One of Visa’s newest product offerings is its Black Card. Touting many benefits to an exclusive crowd, it appears to be the perfect card for the globe traveling set.
It offers the card to only 1% of the population as of the 2000 census, which means only around 2.8 million folks will qualify provided they meet the tough credit standards. But does it really offer anything more than the card you’re now carrying? Maybe – but it’s going to cost you.
The first remarkable difference users will notice is the patent pending carbon card. It has a different texture and is supposed to be a bit more eco-friendly. That said, there are a few other differences that might be advantageous to anyone choosing this card, but only if you travel a lot.
Pros of the Visa Black Card
The Black Card is accepted in more than 170 countries, which comes in handy especially if you’ve ever realized you’re in a foreign country with no access to your credit line. There is a zero liability for cardholders should their card get stolen and the twenty-four hour concierge is sure to be a great convenience. Like other credit cards, Visa will replace, repair or reimburse its cardholders up to $500 for any claims filed against purchases made with the card. Your reimbursement claim must be on the approved eligible items list and you must file your claim within the first ninety days.
Another frustration many of us know all too well is the occasional lost luggage. If the airline loses your belongings and you bought the ticket with your Black Card, you can expect to be reimbursed up to $3,000. Of course, that won’t be much help if you arrive in London and realize you have no clothes. The $3,000 will come in handy, but even the most conscientious folks who file their claims in quick time will still have to wait several weeks and perhaps even a few months before receiving that reimbursement.
Another benefit of this credit card is the extension of manufacturer’s warranties. Purchase anything with your Black Card and you’ll get an automatic one year extension on top of what the initial warranty is for.
Card users will also receive $250,000 in travel accident insurance. This is a complimentary benefit, too. It’s a scary thought when you realize you’re in a foreign country and have no idea how to get legal or medical advice. Use your card – one of the Top 5 Black Cards – though, and Visa not only puts you in touch with those professionals, it works on your behalf to ensure the best of the best is located and sent to you.
Cons of the Visa Black Card
Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice is the $495 annual fee. That’s a bit steep, even for such a prestigious card offering. Add the missus or your college student and you’ll pay an additional $195 per year – whether you add someone as an authorized user or request an additional card.
Further, even with the most stellar credit, the minimum APR you’ll see is 14.99% which goes into affect after the 0% special offer expires in six months. Want to pull cash out of the ATM? Expect an APR of around 25.24% (depending on the market). Pay late, go over your limit or bounce your payment check on the Black Card or any other Visa card you have with the same bank and you might see your APR jump to more than 30%.
A Good Choice if You Travel
As you can see, there are a few benefits to owning the Black Visa Card, but as with most other credit card offers, even the most worthy 1% still face the wrath that follows a late payment or the added costs associated with adding a second user. Bottom line: this card is ideal for those who travel and who can benefit from the perks offered due to lost luggage or the need for an attorney in an unfamiliar country. It’s likely not a card you’ll want to use for more traditional purposes like adding new tile in the kitchen.
Barclays Bank Delaware issues the Visa Black Card and as mentioned above, be sure to keep your bases covered with any other credit cards you have with this bank since a tiny slip up can result in big changes across the board – even on your carbon Visa Black Card.
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