We've all seen the wistful and dreamy commercials for the Visa Black Card, featuring a lovely-figured model in a very obvious black-covered theme. Black jets and black boats, and even a black helicopter to whisk the fair maiden off to a life of leisure. The makers of the commercial for the Black Card knew exactly what they were doing; these visions of wealth and relaxation appeal to most people, and more than would care to admit it appreciate and desire status and prestige.
How did the black card come about, exactly? Well, the original black card was the AMEX Centurion, which was virtually unknown by the general public, and available to even the rich only by invitation. It could literally purchase anything the card-holder desired, and there were outlandish reports of magnificent and quixotic purchases made. The AMEX still exists today, and has such requirements as an annual expenditure of 0,000 before an invitation is forthcoming from American Express, as well as a ,000 activation fee, with a 00 annual fee thereafter. Clearly, this is the kind of true black card that Maybach owners use.
The Visa Black is Advertising 101; it capitalizes on the mystique and prestige of the AMEX, offering luxury, although nowhere near the same level as the Black Card. Generally, the Black Visa is intended for those who spend between ,000 and 0,000 per year on credit, which comes out to around 1% of Americans. It has several outstanding attributes that serve notice:
- For the first 6 months, they give you 0% APR on balance transfers
- For every purchase, you get to choose between 1% cash back and airfare reward points
- A crisp, cool matte black Patent-pending Carbon card - no cheap plastic
- An all-day, all-night concierge service
- Luxury gifts from the rewards program, sent by mail to your address multiple times throughout the year
- A Priority Pass to over 600 exclusive airport lounges in almost 100 countries worldwide
- Restaurant dinner reservations for two at top eateries, steakhouses, etc
The benefits that the Visa Black Card offers don't stop there, either; multiple avenues of insurance are offered with the card, from travel and purchase security, to luggage and even automobile security. There is a 5 annual fee, which comes out to just monthly. With the cash-back and rewards program gifts, this amount is easily recouped by card holders.
The Visa Black Card is really just a luxury card for the rest of us, whereas the Centurion is virtually inaccessible. What if you are the type of person who makes enough to spend 0,000 per year? The AMEX black card is way out of reach even so; the Black Visa exists to take up the slack, and serve as an emblem of prestige, status and access for those that can afford it. It isn't recommended that you carry a balance on this card, however; it's main attraction are all the perks it offers, especially for a frequent traveler. Get a low-interest card to act as a supplement for those months when you wish to carry the balance on the Visa Black, and you'll be able to benefit greatly from using the Black Card.