The Little Black Card

An assessment of the Visa Black card and it’s history.  Comparison to the other luxury card bearing the same name, the AMEx Centurion black card.

For a couple of years now, consumers have been literally bombarded with mesmerizing scenes of wealth, pitching what seems like an almost magical credit card from Visa; the so-called Black Card (Visa has actually patented that name).  Where did this special card, which promises spending power and prestige like few before it, come from all of a sudden? 

Little do most of us know that American Express originated the black card first, although this was its unofficial name. Although the Visa Black Card is sleek and asks for an annual fee deserving of status, the American Express Centurion Card is the one-and-only black card, and in a class of its own.  The minimum requirements are mind-boggling for the middle class: the Centurion boasts a spending limit of a quarter-million dollars, and annual fee of $2,500, and its many attendant services runs the gamut of what one might expect of the pampered.

As if the above fees weren’t enough to classify it as exclusive, consider that you can’t simply go to their website and apply for one, even if you are a millionaire.  You have to first have carried an American Express Platinum card for awhile, and charged at least $250,000 on the card. 

Only then, will the lights go on in a secret location with diamond doors alerting the American Express brass that they’ve just hooked another whale (just kidding), and you’ll get an invitation to the Centurion.  Angels will sing (this one may or may not happen, as I don’t have one, so I can’t be sure).  With enrollment in this obviously-for-the-rich-and-famous credit card program, you will enjoy a host of benefits on just about everything imaginable concerning travel and purchases.

Does the Visa Black Card measure up, you ask.  Let’s put this simply: heck no.  Although it can be a good card to have for the upper middle-class, too many people desire this card because it seems to be within their reach, unlike the Centurion.  Visa Black demands a $495 annual fee, which should be the first indication whether or not this card is for you.  If you find yourself spending $500 on rent; then, skip the Black Card. 

If you find yourself spending $500 on a dinner date for two – and think nothing of it afterwards – then the Visa Black may very well be for you.  It’s sleek, patent-pending carbon-graphite finish is sure to turn heads, and as a supposedly frequent traveler, you may find some use for the over 600 Airport lounges worldwide you now have access to.  Visa Black also tosses in some stuff from famous stores like Nordstroms, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and many more as complimentary gifts for your patronage; and, with the 1% cash-backBusiness Management Articles, the right card-holder can easily see that annual fee melt into thin air.

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