Black Card (Visa credit card)

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Launched in 2008, Black Card is a Visa credit card that allows its members access to various luxuries and rewards.

Although it is often referred to as the Visa Black Card to differentiate it from American Express's black-colored Centurion Card, the Black Card program is not run by Visa Inc., rather, the program is managed by a company named Black Card LLC, a division of ThinkTank Holdings,[1] while the card itself is issued by Barclaycard.

In 2012 Time magazine named the Black Card as one of the 5 credit cards you do not want due to the $495 annual fee and little extra benefits for the cost.[2]


Holders of the card receive such benefits as cashback bonuses, worldwide acceptance, a 24-hour concierge service and gifts.[3]

The concierge service [4] offers a wide variety of services including entertainment planning, business services, gift arrangement, travel information and assistance.[5]

The company also offers travel insurance for luggage, trip interruption/cancellation, rental car damages, warranty manager service, and purchase security on up to $500 per claim. The $495 yearly fee gives members limited enrollment in the VIP lounge program that provides access to many airport lounges.[6]


In early 2009, the card’s full-page New York Times ad was the focus of a Stephen Colbert segment pretending to misunderstand the name as racial.[7] The Black Card Visa has also been featured as the premier high-end credit card in Vegas magazine,[5] Ocean Drive,[8] Capitol File,[9] LA Confidential.[10]

Legal disputes[edit]

Black Card LLC successfully registered the term "Black Card" as a U.S. trademark in 2009. However, American Express offers its own exclusive black-colored card called the Centurion Card, which it contends was popularly known as "the Black Card" well before the launch of the Black Card Visa card, despite never seeking to trademark that name itself. American Express filed suit against Black Card LLC in February 2010, claiming that the trademark was obtained improperly and seeking injunctive relief against Black Card LLC.[11] This suit was concluded in November 2011, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruling that Black Card, LLC's trademark of the name "Black Card" should be canceled on grounds that it was merely descriptive.[12] (See also American Express Marketing and Development Corp, et al. v. Black Card, LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133151 (S.D.N.Y. November 17, 2011.)

Elite Cards[edit]

The Black Card (Visa Credit Card) is part of an Elite credit card segment created for a very small and exclusive range of clients around the world.

Other Elite Cards[edit]


  1. ^ ThinkTank Holdings website (see "companies" tab), accessed July 2, 2010
  2. ^ White, Martha C. (November 7, 2012). "5 Credit Cards You Don’t Want In Your Wallet". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Pignatelli, B. (2009, June). Vegas Buzz: Carte Blanche. Vegas Magazine.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Heinz, J. (2009, July). Black card fever. Ocean Drive, 150.
  9. ^ H.L.(2009, June). Friends with benefits. Capitol File, 49.
  10. ^ Murphy, L.M. (2009, September). Putting it all on black. LA Confidential, 118.
  11. ^ American Express v. Black Card LLC - Complaint and Jury Demand, February 20, 2010; retrieved from Scribd, July 2, 2010
  12. ^ [1] AMEX Wins Cancellation of BLACKCARD Trademark Registration, Ryan Gile, November 22, 2011

External links[edit]