Black Card (Mastercard)
|Founded||2007, United States|
|Products||Credit cards, magazine|
|Services||Finance, concierge, travel, insurance|
Black Card LLC is an American financial services company that offers the Black Card (MasterCard), a rewards credit card issued by Barclays Bank Delaware. As of 2015, the card has an annual membership fee of $495 for the account holder, and $195 for every additional authorized user on the account. In 2015, the Black Card was rebranded from Visa to a MasterCard.
|Publisher||Black Card LLC|
Holders of the stainless steel card receive membership perks including cash-back bonuses, a 24/7 concierge service, gifts, worldwide acceptance, and Luxury Magazine, a members-only quarterly magazine in print and digital form, similar to AmEx's Black Card's Black Ink and Centurion magazines.
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 annual fee gives members limited enrollment in the VIP lounge program that provides access to many airport lounges.
In early 2009, the card's New York Times full-page ad was the focus of a Stephen Colbert segment pretending to misunderstand the name as racial. The Black Card has also been featured as a high-end credit card in Vegas Magazine, Ocean Drive, Capitol File, and LA Confidential.
TIME Magazine dubbed the Black Card one of the "5 Credit Cards You Don't Want In Your Wallet." Citing CardHub, the magazine called the Black Card the worst general consumer credit card as a result of its membership fee. Consumerism Commentary contrasts that the card's fee offsets the cutback rewards and concierge services.
Black Card vs. AmEx Black Card
Black Card LLC successfully registered "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 contended was widely known as "the Black Card" before the launch of the Black Card (then 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 sought injunctive relief. 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. (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.)
Today, it uses the registered trademark under license.
- "6 of the Top Luxury Credit Cards - MyBankTracker - MyBankTracker". MyBankTracker.com. 3 November 2009.
- "Luxury Card Benefits". LuxuryCard.com.
- Max Messner. "Visa Black Card Made of Stainless Steel 25,000 Bonus Points". Maximizing Money.
- Lauren Streib (9 March 2009). "What Recession?". Forbes.
- Pignatelli, B. (2009, June). Vegas Buzz: Carte Blanche. Vegas Magazine.
- "The VISA Black Card: A Smart Strategy in Trying Times". businesspundit.com.
- "The Visa Black Card". colbertnation.com.
- Heinz, J. (2009, July). Black card fever. Ocean Drive, 150.
- H.L.(2009, June). Friends with benefits. Capitol File, 49.
- Murphy, L.M. (2009, September). Putting it all on black. LA Confidential, 118.
- "5 Credit Cards You Don't Want In Your Wallet". TIME.com.
- "Visa Black Card Review". Consumerism Commentary.
- American Express v. Black Card LLC - Complaint and Jury Demand, February 20, 2010; retrieved from Scribd, July 2, 2010
-  AMEX Wins Cancellation of BLACKCARD Trademark Registration, Ryan Gile, November 22, 2011