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Good riddance Visa BLACK card, is something worse coming?

by on Tue July 7, 2015 • No Comment


The Visa BLACK card may go down as one of the most over hyped card propositions of all time.

It has a $495 annual fee (higher than the real Platinum Card from American Express and the Citi Prestige, both of which are loaded with benefits) and offers…

  • Priority Pass airport lounge membership with unlimited visits
  • Points worth 2 cents each for airfare
  • Vague hotel upgrades similar to the American Express upgrade program

Not much when you can get the lounge access plus a lot more for $450 less $200 or more in credits via the Platinum Card from American Express or Citi Prestige.

And even worse, the marketing touted the limited availability of the card (which actually appeared available to anyone with a decent credit profile and willingness to pay the fee).

But now you can no longer apply for the BLACK card online at

Instead, a page announcing a new Luxury Card appears at


There are no details other than ‘more benefits’ and ‘enhanced value.’

All we can hope is they create something truly competitive compared to the fee that’s being charged.

The Visa Black Card has been kicking around in some form or another since 2007.

When the Black Card launched it was even worse – with a 1 cent per point value for airfare.

And the idea was to get people to think they would be getting a card with the exclusivity reserved for the real Black Card, the Centurion Card from American Express.

That card, with a $2,500 annual fee and $7,500 initiation fee, offers real benefits like Platinum Medallion status with Delta SkyMiles, confirmed upgrades at several luxury hotel chains, and premium rental car status. Though even those benefits are questionable for a high annual fee.

But the Luxury Card doesn’t need to compete with the Centurion Card to be worth $495.

It needs to provide broad U.S. airline lounge access and some sort of travel rebate, something Priority Pass can’t deliver, but the Platinum Card and Citi Prestige do for $450.

And if not, then significant status with a major travel brand is a must if the Luxury Card wants to compete.

But for people who don’t really understand luxury but want the perception of being associated with it, then maybe avoiding travel benefits altogether is a better play for this card.

Free shipping for online shopping and discounts at Gilt might go a long way toward making the card valuable to people who want something other than travel.

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