is the card really worth having?

BG ……I have been using this card for years and have earn many free flights from the points I earned. I will be flying to the Philippines in March with points I have available now. It all depends on whether you will use and how often you would use the line of credit they would give you. With the line of credit they gave me it’s well worth the $495 a year fee. If you have plenty of other cards with no fees or low fees with equal or better rewards, then you may not need or want it.

I have enjoyed reading all comments . I have applied for the Visa Black card and will probably get it. I was interested in the airport lounges and the fact that Visa is accepted in more places than Amex . I am also a business owner and I hate when a patient pays with Amex card.

the lounges don’t work. Was denied every lounge I tried to enter with it in many airports.

If $495 is an issue then this card is not for you. People who receive an application in the mail that are in college or have low income will most likely not be given a credit line regardless of their FICO score. If you want a black card, get one and enjoy how you want to spend your money!

“If $495 is an issue then this card is not for you. People who receive an application in the mail that are in college or have low income will most likely not be given a credit line regardless of their FICO score. If you want a black card, get one and enjoy how you want to spend your money!”

Actually, if you have a brain cell in your head, this card is not for you… This is for people who like to pay more for less because they think they’re cool.

I just got the application in the mail (leading me to look it up, found this page). I have been unemployed for two years. But I still have good credit (managed to stretch my budget to keep from missing any bill payments, but I still live with parents so I only have car payments and student loan debt). not exactly ‘exclusive’

We are talking of Barclay’s here. Think about it – these johnnies wanted to buy Lehman Bros a couple of days before it went down. What do you expect from these geniuses ?

TO be are not to be that is the question, The question is, if you are wondering
about the price, then you cannot afford it, its not for you. leave it alone.

If you are active duty military they will waive the fee. They just wont tell you until you are approved and have it in your hand.

True but not true. The agent I spoke to. (And I’m active duty) told me but getting the interest rate drop to 6% and getting the fees waived before I even made a decision. That’s the only reason why I got it.

Aha! I just graduated from college, too, with highest honors. Got an invitation today for the Black Card. They must trawl through grads fishing for new customers. My free B o A Cash Rewards Visa has a FAR superior rewards program than this. Why in the world would I pay much more for much less? Do they think grads are dumb?

Forgot to say, my income is very low. FICO is very high.

I got one of these invitations in the mail today, I was pretty excited to be invited to be a part of this “elite” club. I have perfect credit, and have been building it since I was 19, I am 26 now and my score is in the high 780’s with multiple auto loans paid off, over $50,000 in revolving credit between my 5 cards, and have never missed a payment or been sent to collections since I have started playing the credit game.

Upon further reading, it seems while they do in fact target people with good credit, I don’t know how exclusive this club really is. It would be a nice addition to my wallet, I don’t travel but once a year so I can’t see myself warranting the $495 annual fee to carry this card around. I agree, that this card is a status symbol, and it would be nice to have something to show for my hard work building credit over the years, but either way, I am pretty happy with my AMEX card which I use 90% of the time, that has a 20k credit limit and $0 in annual fees.

I agree… Ive done absolutely the same. While my wife and I together make 6 fig’s…we both didnt get there by charging dimb things nor accepting offers of the visa black ( that we both were sent ) for popularity reasons!! The reason im even on this site is to see if visa black had MAYBE come to thier senses regarding perks and ESPECIALLY the $ 495 APR !!! REDICULOUS !!!
People that are truelly looking for benefits that pertain to them….look for something else
Hell the card you already have is probably better !

Yes, I’m also a college student (grad student) who makes about $24k a year. Granted I do have a high FICO score, but still… My income & employment status alone should exclude me from getting an invitation. But nope! I got one today! They need to be more selective (in my opinion) & offer more perks. I’ll keep using my $0 annual fee Discover card that I accrue about $400 a year back in cashback bonuses versus paying $495 for a black card that’s primarily marketed towards travel perks. And even then, if I traveled more & had a higher salary, I still don’t think I’d go with this Barclay’s Visa black card.

lol I make $150 a week as a tutor, I’m a college student and I must be totally stupid to pay $500 a year for a card.

I got an invite yesterday; I graduated from college a long time ago, but my job doesn’t pay well. I think the only reason I received an invite was I have a good credit score, but I think once they reviewed my income, they’d realize they made a BIG mistake, LOL. Invites seem to go to people with good credit scores, but if you don’t have a good income, you’d probably not get approved–after all, to pay a $495 annual fee, you’d have to have a good income (and half a brain to pay that fee in the first place!).

Sorry to burst your bubble about giving them the benefit of the doubt but I am a college student on a very limited income and I received an invite today lol.

I applied for this card a couple of months ago, but only after I made sure that the annual fee and the extra user fee would be waived (some cards offer that for active duty military). Now, I have no problem if they wouldn’t waive these fees, but I specifically asked before applying, and the girl was categorical in saying that these fees would be waived. Fast forward to today… These fees are still on my account, and when I inquired about them, the first customer service rep. said that she is unable to remove those. After asking for the supervisor and explaining the situation to her a couple of times, she finally agreed to remove these fees- but for this year only. I’ll take that, because I’m not going to have the BC next year.

Pros: 1) After the initial spending limit was met, they actually posted the reward points to my account immediately (not waiting about 4-6 weeks, like other cards do). 2) It is a sleek looking card, and if you’re one who gets satisfaction from impressing people with an all-metal card- this is good for your ego (admittedly, I got a bit of satisfaction out of that too).

Cons: 1) If you’re a middle class family, this is not for you- I could never justify spending that much just to have a credit card, there are many other choices out there. 2) The concierge service is a joke- you’re basically talking to a rep. who is doing Internet searches for you if you need to arrange something. As a matter of fact, you’re better off doing the searching yourself- especially when it comes to travel. 3) The website for this card is poorly put together, very hard to find what you need on it, especially if you need to arrange travel. 4) Speaking of the website, its security seems quite dubious; I was purposely inactive for up to half an hour (at least a couple of times), just to discover that I could still access all the information on the screen. If you forget to log off you’re in trouble.

I tried to be as fair as I could in assessing this card, without bashing it too much. IMHO, this is a below average card, especially when considering the very expensive upfront fee(s). Most of the reps. I have spoken with were nice and had a cute British accent, but I couldn’t help but think that this was just a facade for a substandard product. Hope this helps with your decision.

I have had a Visa Card in one form or another for at least 20 years. I pay no interest because I pay on time. I get gift or cash bonuses for using this card.
Why in the name of God would I want to pay $690.00 a year to be able to flash a stupid SS card instead of my plastic one which serves me very well. Who came out with this brainless idea? Fire him. I am definitely trashing what you sent me.

I stuffed all the crap they mailed to me into the postpaid envelope and sent it back to them.

We have a card we use in our business that is straight 1% back. We sometimes make up to 1000 a month this way. If redeemed for airline travel it would seem that this card would double that to 2000 a month which is a pretty nice benefit. Throw in some airport lounge access occasionally and it would be worth having. (Spend 50k first month of year and annual fee is paid off at 1% rate.) Of course if they give us a low credit line it means paying it off more times a month which could be a pain. It’s all about how you plan to use the card. If you plan to run a lot of money thru it to redeem points, the 495 fee is probably worth it. If you just want to use it as a regular credit card, maybe not.

Justanotherguy

The rich man is humble. A black card only invites people into your pocket to take your money. Let’s not sit here and wave our 3″ egos around. No one knows what your plastic is capable but you and your bank. This card has its place. Perks and Benefits are not that. It is however and easy to acquire card with a low credit qualification requirement. I got this card for my son he seems to enjoy the fact that it says black card”

Daniel O'Connell

So, I’m in Houston, which means I fly United. Here’s my question about the VISA Black. I’ve got a United Mileage Explorer Plus MasterCard, and the mileage shows up pretty easily on the web site: 25k miles for a fairly restricted domestic ticket, 50k miles for a ticket with more options for seating/dates, &c.

This makes it difficult to do an ‘apples to apples’ comparison with the following:

The VISA black info says it is 2x more rewarding: 50k points gets you 1k airfare, versus Amex Platinum where the same 50k points gets you $500 airfare.

I bet I’m missing something really obvious here, but I don’t understand it. Aren’t all points the same? What’s the difference here?

Thank you in advance for your wisdom on this point 😉

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Surprised no one has done a basic comparison of the point redemption differences. That was the main issue for me. I have both the AmEx Platinum and the Visa Black cards. AmEx stopped working with United Airlines (who started a program with Chase) and started devaluing the points when transferring them to other programs. That irked me, so I started looking around for another card. When the Visa Black arrived, I asked them to waive the fee while I tried the card out against my Platinum card. That seemed to make sense to them, and they readily credited me for the fee. I do like that I was able to charge a $60,000 tractor on my AmEx, which wasn’t flagged as an unusual purchase (an unusual visit to a WalMart was questioned immediately LOL). As I said at the outset, though, the reason I considered the Black card was less about credit limits and more about point redemption. Visa Black points can be redeemed at a higher value than AmEx. AmEx allows 0.5% cash back; Visa Black does 1%. For airfares, it’s 1%, or half to 3/4 a point per frequent flyer/hotel program point (depending on the airline or hotel). Meanwhile, I can redeem my Visa Black points at double value on airlines and 1:1 with hotels. So a $1500 airfare will cost me 150,000 AmEx points versus 75,000 Visa Black points. (What I haven’t done is a complicated comparison if one transfers AmEx points to an airline program and then manages to get a ticket with the airline miles. I could see that being a better deal, depending on blackout dates and availability.) As for hotels, a $1000 stay will cost around 150,000-200,000 AmEx points versus 100,000 Visa Black points. For gift cards, both programs are comparable, though Visa Black has a somewhat more wider selection of retailers. Still, using points for cash back credit on one’s purchases makes this a moot point. So while my $8,000-15,000 average monthly charges on my AmEx never got me to black status, it was really the way I could redeem my points, not the color or material, that lead me to the Visa Black card. Hope this was simple enough math for everyone here.

Hi,

First of all, I want to state that I am not a visa black holder. However, I am a cc holder of 13 different cards total and I average about 10 million dollars in spending a year for both business and commercial use.

I believe your point redemption method is incorrect for amex plat. First if all, cash redemption value for air travel and hotel is done on a 1:1 comparison. I find point conversion to be wasteful unless you transfer purely to British airway (then use partner), and during specials like now for double point redemption, it I’d at a 1:2 dollar to points ratio. That 1 dollar for 2 miles/points.

Anyway, if you use amex travel to book flights and hotels, it is actually at 1.2 percent, since it I’d 1:1 ratio with 20 percent rebate of points. I believe you are using the cash conversion amex is offering (@.6%). That is definitely the worse way to spend your points. There is a better method and it comes close to .099% of rebarebate if done correctly (tho this is a loophole I will not disclose so that amex decides to close this upon popular abuse).

Good luck with venturing and saving more!

what no one has mentioned is the $500 airline rewards when you have 25,000 in points. you have to spend $25000 to get your $500 in airline rewards + the annual fee. you can get your own “airline reward” if you saved the $495 annual fee..

You want to impress this card does not do it for me I purchase $Heavy Equiptment$ and a letter of credit is much better that along with gym bag stuffed with cash.

I just cenceled my card as well before it arrived. The customer service rep said he’s getting a LOT of calls from Black Card members canceling the card as well. My advice is to NOT apply for this card. Apply for the Hyatt Chase Visa card and your limit will be 18,0000 with TONS of perks !!

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I got the fee waived with 0% APR as long as Im in the military. Great card to have if your military.

DJ, which card?

Nick

I just canceled the card. They told me they would wave the fee for military. When it was applied to my bill I called about getting the fee removed. They said they did not know what I was talking about. No discounts for military. That’s fine, canceled.

LOL if you complain about the annual fee, then you shouldn’t have the card. People who aren’t set back by the minuscule $495 enjoy the stainless steel beauty.

You can buy a lot of stainless steel at the scrap yard for $495…lol….people who get impressed by your credit card probably aren’t worth impressing….besides, I don’t want my card to draw people’s attention.

Russ Olszewski

Marriott credit card has had that promotion for years, I got mine 4 years ago with the same benefits. Cool card, but really don’t use it that often. the free night pays for itself.

I just received invitation for this card today. My first reaction are they. A $495 annual fee and ONLY $195 more if I want a visa gift card balance duplicate card my wife? Back in the 1980, my first Visa card sent me letter stating that they were going charge a $15 annual fee. I closed that account same day. I have never paid annual fee.

I love the Visa Black Card so far…I used it on my trip to Scotland and it delivered some really good benefits, including an option for a new Ipad..I like it.

Go with the Diamond preferred citi credit card. Same perks. No annual fee and high credit line. 24/7 concierge. And excellent customer service! ! Got mine and love it. And it’s “Black” …. With diamonds on it. ?…BOOM!!!

Visa invite me to its exclusive Black Card club. The accumulative interest I have every paid on my credit cards is less than $495. Why would I ever sign-up for an annual fee. I will have to bow out on this one. #sayounara

I got my ‘Visa black card’ in the mail today. I was insulted since, after reading the details, it was obvious that only a complete idiot would use it. The reason the card is black is because it is made of things which are black, nothing else. It means nothing except you did not read the details or you are an idiot. Good luck with it.

I applied for the card before I read all these comments. I got the card in the mail yesterday. I activated it, then I spoke with someone and asked them to waive the annual fee for the first year while I try their card. She said she can’t, so I told her to go ahead and cancel it. She told me if I cancel the card now I will NEVER be able to apply for it again, she asked if I was sure, I said yes cancel it. I have several other cards that have similar benefits (if not better). I just figured I’d apply for the card because it would be cool to have this “black” card. But apparently it’s all a hype and the annual fee is not worth the price. So actually, now I have the card that I can keep in my wallet. I can make it “accidentally” fall out when I’m pulling out another card to pay the tab. hahaha!

Applied for same card. Never received card . Don’t have number to call to cancel. If you do, please share. Thank you, Jack

pool pump repair guy fl

ha ha ha nice Jim a free black card, might work for the VIP lounge too ?

You’re a tool but I like your style

Amex platinum is the only card to have!!! The annual fee is worth the benefits ten times over. The Amex Centurion does not offer but a couple more perks than the platinum. You are paying for a status symbol. I have used my platinum to get seats in restaurants at last minute, I receive upgrades at hotels 99% of the time, I use the airport lounges, etc. I have gotten my monies worth with this card for sure!

I had it and closed it. When opened it I was making 150k and fico of 820.

I had it for 2 years and the first year I received a cross pen with my name on it. The pen was sort of OK but the engravement was cheap. Second year I received a aviator ray ban sun glasses.

I think this the purpose of this card is to show it off within ignorant people or if you make businesses with overseas people that has no clue what this card is but looks pretty cool.

Yea this card is a sham and is not exclusive. It just showed up in the mail for someone who lived it this address before. I know for a fact this person defaulted on student loans and in over 50K in credit card debt. Real exclusive.

reading your neighbors mail I see… lol

Got the card but have not activated it yet. Looked at all the responses on this site and have the following comments. Amex has it’s value but is not accepted everywhere visa is. The $495 fee can be waived with a single phone call. Getting double points for airfares makes the card worth it without all the other benefits. Not sure what’s going on with the comments on the cards make up it is unlike any other card in feel and is not plastic but more off a metal/stainless feel. Not aware of the airport lounge access ability but will find out. In short, no fee with double miles, and all the other amenities….not a bad deal.

How did u get the fee waived?
What did u say?

How did u get the fee waived?
What did u say?
Thanks
Kevin

Looking at Black Card because as a current AMEX Platinum holder, the benefits no longer exist. They have dropped United airlines, Concierge service doesn’t answer the phone, special event emails are sent days after the opening day for ticket sales.
AMEX has lost me as a customer due to their absolute lack of service.

i actually called amex on this one and they are giving me an extra 100 credit on my choice of airline. in addition to that if you’re wanting a live voice right when you call then you need to call the number on the back of your card and have them set that up for you.

I WORK FOR A BANK, AND I DO SEE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A CREDIT CARD. I DON’T AGREE WITH PAYING FOR AN ANNUAL FEE. I THINK I SHOULD GET MONEY BACK FOR USING THE CARD.

Wow lol i wipe mine ( mr mcGuillicuttieutty) with gold foil. Im worth 1 billion dollars and i just love my card. In fact im negotiating to buy visa inc. with my black card right now… Oops i guess i shouldn’t disclose that due to sec regulations. Its a toss-up between buying Visa or the new freedom tower in new york with my new black card. I was immediately approved for 44 billion credit line. These are real nice people that work at the customer service lines. Maybe i’ll just buy a couple airlines while im at it so i can really use any lounge i want and not have to bother with showing my black card credentials. Hope this posting has been helpful for all those on the fence about this card.

What was I thinking when I thought that backing up my Amex platinum card with VISA black.the black card is unreliable, getting a person or a voice que to answers questions is time consuming because you are on hold the account managers are slow and can never give you competent answers. I would never renew my Visa card nor have reason to pay an annual fee to be treated with delays hassles and incompetence.my identity and credit transactions have probably been secretly given to the government and my IRS audit has started. Having a platinum Amex card is worth owning and I apologize for having thought that another card could compare.

There is a really big Amex advertisement at the top of this page. Obviously the author is biased. The real bottom line I’d that if you travel internationally, Amex is useless to you. No one accepts it. Visa is accepted everywhere.

I call now to waive the annual fee, so now I am using it as a backup to my Platinum AMEX. But I have had no issue getting my credit raised to $50,000, so paying now no annual fee, have 50K in a credit line, have a concierge service that I do use 4-5 times a year, is a nice back up to my Amex Platinum card.

I have a debit card linked to my checking account with a balance of over $1million, do I really need this black card?

@Nate if you have $1M sitting in checking, you’re doing it wrong.

@Kevin If you have $1M in liquid wealth, you’re doing at least something right.

No CJ, Nate has it right – and probably has his million(s) better invested. The first million is the hardest, and you accrue it by not paying out your money unnecessarily, like on annual fees or interest.

I just received my card in the mail today, called and asked for annual fee to be waived and it was. Easy. No fee visa black to compliment my Amex platinum in the event Amex isn’t taken. $500 plane tickets for 25,000 pts works fine here. No blackouts.

Just got mine in the mail….you have to be kidding me 495 fee!? I have cards with very high limits and pay NO fee and get all kinds of perks with them…good thing my shredder was hungry!

I have this Visa black card and while the fee for this and the spouse card may seem high, it really isn’t. They offer great service and the points for travel are good or you can use them for credit back to your credit account (which if you use it enough will offset the fees). I don’t think the limit is high enough and agree that AMEX offers better limits, but I got rid of my SPG Amex card because AMEX has gone down hill with their customer service. This site is paid by AMEX, which is a conflict of interest, so take the views for what they are worth…My Visa black card is a great card and they do give gifts as well as a quarterly magazine. The gifts a couple months back were Ray Ban Aviators, which make for good back ups to my Maui Jims. Either way, any card that someone picks should be based on what they use it for and if the perks of the card matches their use. This card is great if you want someone to book travel or events for you because you are too busy. It’s nice to give someone the criteria and then have them do the leg work. If you are looking for the best card for the rewards, the Chase Ink (bold) card is the best point system, which I have for business.

I could easily advertise the Visa black card here (and earn a lot more per signup by doing so) but I don’t do that because I don’t believe this card is in the best interest of my readers, given the reasons listed above.

A seriously piece of plastic so called “carbon card”. Canceled the same day! The rep didn’t bother asking why canceling? Lol

Johannes Schlabach

The Rep knew why you cancelled. Do you think you sound smart by ordering a card and cancelling the same day? The Reps recognize people like you and don’t waste time asking. I expect you don’t know why you ordered it or cancelled it. Why don’t you enlighten those of us who are very happy with the card? Why did you cancel? If you can’t afford it you shouldn’t have ordered it. Next time, maybe THINK before you order. They explain right up front what the fee is, or did you not see that?

I like my Visa Black card. I have a Platinum American express as well, but use this card anytime I go places that do not take Amex, such as my drycleaners, many contractors, etc. In Mexico City it did get me into the Lounge after I was denied entry with my Platinum American Express.

Johannes Schlabach

ditto

What people are not mentioning are the travel benefits of the card. Has anyone tried to redeem points for a travel reward. A $500 ticket can be obtained for 25 thousand points. Thats pretty good. Normally its getting very hard to get frequent flyer benefits with seats not available or ridiculous number of miles required.

This card is NOT WORTH IT! I overpaid them and they happily sat on th e money. When I asked for it back – they said I had to wait 10 days even though they clearly had my money. RIP OFF! I no longer have the card!

Johannes Schlabach

To me it is absolutely worth it. I will pay $495 every day of the week for a credit line of $15,000 … That translates into getting a $105,000 line of credit for $3,465. FOLKS. THINK … that’s what our brains are for.

I don’t even undestand that new age math stuff, but I know my plain jane barclay visa has a 15k limit that costs me $0. So if I pay $0 everday of the week..7×0=0….then take 0 x15k.. That would equal 0.. so i pay $0 for 0 credit limit..no wait…. that cant be right! Maybe 7 x15k carry the 2 divide by π…hmm, where do i sign up for that card again

Johannes,

You’re basically saying that you’ll happily pay someone $,3465 in order to have the opportunity to be able to owe said person $105,000. Credit is a back up and last resort, not a way to live.

AMEX Platinum does the same thing. I overpaid 4k and it took longer than 10 days to have it back in my account. Was not a big deal though. If you can afford both cards (which I have), than you shoudnt worry about the petty small stuff!

All credit cards I have ever had this happen with do the same thing. It’s the red tape, nothing more. Still shouldn’t be that way, but it’s not just a Visa Black Card problem.

I have had both amex black and the visa black. The both cards have value as do most other credits cards. The main difference of which type of card you should prefer is based on it usage. You always want to look for a card that gives you the benfits that you cherish the most. If you like staying at the Hyatt a lot then a Hyatt card may be best for you. I usually look for a card that lets me build the benefits that I would use most frequently.

the only real benefit of the card is for people who travel a lot (added miles), and those high income people who put over 250k at once on the card, and can pay it off. Example: you spend 2m a year on a different card that charges .015% thats $3000, 495 doesn’t sound so bad… If I had the money to spend 2m a year I wouldn’t care either way

Well, aside from some crazy nimrods that post on here saying senseless things amount to if you have bad reviews you obviously can’t afford it, some people here did add some valid points. I am here to tell you that this card is 100% NOT WORTH IT. DO NOT APPLY. I wish I had seen this site first, it would have helped.

I am an AMEX platinum card holder for 6 years. The annual cost is just about the same really. There is exactly one benefit which is better then AMEX PC, which I am using now. There is a 13 month 0% interest transfer offer – of course you need to pay the 3% “Fee” on every dollar, but I view this a a win for me, as I hope to invest a better than 3% return. Amex does not offer this on their basic service though they mail me every month asking me all kinds of deferred payments. HOWEVER, this 0% offer only goes to your credit line – which they originally offered me at $5,000! Haaaa. I average 20K a month on Amex, how does this help?? I asked for more, and i was granted $15k – ok, at least that covered the 3% fee on transfers and with the other benefits it would be worth it – right?

WRONG – all benefits pale in comparison to AMEX PC. Airline lounge access = terrible; Alaskan only, and AMEX PC has 5x more US lounges, plus AMEX now offers Priority Pass, which covers everything but United. There are no other benefits, no hotel benefits, no airline upgrade benefits, no rental car benefits (AMEX PC gives you Hertz Gold, National Elite, and Avis Prefered). No Hotel benefits – Amex gives you SPG 2nd tier. Customer service is OK – but not great.

Overall summary – DO NOT APPLY unless you can use the 0% offer to your benefit and can talk them into an increased credit line.

Jack how did you ” talk them into ” increasing your limit

Black Card Owner

I have this card for the last two years, I dont mind paying yearly fee because I can afford it. People who are complaining about the this card have no right to complain, no one is forcing you sing up. I bet they were all denied. Thats why they are writing a bad review for it.

AMEX platinum card / visa signature owner

you don’t even know what you have. Visa black card is no more than a Barclay’s card and not a real Visa. Visa created a top tier visa called “Visa Signature” I can guarantee you can’t Visa for concierge services but you can call Barclay for your specific services.

Johannes Schlabach

good point .. i’ve had my black card for over two years and it’s absolutely worth it. I am not sure why all these people on here sign up if it’s not worth it to them. If i signed up for it and and then thought I made a big mistake i sure wouldn’t want everyone else on here know how dumb i was for signing up. It seems like people delight in revealing their stupidity.

I agree, their just pissed because they got “denied”

Hello! Ok I came on this site as research and all I have to say is if you all had a black card you obviously have way too much money to be on this site b*tching. Which tells me one thing… That none of you have a black card. And if you do that is sad with all the money that you have you are b*tching about interest rates.

Johannes Schlabach

I expect all these people bitching on here had their card taken away or got denied, that’s why they are all crying like babies.

I have a really small car, when I’m out at a bar this card helps me meet other insecure humans with really small cars and together we feel like men. Some say this card adds 3 inches — of hair to your palms. All I really know is you are truly a power if you get this card.

so true

Having been an Amex Centuriun user (the black amex), I can tell you that this Visa black thing is a joke. Just a bunch of marketing nonsense. I agree, the Platinum Amex has to be a better deal.

BEWARE OF THE FAKE PROMISE OF EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP!

I applied for and paid the $495 fee for this card back in April 2012 as a replacement for a Costco Amex card. I use this card for all purchases and business travel, so it’s important that it not only be reliable and work, but that the credit limit be sufficient to support my travel. While Barclay’s has tried to portray this card as a premium card with premium services – equivalent or better than those offered by Amex – I must wholeheartedly disagree.

Here are some of the less than ‘premium’ services with the card:

1) The credit limit was less than half of what we use with our Amex card. We use the card for all expenses every month and pay it off each month. But, by cutting the limit in less than half, we have to switch cards mid-month, making it more complex and harder to manage each month.
2) When attempting to increase the credit limit to something more reasonable, we were instructed that we’d have to wait six months before they could consider an increase.
3) We had both of our cards compromised at merchant retailers within a three week period – it took more than seven days to receive replacement cards via regular mail. Shouldn’t ‘black card’ service come with an expedited replacement card service for free?!?
4) The Airport Lounge perk that they so prominently advertise is nothing less than a joke – the lounges that are supported are primarily international, unless you fly to Alaska as Alaska Airlines lounges are supported.
5) We paid the extra $195 for a companion card for my wife – but beware, as companions DON’T receive the premium Airport Lounge perk which is a separate card that has to be mailed to you.
6) The website to manage the card is one of the least sophisticated I’ve every seen – granted, it’s all black and gold, but the user interface is antiquated and archaic.
7) When we tried to close the account due to the lack of ‘premium’ service – we were instructed that because it was past the 60 day window, we could not get a refund, even pro-rated, of the membership fee for either card….$700 down the drain for the premium experience of working with Barclay’s Black Card.

If you want a card that actually lives up to its name – get an Amex Platinum card and skip the imitations. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.

Young & Smart

If the $495 scares you, then why are you all commenting here?

This card is obviously for those who can spend, want elite status, rewards for travel, perks, and probably don’t have good enough credit for the Amex. It’s not a big deal that $495 doesn’t include so much. It’s not that big of a fee to pay…plus Visa is taken everywhere, and you receive point for point on this card. Even the Ice cream man will take Visa..as opposed to Amex. I’d say to those young entrepreneurs to start with the Visa Black and work your way up to the Amex. Visa Black is a credit card, with a carry on balance…Amex you have to pay back each month. All of you aren’t taking that into consideration, therefore your argument is irrelevant……plus you’re all not qualified status-wise for this card….because your bitching about $495!

Johannes Schlabach

WOW .. I don’t think i have ever seen this many stupid comments in one place before. You people who are opposed to paying $495 a year for a $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 or higher line of credit have to be some of the dumbest people on the face of the earth. I do deals with banks all the time for my business, and to suggest it is dumb to pay a fee for borrowing money shows your absolute dim-wittedness.

This has nothing to do with whether another card charges more or less, it has to do with what makes sense for the individual getting the card. Banks don’t all charge the same for house or car loans, that doesn’t make one person dumb to use one bank and another person smart to use another. I currently use 6 different banks, private investors, credit cards and to suggest one source is bad because you can get a slightly better deal elsewhere is completely idiotic. Sometimes I feel we should drop these dumb people into the ocean about 20 miles from shore without life jackets. To all you DUMB people, get educated.

Most good black cards don’t have spending limits or credit limits. Most black card users don’t want to carry a few thousand dollars with them everywhere they go, and most of them don’t carry a balance. If you pay the entire bill every month effectively your interest rate is 0% (think AMEX). So for the issuers to make a profit have to place a high annual fee. Any interest that accumulates is just icing on the cake.

Michael Black

Great point, in general. Although I think since the Visa Black Card isn’t a true high-roller card; but rather a wannabe high roller card, they will make a boatload off the interest – it consists of normal people trying to look rich. It is the annual fee that is icing on the cake, in all probability.

Well said.

@Johannes Schlabach – LOL. You’re a moron. Every card in my wallet has much higher credit limits and with the exception of the Amex they’re all no-fee cards.

Paying $495 a year to borrow money at usury interest rates with no benefits like Amex, and then to insult people for pointing out how bad this card is makes you by far the dumbest person to have posted here.

Johannes Schlabach

A Moron, huh ..lol .. I have other credits cards as well, including a citi visa with a 55,000 limit, but that still does not make the $495 for a $15,000 credit line with black card a bad deal; what it does do is make it a deal that is not as good as my citi card, but it was still a wise decision for me to pay $495 for another $15,000 line of credit. I am not sure why that is so difficult for most of you to understand. If i get 7 lines of credit of $15,000 each and pay $495 per line it will give me $105,000 for a fee of $3,465. If you think that is such a big fee to pay then i will pay all of you $3,465 for a $105,000 line of credit and i will not call you a rip-off artist or accuse you of giving me a bad deal. Even though i secured a $260,000 line of credit recently at 4.25% that still does not make the black card a bad deal at $495. Seriously, if you lend $100,000 to me I will pay you $10,000 plus your investment within 12 month. That would be a 10% return on your money. Do you think you would be ripping me off if we struck a deal like that. I personally think it would be a great deal for both of us. In real life i actually do this all the time. I don’t accuse my investors of ripping me off and neither do they accuse me of ripping them off. Occasionally i pay someone $20,000 on a $100,000 investment. Does that mean the investor who only gets $10,000 is being taken advantage off? Most of the reasoning i see on this site is barely 5th grade level. Sorry if that offends you.

Really? I happen to have a Bank of America Visa Signature with no annual fee and a $250,000 credit line. BETTER perks without the pointless annual fee… You are the stupid one.

Kind of hostile aren’t you? I think people come to this website to get educated not make life changing decisions. Most are not as fortunate or as well versed in financial matters such as yourself, so instead of name calling provide some useful insight.

Johannes. We have the amex starwood card with a $50,000 credit line. It costs $69 yearly and the points are more versatile and 1:1 transferable and lots more valuable than any card we’ve seen so far. I pay and expect to pay more for a business credit line. But not for a personal visa card and certainly not $495 for a card offering as little as visa black. Not wanting to be wasteful is not stupid.

Johannes Schlabach

Sam,

I have other credits cards as well, including a citi visa with a 55,000 limit, but that still does not make the $495 for a $15,000 credit line with black card a bad deal; what it does do is make it a deal that is not as good as my citi card, but it was still a wise decision for me to pay $495 for another $15,000 line of credit. I am not sure why that is so difficult for most of you to understand. If i get 7 lines of credit of $15,000 each and pay $495 per line it will give me $105,000 for a fee of $3,465. If you think that is such a big fee to pay then i will pay all of you $3,465 for a $105,000 line of credit and i will not call you a rip-off artist or accuse you of giving me a bad deal.

are you kidding? I have a 15K credit limit on my free run-of-the-mill Chase visa card. You shouldn’t have to pay money for a higher line of credit — you just need to have good credit.

Johannes, I had credit cards with limits over $7,000 with NO annual fee while I was in college. Pay what you want.

I think that anyone with a “black card” is contributing to the perception that Americans are greedy and ignorant!

Customer service is terrible. This is probably one of the worst spur of the moment decisions I’ve ever made.

I received the “per-approved” application in the mail and applied online that same day. I’m really not one for researching, and I’m extremely materialistic, so I can’t even tell you how excited I was to receive the approved card in the mail a week or so later.

After receiving it, I figured I would compare this card to the American Express Platinum card, and I found that for the Visa “Black Card” I would have to have roughly 118,000 points to get a ANA business class ticket; whereas, I would only need roughly 85,000 points to get an ANA business class ticket with American Express.

In addition, the Visa Black Card only allows 1 point for every dollar spent, and Amex has a point tier system where you can earn multiple points depending on what you buy. Overall, don’t apply. There are wayyyyy better cards out there. I’m embarrassed that I applied. The customer service rep was unbelievably rude, so I cancelled my account.

I have had my Visa Black card for several years, and I love it. I don’t make max use of the perks (but I have used the concierge several times, all with good results). Sure, the annual is hefty as such things usually go, but it gets me a card that I’ve not seen given for a purchase by anyone anywhere else, yet. So I do feel it carries a certain cache within the merchant community at least ~ it’s not uncommon for merchants to notice it and say something positive/complimentary. And frankly, I won’t notice that extra $495 in a bank account if I passed up the Black Card, so why not have something to show for it?

I do reserve it for other than everyday purchases, primarily to help the card keep its low appearance rate. All my non-Black Card charge purchases go on the other credit in my wallet: a Visa Signature card.

“to help the card keep it’s low appearance rate” how stupid. I’ll never pay 495 dollars to carry a card that just because I think it’ll impress someone when I pull it out. Wow, I didn’t think there were people who actually cared about flaunting a credit card. Maybe you haven’t seen people using this card because it’s a overpriced. I read the information and I had to look up online to see if they gave you anymore perks for your 495 dollars. I’ll keep my no annual fee Discover where I get paid 500 dollars a year for spending money.

In 3 years I’ve had the Black Card, I have not used the concierge services…guess I’m just not that lazy and can make a phone call myself…the only service I did use on a regular basis was Priority Pass. Now Priority Pass was replaced by another lounge service, and there are none of them in the airport I fly out of. So I called to see if something could be done about the ridiculous fee of $495 since I am not getting much value out of the card any longer. I can switch to an Amex Platinum for a lower fee and much more value and benefits. Even some Visa Signature cards offers more for no fee.

In any case, the woman at Black Card could not do anything about it. Said that was the fee and really was quite rude. What she said she could do was lower my APR by 1%. Yes at times I do carry a balance a couple months on the card. I probably should have taken anything I could get…but told her politely don’t do me the favor.

On top of that…a “luxury” gift this year was a black baseball cap with the words ‘Black Card’ across the front! Like I’m suppose to pay Black Card $495 PLUS walk around with their name slapped across my forehead!

I’ve never been real impressed with the cards benefits and they are going downhill even faster. So many better options out there. In any case, just upgraded my Amex Gold to Platinum yesterday.

I had the same experience, as soon as you start to complain about their card, they cut the credit line in half, and turn into rude and condescending egomaniacs. I told them I don’t need their card after they slashed my credit line from $60,000 all the way down to 30,000 the first time I complained, and after the second, they slashed it down to 10,000 and then I cancelled my account. Now I have a much better Visa Signature Thank You Prestige card with Citi, with a very generous $150,000 limit, for only $5 more annual fee.

I just received the invitation. What really amazes me is that there are people who would pay for these things. My USAA has all kinds of perks at a lower interest rate, high open line of credit, and no annual fees. Suckers born every minute!

Stefan Thomas Armstrong

Just use the Visa Black card to impress clients, ladies and for trips for the protection policy that covers 100%. they will waive the $495 and you will enjoy the airport concierge lounge. Don’t ever be late on it because they will stick it to you. That it is why I am never late and only use the card for special occasions. Most people think it is the Amex black card and I never tell them the difference. It also has no blackout period for travel which is awesome! Beware of the heresayers on this site they are just jealous or just can’t afford it!

Stefan

How did you get the 495 fee waived. I just got the card and havenot activated it yet, would like to see if I can get it waived

Nope, just not a sucker.

I’m happy with my BankAmericard Visa!

It funny people complain about the price of this card, and then in the next breath complain how its not that exclusive. So which is it? Is to pricey and not that many people can afford it? (exclusive) The price is what makes it exclusive.(duh) If the price is too high for you that means you can’t afford it.

I received an invitation yesterday. The interest rate and AMF quickly turned me off. I read the entire invitation to be fair and the expected better benefits for what I would have paid in an annual fee. My Sapphire card has the same benefits and better rewards. The only difference is the concierge benefits. I also have a higher limit on my Sapphire than what I see people have been getting with their Visa Black card. I also have no AMF and much lower APR. The customer service on my Sapphire is awesome! Someone picks up the line every time I call (which isn’t often), for any reason, and I never deal with an automated system. Visa Black needs to offer more to be TRULY different and worth the AMF.

I called the application line and asked what airport lounges are available. They asked me to pick an airport. I said Detroit and MSP I was told that at MSP (Minneapolis St Paul) that the United VIP Lounge is available. HOWEVER, when I went online to priority pass the fine print said: “If you received your membership via a financial institution (this card), you will not have access to this lounge” They did not say anything about DTW (Detroit). There are none available there either.

These people are VERY MISLEADING.

This card is a bad deal.

I just received an invitation to apply or the Black Visa card. With 15 months with 0% financing, it seems like a great deal. I also agree with others that while the Am Ex Platinum (have one of those also) is great, not all establishments accept Am Ex as they do Visa.

Thanks for saving me $500! What a joke! But as a marketer, I can kind of appreciate the exclusivity tactic. Who doesn’t want to be like Jay-Z?

I have been a merchant for 20 years always hated Amex FEES. So I don’t use Amex because I hate screwing the poor vendors! I received the VISA BLACK card and it came with an initial 20k limit.

I simply dont think its as nearly a big deal to get a black card from Visa as people are making it out to be. Let’s not pretend that status is suddenly unimportant in this society lol! If you dont want the card then shutup and don’t get one.

Wow people, bitter much? I got the card for the 14 month 0% balance transfer offer which well over does what I am paying in interest currently. I hope some of you see me swipe my carbon card and call me on it and then you can bite me. I may be the idiot who racked up another card, but I am definitely not the idiot to pay the interest. The benefits on my card are changing to coincide with the amex in Dec.

This card is a bad deal, and thousands of innocent people were screwed over by that horrid Barclays Bank. The service is second rate, the concierge is horrible, the card is not visa signature, and there are better cards out there with better perks without the ridiculous annual fee. The reps don’t know what they are talking about, and this does not compare with the REAL black card: The Amex Centurion, of which I am a cardholder. The titanium is MUCH more impressive than an overpriced, mass produced piece of worthless carbon.

As I read this, I am just shocked by some of the postings. I’m in my 40’s, married with 2 kids, moderately successful with a 4 bedroom condo in NYC, a ski house in VT and a beach house in FL. Received my invite in the mail, my wife thought the card was cute, so here I am. I’m not a card kind of guy…..I prefer cash. It appears black card holders are trying to impress that someone. Really….do we need that with the fee and debt. In all the times that I go out with my boys, even for business, I got to say, the ladies are more impressed with other things and always CASH. When I do use my credit card, I have a low end Amex cash rebate card that I find is adequate for my purposes. After all, a card is just a tool to make purchases. How can a card make you special? I decided that I am going to say no to my wife on this one.

Hey Duped, call and tell you will cancel and they will waive the fee. I called and got the fee waived and they instantly up my credit from $7500 to $10,000. I was very happy with customer service. I’m going to keep card for a year and see how it goes. I think the benefits will be worth it, especially without the annual fee. 25,000 points gets you a $500 plane ticket, or you can get 1% cash back with no limit.

Received an invitation to the visa black card. Called the number to ask questions about benefits before I signed up. I was told that we would have access to lounges at airports, priority boarding and check in. She continued on to say that we could apply and wait for a response and that we would NOT be charged any fee (495 + 195) until we activated the card. After receiving a very nice box with the plastic cards, I called to ask questions about the airlines that we would get special treatment with and they refused to answer any questions until card was activated. I was transferred 6 times from customer service and benefits and so forth and never got a straight answer. So I called the first number I had contacted to apply for the card. I found out that it was a lie, we are already being assessed the fees, still did not get a straight answer on benefits. The concierge number was a little more helpful and respectful in trying to answer questions, but in the end I was sent back to customer service where they told me that the charge would be assessed on the 31st and that I could cancel until then. I honestly have no idea what is true or false. Really don’t think it is worth the money. And in terms of excellence in customer service, I must say that I am sorely disappointed. It is not at all what I would have expected, it is much less.

excellent post, I thought it was a strange mailing. thx much!

Not keeping up with the Joneses on this one. In this economy they offer this. Wow! Are people really that stupid. $495 annual fee.

Well, I guess there’s a fool born every minute. Why else would parents buy iphones for their kids in elementary school.

DO NOT BOTHER! Like many of you, I was curious/skeptical about the new Black Card. I received the invitation myself about 2 weeks ago but hesitated because the last thing I need is another credit card. To give you all a little back ground, my credit score is mid 700, income 170K a year, own 2 homes, 2 credit cards with $2500 balances on each with credit limits on them being 20k and 15k respectively. Own 5 cars all but 1 paid off with a monthly payment on that one of 120.00 a month. Debt to income ratio, 35% been with the same employer for 19 years. After reading all the blogs, I wanted to see for myself if this card was all its cracked up to be…… So I called.

Well, I was greeted by a very pleasant lady who congratulated me on being “Selected” to receive this prestigious card.. So far, so good. She took all of my information and answered all of my questions. I was told within 48 hours, I could visit a website that would let me know if I were approved and also, what my credit limit would be. Now, considering this is a credit card and not a charge card and the fact that I already have 2 cards with decent limits on them, I figured I would at least be upwards of 20k for starters, NOT! I was approved for just 5K, the very minimum…

Now, I know that 170k a year is not Brad Pitt Money but wow, 5k! I have never had a write off in my life, never had bad credit in my life. Needless to say, I called to cancel before my card has even arrived. I was told that I would have to wait till I received the card and then call the 1-800 number on the back to cancel. Good news is, I was also advised that I wouldn’t have to pay the $495 out of my kids college fund to just to hold the card.

ITS A LEGAL HOAX FOLKS!!! Can’t blame them for figuring out another 5 card monty scheme. Hmm, I wonder is it illegal for Madoff to be a CEO from prison???

I received my black card today, 10/11/2011. I called before I activated and complained about annual fee and they waived the $495 instantly! We’ll see if the perks are worth it. Overall very satisfied with customer support so far. $10,000 limit.

Excellent post. The Visa black card is a card for wannabe’s in my opinion. When the Centurion Card first came out, it was such an exclusive card that nobody even knew about it. Here they are advertising a “visa black card?” The benefits are complete crap.

The Amex Platinum card or a Visa Signature card will do much better then this Visa Black card.

Aliwicious P. McGuillicuttie

I’m a millionaire and have the Visa Black Card. I’ve been able to land many deals with other millionaires by picking up the tab with this card. They know I’m a heavy hitter when I spank this plastic. My initial credit limit was only $500K, but after I called the exclusive customer service number, the upped it to over seven figures. I just bought a villa in France using my VBC – how sexy was that….AND impressive. I dropped my Amex Centurion card for this cute little number because the AC was slightly heavier than the carbon Visa Black…and my wallet was heavy enough housing hundred dollar bills. I’m a Visa Black Card owner and I’m proud of it.

You are so full of s#@t…..dream on wannabe

Hahahaha that had me rolling in laughter! Me I wipe my butt with 100 dollar bills, they are so soft and smooth. I wish 1000s were available but we have to make do as we can.

I opened my Treasury Direct Account a couple of years ago along with my contract trust account, I really had not thought much about the CARD UNTIL NOW.. QUESTION IS…. can I use this information to obtain the “Black Card”.. yes or no.. Either way you answer, I think I know what to do. I REALLY JUST NEED SOMEONE OF INTELLIGENCE TO CONFIRM MY SUSPICIONS. LOL Thank you in advance for your answer..

I know about the direct treasury acct thing. I plan on doing with my corp. only, can you email me about how you did it and where you got support fr gov after knowing?

I call total BS on this one! Nice try though…it did make me laugh! I’ll go ahead and do a Google search of your prestigious name; I’m sure I will find TONS of information about your wealth and prestige! I must admit, I do appreciate the humor of this post and how it portrays your stereotypical wannabe high roller’s way of thinking.

This reply was for ‘ole Aliwicious, the ‘millionaire’!I even love the stereotypical name, ya know, because all millionaires have such ‘high and mighty’ sounding names. For example: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Britney Spears, and (the late) Steve Jobs…just to name a few. Your parents spelling of your prestigious name is rather interesting as well; most would spell it as Aloysius. I suppose, if one was to phonetically sound it out, they would come up with Aliwicious!

I like both the blk card and the Amex cent……..the only thing that I can say negative about the Amex is that for such an expensive annual fee the card should be accepted by every merchant I go too

So this is funny. All the people who are saying the fee is to high don’t deserve the card. I have a Amex Plantium not waiting to get one cause you can’t apply for it. And I must say I love it. Till some small time merchant can’t take it. Then I use my debit card and get no points or cash back.

My wife and I got the card for the lounge access. Even Amex has limits on the lounge. But most of the people here don’t fly all the time so they sit with everyone else instead of VIP access to the lounge.

Amex is great because you pay them every month and they charge the poor merchant a boat load to do so. Everything american express does is to benefit them. Your card getting shut off. Is to protect them not you. You are protected regardless.

Point blank cards like this are for people who use the perks, travel alot, and can afford it. $500 dollars is a nothing really. If you spend what it takes to get a Plantium Amex card which is $50,000 you make up the fee.

If you visit one airport lounge you have to pay $ 37 dollars. In the lounge you get free non and alcohol beverages. Those drinks and snacks would cost you 7 to 15 dollars in the rest of the airport. Do that a couple times a year fee is worth it.

For me having a nice place to nap, place to power my laptop, and as many drinks as I want on a trip are priceless. And they cover lost luggage, trip delays, hotel accommodations. etc. And guess what VISA is accepted everywhere unlike America express!!

Just got my pre-approved application in the mail. At first, I thought it was for the AmEx Black Card – I was thinking are they freaking nuts? Opened it up and saw it was for Visa. Once I saw about the $495.00 annual fee, I tore it up and put it in the round file. Not possible that this card is limited to the top 1% of Americans. While I do have excellent credit (north of 800), I only make 60K a year. No way in the world that I am in the top 1%.

Life is short.

Don’t waste it trying to impress people you DON”T like – because they could care less about you. And don’t waste it trying to impress people you DO like – because that’s just like lying to them (and I thought you liked them?)

I have several Black Cards…..Went to the Card Design page, and choose a Black Background… cheers

As I have been a very loyal AMEX member since 2001, I have heard on and off about their Centurion/Black card and so when I got my first invitation for the VISA Black card… I made the assumption that it had to be similar in status and similar in difficulty in terms of approval.

Funny enough, at the time of my VISA Black invitation, I wasn’t even a VISA Platinum member on any of my VISA accounts (was Platinum on my Mastercard) and, coincidentally, I had -just- bought a new laptop computer (major purchase) about 2 weeks prior. Talk about timing. Furthermore, my older sibling received the same invitation about a week later. Yeah, talk about timing.

On the other hand, I have excellent credit across the board so I suppose VISA is trying to get more of my business because they know I have good credit habits.

What you said about exclusivity is spot-on, I think. I personally think that the VISA Black card is generally marketed towards people who show a high spending pattern and have decent credit and whom they think might be willing to foot the fees for the ‘benefits’.

Me? Well, everyone who knows me knows that I like benefits and rewards that make sense and that where I’m not generally keen on paying for rewards and perks, I am more than willing to pay if it makes sense.

If I ever got to the point where I could be approved for a Centurion and could validate getting one, I would because I love American Express and I love American Express for everything the company has done for me – including some out-of-their-way things.

But VISA Black?

… For paying that kind of money for a seemingly exclusive card and then seeing my own family members getting approved for the same card at the same time and then hearing about the benefits from other VISA Black cardholders…

Ergh.

They’ll have to really do some major convincing to get me anywhere close to accepting their offer. I don’t think it’s a BAD card at all, but… yeah. What exactly IS so special about it which requires the hefty fee?

And even more ironically, I would probably first get myself a Platinum American Express charge card before getting the VISA Black.

Just my own two pennies.

Credit-Card-Gal

It does seem like the black card is available to more people than they let on; however this doesn’t make it at all useless! Because it’s marketed as exclusive, it still works as a status symbol….and ALL status symbols are largely worth what people think they’re worth

I just received an invitation for the Visa Black Card. I’m three months late on my mortgage payment. So, it’s pretty obvious this is not for rich people with great credit scores. I also received an invitation from American Express today for what seems to be a regular credit card. These card companies clearly just want to extend additional lines of credit to people who are struggling, so that they can make a profit from interest and late fees. I’m not judging them, just stating a fact.

Nobody looks at the color of a credit card. The merchant wants your card to be valid for the junk that you buy.

How many people will every use the airport lounges?–Few.

If you have $495 to waste, use the $495 to pay to reduce your outstanding debts–a better use of $495.

It seems that form always trumps substance in this current, sick culture.. Why do so many people have such a lack of self-esteem and lack of confidence that buying junk and thinking that having a black credit card that mimics the American Express Black card, which is truly exclusive, would give that person status?–It does not and never will.

If you need a black credit card because you need bragging rights, buy a can of black spray paint, cover with tape the essential areas of the front and back of the card, and spray paint the card black! Then, you have your black credit card without the $495 fee. Subsequently, you then then boast to all your shallow friends and acquaintances that you are a big shot by showing your ersatz black card!

i love your comment of needing the status symbol… and the use of the can of black spray to get it. LOL OMG… TOO FUNNY.. I LOVE IT!

lol! i agree. the shallowness of today’s ronky ponky culture is so evident nowadays!

by the way i have a visa “clear” card. it’s so perfectly transparent that you can’t see it, and is crafted of a transparent carbon nanotube lattice that is virtually weightless. here check it out AAAHH I DROPPED IT WHERE IS IT

“A fool and his money are soon parted”. This card proves it.

I opened it up (unlike most CC ad letters), saw the $495 annual fee, and the quote above immediately came to mind. The letter got ripped up and recycled, like the rest of them.

If you actually got this card, you are pathetically chasing after status. This card won’t bring it to you; if I ever saw someone using one I would laugh. Congrats to you for enriching Barclay’s marketing team.

For crying out loud – my unemployed wife got an invite for this card. Exclusiivity – i think not.

This card is A$$
I wish I had read about it before I got it.
-Horrible unprofessional customer service. According to the agent on the phone “Credit” Department refused to speak to me on the phone but told her what to tell me.
-Visa set a really low insulting limit when I have a strong credit score and income – What’s the point then…I’ll stick with my Amex platinum.
-Flimsy bendable card
-Cheap packaging – The platinum amex is better presented in its’ package
-Benefits are a joke
-Only nice thing this card has going is the commercial and the hot girl in it. I bet she doesn’t even have this black card and carries AMEX HA!
-The list goes on and on

Do not get this card…PERIOD!

Better off with AMEX or the Capital One Venture Card

Completely Agree.

@ srt@performance

Comment:
These things are way SICK!!!! You whip it out and BANG!!! Your a celebrity. Went to look at the new dodge ram and opened my wallet and my sales person seen it and BOOM!!!! In the back room signing papers. Took the truck home with the card.

I bet you also paid full price for the car as well! I am sure the car salesman knew that this card is for suckers, so no wonder he got you to sign those papers on that same day. Win for the salesman.

I read all these comments, and completely agree that this card is for insecure idiots!

My dog was given an invite & app for this card in the mail. Anyone with this card is as dumb as my dog.

The only thing about the American Express card is that NOBODY takes it! I had a gift card from Amex and I couldn’t give the thing away! Everywhere I went they only take Mastercard & Visa. That’s why I would want the Visa Black card because I wouldn’t be able to use the Amex one. And as for the $495 annual fee, that comes out to be less than $1.30 a day. If people add up the money they probably spend more than that a year on McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Thoms Pacosian

Agreed with many of the folks here! I can attest to Amex Platinum service as being truly exceptional! Yes, if you need a card pronto, you’ll get it overnight! Yes, they stand behind all purchases and purchase protection! Yes, if you roll large you’ll push the Bentley or Lambo out the door with a piece of plastic (providing you got mad cheeze to back your purchases!)

Having said that, this card is a clear winner from every direction! But you gotta use it wisely! :)

Visa Black Card vs AmEx Platinum

I have had both cards for two years as I travel internationally at least twice a month. There is no comparison between the two. The AmeEx is far superior. It has better customer service (responsive phone service, less hassle oeverall), better rewards (easier to use, more ways to redeem), a better decline algorithm (Visa is constantly being put on hold over legitimate international purchases) and a better airline lounge program (you can use it in nearly every large domestic airline vs the Visa which has limited use).

I sort of enjoyed having the Black carbon card – vanity, I know – but not worth it, really. To cap it all off, I was late in a $75 payment and they would literally call me 5-6 times a day. Pathetic.

Jay, if you really want to impress folks. Cash is still very impressive!

WOW!. This is why the USA is doomed. You freaking idiots, I just read through the responses and can’t believe people are this dumb to pay $495 for the dumbest card out there.
NO this is not an exclusive card. Unless you make over $380,000 per year YOU are not in the 1%.

Credit cards companies make enough money on idiots who spend and can’t pay back on time and now you people are willing to pay $495 a year just to think you’re cool? RETARDS!!!

They finally called back, after I sent 69 faxes to them, to remove the fee for services not provided.

Of course the typical Large Bank response. Sorry, but we will not remove it!

This is the Worst card I ever tried.

What a Total waste of money.

Don’t waste your time with this nothing of a card, offer!

I own a merchant account service. This article is 100% correct. I’m always amazed how fools will pay for FAKE status symbols. Their is nothing whatsoever advantageous about these cards! Take it from me. SAVE your money!

@Kyle W

Amex (no preset limit) is NOT a credit card, it is a CHARGE card. Which requires a full balance payment every month. CREDIT cards allows you to carry balances.

Just saying…..

I am only interested in the Black Card because, on a recent trip to Europe, I had a lot of difficulty finding businesses that would accept any version of American Express. I hold a Platinum AmEx.

I can’t believe that this card is not just a hoax to get $495 from people who are insecure and need something to impress people. My husband received the solicitation and he is deceased and that is documented in all areas of banking and credit. I would think something like this would have a more sophisticated way of creating a solicitation mailing list to find people who might buy it.

I have a card that has no fee at all and I get the same services as the black card for free. I also get reward points. I can use this card to pay for all my everyday expenses, pay it off and then I get my vacations and the services for that for free and my credit rating goes up.

If I had much more money than I needed and wanted to show off, I would make large philanthropic contributions to show off to the world at large and then I would buy a yacht and villa on the French Riviera, to impress the other billionaires and to get some pleasure out of it.

This is a joke! The card is plastic, the fee is prohibitive, the statement comes in with ink that smears if wet, also there is no travel insurance..I want a refund. Or I will start a lawsuit for false advertising.

I had this card and dropped it after one year. I have a visa signature and a plat. amex. Both provide better benefits and lower fees. I guess I was taken for my first year’s fees. The other thing to know is that additional cards are $295 a year.

Oh an American Express cards have no spending limit. If I want to buy a Benz on my card I can. They’ll probably call me to make sure I want to purchase the card but I’ll get it on the spot. They are the best credit cards. I’ve lost my credit card and needed a new one on vacation. What does AmEx do? They overnight me a new card. What other credit card companies do this? They really help you out and provide better benefits.

For a serious investment bank like Barclay’s one would expect better.

This is simply someone trying to take advantage of AmEx’s successful Black Card (which you can’t even find openly admitted to existing, and was by invitation only for a while but now apparently you can call and get someone to look into inviting you).

The AmEx black card is made of Titainium! It is a really different card.

Carbon is simply plastic. All plastic’s are made of carbon. All carbon is not plastic. Saying your card is made of plastic would be more descriptive than saying it is carbon. It might be some space age material but I bet it is just plastic. Your body is mostly carbon; in fact everything organic is made of carbon (that is the definition of organic!).

AmEx has an experienced customer service arm. Barclay’s is a new entry and simply trying to get something by ripping off AmEx’s success. If they had invented something new like the sapphire card I’d respect them more. This is like buying an S320 and putting S600 on the back of it. A cheap rip off.

the interests fees are prohibitive….
They keep going to charge interest when you use the card and even the amounts are not due…
smart but too expensive…
Black card Visa is not really interesting..
when you want travel dont change any date its like you have to buy a new ticket….

This article is very biased and it seems to me that the author is bitter and jealous, possibly he didn’t get approved for the card or maybe he works for another company…hmmmm.

should had read this before geting it..to bad..iguess amEx platnum card is next..

I had this card and in my opinion was not worth the fee. It does impress folks when you pull it out. But- If your late on one payment, they’ll boost your percentage rate to over 20%. It happened to me and I have excellent credit. I’m going back to Amex Platnum.

utrechtholland

@johnthan
lol!

Jonathon Mazzatto

Ummm, Jacqueline, it says right in the article the annual fee IS $495! jeez…

srt@performance

These things are way SICK!!!! You whip it out and BANG!!! Your a celebrity. Went to look at the new dodge ram and opened my wallet and my sales person seen it and BOOM!!!! In the back room signing papers. Took the truck home with the card.

Jacqueline Woods

I would like to apply for a black card. Is there an annual fee?

I already have it. 😉

Well, I got an invite & app for this card in the mail. I DO have great credit but I’m not looking to impress anybody. Should I blow $450 a year to impress girls???? MY wife doesn’t think so! Well…………?

The card – I got the offer in the mail, filled out the application and received the card about a week later. Its packaging was very nice and card looks and feels amazing.

The limit – My limit was $10,000 which is hilarious for a card where you’re supposed to have the power to make very large purchases.

The gifts – About a month later I received an engraved multipurpose pen, pencil and stylus.

The concierge service – I called inquire about hotel room reservations in Miami, FL. About 28 hours later I received an email with my options. Thats a long time to wait. I could’ve went on any internet based travel site and got the results in a fraction of the time.

The winner – Barclay’s. Think about it…Barclay’s states only 1% of the U.S. residents (308,899) will be approved for the card, which equates to $152,905,005 (308,899 x $495) in annual fees!

The verdict – The value of this card isn’t worth $495 a year and I will be canceling before the next membership fee is due. Save your money get a basic rewards card with no annual fee and comparable interest rate because the Visa Black Card isn’t worth the money.

I am a US resident but spend most of my time traveling outside the USA. I have terrible credit from some stuff that happened several years ago but I have over 60 million dollars and earn great amounts every year. Can I get the card?

I just received an invitation for this card today. My first reaction was ARE THEY F**ING NUTS! A $495 annual fee and ONLY $195 more if I want a duplicate card for my wife? Back in the 1980’s, my first Visa card sent me a letter stating that they were going to charge a $15 annual fee. I closed that account the same day. I have never paid an annual fee. Now I have 9 different cards with rebate programs. I select the card that pays the highest rebate for everyday purchases. I collected over $2,500 in cash and gas rewards from my cards in 2009. I always pay my balances in full and have never paid a penny in interest over the past 36 years I’ve used credit cards. I wonder why they sent me this invitation?

I have great card (NOT BLACK)with a 7% rate and no credit limit or anual fees. The things some people will consider such as this crazy black card to make them feel secure with their insecurities. What happens to you Black card folks after the person you impressed with it gets to know the real you once the Black card envy wares off in a day or two?

This card is not exclusive and a waste of money. I have one, and was 1 day late on my electronic payment, and they informed me my rate was going to 25.24%. This is against the law for credit card companies to do this starting in 2010. Guess they are trying to take advantage of people before the law goes into effect. Lame.

I agree with Holly, I don’t think this card is only for the 1% pop. I got a pre-approval on the mail and I’m still in college, I do have a great/excellent credit score, but not enough money to spend on this card.

Only an idiot would pay 500 dollars a year for a flipping credit card.
The Visa Black Card is for middle income earners that want to pretend they are wealthy.
Like the dolts that live in their mom’s basement and go out on Friday night to buy “bottle service” at some stupid club..

Shayanne Chapelle

I have this card the annual fee is outrageous but its an awesome credit card. I love it.

Just got an offer in the mail for the black card. The $495 annual fee turns me off but the fine print says they they will give ‘a minimum of $250 line of credit to qualifying customers’. This card is marketed to suckers, both wealthy and poor. Avoid like the plague.

I got an invitation from the mail to be a member of the Visa Black. I was skeptical at first, so I had to check it on the web. But it looks like the real thing. Does it mean I belong to the top 1 percent of the US population?… that’s a complement.

do u have to have more than 1 messenger or can there be more. what are the gifts!!!!

I’ve checked with Visa and this is just a standard card. It’s doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like their Visa Signature. So, for $495 you are really paying for the pending patent carbon look. The 24/7 conierge service is not through Visa, a private firm.

Good luck!

PS When I cancelled my card, they don’t even ask why. Is this how an elite member wants to be treated?

The description of the black card’s benefits lists the “snob value” ahead of the tangible benefits, suggesting that is the main appeal. Couldn’t this considered off-trend and insensitive during this wave of public financial woe?