Black credit cards are the most prestigious currently available. They have high credit limits and have a range of benefits as standard such as a higher earn rate on rewards and 24/7 concierge services.
Black cards are better in the sense that they have a higher status and more benefits than gold or platinum cards from the same issuer. They also have higher annual fees.
Although it also describes the colour of the card, the word ‘black’ actually refers to the card’s status when compared with other cards. A black card is higher up the ladder than gold and platinum, comes with more complimentary benefits, often has a higher and less restricted loyalty points earning rate, and inevitably costs more in terms of the annual fee.
Black credit cards are intended for higher income earners, relatively big spenders who make most of their purchases using a credit card. They are probably regular travellers for either business or leisure. The extra rewards points they can earn, and additional complimentary benefits they can make use of, allow them to recoup far more than the value of the high annual fee.
The Big Four banks plus American Express, Bankwest, Citi, HSBC and Macquarie. The word ‘black’ may not always appear in the card’s name. Some black card issuers use terms like Premium, Diamond, Prestige, Premier and Signature.
Currently most black cards have an annual fee in the $300 to $400 range. The Citi Prestige card has a much higher fee ($700, or $749 if you choose to earn Qantas points) but its complimentary benefits are stellar.
Black credit cards are almost always rewards cards, with a higher points earning rate per dollar spent. There will be no monthly points cap to limit earning; if there is a cap, it is likely to be a generous one. Complimentary benefits usually include travel insurance, shopper’s insurance and a concierge service, as a minimum. Some black cards offer airport lounge access, free flights or travel vouchers, luxury hotel group membership, prestige events and more.
Cardholders who are relatively big spenders and regular travellers, who channel the majority of their spending through a single black card and pay off their card balance every month, should have no problem recouping the value of the fee several times over every year.
No. Black credit cards are not aimed at cardholders who are concerned about interest rates because they expect to have an unpaid purchase balance for long periods. Interest rates on black cards usually exceed 20% p.a.
Definitely. Most black credit cards offer at least 75,000 sign-up bonus points, and the number can be as high as 100,000 or even 150,000. The offers go up and down, and a card’s bonus points offer may occasionally disappear altogether for a short period. But at any one time there are usually several black cards offering bonus points.
Most sign-up bonus point offers require cardholders to reach a set spending target within the first two or three months of holding the card.
Most card issuers are looking for a minimum income of $75,000 and a good or excellent credit rating.