What are black credit cards?
Ever wondered about the mysterious world of black credit cards? Who can get them and what perks do they offer? We take a look at this exclusive club and reveal the secret benefits that only the rich and famous can enjoy.
‘Black credit card’ is the catch-all term usually used to describe the most exclusive credit cards available to the wealthiest individuals. They are given out by banks to high-earning, big-spending customers and offer impressive perks and very high or unlimited credit.
High street banks offer these cards to their wealthiest customers and the cards are usually supplied by major credit card firms such as Mastercard, Visa and American Express.
How do I get a black credit card?
Black credit card holders are in an exclusive club reserved for high-net-worth individuals, celebrities and royalty. There’s little point in trying to get your hands on one of these credit cards unless you earn triple figures and make a habit of spending big on your credit card. You will also need a strong history of making payments on time and generally hold a very solid credit record.
The most exclusive black credit cards in the UK are actually far more than just a credit card, they are a symbol of wealth, an extravagant lifestyle and, in some cases, fame.
Most high-net-worth banking customers will be unaware of whether they qualify for a black credit card until they receive an invitation to apply. The elusiveness of these credit cards is part of their appeal and, therefore, not much is known about the perks enjoyed by black card holders, but here we try to explain why they remain such a signal of wealth and why they are still so appealing to the rich and famous.
What kinds of perks do black credit cards offer?
The benefits afforded to black credit card holders vary enormously and between individual card-holders depending on their requirements. However, there are a number of perks that are offered almost as standard by credit card issuers to those who are seen as ‘valuable’ enough to carry the most exclusive credit cards.
- Personal assistance/concierge service: Most exclusive credit cards offer some sort of personal concierge service, often allowing card-holders to call upon an assistant 24/7. They can request help with anything from personal finances to arranging travel and events.
- Specially curated reward schemes: Super wealthy credit card users like accumulating reward points as much as anyone else. However, while most of us are happy with discounted flights or free coffee, black card holders tend to expect personalised rewards and experiences tailored to their specific interests.
- Large credit limits and repayment perks: Black credit cards will often give their users longer periods over which to make repayments without being charged interest. They will often also have enormous credit limits, while others do not limit borrowing at all.
- Access to exclusive invite-only events: Many black credit card holders will be offered tickets to sold-out shows or receive invitations to major global events that are difficult to access for the regular man on the street, such as concerts and sporting events.
- Travel perks: Access to airport lounges worldwide, as well as comprehensive global travel insurance is offered to most black credit card holders.
Are black credit cards free?
No. Black credit cards almost always come with a hefty annual fee of at least a few hundred pounds, but often much more. However, some issuers will waive the fee for certain minimum balances or spending.
What are the eligibility criteria for black credit cards?
The black credit cards talked about so far will require significant income and wealth, to meet the hefty spending requirements, and remember and exclusive invite, so the real eligibility requirements aren’t really known.
Black credit cards also often carry an initiation fee totalling several thousands of pounds and, of course, there’s the annual user fee to consider. There are some black credit cards that are not even offered based solely on wealth but on a personal recommendation from board members or existing cardholders.
However, in recent years many providers have come up with ‘black’ credit cards that aim to cash in on the kudos of these exclusive cards but are aimed at a lower level of wealth. If you meet the income requirements, disposable cash and other eligibility criteria of these non-exclusive black cards, you don’t have to wait for the exclusive invite, you can apply like you would for any other credit card.
Are black credit cards actually black?
They are usually black or dark in colour in order to meet expectations. They are also sometimes made from metal, rather than plastic, to give them a more high-end feel. Some are, quite ridiculously, embedded with precious stones and metals to add to the luxury of owning one.
What does it mean to have a black credit card?
The most exclusive black credit cards in the UK are actually far more than just a credit card, they are a symbol of wealth, an extravagant lifestyle and, in some cases, fame. Some cards are reserved for members of the Royal Family or people considered national treasures.
The fact that these figures carry a bank’s black card is great advertising for that bank and it pays to keep the club extremely exclusive in order to add to the card’s appeal. Others will only be offered to those considered to be at the very height of the business world and their perks and benefits will reflect this.
Caroline Ramsey is a content creator who specialises in personal finance. More than a decade of working in editorial teams, she offers highly tailored content covering a number of topics. Read more