VISA Black Credit Card – Exclusive or Egotistic?

Visa - Black Card To the best of my knowledge, I’m not a pretentious jerk-wad. Nor is my ego inflated by enticements of luxury and exclusivity. I’ve never owned a “Members-only” jacket, if that means anything at all.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I received an invitation to apply for the exclusive Black Card from VISA, which (according to the marketing mumbo-jumbo) is the world’s most prestigious and versatile credit card. The invitation exuded exclusivity and hubris. After all, why would I want to use a credit card that common people (riff-raff) use when I can show the world my elegant distinction with the swanky black card?

Um, I call bollocks!

Before I deconstruct the BS that is the mentality allowing the Black Card to exist, here are the card’s bullet points:

  • Limited Membership
  • 24-Hour Concierge Service
  • Exclusive Rewards Program
  • Luxury Gifts
  • Patent Pending Carbon Card
  • Annual Fee $495

You read that right – the annual fee, just for the so-called privilege of carrying the card, is $495 per year. And what does that staggering membership fee grant you, other than the privilege of looking like an idiot? Here’s the unedited text of the advert:

For those who demand only the best of what life has to offer, the exclusive VISA Black Card is for you. The Black Card is not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon, it is the ultimate buying tool.

The Black Card is not just for everyone. In fact, it is limited to only 1% of U.S. residents to ensure the highest caliber of personal service is provided to every Cardmember. Made with carbon, the Visa Black Card is guaranteed to get you noticed.

Become a Black Card member today and enjoy our 24-hour world class Concierge Service ready to assist you with all your business, travel and leisure needs.

This, to me, is nothing more than PR spin. Why in the world does a credit card need to be prestigious anyway? That’s like food or beverages that need to be extreme. Are there really people out there who are so insecure that they feel the need to stroke their egos by plinking down a prestigious credit card on a store counter versus a normal one? I pity them.

Monocle-man

I say, that's quite an exquisite credit card.

The marketing-geniuses behind the Black Card want you to believe that you are a superior human being. You are so superior, in fact, that you deserve, nay, DEMAND only the best of what life has to offer. You shouldn’t be caught dead carrying an ordinary credit card. Common people use those! And you’re not common, are you?

As a new Black Card member, people will notice you. Women will throw themselves at you. Men will line up to give you high-fives. Peasants and other mere-mortals will make sweeping bows as you walk by.

In fact, here is how a typical scene will play out every time you make a purchase with your card:

Hot store clerk: The total is $29.50.

VISA Black Cardmember: Here you go (hands over Black card).

Hot store clerk: Nice card. I definitely notice you and feel an uncontrollable urge to sleep with you right now.

VISA Black Cardmember: That sounds great. It’s too bad I have such a small penis.

Yeah, I went there. This brings us to the crux of the matter. The creators of the VISA Black Card take advantage of the one thing that allows such a ridiculous card to exist: INSECURITY. It preys upon people’s feelings of not being good enough, smart enough, talented enough, successful enough, or satisfied enough with their bodily endowments. These feelings are natural. We are all humans, after all.

Insecurity drives people to attempt to make up for their perceived shortcomings in other ways: by flaunting wealth, by driving souped-up cars and revving engines annoyingly in public, by keeping up with the Jones’, and by paying exorbitant fees for an exclusive credit card.

Douchebag Seriously, why in the world should one credit card be perceived as more elite than another? I don’t buy it. A credit card is a tool that serves a purpose. It’s not a status symbol. And people who pay $495 a year for a credit card that promises recognition, exclusivity, and the lure of luxury gifts lead insecure, pathetic lives. These people deserve pity, not the best of what life has to offer.

VISA’s slogan for the Black Card is: The World Awaits. Hey VISA, I propose a few slogans for your marketing team to consider.

Alternative slogans

VISA Black Card – Drowning in debt has never been more stylish!

VISA Black Card – THE card for people with more money than brains!

VISA Black Card – Show the world what a douche you are!

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16 thoughts on “VISA Black Credit Card – Exclusive or Egotistic?

  1. You’re a stupid douche for writing this. LOL. Have you nothing better to do, than stew in bitterness? Gets some money and, then write how you feel. I swear freedom of the press allows idiots like you to fill up the web with useless junk. Take a douche to spot one.

    • First of all, I posted this under the “Humor” category, so lighten up.

      Second of all, let’s examine your logic. First, you call me a stupid douche. Then, you conclude that it take (sic) a douche to spot one. See where this is heading? Good, now go back to MySpace.

  2. Don’t take it too seriously Mr. IM. Barclay has a lot of shills roaming around the net putting down anyone who did a detailed analysis on their black card knock-off. Their Visa “Black Card” is so “exclusive” even low FICO scores got “invites” to apply (just search the web). I would suggest you compare the benefits of this black card with a normal Visa Platinum Plus. You’ll laugh even some more. The Visa Signature is the true top of the line Visa card. Presenting a Visa “Black Card” is like wearing a Rolex knock-off. The lower castes will not know the difference. But the real McKoys will snicker.

  3. your article cracked me up… i just got the invitation for a black card and started giggling when I saw the $495 annual fee. This is a card for posers, because while I may be in the top 1%, I do not consider myself to be wealthy. And even if I did consider myself to be wealthy I sure wouldn’t waste money on an annual fee. I get my credit for free thank you very much, no annual fee and no interest.

  4. Love the post! I got an invite in the mail and had to google it… because based on what I’d heard about the “black” cards, there is no way I’d qualify because I’m not in Paris Hilton league.

    You make great points!

    I laughed at the $495 fee too!!!

  5. Here are my thoughts. Class Envy is growing more and more, especially since our glorious President, Barry Obama entered the scene. I have a Centerion AMEX card. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Google it. Yes, the fees are quite high, but the benefits that comes from owning this card are out of this world. Sure, I spend a lot of money each month and I pay off the whole bill each month. For those of you that don’t have this luxury, you would not understand the oportunity that a card such as a Visa Black or Amex Centurion would bring. Slandering the people who have these cards is typical in this sad society that is developing. My advise: take the financial risks and business risks that people like me take; work hard and set your goals high, and maybe one day you will understand what ownign a card like this means.

    • Hey Dumbass, if you had a real AMEX card, you would know that it is CENTURION, not Centerion. You are a “No-Talent-Ass-Clown”.

      I guess that your Centerion card doesn’t help you with spelling, huh?

  6. I agree with John. I mean if you make enough to have one without going in debt or anything you can fork over $495 a year to get the benefits. That is only what? Like $41.25 a month.. Not a lot of money to anyone if you put it that way eh? But I too think it is worth to have if you’ll use it.

  7. Hi Mr. IM.
    I love all your articles. They are so refreshing, witty, and funny. Its not just the information but also about the presentation and you present them quite well. I actually received an invitation for this apparently exclusive VISA Black card. I guess I must be one of those 1% superior Americans who qualify for such an “ultimate buying tool”. Suffice to say, I threw that offer in the trash immediately.

  8. Though both the visa and AMEX black cards are prestigious, the AMEX is so much better than the visa. No offense visa. But the annual fees are much higher, you also have to make and spend over a quarter of a million dollars to have one. The AMEX is another level above and and beyond visa’s attempt to match it. So if you get an invitation to have an AMEX centurion I would say go for it, they are so fun, the concierge is hands down the best.

  9. I was flabbergasted when I received my invitaion in today’s mail. Most of the “benefits” offered are also available with my no fee cards. I’m perplexed that they appear to be marketing to stupid rich people- an oxymoron probably representing a tiny fraction of the population. I suppose they are figuring that the monstrously huge profit margin on that tiny fraction is worth it- but what about ill-will this will stir up towards Visa due to the unmittigated gall, hubris and chutzpah displayed with this shameful money-grab attempt?
    I have to seriously wonder- will anyone actually sign up for this card? I’m incredulous at the whole thing.

  10. I’m confused, I had the platium for over a year and qualified for the black amex. I really enjoy the platium since I travel a lot and have used many of the benefits germane to travel (especially international)

    Now I have the option of paying 2500 for the fee (up from 450 when comparing to the platinum) and 5000 for the card (they call it an initiation fee). I told amex to waive the fee, trying to convince the fuckers that they are making a fortune on fees from my spending. Now VISA BLACK is an option (495) which I’m considering to use, but their are only two complimentary lounge visits (vs. unlimited with the platinum/black). I just don’t want to look like someone that’s trying to be something he’s not. I’m not rich, but well off, and do use the benefits a lot with these premium cards.

    Any advice from someone that really had an experience with both of these cards. I’m probably just going to stick with the platium (unless someone can give me a compelling reason no to)

    Cheers

    I don’t know what to do, I’m in an ego driven industry (shit investment banking) where people get off on that having some stupid carbon card.

  11. Or, you can simply have a Platinum card for many years, pay your bills in full and on time, and BofA will eventually just send you a Black. That is what they did for me.

    Things are not always as they appear (or as you ASSUME them to be).

  12. Very humorous. Well done 🙂

    But like Mr. IM said previously, this is listed under “Humor”.

    I have a Visa Black Card, I didn’t get it for any misplaced sense of prestige, but rather because I do reap the benefits every single day.

    If you’re a frequent traveler (and I mean weekly trips, not three times a year), and have the income to support your spending, then I’d say go ahead and give it a try. As a previous person said $41.25 a month is not terribly bad compared to other cards (my business AMEX costs me quite a bit more).

  13. It surprises me just how many ‘millionaires’ are on websites talking about the AMEX black cards that they supposedly have LOL. Something tells me the density of Visa black card holders is significantly more than the former….

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