Tag Archive | Visa Black

Visa Black Card: Initiation Gift – Cross Tech3, 3-in-1 writing tool

One of our readers has recently submitted these photos on a gift they received with their new Visa Black Card. We are assuming that this is just the initation gift, and that users that spend more over time will get more “luxurious gifts” as part of the $495/year membership.

Here is the letter that was included:

Dear Black Card Member:

Congratulations on becoming a Visa Black Card member. Black Card and Cross have teamed together to bring you a welcoming gift of the unique Cross Tech3, a 3-in-1 writing tool that allows you to switch from black ink to red ink to pencil with a simple twist.

Like Black Card, Cross stands for the highest levels of quality and service: each of our writing instruments is backed by a lifetime mechanical guarantee and reflects the commitment to superior craftsmanship first made by Richard Cross in 1846. I trust you will enjoy the benefits of your new Visa Black Card as well as the pleasure of writing with your new Cross pen.

Sincerely,

Chad Mellen

President, Cross Accessory Division

visa black card cross pen gift

visa black card cross pen letter

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FYI: AMEX does not own the “Black Card” trademark, Visa does.

Umm, Oooops!

Originally rumor and urban myth, the American Express CENTURION CARD came to be in 1999 (see the original AMEX press release). “There had been rumors going around that we had this ultra-exclusive black card for elite customers,” says Doug Smith, director of American Express Europe. “It wasn’t true, but we decided to capitalize on the idea anyway. So far we’ve had a customer buy a Bentley and another charter a jet.”

So, although the urban myth and legend referred to the card as the “Black Card” American Express decided to call it the “Centurion Card” named after their private bank, and trademark that instead; The challenge for AMEX is now, however, that they left themselves open by not also trademarking the term Black Card, despite the fact that the American Express Centurion Card is ubiquitously known in popular culture as the “Black Card” or Black AMEX, and less so the “Centurion Card”.

Visa readily tells those applying for the card that the “Black Card is not for everyone”, apparently, they mean American Express as well. You can check out patents filed for “Black Card”  and “Centurion Card” on the United States Patent Office Site.

visa_black_card_vs_amex_centurion_card_front

It doesn’t matter legally, that the cards don’t really compare in terms of exclusivity or benefits because Black Card, LLC, Barclays and Visa currently do own the trademark “Black Card”. Maybe we will see a new Black Card for Dummies Guide targeted at the Visa’s Black Card instead?

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Colbert Jokes about Race and the Visa Black Card

Steve Colbert on his show The Colbert Report makes fun of racial issues and the Visa Black Card: “Visa: it’s everywhere you want to be, unless that place is a Jimmy Buffett concert. (01:55)” Colbert also correlates Visa’s vague 1% requirements and statement that the card is “not for everyone” as an implication of Visa behaving in a racist manner (he’s joking of course!).

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Visa Black Card Concierge

In our initial comparison of the Visa Black Card and American Express Centurion Card we noted material types; Outside of card types the things that stand out are, how hard is this card to get (e.g. is it truly exclusive?) , and what real benefits does it offer? The the main things that stands out is the concierge service, but we have yet to see what this can deliver. Visa lists the following, but as with any concierge it’s defendant on the actual service, both American Express tout. American Express Centurion Concierge has been in business since 1999, over 9 years.

You can go to the American Express Concierge Travel Insights Site for more detail on the black card, such as where Centurion Cardholders like to eat when they are in New York.

Or you can go to Visa’s Black Card Site with the details below.

Here’s what Visa cites as examples of Concierge abilities.

Entertainment Planning (Information, Referrals, Reservations, Ticketing)
  • Recommended Restaurants
  • Health clubs
  • Sports entertainment events
  • Golf Tee Time
  • Shopping locations
Business Services (Referrals & Arrangements)
  • Conference service
  • Emergency translation services via phone
  • Computer rental, audio/visual equipment
  • Message service
  • Foreign protocol information
Travel Information and Assistance (Referrals/Recommendations, Reservations)
  • Weather forecasts/ATM locations
  • VISA passport locations
  • Customs, duties and information
  • Mass transportation information and schedules
  • Hotel information
  • Mail/fax destination package
  • Car rentals, limousine & car service information
  • Flight information and ticketing
Country and City Information
  • Highlights/sights/exhibitions/shows
  • Festivals/museum/music entertainment information
  • Time/hours/holidays information
  • Tourist information
  • Shopping information
Gift Arrangements
  • Gift baskets
  • Floral arrangements
  • Specific gifts (as requested)
  • Special occasion gift recommendations
Specialty Services
  • Assistance with location and purchase of specialty items.
  • For example:
    • Rare books or records;
    • Unusual household items;
    • And referrals to specialty services such as dog groomers, tailors and doll makers
  • Hard to find items; special research; specialty shopping


Posted in Visa Black Card Concierge1 Comment

The Visa Black Card, Plastic Is No Longer

The luxury credit card market is heating up, and they’ve moved over from plastic to carbon graphite and titanium (maybe so the cards won’t melt from over use); Visa wants their share of the premium space American Express holds, especially with it’s Centurion Card aka the Black Card.

Visa after having launched it’s “signature” series of cards in 1999, launched a higher tier of “signature preferred” cards in May of 2007 targeted at customers who spend $50,000 a year or more on their cards (Visa Signature average spend is approximately $27,600 a year). Merchants actually pay 14% more per transaction vs a regular Visa or Signature card.

The whole purpose of this card is to take share from American Express,” said James McCarthy, Visa senior vice president for consumer-credit products. They may be a ways away, according to a 2007 survey in Europe, Centurion cardholders spend 11.5 times more than the typical American Express card member, and on average have income in excess of 1M a year.

Seemingly it’s not enough to be a plastic card and different or luxurious, it needs to be made from some other material.  American Express figured it out first: Starting in 2004 in parts of Europe, and in the US in early 2006 changed it’s exclusive Centurion Card aka Black Card from standard credit card fare plastic, to titanium.

Well, Scott Blum (Buy.com founder) wants part of it too, ThinkTank Holdings LLC, announced in 2007 they would be launching a high-end credit card business with patent pending credit card that would be made out of carbon fiber code named “Next Card” now launched this month (just a few days ago) as The Visa Black Card. This high-tech credit card is aimed at both individuals and corporates for an annual fee of $495. The card has been launched including 24-hour concierge service, points, rewards, and other benefits. Here’s a side by side view of the Visa Black Card and the American Express Centurion card, carbon graphite or titanium? I’ll take titanium. Apply Online for the Visa Black Card Here.

If you want to see for yourself, you can Apply Online for the Visa Black Card Here.

To see the rest of the luxury plastic, or I should now say cards, please see Alternate Cards.

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Visa Black Card, The Black Card Made of Carbon Graphite

Barclay’s launches their Visa Black Card competing directly with the American Express Centurion card. The Visa Black Card which is made out of carbon graphite, and includes similar benefits to the Centurion Card such as Priority Pass. Currently “Limited to 1% of US Residents” but criteria is currently yet to be clarified (when I called 12/2).

*1% cash back on purchases or $1 = 1 points that can redeemed for travel anytime
* 24-Hour Concierge Service
* Exclusive Rewards Program
* Luxury Gifts
* Patent Pending Carbon Graphite
* Annual Fee $495

Apply for the Visa Black Card Online

Update:
Introductory 0% Balance Transfer for 6 months
Standard APR = Prime + 9.99 =  Currently 13.99%
Cash Advances = Prime + 15.99 % = Currently 19.99%

barclays_visa_blackcard.jpg

*The Exclusivity/Limited to 1% of US Residents according to Barclay’s rests heavily on a Credit Score amongst other “personal financial information”.
If you wish to know if you fit Barclay’s criteria, e.g. limited to 1% you can Apply Online with Visa Here

For additional details, articles, reviews, hands on photos and more, go to our main Visa Black Card page.

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