Review: Visa Black Card

Photo (cc) by alui0000

For some consumers, credit cards are status symbols. The right card can provide admission to sold-out events, access to airport lounges, and even a personal concierge service. But as every fan of superhero movies knows, with great power comes great responsibilities.

In the case of Barclays Bank’s Visa Black Card, responsibilities include paying a $495 annual fee. Let’s take a closer look:

Advantages

  • Earn rewards: Card members earn 1 percent on their purchases. This credit can be used for cash back or airfare on any airline with no blackout dates.
  • Airport lounge membership: Cardholders receive unlimited visits to more than 350 airport lounges around the world.
  • Luxury gifts: This card offers “luxury gifts” sent to you throughout the year. No specifics on what those gifts might include, however.
  • Carbon card: Account members receive a card made out of carbon that looks and feels different from other cards.
  • 24-hour concierge service: Call and they’ll give you directions, make dinner reservations, or purchase travel services on your behalf.

Disadvantages

  • Huge annual fee: A $495 annual fee is one of the highest out there. Since 1 percent cash back isn’t a great deal, that means the additional services would have to be worth the fee.
  • Marginal rewards: 1 percent cash back is the bare minimum that reward card holders should expect – and they can find it in cards with no annual fee. Given Visa Black’s fee, I would expect a higher reward or at least some opportunities for bonus cash back.
  • Foreign transaction fees: Charges processed outside of the U.S. incur a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. This really makes no sense on such a high-end card, especially as so many other cards are dropping this unnecessary charge.
  • Limited airport lounges: It is great that they offer unlimited airport lounge visits, but this is just membership in the Lounge Club program, which may have hundreds of locations worldwide, but has only about 15 in the U.S.
  • High interest rate: While those able to afford this card shouldn’t be carrying a balance, the interest rate currently listed is 14.99 percent – pretty high considering you have to have great credit to get this card.

Bottom line

Get it if: It is that important to you to have an exclusive-looking card that sends you undefined luxury gifts from time to time and offers concierge service.

Forget it if: You realize that there are other high-end cards, like the American Express Platinum, that offer more value for their annual fee.

Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home
12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home

If you’re hanging around the house a lot these days — and who isn’t? — use your time to make some extra cash.

Beware These 3 Tax Penalties on Retirement Accounts
Beware These 3 Tax Penalties on Retirement Accounts

Protecting a nest egg is tough — but you can make the situation far worse with some boneheaded mistakes.

12 Expenses You May Be Tempted to Claim as Tax Deductions — but Shouldn’t
12 Expenses You May Be Tempted to Claim as Tax Deductions — but Shouldn’t

Thinking of trying to deduct a few of these things on your federal tax return? That could be a costly mistake.

5 Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
5 Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

13 Smart Tricks to Organize Every Room of Your Home
13 Smart Tricks to Organize Every Room of Your Home

Get your household organized with these brilliant and inexpensive tricks.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020
These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020

Consumer Reports says these home products got the worst ratings from experts.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.