Quite a while ago, I signed us up for a program to opt out of credit card offers. We still get preapproved credit card offers for our business quite frequently, but the personal ones are very few and far between. When they do arrive, they go into the shredder.
But yesterday, we got one that I was actually curious enough to open. It came in a large black envelope, and felt solid, sort of like a fancy wedding invitation. The envelope had gold stamped writing that just said “black card” on the outside. Inside was a note and fancy card saying that my husband was invited to apply for a “black card” and that the offer is only open to 1% of US residents. The card is a Visa from Barclays, and is apparently made of carbon. They wrote a bunch of stuff about how card members get concierge service and fancy rewards gifts (with points credited at a rate of 1 per dollar spent on the card, which is exactly what we get now on our plain old Visa that is made of plastic).
The kicker? This card has an annual fee of $495. That is not a typo. Five hundred bucks a year, just to have the card. Plus another $195 per year if he wants to add me to the account so that I can have my own fancy black credit card made of carbon.
Does anybody seriously care what their credit card is made of? It could be laminated cardboard as far as I’m concerned, as long as it works. We pay a $19/year fee for our card, and have for years. I’m reading a lot of stuff lately that indicates that most cards will likely have annual fees of about $20 once the new credit card rules go into effect, but the fee we pay has never bothered us, since we usually get back between $150 and $200/year in cash rewards. But $495 ($690 for both of us) is a different story.
I wonder how many people will actually apply for this black card. Sheesh, those concierge services must be out of this world.