Visa® Black Card™ Review – A Luxury Card That’s Expensive But Full of Benefits

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For years, American Express has had the luxury/executive card market to itself with its wildly successful Platinum Card®.  Visa® has entered the upscale luxury card market with its Black Card (the card is backed by Barclays Bank Delaware).

The Visa Black Card is working to differentiate itself from other credit cards with its appearance and exclusivity.

The Visa Black Card is made with carbon (no, you shouldn’t concern yourself with how a card looks but it is kind of neat that’s it’s carbon – maybe it could come in handy in a MacGuyver situation?).  Also, membership is limited in order to ensure top-quality service for members.  That’s a big distinction from most of the plastic credit cards on the market today.

Let’s take a look at the features and benefits that the Visa Black Card offers, shall we?

Visa Black Card Benefits

Quick Rundown

  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points When You Spend $1,500 Within 90 days of Account Opening
  • 1% Cash Back as a Statement Credit
  • 100% More Value on Airfare Rewards. It Only Takes 25,000 Points to Get a $500 Ticket
  • 24-Hour Concierge Service
  • Unlimited VIP Airport Lounge Visits
  • Luxury Gifts
  • Excellent credit needed

Let’s break these benefits into more detail now…

Concierge Services

One of the primary benefits of being a Visa Black Card customer is the 24-Hour Concierge Service.  Cardholders will get access to their own personal concierge via telephone or email.

Concierges are valuable in assisting with travel plans, hotel stays, recreational activities, dinner outings, business outings, and entertainment options.

A concierge is like having a personal assistant to handle all reservations and arrangements.

For those with a busy schedule, using the concierge service can be a huge time-saver, making you much more efficient.

You know the saying ‘time is money?‘  

Having a concierge take care of tasks for you that would otherwise take up productive time, enables you to put that time back into your business or your personal life.  That is a valuable service!

Here are some examples of how their concierge service can help you:

Entertainment planning. From information to referrals, to making the reservations or getting the tickets for you, you can contact your concierge and get things done.

Business services. Check this out, they will assist you with foreign protocol if you are traveling overseas.  They can also help secure conference rooms, provide a message service, or help you procure equipment to get your business taken care of.

Travel assistance. Get hotel information and have them make reservations for you.  Find out where everything from restaurants to ATM’s are in the city in which you are traveling.  They can make flight reservations and help you with car rentals as well.  Find out where to go and what to see and get tickets to events as well.  Heck, you can have them get you weather forecasts!

Gifts and specialty services. How many times have you forgotten to get a gift?  Or you are stuck scratching your head because you can’t find the perfect gift?  Or you want to get that impossible gift you don’t think you have a shot at?  Call up the concierge!

When you can outsource tasks that would suck up your time and energy…that’s improving your quality of life.

What’s getting your time back worth to you?

Exclusive Rewards Program

The Visa Black Card offers a rewards program that pays customers back for whenever the card is used.

Points can be redeemed for future airline tickets (any airline) and travel stays at hotels like the Ritz-Carlton®, Hyatt, and Marriott® (no blackouts or restrictions).  You can earn a flight worth up to $500 with only 25,000 points.

The Visa Black Card has an unlimited 1% cash back option with no minimum redemption level.

You can also redeem your points for things like car rentals, gift cards, and exclusive events (like sports games).

The card can be used in over 170 countries around the world.  There is also a gift program in which cardholders receive free gifts from a variety of luxury brands – yeah, free gifts from top brands.

Limited Time Sign-Up Bonus

The Visa Black Card is offering a limited time bonus of 25,000 points.  You earn this once you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days of you membership.  This can already get you a flight worth $500!  The card already pays for itself with this bonus.

VIP Airport Lounge Program

Black Card members get complimentary memberships and unlimited access to over 350 participating VIP airport lounges worldwide.

What’s this mean?  

When you and your guests are flying, you have a nice place to go relax and enjoy complimentary refreshments and snacks.

You get this access regardless of the airline you’re flying or your class of ticket.

What would VIP lounge access be worth to you?  [Granted, you have to fly in order to enjoy this benefit]

Protection Benefits

The Visa Black Card offers full liability protection against any fraud and unauthorized use.  Visa promises to replace, repair or reimburse for any purchase problems up to $500 per claim within the first 90 days of purchase.

All Black Card holders receive $250,000 of travel accident insurance.  Cardholders receive free automobile rental damage coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, warranty registration, and extended protection.  Cardholder benefits include travel, emergency assistance, roadside dispatch, and trip delay insurance.

There’s also trip interruption/trip cancellation insurance included where you can receive up to $1,500 in the event of a qualifying trip cancellation or trip interruption.

Annual Fee

The annual fee for the Black Card is $495.

Use the concierge service enough and the annual fee may be a lot cheaper than a virtual, or real, assistant.  You also get the added protections like auto rental damage and lost luggage reimbursement.  Also the VIP lounge access when you fly.

The benefits can easily and quickly pay for the cost of the card.

Is the Visa Black Card worth it?

It really depends on how you use the card and your spending habits.

If you travel a lot for business, say, then I can see the annual fee easily paying for itself with the VIP lounge access.  If you are an executive or run your own business and you put the concierge service to good use then the Visa Black Card can save you time and money in research and planning.

What could you earn with that extra time?

How much would a virtual assistant cost you?

Food for thought.

There are a lot of great benefits to this card that could easily outweigh the annual fee.  The sign-up bonus alone pays for the card the first year.

Funny thing about timing — So while I’m writing this what do I receive in the mail?  Yup, an application for the Visa Black Card!  No, I’m not some kind of big-spending executive.  What I do have is an excellent credit score, which I would guess is why I received an application.  If you are considering the Visa Black Card then make sure your credit is top-notch.

*As you always should, make sure you read through the card details to make sure this card fits your needs and you understand the terms and conditions. Be aware that terms may change after this article’s publication.

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Published or updated March 2, 2014.

Comments

  1. Robert Muir says:

    I have an Amex platinum card, but it doesn’t have an annual fee. Acquired through Costco.

    • How does an Amex Platinum through Costco work? I know they have their own branded card with Costco but was unaware you can get other cards through Costco.

      • Robert Muir says:

        I actually have two Amex cards through Costco. They’re both “branded” Costco, one’s a “personal” Platinum Cash Rebate card and the other is a “business” TrueEarnings card (also a cash rebate card).

  2. Holy moly, that’s a hefty price to pay for an annual fee! TO me, any annual fee higher than a $1 is too high :)

    • I tend to agree Jon. Part of what you are paying is the prestige for sure. But you are also paying for the services here as well. If you can justify that you will get more than the fee’s value out of the card then it’s worth it.

  3. I’d like to understand how that concierge service actually works, from a frequent user. We all value our time, and if it saves even 20 hours over a year it may be worth it, combined with the cash back.
    Admiral Club at American Airlines is about $500/yr if I recall, so for a frequent flier, if their airline is included, that’s a great perk.

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