Visa Black Card vs. American Express Platinum

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SupermanX5
 
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Visa Black Card vs. American Express Platinum

Postby SupermanX5 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:52 pm

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?


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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:41 pm

It's an exorbitant annual fee to pay in return for the benefits received. You can get the same or better rewards and perks for $95 with the Chase Ink Bold or Plus. You also ignore the ability to transfer the Amex points directly to travel partners, which can increase the value of a point well beyond the 2¢ you may receive redeeming the Black points for travel. You dismiss the $200 airline credit too quickly. Toss in the $100 Global Entry credit, Fine Hotels and Resorts, Amex's concierge, and the remaining ancillary travel benefits (including body repatriation!) and I don't see how the Black Card is even comparable.

Enjoy the temporary prestige of being mistaken for a Centurion cardmember, though.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]
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nismoZtuner
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Postby nismoZtuner » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:45 pm

get the American Express Platinum+spray can(black)= so much win!
TU 752 (+4) - [5/9/2014] CK 726 - [11/24/14] EX 725 - [11/20/14] EQ 710
BankofAmerica Cash Rewards [2k] I American Express Blue Cash Everyday [3K] l Discover IT[2.5]
American Express Premier Rewards Gold [NPSL] I Marriott Rewards Premier [5k]
Chase Sapphire Preferred[7.3]
Inquires: TU(?) EX(?) EQ(?)
TCL-$19,800
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nismoZtuner
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Postby nismoZtuner » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:46 pm

joke, i dont think the VISA black card is worth it, go with something else...
TU 752 (+4) - [5/9/2014] CK 726 - [11/24/14] EX 725 - [11/20/14] EQ 710

BankofAmerica Cash Rewards [2k] I American Express Blue Cash Everyday [3K] l Discover IT[2.5]

American Express Premier Rewards Gold [NPSL] I Marriott Rewards Premier [5k]

Chase Sapphire Preferred[7.3]

Inquires: TU(?) EX(?) EQ(?)

TCL-$19,800

Age-22

SupermanX5
 
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Postby SupermanX5 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:31 pm

I agree with you, I think the AMEX Platinum is a better overall deal. I just wanted to point out (no pun intended ha) the differences in point value and acceptance. Either way, I think these cards only make sense for people who spend enough to where the cards pay for themselves. Personally, the Black Card's advantages that I mentioned make it a better choice for me. But to each his own.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:21 pm

The Amex Platinum is definitely a good value for frequent travelers who like upgrades. It is not nearly the best card available in terms of rewards on gas, groceries, etc.

Just because the Black Card may be a relatively better value than the Amex Platinum for you doesn't mean it's a good card to begin with.

Did you compare the Black Card to the CSP? It has good travel rewards with a much lower AF. That's metal, too, if you're a fan of that. Personally, I think my wallet is heavy enough with its current contents.

What do people think of the Barclay's customer service? I know Amex Platinum has a special set of CSRs, but I'm thinking about getting the Sallie Mae card.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
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Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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Postby MemberSince99 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:22 pm

I agree with what you guys have said - I mean I personally have the Amex Plat, and if I didn't see it being worth it I wouldn't have it. I couldn't care less about who it impresses - though honestly a number of people have noticed the EDP and commented on it where no one ever said a word about my Amex Gold.


So I agree with you, every point you've made. I thought of saying the same things, but then I realized that all that really matters in the end is what he sees the value of it as.


Personally I have a black card - my Associated Bank card is the black one. Doesn't do a thing to make me feel special. But if having a black credit card is worth the 495 to you, well who am I to say you shouldn't do it. It's all about what holds value to him, even if to us it wouldn't have the same value.

astronautcowboy
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Postby astronautcowboy » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:43 am

The Marriot Rewards card from Chase is also black and made of metal.

Darrvao777
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Postby Darrvao777 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:45 am

astronautcowboy wrote:The Marriot Rewards card from Chase is also black and made of metal.


Agreed, this is the one to nab if you're looking for a faux black card

Has all the perks of a Visa Signature and is significantly cheaper as well in term of annual fee
- Amex Platinum (primary)
- Citi Double Cash (backup)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (just to get the bonus, closing in 2017)

jlam572
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Postby jlam572 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:12 pm

The visa black card is a good card, but to me its image is built in shame. Attempting to steal the glory from the amex centurion and give an "Exclusive" offer to people on unemployment (a friend of mine) is not a good business strategy if you want to make a good name for yourself in the CC world. It does have a lot of benefits though, however...I just wish they were more original. Id be kinda shamed to use it...like wearing a invicta that looks like a rolex, or drive a Hyundai that looks like a benz...etc.
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