Where to begin with this one, ahem — there’s a new fairly absurd 2-minute long television commercial for the VISA Black Card (watch it here) making the rounds.
This woman’s goal is apparently to burn as much fossil fuel as humanly possible: black motorcycle trip to the black helicopter that was already right outside her window, only to take off her black leather outfit and jump into the ocean, so she can hang out on her black powerboat with some MIB types.
OK, we get it, everything is black. Black Card. Huh-huh. This commercial’s director is ostensibly a very proud graduate of the Oliver Stone School of Cinematic Subtlety.
Aside from the advertising campaign, which all privileged blogger sarcasm aside I think is fairly cool, is this actually a good credit card?
Let’s take a look under the hood:
– Annual fee: $495. (Keeps the riff-raff away, darling.)
– APR: 14.99% at account opening, but there’s 0% intro APR for the first six billing cycles. Go buy that black helicopter and a few deserted islands now, before inflation kicks in.
– Exclusive Rewards Program nets you 1% cash back on all purchases, or use your 1% toward airfare “on any airline.” No blackout dates or restrictions.
– Design: Made with carbon fibre, not plastic. Good to know.
– Other perks: “VIP access to over 600 airport lounges worldwide.”
– 24-hour concierge: It sounds like your assigned Black Card concierge will basically do everything for you, short of actually breathing for you. They can help you arrange business conferences, offer emergency translation services, overseas weather forecasts, send off gift baskets and floral arrangements — and, “referrals to specialty services such as dog groomers, tailors and doll makers.”
For all those times when you land in a new city and just need to know where the nearest custom doll maker is located. Highly convenient.
Verdict: If you are truly affluent — the kind of person who has a fractional jet ownership card and spends entirely too much time fretting over estate taxes — then the Black Card is a solid choice. But don’t sign up until you have done your comparison shopping. Compare this one to American Express’ Centurion Card, Citi’s Chairman Card, JPMorgan’s Palladium Card, and the cash back card your brokerage firm may offer.
If you are not actually wealthy, no shame there, but there are probably/definitely better ways to spend $495 per year. Like on rent, and the iPad 2.
View all of my favourite new credit card deals and offers over on Outlaw.
Disclosures: I used to review credit cards for a living. Also, my web site maintains financial relationships with certain card issuers, including Barclays Bank / VISA Black Card.