Wow. This would have to be one amazing credit card to be worth an annual fee like that.
It’s more than the $450 annual fee on some of the most expensive personal charge and credit cards from American Express, including its Platinum and Delta Reserve cards.
If you’re like us, you’ve seen the slick ads promoting Barclays Bank’s new Black Visa Card as “the world’s most prestigous…credit card” and wonder what it does to warrant its exceptional cost?
The terms are sure nothing special.
It charges a variable interest rate of 13.24% APR (prime plus 9.99% for purchases) and 19.24% for cash advances (prime plus 15.99%), and imposes just about every fee you can imagine, right down to the 3% currency conversion charge.
Nor are the rewards.
Cardholders can earn 1% cash back on purchases or get one point for every dollar they spend to be used for travel on any airline at anytime. That’s routinely available, too.
So it’s got to the be exceptional benefits such as a high credit limit, access to more than 500 airport lounges around the world, “Luxury Gifts from some of the world’s top brands” and the 24-hour concierge service “to assist you with all your travel, leisure and personal needs.”
But American Express offers similar perks. Even cards such as the Visa Signature and World MasterCard from Chase Bank come with travel benefits, gifts, and concierge service — oh, and a considerably lower annual fee. (None for Signature card and $65 to $85 for the World card.)
Bottom line: The Black Card is just another prestige card vying for the well-to-do and image conscious consumers who think a credit card can make them look important.
Barclay’s certainly plays up that angle, claiming that “The Black Card is made with carbon, creating a more unique card, guaranteed to get you noticed.”
But does a credit card, any credit card, really do that? And is that a good reason to spend nearly $500 a year to carry it?
Bank of America is raising interest rates on another bunch of its credit card customers. Find our who, and how to fight back when a credit card does that you, on Bankaholic’s Personal Finance Blog. You can always reach that blog by clicking on the “finance” tab above.