The Visa Black Card

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American Express had the first “black card” but its really lost its luster  (and a lot of perks) because they have massively lowered its requirements.  I remember back when the Centurion card was a rumor… A card that was only available to the super big spender and it had no annual fee.  Over the years ive seen many people with the amex black card.  Now basically you just need to come up with 5k a year and you can have one too.  But they have diluted the value quite a bit.

Used to be all you had to do was flash a black card at any club in vegas and you got right in.  Its not the case anymore.  Now you have to wait in line with the other 500 people flashing black cards.

But that opens up oppourtunity for someone to come in with the new “Elite” credit card.

Enter Visa with their  recently launched black card.

Perks include:

* Limited Membership
* 24-Hour Concierge Service
* Exclusive Rewards Program
* Luxury Gifts
* Patent Pending Carbon Card
* Annual Fee $495

I just got approved for one and I will let you know the “special gifts”.

Visa is going right after the Amex Centurion crowd to. The card is a heavy carbon fiber.

It appears Visa is the new black.

150 thoughts on “The Visa Black Card

    1. Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

      How is an annual fee of $495.00 a perk!? I agree with Lab. Even if you break it down to monthly it is $41.25 a month, that can get you a tank of gas and a soda pop cola. I want to know what the limit of the card is and what would you need it for that would max it out?

        1. Matt

          Yeah I know :/

          Although, I can get a gold / platinum credit card(s), I’m over the earning limit, but I’m not 25 yet, so can’t get it lol.

  1. Brandon

    The card is actually made of plastic, I don’t know why they claim it isn’t, and pretty much everyone I know that got it said the card is terrible and canceled it within a month if getting it.

    Also, their approval criteria is less rigorous than the Amex Platinum

    1. Matt

      lol yeah, from their FAQ:

      What is the Visa Black Card constructed of?

      The Visa Black Card does not contain carbon fiber.

    1. Kenney Works From Home

      That’s an interesting way to look at it. Do you do a lot of sponsoring of families, charity, volunteer, and stuff.

      I was hoping to see a link about some of the places that you support.

      Anyway, it’s nice to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

      1. Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

        I don’t sponsor them directly but I offer them great deals on pretty much all apparel. From wristbands, dog tags, t-shirts and etc. All customizable. I don’t think I have gotten any large organizations most of them are small home town deals that are trying to raise money for school events or cancer relief and stuff like that.

  2. Dave

    I wrote about this card a while ago (because it’s made out of carbon fiber, and my site is about carbon fiber):

    What people don’t realize is that this is not competitor of the Centurion card (other than both being black). If you look at the perks and annual fee, it’s much more of a competitor with Amex’s Platinum card.

    The $500 annual fee may seem ridiculous to some people, but for those who have the ability to really take advantage of the benefits (especially if you travel a lot), it easily pays for itself.

  3. Nick Stamoulis

    looks another reason for someone to pretend they are powerful in some sort of way. AMEX black was great at one point but I started seeing way too many people with them.

  4. Sean

    blah blah blah. Carbon card…that’s nothing. Get the new MasterCard Plutonium — It’s Radioactive! ;)

    We are all suckers for this stupid marketing.

  5. Milton Babb

    Thomas Jefferson’s
    Thoughts on Banking and Liberty:

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

    Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)

    I never heard Jefferson to be a prophet?

  6. knofun

    Just what the world needs in a recession, more credit and a useless $495 fee to appear cooler than the next guy. Come on shoe.

    And for all of you that want to get into the club, just make friends with the bouncer. He is just a regular guy who hates his job too. If that doesn’t work, give him the $495 :)

  7. Squirreltrader

    Nice push of the included affiliate link. How much do you get per signup?

    Great article to create interest, though.

    1. Payday Loan Reviews

      If it were my blog, I’d do it too. I don’t even bother to check for aff links anymore, I just assume every link is an aff link.

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  9. Matt

    Can you please go more into details about the luxury gifts?
    $495 is pricey, but if they have sweet gifts, might be worth it.

    on a bitter sidenote:
    Nice to see Visa Pushing thru the recession, they pretty much own the country right now…getting bailout money for their banking division (start right before the bailout) and making profits of 35million this quarter off our debt…

    1. Payday Loan Reviews

      if this site had thumbs, I’d give you thumbs up. I agree. This card is purposefully not for everyone. Those who get approved for this card are most likely those who know how to use credit responsively.

      1. Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

        Right give it to some rich person who is a major business guru they would be responsible enough to let one of their kids have it, Take Paris Hilton for example she is awesome with responsibility.
        I’m not saying get ride of nice things but a card like this… I just don’t get the point, probably because I’m not their target market.

    2. Labrador Retriever

      Its not being harsh, its being a little mystified because more often than not, people are treated better than others just cause they make more money. Why should a regular hard working American be forced to sit in economy class on an airplane while somebody else gets the royal treatment just because of a bigger bank account?

  10. Dave

    Perks include:

    * Limited Membership
    * 24-Hour Concierge Service
    * Exclusive Rewards Program
    * Luxury Gifts
    * Patent Pending Carbon Card
    * Annual Fee $495

  11. Rick

    Are we pretending that prestige is not important? This is no different than a fancy watch, expensive car…. whatever. If used properly it can help you make more money – period. It’s just marketing.

    Once you make the big bucks you can give to charity til you’re blue in the face.

  12. Ted

    I’ve seen this advertised a lot lately.

    Everyone should def. have two credit cards IMO – AMEX & VISA .

    AMEX GOLD ($125) for travel rewards

    VISA Hess ($0) for gas rewards

  13. Harrison Gevirtz

    i think centurions better, you get status on airlines, hotels, free nights, upgrades, and a lot.

    If you get like medallion with airlines with the visa black than it’s worth it!

  14. Jon

    Cash is the new Black Card! I love how people think that if you have a “Black Card” you have money. UH…CASH is money! Flash a roll of hundreds at a club and you get in everytime!


    I would NEVER pay even $50 for a credit card, let alone $495! For $495 I can get myself lots of “luxury gifts”. So many cards are available for free, if you have a good credit rating. As for Vegas, flashing a black card will only make the prostitutes quote you a higher fee for their services:)

  16. Harrisburg Web Design

    They should have called it the Carbon card instead of a black card. Calling it a black card put sit in the same status as The Amex version. Bad marketing move IMO. So even though it is cheaper it has the same “declining status” as the Amex card in peoples perception.

  17. Pheak Tol

    $495 fee is a lot! well at least for people like me who don’t have much haha

    I always want a black card, maybe in a few more years. i cant wait to see what kind of special luxury gifts you get

  18. contentpig

    I can’t afford a regular visa card at the moment. But like many others here I think if I were in the market for a new card I would definitely go for a rewards based plan.

  19. Matt

    0% APR for 6 Months on Balance Transfers*

    If this card is so exclusive why do they even need a balance transfer options? You would think the wealthiest 1% wouldn’t have cash flow issues!

  20. Matthew

    For those who spend a couple hundred thousand a year, this may work out well. The rewards program/cash back/etc. will pay for the card’s fee.

  21. frosty

    I was asked to promote this card with a top web portal. I said it wouldn’t fly on a cpa and they came back and went straight to the ceo. Anyways got back to me again and I said no again. Can’t believe you fell for it. They made $445 off of you.

  22. Christian

    I have both the American Express Centurion (black card) which i’ve had for quite a few years and also the Visa Black Card.. The black card is a bit tacky in that it says “black card” but it’s still cool in its own right and still feels different from the other plastic cards in that it’s carbon fiber.. However, it’s not that hard to get, a 700+ credit score and salary over 80,000 a year I think would qualify you. Whereas the Amex Centurion card requires that you show at least a salary of over $500,000 a year..

    Now what I’ve seen a lot of people getting recently is the Amex Centurion BUSINESS card.. This is because it’s easy to spend over $250,000 if you are paying business expenses (like affiliate marketing expenses) via your credit card and to spend over $250,000 a year. .. It’s a bit more impressive when someone has a PERSONAL Amex CEnturion card because they are spending that money on themselves (unless they’re operating their company as a sole-proprietorship, a different story)..

    On a separate note, the much harder card to come by is the Chairman’s card by Smith Barney which requires a fairly substantial net worth in your Smith Barney investment account.. I only learned about that card when my FA saw my Centurion card and told me I qualified as well for the Chairmans..

    Which one do you have Shoemoney?

  23. Dave

    Not even in the same league as AMEX Centurion:

    the 1% number is their sales target of 3 million cardholders. It is not a real “exclusivity” as such. The sales target of 3 million is massive for such a small bank (the Delaware Barclays is tiny in the USA) and the “Black Card” was their genius marketing idea to try and make a big push in the USA market.

    The requirements are an income of only $15,000 a year. Yes, there are no zeros missing.
    It is not a premium card as far as Visa is concerned – it is classified as “Platinum Plus” which is the type of card offered to you if you are declined for a Visa Signature.
    The people who will have this card are not wealthy, nor have any particular assets, nor have a high income or credit score. You simply need a “good” score (i.e. above 700 or in some cases even in the high 600’s) and a job, with no bankruptcies in the immediate past.

    Again – it is a Platinum Plus visa – and the requirements reflect this (lower) status.

    The aim is to get as many people as possible to pay $495 a year. As the customer demographic is not one of high-spenders or high-earners, the major money is not to be made by merchant fees, it is to be made by the $495 annual fee. If they reach their target of 3m members, they collect $1.5 billion from the annual fees. This is more money than Barclays Delaware has ever seen…

    The “benefits” are just enough to sound enticing on a commercial to people who cannot qualify for a premium card by Amex Platinum or even Visa (e.g. rejected for Signature).

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  27. Adam

    No offense, but I think you should respect your audience a bit more than to peddle something like this. Too many of these posts and you lose long-term for a short-term gain.

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  29. Damilik

    Are you kidding me? You are putting your affiliate code. Do you think people visitng your blog meets the requirements?

    But well, it doesn’t hurt if you put it there. You don’t know who might click on your link.

  30. Mike

    Do the detectives here really think they cracked open a major case by noticing that an affiliate marketer used an affiliate link?

  31. Jeremiah Cooper

    I’ve been wanting an Amex Black card for some time now, it’s one of my goals. All of you guys that dislike it, it’s a status symbol..and it’s a sweet card to have, the 1% cash back would pay for the card easily with the amount I would put on it. I’m looking into it Shoe, do you have any idea on the requirements?


  32. Pollniac

    I love this blog/website! Every time I visit here I always pick up a new nugget of info that helps me better my internet ventures.

    Thank You Jeremy!!!

  33. Adrian Morrison

    I got the card about a month and a half ago. I was expecting it to be heavy like my centurion … but it is super thin and super light. It’s quite the opposite of the centurion in appearance. Centurion is heavy & titanium while the Visa Black feels like your holding a sheet of paper almost. The few times i’ve used it, people thought it was fake.

  34. Paul B

    I bet they still stop your transactions though every time you try and use it in a different country! There’s not much in life that I find embarrassing but being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a card getting refused is one of them. Visa,pffhh!

  35. Ed

    No offence Jeremy, but if you got approved for one, the “limited membership” thing is BS, just like with amex

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  37. Jack

    Yes, the rumor on Black Card was it had a 100K single spend limit, no approval codes and was reserved for the elite class or CEO, politicos and celebs. Everyone has one now.

  38. alpan

    You do know that the people who read your blog know about affiliate links dont you shoe? Everyone above has spotted it. Just tell your readers, or at the least, dont think we are stupid and try to hide it was a bit of javascript “window.status= ” code. Why? Why have you done this shoe? Its made me fell that your taking advantage shoe. Regards.

  39. james

    i live in the united kingdom,i had an amex account for a couple of years but cancelled it in the end, as most retailers wont accept it in any colour

  40. nate

    linkbait. actually, more like aff. bait @ $100 a sign up at CJ.

    do you actually have a black card? they’re still not *that* easy to get. i think this post was just structured to make people think that the Amex Black Card is losing its value and to hop on this new Visa bandwagon…..

    You still have to spend $250k a year to get the REAL Black Card.

    1. james

      hi nate, no i didnt have a black card just the regular green one.this wasnt intended to be propaganda or a sales pitch, i was telling the truth as i have found it to be. james.

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  42. Chris

    That’s it kids. Run out and get more credit cards. That’s what all successful people do LOL. Seriously peeps….avoid the cards. Keep 1 for miles, and ditch the rest. Also dont forget to vett the information you receive, and the people who give you that information. Didn’t shoemoney write about being deep in credit card debt before he started making money?

  43. Edwin

    Don’t see the benefits of paying $500 for a plastic card. Instead of expecting some gifts, you can buy yourself a great gift with the $500.

  44. Howie

    Jeremy – some corrections to what you state-

    AMEX Black/Centurion requries 250k spent and paid off in a 12 month period on an existing personal amex (such as AMEX platinum), it’s actually been raised as of 2006, and was *only* 150k/year spend required in years prior.

    Initiation is 5k, membership is 2500/year for the primary cardholder –

    There are more specifics at:

    I do agree it is a stiff requirement vs Visa Black Cards essential lack of elite requirements.

    The visa black card itself is made from carbon fiber but feels more like plastic.

  45. goob

    Wow. This is SOOOO ga-hET-To! I mean seriously. Paying for the “privilege” of what? Giving even MORE money to the man? To think that people actually feel superior because they bought one of these. My superiority complex comes from having 0 debt and a paid off house. Not from trying to impress doormen and waitresses with a $500 piece of plastic!

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  47. José


    Citi and Master also have their “world” cards and there’s one known pink card that even the queen of England has one (so I’ve read).
    Recently I read about a card with a diamond from one of those Middle East countries, probably Dubai.

    Kind regards,


  48. José

    Hi again,

    Sorry to post again, it’s not my intention to spam, but do you think that they may have approved you because you’re a “market leader” and others will want to follow ? :-)

    Take care,


  49. Darin Carter

    OMG … people this is a CREDIT CARD like any other CREDIT CARD … there is a annual fee of $495 because there is a concierge program behind the card … so you can call them to arange flights, buy concert tickets, plan trips … and Shoemoney had to “apply” just like anyone else … if he had bad credit he would have gotten decliened … however i’m sure “shoe” has enough money to pay his bills and has a decent Credit Score to get approved for the “Visa BLACK Credit CARD”

    Just like any other credit card …



    1. Ships

      This is not like any other credit card. This is Black Card of Visa and requirements for membership should be higher than written here. No one who earns less than 200 k USD yearly want to get such card. So 465 USD anual fee is nothing.

  50. WillBlogForFood

    Colbert Report Did a funny set about this card. A credit card is just card no matter what color it is . I am sure if you flashed some green at the entrance to those clubs you could get in to.

  51. Make Money Online

    Fancy stuff. Well I think Amex’s requirements are so low because it’s fighting for it’s life against visa and mastercard. It’s rare to find people using Amex these days honestly. And more and more stores aren’t accepting it. I think Amex came out with the black card as more of a “cool” reason for people to go Amex instead of visa or MC. (they’re hoping to catch the crowd of nearly broke people that want to appear richer than they are) And as for visa’s black card well they released it as an exclusive card because they can afford to.

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  56. hr

    I think some people look at the price of a credit card instead of the value of that card.

    I have a amex green card and last year alone i spent over $400k. Amex has asked me if I wanted to upgrade to the “black card”. They also told me that i could continue to use the green card and get the same service as the black card becasue of the dollar amount i spend. So really, if you are a big baller or whatever- it doesnt matter what card you have- to get great service, you just need to spend alot.

    I have the Visa black card- its a great card- i have a $500k limit. One reason that I like this card over the amex black is that when i travel (commercialy) i can walk right up to the Admirals club (american airlines) flash them that card and get right in and enjoy free mimosas, i have also used this card to upgrade hotel rooms, went from 3 bedroom suites to penthouse for very little in cabo. Im not big into all the points or cash back, i use a credit card for what it is.

  57. CS

    I have a Plat. AMEX which I use alot however in some cases it is not accepted so therefore a Visa is goodto have – one where the perks are close – especially if you travel tons and like access to travel perks. If you use it a lot as I do then the fees do not matter. For example, say you have a 10 hour travel time home after a long week and a connection that is delayed….you can spend that extra time in a lounge instead of resting in a dirty terminal..or if you need help finding a last minute hotel you can call a real persn to do the work for you…I’ve even had them send someone to my home to wait for a delivery before…so yes these types of cards are not for everyone but when you need them…trust me on this…you will be glad you have them regardless of the annual fee.

  58. TCrow

    I see more and more companies not accepting American Express now more than ever. Amex makes 50% of thier money off the card holder and 50% of the merchant. I have the visa black card and it is excepted everywhere even internationally. This year Visa sent me a very nice wooden desk box, inside had 2 mont blanc pens with my initials on them, stationary, cufflings with my initials on them, luggage id cards, and a visa golf tees and balls. For me the $500 dollar a year price isnt a big deal- they take care of me. Does amex do that?

  59. Bill H

    Just my two cents- having a Visa black card or a Amex black card is a idiotic material think to have. If you really have money-why would you want to tell everybody? A black credit card that informs people that you spend 250k annualy would make you a target. I travel alot and go places that I am generaly not familar with. I wouldnt want to flash that card to somebody who might want to stab me for thinking that i might have a huge wad of cash in my pocket. I use the green card- it doesnt stand out. I also have a $250k watch my wife bought me for our 25 year anniversary. I wouldnt wear that and flash it arround publicly for the same reason. Its stupid card and for people who need attention. The same attention i get when i walk off my Gulfstream.

  60. JCM

    This card is not comparable with the AMEX Centurion. Just because it is black does not mean that.

    I have just got it. I do not have the Centurion but I have the Platinum.

    The reason I got it is because AMEX is not accepted in many places. I also travel a lot so the airport lounges may pay the 495 fee.

    My credit score is 790 and household income of 250k.

    Funny thing before approval they sent me a letter asking me for proof of citizenship.

    This is simple, if the card is not as good as they say it is I will cancel it before the second year kicks in.

    My opinion is, if you can get out of the card perks 495 bucks you can have the card for free if not go get another Visa with 0 annual cost. I have more than one.

  61. misterblack

    TRADE: I get you an Amex Centurion Card, You Pay Both Our Annual Fees

    I still haven’t found anyone trustworthy to do this deal with, so here goes again:

    For anyone who is not eligible for the Centurion black card, I’d be willing to make a deal to list you as an additional cardholder. I’ve listed the terms of the deal here:

    Basically I’m eligible for the US-based Centurion Card and the deal is that you pay the setup and ongoing annual fees for both of us. And you promise to pay your bill on time. My email is and my blog is

    No freaks or timewasters please!

  62. bravo4niner

    Become a black card holder as an additional on my account for way less than misterblack is offering: $2,800 a year plus deposit of what you want your limit to be. Or you can just get a card in your name for $875. A REAL Black Amex (Centurion card) custom made with your name on it, with the welcome kit and all (just doesn’t work for charges). Email me at

    1. john

      Can you tell me what the limit is on the visa black card. Im comparing getting an au acct
      with someone else as primary for $400.00
      I dont need to charge any thing on it. I just want your good perfect payment history.


  63. Credit Gal

    Okay; listen guys: there simply is little reason – other than the freedom of speech (!) – to complain about the black cards annual fee. Why not? Because if you need to hem and haw about $500, then the card is clearly not for you! The people who have a shot at benefiting from its services spend that much on a dinner for two. Any others just enjoy the status, much like a pair of $500 Salvatore Ferragomo shoes, when you $79 Stacy Adams look just as good. well, sorta.

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