Visa Black Credit Card Review

by Millie Kay G. on Deals and Offers

Billing itself as “The World’s Most Prestigious and Versatile Credit Card,” Barclays’ Visa Black Card has garnered a lot of attention in recent months. What does this card offer to its users and who can benefit the most from it?

If you like the idea of exclusive deals, then the Visa Black Credit Card might appeal to you. Barclay claims to limit this particular card to 1% of U.S. residents. And it’s made of patent-pending carbon, which makes it stand out from the plastic cards up for grabs elsewhere.

How much will this exclusivity cost you? You can expect to pay an annual fee of $495. Since this annual fee is substantially higher than run-of-the-mill credit cards, it’s worth noting that membership gives you access to a rewards program and 24-hour concierge service.

Visa Black Credit Card Review: Concierge Service & Rewards

First, the good: the concierge service can help you with travel arrangements, restaurant reservations, and more, whether you need it for your business or not. For instance, you can learn more about local events, arrange for gifts or flowers, set up conference services, and gain assistance in tracking down the right gifts.

This can be of help when you’re away from home or vacationing — you won’t have to pay extra for flaky Wi-Fi access or waste time hunting for a place to eat if you can call the concierge service. You can email in your requests if that’s easier than phoning, too.

As for the rewards program, how does 1% cash back on your purchases or airline points without blackouts or restrictions sound? To be honest, it may be hard to make up or justify the annual fee on this card unless you use it often. At any rate, you can redeem your rewards by logging into your account or by calling customer service for a Redemption Specialist.

For alternative cards that offer better rewards and/or no annual fees, check out this list of top rewards cards:

Credit Card
Rewards Type
American Express Blue Cash Cash Back Up to 5% cash back, No annual fee, 0% for 6 months
Discover More Card Cash Back Up to 5% cash back bonus, $75 cash back bonus, No annual fee
Discover Student Card Cash Back Up to 5% cash back bonus, No annual fee
Discover Motiva Credit Card Cash Back Up to 1% cash back rebate, No annual fee
American Express True Earnings Card Cash Back Up to 3% cash back, No annual fee, $25 cash bonus
Chase Freedom(SM) Cash Back Up to 5% cash back, No annual fee
Chase Sapphire Credit Card Point Rewards Unlimited points, Bonus: $100 cash or 10,000 points, No annual fee
American Express Zync Card Point Rewards Bonus: 10,000 points after 1st purchase, $25 annual fee
American Express Gold Card Point Rewards Earn points for every purchase, $125 annual fee

For additional options, here’s where to check out some great cash back credit cards; most of these have no annual fee!

Visa Black Credit Card Terms

To sweeten the deal, the Visa Black Card offers luxury gifts and a Travel Lounge Priority Pass. If you spend a lot of time in the air, you’ll be able to stop by airport lounges in more than 100 countries, over 600 airport lounges total.

What about the APR? It’s going to be 13.24% at the account’s opening. Not necessarily the lowest rate card out there. The APR will vary based on the Prime Rate. For cash advances, the APR is 21.99%, variable based on the Prime Rate.

In the event you’re already carrying a balance on another card, you have the option of transferring that balance over to the Black Card. For six months, that balance won’t accrue any interest. After the introductory period, your APR for balance transfers will rise to 13.24% based on your credit history. Now if you’re interested in seeing other cards of this sort, here’s where to check out some top balance transfer cards.

Additional Benefits of the Visa Black Card

Book your travel fare with the Black Card and you’ll receive worldwide travel insurance worth $250,000, if your travel’s eligible. Afraid of losing your bags? There’s baggage delay insurance, which covers $100 a day for 3 days. And if you’re renting a car, there’s a collision damage waiver. No one expects trouble when they book their travel itinerary, but the Black Card has you covered with trip interruption/cancellation insurance.

Your purchases have some coverage, too. Purchase Security means that you have 90 days to make a claim on eligible items; you’ll see the item replaced or repaired, or you’ll be reimbursed, up to $500 per eligible claim. With the Warranty Manager Service, you’ll be able to access warranty registration and Extended Warranty Protection for things you purchase. For the Extended Warranty Protection service, that means your purchase’s original warranty period will be doubled, up to a year’s time.

Is this the right card for you? For the average consumer, it may be possible to find less exclusive credit cards with more favorable APRs, which is important if you tend to carry a balance. However, despite the substantial annual fee, you might be able to make the card pay for itself if you’re already predisposed to be a heavy duty credit user who pays off the balance each month.

I would suggest that you compare your credit cards against the services offered by this particular card. Will the upgrade in benefits justify leaving your other cards behind? Don’t forget to look over the Terms and Conditions, which will disclose the penalties as well as the benefits of the Black Card.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 chris October 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Visa Black is a good card to have for the status-inclined.

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