Black Credit Cards

Compare black credit cards, the most prestigious options available. They offer high credit limits, enhanced rewards earn rates, and premium benefits like 24/7 concierge services.

Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 28 May 2024

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Comparing black credit cards

American Express Explorer Credit Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

23.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$395.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Obtain 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points upon application approval and spending $4,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Enjoy a $400 Travel Credit annually for flights, hotels, and car rentals when booked online using this card.
  • Benefit from complimentary domestic and international travel insurance coverage.

Pros

  • The 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when approved and reach spend requirement within the first 3 months.
  • Receive a $400 travel credit every year.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases except for government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (uncapped).
  • Get two complimentary entries per year to The Centurion® Lounge.

Cons

  • The $395 p.a. annual fee.
Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Altitude)

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$150.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 150,000 bonus Altitude Points. Receive 100,000 Altitude bonus points by spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within 120 days of card approval. Additionally, get 50,000 points after your first eligible purchase in year 2. Exclusions apply.
  • Initial $150 p.a. annual fee ($295 p.a. thereafter), applicable to new cardholders only.
  • Earn 6 Altitude points per $1 on Qantas, Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates flights bought in Australia, subject to eligibility criteria.

Pros

  • Earn up to 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Additional savings with the $150 first-year annual fee ($295 p.a. thereafter).
  • Earn 1.25 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases
  • Get 2 complimentary lounge passes each year with Priority Pass.

Cons

  • The high annual fee of $295 p.a. after the initial year.
St.George Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

On website

Apply by 31 July 2024

St.George Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Balance transfer

24 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$199.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Up to 150,000 Bonus Amplify Rewards Points earned upon spending $12,000 on eligible purchases within the first 12 months from card approval.
  • Initial card fee of $199 for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter).
  • 0% p.a. interest for 24 months on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee applied to transferred amounts.
  • Comes with complimentary overseas travel insurance coverage for up to 6 months.

Pros

  • The 150,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points.
  • Save $96 with the $199 card fee for the first year.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits each year when you enroll in Priority Pass.
  • Comes with concierge services.

Cons

  • After the initial year, the annual fee is $295 p.a.
  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card

On website

Balance transfer

12 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

20.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$295.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Gain up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points. Acquire 90,000 bonus points upon spending $3,000 within the initial 60 days from account approval date and an additional 30,000 bonus points upon maintaining your card open for over 12 months. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Benefit from 0% on balance transfers for 12 months with a 3% Balance Transfer Fee.
  • First-year annual fee reduced to $295 p.a. from $395 p.a. (saving you $100).

Pros

  • Complimentary Qantas Frequent Flyer membership fee valued at $99.50.
  • Six complimentary insurances when you make an eligible purchase.
  • Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on everyday purchases up to $5,000 per statement period then 0.05 pts per $1 spent thereafter (capped at $20,000).

Cons

  • Annual fee of $395 p.a. is quite high.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Apply by 30 June 2022

Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Balance transfer

24 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$279.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn up to 200,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points over 2 years when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases each year. Plus, receive a birthday points bonus of 10% of the points earned in the last 12 months.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with 1% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.
  • Includes complimentary overseas travel insurance for up to 6 months

Pros

  • The 200,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Includes complimentary overseas travel insurance for up to 6 months

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
  • The ongoing annual fee is high at $279 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

On website

Balance transfer

24 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$199.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 150,000 Bonus Amplify Rewards Points over 2 years when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases within the first 12 months from card approval.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.
  • $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. annual fee thereafter)

Pros

  • The 150,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Includes complimentary overseas travel insurance for up to 6 months

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
  • The annual fee reverts to $295 p.a. after the initial year.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$375.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get 180,000 bonus Reward Points and $150 cash back upon spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases within the initial 3 months of approval.
  • Accrue 2 Reward Points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases, up to $5,000 per statement period.
  • Enjoy complimentary international travel insurance.

Pros

  • Receive 180,000 bonus ANZ Rewards points and earn a $150 cash back when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $5,000 per statement period.
  • There is no cap on the number of points you can earn.
  • Free international travel insurance and purchase protection insurance.

Cons

  • The $375 p.a. annual fee.
  • Doesn't come with lounge access.
  • No balance transfer offer.
Kogan Money Black Credit Card

On website

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

20.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive $300 Kogan.com Credit upon spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases within 90 days from card approval.
  • Enjoy no annual fees.
  • Benefit from 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a.

Pros

  • Get a $300 sign up bonus in Kogan.com Credit when you meet the criteria.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • Earn 2 reward points per $1 on eligible purchases at Kogan.com and 1 reward point per $1 on other eligible purchases.
  • Uncapped rewards.

Cons

  • There is a 3.4% foreign currency fee.
  • The ongoing cash advance rate is 21.74% p.a.

The gold card, once a symbol of aspiration, has been dethroned by the platinum card. However, the black card has now claimed the title of the ultimate personal card.

What is a black credit card?

While "black" refers to the card's colour, it primarily signifies the card's elite status compared to gold and platinum cards. Black cards come with premium complimentary benefits, often featuring higher and less restricted loyalty points earning rates, and inevitably command higher annual fees. Both personal and business users can access black level credit cards.

Some issuers may opt for alternative names like Premium, Diamond, Prestige, Premier, or the more recent Signature rather than using the term "black" in the card's name. However, the card's distinctive black appearance always indicates its status and potential benefits. Certain black credit cards are even crafted from metal.

Possessing a black card allows you to make a statement about your financial standing while enjoying enhanced rewards points, earning rates, and superior complimentary perks.

What are the benefits of a black credit card?

While benefits can vary significantly between black credit cards, most offer the following advantages:

  • Higher credit limits
  • Generous sign-up bonus offers
  • Increased rewards points earning rate per dollar spent
  • No points cap or a substantial cap
  • Complimentary travel insurance coverage
  • Complimentary shopper's insurance (extended warranty, purchase protection, price guarantee)
  • Dedicated personal concierge service

High end black card benefits

Black credit cards with the highest annual fees often include some of these additional perks:

  • Airport lounge access, sometimes with full membership or through passes
  • Complimentary annual domestic return flight
  • Complimentary airport transfers
  • Annual travel credit voucher
  • Enhanced insurance coverage
  • Luxury hotel group membership, complimentary nights, and room upgrades
  • Access to exclusive shopping, golf, and other experiences
  • Invitation-only events
  • Priority service for account queries, travel, and concierge assistance

When selecting a black card, it's crucial to ensure that its features align with your lifestyle rather than paying for benefits you won't utilise to maximise the value you receive.

If you're considering switching to a black credit card, it's wise to take full advantage of the opportunity. Transitioning to a new bank or issuer for your black card could offer two significant benefits:

  • Earning a substantial sign-up bonus – potentially up to 100,000 points, depending on the available offers;
  • You can transfer your existing card balance to the new card and enjoy an extended interest-free period on that balance, possibly up to 20 months.

In reality, black cards are more likely to offer bonus points than balance transfer promotions. However, it's also worth keeping an eye out for introductory low or zero interest rates on purchases or reduced annual fees for the first year, as these offers are occasionally available.

How much do black credit cards cost?

Expect to pay a significantly higher annual fee for a black credit card compared to other card types, with the current median fee falling between $300 and $400 per year.

Although the annual fee for a black card is substantial, savvy cardholders can easily derive benefits that far exceed the fee's value. Even without being a big spender, you can recoup the annual fee through rewards points alone, as long as you channel most of your spending through the card instead of using cash or other payment methods. Regular travellers will also appreciate the value of complimentary benefits like travel insurance, other insurance policies, and airport lounge passes, which can collectively be worth around $1,500 annually.

Don't anticipate a low interest rate with your black credit card. The interest charged on overdue purchase balances is likely to be at least 20% per annum, with even higher rates for cash advances.

In fact, it only makes sense to choose a black credit card if you intend to use it for every possible expense and then pay off the balance in full each month. The interest rate should only be a concern if you encounter a temporary liquidity issue or accidentally miss a payment due date.

The bottom line is that card issuers don't market their black cards to individuals seeking low interest rates.

What's required to qualify for a black credit card?

Black credit cards are designed for higher income earners who are relatively big spenders and make most of their purchases using a credit card. To be eligible for a black credit card, you'll typically need an above-average income and a very good to excellent credit score.

Target market

Banks aim their black credit card offers at applicants who travel frequently for business or leisure. These individuals can earn extra rewards points and take advantage of additional complimentary benefits, allowing them to recoup far more than the value of the high annual fee.

Income requirements

The minimum income required varies between banks and specific cards, but expect it to be in the range of $65,000 to $70,000 per year, with some requiring even more. If you cannot provide proof of your income, it's best not to apply.

Credit score

Your credit score is crucial when applying for a black credit card. A good or excellent credit score is necessary, which implies no missed payments or recent negative credit history. Review your credit report before applying to ensure it meets the requirements.

Is a black credit card worth it?

If you're unsure whether a black credit card is worth the cost, there are several factors to consider when evaluating your options.

  • Can you meet the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus? Will you need to make unnecessary purchases just to earn the bonus points?
  • Will you pay off the balance each month? If you're unable to clear the balance, interest charges can quickly outweigh the value of the rewards and benefits provided.
  • Will you be able to use the card frequently? Can you channel enough spending through the card to earn sufficient points to justify the annual fee? Keep in mind that some merchants do not accept American Express.
  • Will you use the features offered? Black credit cards often include several complimentary insurances, airport lounge access, priority boarding, status, etc. Consider whether you'll use all of these benefits or if you can manage with fewer perks.
  • Can you consolidate other products you already have? For instance, does a black card combine the features of multiple cards, allowing you to simplify your finances and reduce waste? Can you replace existing paid memberships and subscriptions with your new card?

What to consider when comparing black credit cards

These cards are loaded with benefits, making the comparison process a task in itself. Here are the key aspects to examine:

  • Sign-up bonus. Most black credit cards offer a substantial welcome bonus, often exceeding 100,000 points. However, it's crucial to review the terms and conditions of the offer, as they vary between cards. Banks typically require a certain amount of money to be spent on the card within 90 days of activation. Also, consider that some cards award bonus points on the account opening anniversary, which can be advantageous in the long run.
  • Earn rate. As expected, black credit cards boast higher earn rates. While an extra 0.5 points per $1 spent may seem insignificant, it can considerably impact your rewards account over time. Check for any restrictions on the number of points you can earn. Black credit cards usually have the most liberal and least restrictive policies on caps and tiers, but it's worth examining the details, especially if you're a high spender.
  • Rewards program. If you're already committed to a specific rewards program, the decision is straightforward. If not, consider factors such as your most frequent travel destinations, preferred domestic and international airlines, and favoured lounge network. If you value flexibility above all else, consider a credit card that allows you to transfer earned points to other programs, such as Membership Rewards, CommBank Awards, NAB Rewards, ANZ Rewards, Altitude Rewards, or Amplify Rewards.
  • Annual fee. Given that keeping your account open will cost hundreds of dollars annually, ensure that the higher points earn rate, welcome bonus, and lifestyle benefits are worth it for your specific needs and preferences.