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Most of us are familiar with premium credit cards like the Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa Infinite. Another favorite in the recent past was the Luxury Card, which was also known as the Visa Black Credit Card.

Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

Learn more about the Mastercard® Black Card™: Credit Cards for Excellent Credit (click “Show More Cards” and scroll down)

Where is the Visa Black Credit Card?

Maybe this is the first time you have heard about this luxury credit card. Or maybe you think it’s no longer available to new applicants.

Here’s the catch. The Visa Black Credit Card rebranded as the Mastercard® Black Card™ in 2016.  You can still get the Luxury Card but it’ll be a Mastercard instead of a Visa.

Mastercard Black Card

If you used to own the Visa Black Credit Card, this card didn’t entirely vanish. Mastercard manages the Luxury Card portfolio and Barclaycard issues the card. There are three different card versions (Gold, Black, and Titanium) with varying benefit amounts. The Black Card is the mid-tier Luxury Card product.

Your points are most valuable when booking award flights and you can enjoy other complimentary travel perks. Learn more about the Mastercard® Black Card™: Credit Cards for Excellent Credit (click “Show More Cards” and scroll down)

The Black Card has a $495 annual fee plus $195 per additional user. Is this card worth the fee? Let’s see.

Redeem Points for Award Flights

The Mastercard Black Credit Card earns 1 point for every $1 spent. While this isn’t a special perk, your points are worth more when redeemed for flights or cash redemptions.

Below is how much your points are worth for each redemption option:

  • Flights: 2 cents each
  • Cash rewards: 1.5 cents each
  • Hotels and car rentals: 1 cent each
  • Gift cards: Varies

If you spend $1,000 you earn 1,000 points. These points are worth $20 in award flights, $15 in cash rewards, and $10 in hotel stays or car rentals.

This card doesn’t have any point transfer partners like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum.

Travel Benefits

This card comes with some travel benefits that help justify the $495 annual fee:

  • $100 annual air travel credit
  • $100 Global Entry & TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select lounge membership
  • Special member-only gifts
  • No foreign transaction fee

You may also like to know this is a metal credit card. It has a stainless steel front and carbon back. Weighing 22 grams, it’s heavier than the Amex Platinum (18g), Chase Sapphire Reserve (13g), and Citi Prestige (12g).

The $100 airline credit applies to ticket purchases, checked bag fees, in-flight purchases, upgrades, and other incidental fees. While the flexibility is nice, other credit cards with similar annual fees offer larger credits.

Overall, the travel benefits can help pay the Black Card pay for itself but similar travel credit cards offer more valuable benefits.

Trip Protection Benefits

You may also enjoy this card’s trip protection benefits if your travel plans get delayed or canceled.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Receive reimbursement of up to $5,000 per trip and $10,000 per person in a 12-month period. This perk applies to non-refundable travel purchases that are delayed or canceled for covered reasons including extreme weather and unexpected illness.

Trip Delay

Trips delayed at least 6 hours can receive up to $300 per trip and $600 every 12 months.

Baggage Delay Insurance

Receive compensation for essential purchases if your checked bags are delayed during travel.

Learn more about the Mastercard® Black Card™: Credit Cards for Excellent Credit (click “Show More Cards” and scroll down)

Mastercard black card
The Visa Black Credit Card is now the Mastercard Black Card. Credit: Luxury Card

Best Premium Credit Cards for Travel

It’s safe to say that other luxury credit cards provide more value than the Mastercard Black Card. You should focus on applying for these cards first. All of these options are also metal credit cards.

Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express has a slightly higher annual fee ($550 – See Rates & Fees) but has way more benefits:

  • Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly from the airline or on AmexTravel
  • 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber credits
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Centurion, Priority Pass Select, Delta Sky Club, Escape, and Plaza Premium lounge access
  • Special on-property hotel credits
  • Upgraded Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty status

Some benefits overlap but you can earn more points on most plane ticket purchases (5x instead of 1x). And hotels booked on AmexTravel also earn 5x Membership Rewards points.

The Black Card points are worth more when booking award flights directly through the credit card travel portal. For instance, they are worth 2 cents each with the Black Card but only 1 cent each at AmexTravel. However, you can find similar value by transferring them to 1:1 American Express transfer partners including British Airways, Delta, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines.

The Platinum Card also has a potential 100,000 Membership Rewards welcome bonus worth $1,000 in award travel. The Black Card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus.

Learn more about the Platinum Card® from American Express: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers more perks than the Mastercard Black Card. And its annual fee is only $450.

Key benefits include:

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select lounge membership
  • Earn 3x points on travel and dining
  • 50% travel redemption bonus
  • 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners

Instead of a $100 airline travel credit, you get a $300 credit that reimburses the first $300 of any travel purchase.

You also earn unlimited 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and dining. All non-bonus purchases earn 1 point each.

Each point is worth 1.5 cents each when booking any travel (flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and tours) on the Chase travel portal. It’s possible to find more than 1.5 cents value when transferring your points to 1:1 airline and hotel partners including British Airways, Emirates, United, Southwest Airlines, and World of Hyatt.

New members can also earn 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points by spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This is worth $750 in award travel.

Learn more: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Even the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card which only has a $95 annual fee ($0 for the first year) challenges the Mastercard Black Card. If you don’t need Priority Pass lounge access or $100 airline travel credit, this card offers similar benefits.

You earn 2x miles on every purchase (10x miles at Hotels.com/venture through January 2020) and your miles are 1 cent each for travel statement credits or booking upcoming flights. The Black Card inverts the purchase rewards as you earn 1 point on purchase and they are worth 2 cents each for award flights. Spending $1,000 is worth $20 in award travel with either card.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card also credits your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee like the Black Card.

Finally, new Venture cardmembers enjoy a $0 12-month introductory annual fee and can earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $500 in award travel) by spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Learn more: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Summary of the Mastercard Black Card

The Visa Black Credit Card is now the Mastercard Black Card. The card’s travel benefits and 2% airfare redemption can be worth the $495 annual fee. However, some of the other best credit cards for travel rewards have more robust rewards programs with similar annual fees.

Learn more about the Mastercard® Black Card™: Credit Cards for Excellent Credit (click “Show More Cards” and scroll down)

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Josh Patoka

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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