- Posts: 2
- Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:12 pm
- Location: California
Okay, so the other day I received an offer in the mail for the "limited" Barclays Visa Black Card. After looking through the offer's materials, I have admit that the card looked pretty cool. Of course, after doing a little bit of research online it seemed like most people had nothing to say but bad things. And with a $495 the annual fee, this is somewhat understandable.
However, the offer got me interested in the idea of getting a "premier" personal credit card, as I only have one for my business at the moment.
After doing a bit of research, it seems like the closest competitor to the Visa Black Card is the American Express Platinum (not the AMEX Centurion, a.k.a the "real" black card). The annual fee of the Platinum is $450, a bit cheaper than the Black Card's fee of $495.
So what's the difference? Well, for the most part you get similar benefits (concierge, purchase protection, rental car damage waiver, etc). It seems as if the benefits for the AMEX are a bit better overall, and considering the lower price its often recommended over the Black Card.
For example, while the Black Card offers Roadside Dispatch (they help you get a tow truck and what not), there is a fee of $60. The AMEX Platinum covers this fee for you. And for those of you who travel a lot, the AMEX also covers up to $200 of airline incidentals (baggage, peanuts, on-flight entertainment, etc).
The Black Card does however offer 2% rewards towards travel, whereas the AMEX offers 2 points for travel purchases. In other words, you can redeem your "points" at double the value when using it on travel (through Visa's site). The AMEX only gives you 2 "points" when using the card ON travel.
The reason why I'm putting "points" in quotations is because they work a little differently for each card. On the AMEX, you get 1 point for every dollar you spend on the card. On the Black Card, you get 1% cash back for every dollar you spend.
Already having an AMEX for my business, I know that AMEX's "points" aren't the equivalent of 1% cash back. If you want to redeem cash through AMEX, 40,000 points gets you roughly $250 (I don't remember the exact conversion). On the Black Card, 40,000 points gets you $400.
To me, that's a big difference that not many of the "review" sites seem to talk about. Maybe because they're too busy pushing affiliate links instead?
Anyways, I think both cards are decent. Obviously, these cards only make sense for people who want/will use the benefits and/or aren't concerned with the annual fee. I personally went with the Black Card over the Platinum for a few reasons:
1. The 1% cash back vs 1 point.
2. Points doubled when used towards travel instead of 2 points earned when spending only on travel.
3. Visa is accepted in more places than AMEX (I plan on using the card exclusively).
4. The card is metal/carbon and comes with (albeit undeserving) prestige being confused for the "real" centurion black card. Superficial I know, but it's a perk just like with owning any luxury other item (and these cards are luxury items at the end of the day).
Anyways, those are just my two cents. I feel like there is a lot of hate towards the Visa Black Card, but for some people it can be a decent option. What do you guys think?