The Visa® Black Card (or it’s street name: Black Card) is one of the world’s most prestigious credit cards. The card was originally launched back in 2008 during the run-up to the financial crisis and marketed towards those individuals with immaculate credit scores and a taste for luxury.
Although it is a Visa Card and often simply referred to as the “Black Card” it shouldn’t be confused with American Express’s black Centurion Card (which carries an annual fee of $2,500 and a one-time activation fee of $5,000). The Visa Black Card, while just as prestigious, comes with an annual fee of a fraction of the price – $495.
The Visa Black Card is not run by Visa Inc, but managed by a company called Black Card LLC and is issued by Barclay’s Bank.
Visa Black Card Requirements and Availability:
Since this card is marketed as one of the most exclusive credit cards to obtain in the United States, let’s take a closer look at what membership entails…
- According to a number of media outlets who covered the card during it’s launch, it’s availability is in line with most other credit cards in that you must be a resident of the United States and have a qualifying credit score. Although it’s well known you must be in excellent credit standing to obtain the card, the actual credit score required to obtain the Visa Black Card has not been made public.
- The media coverage following the launch of this card pegged it as “only available to 1% of the US population.” However, while 1% sounds extremely exclusive, it still means over 3.5 million US citizens are likely eligible. Plus, many of the top Amex Travel Cards are also only available to the top 1% of US population.
- Despite the aura surrounding the Visa Black Card, we’ve heard from several sources that applications were mailed to people of all walks of life when it was originally launched. Even those with limited credit history were reportedly being directly marketed to by Barclays Bank. Keep in mind though this was back in 2008 when credit card laws weren’t quite as rigid as they are today.
- Today the card is marketed as available to only a small segment of the population to ensure the highest caliber of personal service provided to every card member.
Visa Black Card Features and Rewards:
- Made of Carbon. Unlike most plastic credit cards, this one is made of a lighter carbon which makes it smooth and lighter to touch. It’s a patent pending technology which is so far limited to just the Visa Black Card.
- 24 hour concierge service. Looking to have your credit card enable a life of luxury? The Visa Black Card’s 24 hour concierge service gets you reservations at the world’s most exclusive restaurants and travel destinations.
- Cash Back for Travel. Get 1% cash back on all airfare bookings regardless of carrier. These rewards come with no black out dates or restrictions.
- Access to VIP lounges. Once approved for the card you’ll have access to over 600 VIP airport lounges in 100 countries. This sounds like phenomenal VIP treatment, however, after digging through the fine print it appears you’ll only be able to take advantage of four complimentary VIP stays four times per year.
- Travel Insurance. Travel with piece of mind while using the Visa Black Card as you’ll have access to $250,000 worldwide travel accident insurance. This includes: lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, trip delay insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, legal, medical and travel services.
- Zero Liability Protection. Protecting yourself against all unauthorized purchases on your Black Card account.
Visa Black Card Media Coverage:
In early 2009, the card’s full-page New York Times ad was the focus of a Stephen Colbert segment where he joked, “Visa: it’s everywhere you want to be, unless that place is a Jimmy Buffett concert.” The Black Card Visa has also been featured as the premiere high-end credit card in Vegas magazine, Ocean Drive, Capitol File, LA Confidential.