Abercrombie & Kent

Abercrombie & Kent is a luxury travel company that has some unique destinations and experiences that are coined “& moments”. Examples Abercrombie and Kent cite, include activities such as participating in a food-offering ceremony with Buddhist monks in Bangkok, explore the citadel of Machu Picchu in the company of it’s resident archaeologist, or end a perfect day on a safari with a five-course banquet under the stars.

Visa Infinite Black Card (RBC Royal Bank)

Last year Visa launched the RBC Royal Bank in Canada in 2008 by Invitation only. This card was launched prior to the other ultra exclusive Canadian Black Card, American Express’ Centurion Card launched in December 2008.

The RBC Royal Bank Visa Infinite Black Card is:

*Invitation only *1 Million CAD in Liquid Assets, Net Worth of 3 Million CAD or >.

  • 250,000 or more Annual Income.
  • Annual Fees $399 per year for Private Banking clients, $599 for non-Private Banking clients.
  • RBC Rewards redemption rate of 2% instead of 1% for all travel rewards, all flight classes (no blackout periods or seat restrictions)
  • Visa Infinite Concierge Service (Virtuoso)
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership (the $99 annual fee version)
  • Complimentary TabletPlus membership (usual fee $195)
  • Complimentary access to Zagat® restaurant ratings and reviews
  • Dedicated customer support number for Visa Infinite clients only.
  • Extensive travel insurance coverage and emergency assistance
  • Minimum $20,000 credit limit”

Visa Infinite Black Card (Access Bank)

The Visa Infinite Black Card has just been announced by Access Bank of Nigeria as Africa’s “most prestigious credit card”. Access Bank’s Visa is targeted “For discerning clients who desire unlimited spending power, convenience and privileges with a single prestigious solution.”

Advertised benefits to this invitation only “Limited Membership, Infinite Privileges” card include:

  • A concierge service to manage cardholder travel, hotel reservations, currency exchange, transportation, special vacation packages, etc
  • Travel insurance coverage, including: medical treatment, evacuation, emergency medical, including emergency medical treatment, and of course loss of luggage
  • Priority Pass Membership
  • Minimum $30,000 credit limit
  • Specific 24/7 call centre service
  • Ticket Exchange
  • Emergency card replacement and cash advances
  • Collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • 29% Interest rate

Visa Infinite Black Card Access Bank Africa

The Virgin Atlantic Black Card

Virgin Atlantic offers a “Black Card” through partnership with American Express.

…EXPLAINED IN BLACK AND WHITE The Virgin Atlantic Black Card is the fastest card to earn Flying Club miles, end of story. You’ll fly faster with: * 2 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on card purchases * 4 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays * 6,000 bonus Flying Club miles upon first spend within first 90 daysFootnote 1 * 10% off Virgin Holidays packagesFootnote 2 * 0% on balance transfers for 6 months from the date your account is opened. 2% handling fee applies * 18.9% (variable) on card purchases, that’s a typical rate of 37.1% APR (variable) including the £115 annual fee, see the Summary box for full details

NatWest Black Card

In 2002, NatWest bank in the United Kingdom launched their own Black Card, which is only available to customers with an income of £75,000 or above and over 25 years of age. Approval is subject to status and conditions. The NatWest Black Card has an annual fee of £250, with a minimum credit limit £15,000. The card has a typical 51.8% APR (variable), and cardholders are therefore advised to make more than minimum balance payments. Benefits of the card include personal assistance for gift-shopping and event planning; executive airport lounge access; NatWest YourPoints redeemable for flights; roadside assistance throughout the UK and Europe; card and purchase protection; travel insurance; exclusive offers and access to prestigious events; and, home emergency coverage.


Visa Black Card

Visa and Barclay’s recently introduced the Visa Black Card (December 2008). The Visa Black Card joins the elite luxury credit card space, offering the 1% or less who are approved special access to concierge and rewards services. The Visa Black Card is made from Carbon Graphite (lightweight, strong, heat resilient), and includes benefits only available to privileged card holders. Visa Black Cards most notable feature is their premium concierge service, that competes with Circle found on American Express and Virtuoso found on MasterCard World Elite.

The Visa Black Card currently offers an introductory 0% Balance Transfer for 6 months, following thereafter with Standard APR of Prime + 9.99 (Presently 13.99%). Cash Advances are Prime + 15.99% (Presently 19.99%).

Introducing the Exclusive Black Card

  • *1% cash back on purchases
  • One to one dollar spend for points that can redeemed for travel anytime
  • 24 Hour Premium Concierge Service
  • Exclusive Rewards Program
  • Luxury Gifts Program
  • Card Made From Patent Pending Carbon Graphite
  • Priority Pass Membership (Airport Club Access)
  • Annual Card Fee $495

Apply Online For The Visa Black Card

Credit Laws Change Against Unfair and Deceptive Credit Card Practices

Steps have been taken by the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the National Credit Union Administration to change behaviors and practices by Credit Card companies by July 1, 2010; The net result will prohibit:

  • Raising interest rates on existing balances unless payments are greater than 30 days late
  • Charging Late Fees if borrower has not been given at least 21 days to pay
  • Applying payments in a way that results in higher interest rates getting paid last

Banks and Credit Card Companies in this $970 Billion Dollar industry exclaim that this will result in higher interest rates and fees for the sub prime credit market, however, consumers welcome the changes in practices. The changes come in line with the latest Fitch Retail Credit Index, showing current 60-day deliquencies increasing by nearly 24% from August to 4.8%. This may make those luxury credit card consumers even more attractive to credit card companies, as they have less leeway to charge the sub prime credit borrowers going forward.

Visa Black Card Concierge Services

Visa Black Card Concierge Services Include The Following Luxury Concierge Abilities.

Entertainment Planning (Information, Referrals, Reservations, Ticketing)
  • Recommended Restaurants
  • Health clubs
  • Sports entertainment events
  • Golf Tee Time
  • Shopping locations
Business Services (Referrals & Arrangements)
  • Conference service
  • Emergency translation services via phone
  • Computer rental, audio/visual equipment
  • Message service
  • Foreign protocol information
Travel Information and Assistance (Referrals/Recommendations, Reservations)
  • Weather forecasts/ATM locations
  • VISA passport locations
  • Customs, duties and information
  • Mass transportation information and schedules
  • Hotel information
  • Mail/fax destination package
  • Car rentals, limousine & car service information
  • Flight information and ticketing
Country and City Information
  • Highlights/sights/exhibitions/shows
  • Festivals/museum/music entertainment information
  • Time/hours/holidays information
  • Tourist information
  • Shopping information
Gift Arrangements
  • Gift baskets
  • Floral arrangements
  • Specific gifts (as requested)
  • Special occasion gift recommendations
Specialty Services
  • Assistance with location and purchase of specialty items.
  • For example:
    • Rare books or records;
    • Unusual household items;
    • And referrals to specialty services such as dog groomers, tailors and doll makers
  • Hard to find items; special research; specialty shopping

Visa Signature

The Visa Signature card is Visa’s highest offering. Visa operates in an inter-bank fashion, meaning that it partners with Banks to offer cards, and specific program details will vary by card. Typically cards carrying the Visa Signature marking will include the following.

  • Luxury travel benefits (packages, discounts, upgrades)
  • Concierge (travel, dining reservations, vacation planning, help with general research and recommendations)
  • Access to special tickets and events (entertainment, sporting, fine dining/culinary)
  • Special shopping discounts and privileges
  • Dining reservations and restaurant reviews from Zagat

Residence Superieur Black Card (Membership)

Want a luxury lifestyle, but don’t want to pay for it all of the time?

Richard Nilsson, an international lifestyle designer has launched a new Black Card as part of his “Residence Superieur” club, allowing members access to luxury lifestyle residences, dining, travel, and experiences at fractional cost.

Sample card benefits include:

  • Access to Residence Superieur mansions (updated annually)
  • Access to Private Jet Service.
  • Invitations to the Residence Superieur events.
  • Access to the Residence Superieur Connoisseur Collection and shop
  • Yearly giveaways from the Connoisseur Collection
  • Access to the exclusive printed version of Superieur magazine.
  • Access to the Residence Superieur network.

All of this will cost you 200,000 euros per year.

MasterCard World Elite

The World Elite MasterCard is MasterCard’s highest card offering, providing travel benefits, reservation programs, special rewrads programs, Concierge, etc. World Elite cardholders get access to Virtuoso travel consultant services, including special upgrades, amenities, and rare travel experiences provided through the Virtuoso international luxury travel network. Cardholders also have access to a concierge service that provides personalized recommendations, help with reservations with dining, travel, entertainment, and other services on a 24/7/365 basis. The World Elite MasterCard program holds table at restaurants, tickets at sporting events, special shopping access, as well as tailored spa/salon experiences. Finally as with any card, the World Elite MasterCard provides access to savings and goods with retail, dining, and personal care services.

GK Power / Dubai First: Royale MasterCard

GK Power, a Seoul-based smart card maker and online game provider, developed the luxury card and began selling it to local and overseas banks last year. Recently, it signed a $175,000 contract with Dubai First Bank in September to supply 1,000 cards _ worth 300 times more than conventional plain plastic cards _ for the bank’s most valued clients. Kim says this is just the beginning of the high-end card market that the company is looking to step into in the U.S., China, Europe and the Middle East

Dubai First Royale World MasterCard – Original Press Release

Dubai: 12 October, 2008Dubai First, the consumer finance company of Dubai Group, a member of Dubai Holding, today announced the Royale MasterCard®, its signature payment card offering, has been awarded the ‘Best Premium Programme – Credit Award’ by MasterCard Worldwide, a leader in advancing global commerce.

The Royale card program, the first diamond embedded MasterCard credit card in the region, was recognized at the MasterCard Worldwide APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa) Product Forum 2008, which was held in Singapore between 7 and 8 October 2008. Dubai First was among a handful of UAE-based financial institutions that have been acknowledged by MasterCard for their excellence in delivering innovative products and services.

Accepting the award at a ceremony in Singapore, Ibrahim Al Ansari, CEO of Dubai First, said:

Dubai First and MasterCard Worldwide share an enriched business relationship that spans across several payment products. Among them, the Royale MasterCard remains our signature product, and one that represents the exclusivity of our offering. We are honored to receive this special commendation from MasterCard.

Launched in November 2007, the Royale is the only credit card in the South Asia, Middle East and Africa region embedded with a certified diamond set within a distinctive metal crest. Elegantly designed, the Royale is a sophisticated black card that is available by invitation only.

Created by Dubai First to address the unique needs of ultra high net worth individuals, the card has set new standards in the world of luxury credit cards through its unique services and benefits such as a Personal Relationship Manager and a Lifestyle Manager who provide essential support to every lifestyle aspect, from booking jets to arranging invitations to exclusive openings around the world.

For a person on the go, it meets last-minute requests, while offering insider information on select events through its global network. Dubai First has also put in place a substantial package of services like preferential packages for yacht charters, reservation services at the top restaurants around the world, VIP accesses to the top equestrian events, and much more.

Ravi Bhardwaj, Country Manager UAE, Dubai First said:

“The launch of the Royale World MasterCard signaled a new era in credit cards in the region. Highly differentiated from other premium cards, Royale represents an aspiration rather than just a lifestyle. Dubai First is proud to receive acknowledgment from its peers for Royale, and we look forward to introducing more innovations in the region’s consumer finance segment.”

Eyad Al Kourdi, Country Manager, UAE, MasterCard Worldwide said:

The Dubai First Royale World MasterCard credit card is a great example of how MasterCard works closely with our customer financial institutions to develop differentiated payment offerings that will appeal to the evolving lifestyle needs of the affluent consumer of today. We are delighted to present this award to Dubai First for the Royale World MasterCard credit card program, the second set of payment products launched by Dubai First just less than a year ago. We look forward to working closely with Dubai First as they continue to meet their vision in becoming a leading player in consumer finance across the Middle East and North Africa.

The MasterCard Worldwide APMEA Product Forum is an annual event, during which MasterCard honors its customer financial institutions from around the region for their excellence in promoting growth, technology and innovation in the payments industry.

Dubai First

Dubai First is the first consumer finance company of Dubai Group, established by Dubai Holding. Dubai First was launched as a result of extensive research into the regional finance industry, which revealed that the market is heavily over banked but severely under served. Dubai First aims to fill this gap and distinguish itself by being a customer-focused, service-oriented consumer finance player. Dubai First’s vision is to be market leader in consumer finance in the region.The strategy of the organization is to establish a center of multi-functional excellence in the UAE and leverage this to enter new markets. Dubai First currently offers credit cards and personal loans, with. Its signature product is the Royale MasterCard from Dubai First, an invitation-only sophisticated black card, fringed with a golden metallic border and embedded with a certified diamond set within a distinctive crest. For more information, please visit www.dubaifirst.com

DBS Black Card (American Express)

Introduced circa 2006, via American Express and DBS Bank in Hong Kong, this card seeks to capitalize on “black card branding”.The card itself requries a minimum annual income of S$48,000. Benefits most notably, include lifetime 2x point accrual rate and 4x accrual rate for “luxury spending” , American Express Travel Offices, American Express Selects (travel, leisure, dining, and shopping discounts).

Sotheby’s World MasterCard

Sotheby’s World Elite Mastercard is available to individuals with over $2 million in assets, and offers access to your own Sotheby’s auctioneer. This card contains some truly high end benefits such as 24/7 concierge, airline companion tickets, airport lounge access, upgrades at hotels, resorts, spas, lodges, and villas.

Primary Benefits Include:

  • 24/7 concierge and travel consultation
  • Complimentary Business Class companion international air tickets
  • Upgrades from Economy to Business Class on international air travel
  • Global airport lounge access
  • Upgrades and amenities at 700+ top hotels, resorts, spas, lodges and villas
  • Complimentary shore excursions on 400+ luxury cruises annually

Additional Benefits Include:

  • Gratis admission to top museums for you and three guests
  • A subscription to Sotheby’s exclusive magazine, Preview, featuring the best of Sotheby’s seasonal auctions
  • Invitations to private exhibitions at Sotheby’s
  • Special pricing on Sotheby’s catalogues
  • Rewards Concierge to assist you with your rewards selection

Sample Rewards with Points Include:

  • A week exploring the artifacts of Southeast Asia including newly excavated and private areas of Angkor Wat
  • Charter air time with Marquis Jet
  • Three days in Italy behind the wheel of a different Ferrari each day
  • Private Wine Consultation. A Sotheby’s wine expert will assist you in stocking your cellar
  • Fly an Albatross Russian Fighter Jet

Halifax Carbon Card (UK)

The Halifax Carbon Card, MasterCard branded card, is available to Bank of Scotland Private Banking customers, earning £75,000 or more, and is ideal for those people who have busy schedules and who travel frequently. There is an annual fee of £175.

  • Acceptance at 23 million MasterCard outlets worldwide.
  • Emergency help overseas if legal or medical help is required, a passport is lost or stolen, an interpreter required or a message home needed.
  • Comprehensive family travel insurance worldwide, including travel accident, winter sports flight delay, lost luggage and purchase protection cover when you charge your travel tickets to your Carbon Card.
  • Membership of Priority Pass, the world’s largest independent airport lounge access service, giving free access to 300 executive airport lounges in over 70 countries.
  • A programme of special offers and discounts on selected goods and services.
  • Minimum credit limit of 15,000.
  • Cash withdrawal up to 750 a day.
  • Up to 59 days interest free credit.