Compare black credit cards to enjoy everything from high credit limits and more points per $1 spent to airport lounge access, free flights and many other perks.
Black credit cards are at the top rung of the status ladder for credit cards and offer even more premium features and services than platinum, gold or regular options. These cards are designed for the highest earners and spenders, with features ranging from high-earning rewards programs and exceptional complimentary insurance policies to dedicated concierge services, travel extras and more.
Here, you can find out about the details that set black credit cards apart, whether or not you should apply for one, and how to get the most out of this type of card when you use it.
The Best* Black Credit Cards Comparison
Compare the features and earn rates of the black credit cards below.
|ANZ Frequent Flyer Black||A frequent flyer card that lets you get 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval.|
|A black card which offers $250 Westfield Gift Card when you spend $2,500 in the first 60 days from approval and no annual fee for the first year.|
|You could get up to 70,000 bonus points.|
|You could get up to 100,000 bonus points with this credit card.|
This guide on Black Credit Cards will explain
What is a black credit card?
A black credit card is a super-premium option offered by a number of major credit card companies in Australia, including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Citi and Westpac. The “black” name actually refers to the level of the account, differentiating this type of card from platinum, gold or standard options. It’s similar to the way frequent flyer and other rewards programs have different status levels.
In the case of credit cards, black is generally the best you can get. Sometimes "black" level credit cards may have another name to differentiate them from other cards – such as the Commonwealth Bank’s Diamond Awards Card or then Citi Prestige Card – but even when that’s the case, these cards carry the same prestige as other black options.
Unique features and benefits of black credit cards
Black credit cards offer a range of exclusive features, which are often customised to suit the credit card company or even the individual cardholder. Some of the most exciting black credit card features include:
- Higher credit limits (sometimes up to $100,000)
- Higher points per dollar for reward programs
- Fewer limitations around reward program redemptions (i.e. high or no rewards caps)
- Greater financial coverage for insurance and/or lower excess payment requirements
- Complimentary status upgrades for loyalty programs such as Starwood Preferred Guests (hotels)
- A complimentary night’s stay at a premium hotel every year
- Access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world (through complimentary membership to a program such as PriorityPass)
- Complimentary airport transfers
- Flight upgrades
- Dedicated travel booking services
- A personal concierge service
- A personal shopper
- Invitations to exclusive events or promotions
These features give you some idea of the status that comes from having a black credit card, but the specific details do vary between black products. So when you’re looking for a black card, it’s a good idea to go through all the features listed or even ask the credit card company for more information if you’re interested in a particular type of benefit.Back to top
How much do black credit cards cost?
The high status of a black credit card is designed to be exclusive to big earners (and spenders), so these cards often have higher upfront and potential costs than regular options. You'll see this reflected in black credit card annual fees, with costs currently ranging from around $300 to $700.
Black credit cards also have standard interest rates of between 18% p.a. and 22% p.a. (variable), which is on the higher end of the scale when you're comparing cards. The theory is that all the features and benefits that come with a black credit card justify these costs – but really it all depends on how you use the card.
Who should get a black credit card?
These cards really are designed for people with high incomes who also spend a lot credit cards each month. You can even see this in the application requirements for black credit cards, which include minimum incomes of around $75,000 or more. You will also need to have a good or excellent credit rating if you want one of these cards.
Meeting these official requirements, though, doesn’t necessarily mean you should get a black credit card. If you rarely use credit, for example, you won’t be able to make the most of the benefits and the annual fee won’t be worth it. On the other hand, a black credit card can be a valuable and convenient card for certain individuals and situations. For example, if you're a frequent flyer and will take advantage of features such as travel insurance and airport lounge access, then these benefits could help offset the costs of the card.
Ask yourself these questions to decide if a black credit card is worth it
Figuring out whether or not you should get a black credit card can be hard, so we’ve come up with some questions to consider when you're comparing your options.
- Do you use credit a lot? If you regularly use a credit card, then the higher credit limit of a black card could help reduce the risk of maxing out your account. It will also help you get the most out of features such as rewards.
- Do you regularly pay off your credit card? The typically high interest rates of these cards could make them expensive if you’re used to carrying a balance. If you regularly pay off your card and avoid interest charges, then you will get more value out of a black card without adding too much to your credit costs.
- How many of the features will you actually use? It’s great to have access to the wide range of features that black credit cards offer, but the value comes from actually using them. If you consider what features you want and how often you will use them, you can also work out whether or not the card is worth it for you.
- How many credit cards do you have? Most Australians have more than one credit card in their wallet. With a black credit card, you’ll get more value the more you can use it, so having multiple cards could make it more expensive and less valuable. If you want to upgrade from your existing card to a black credit card, you could consider getting one with a balance transfer offer. This would allow you to consolidate your credit card debts and cancel your other cards.
- Is there a black credit card you actually want? It’s important to find a credit card that ticks as many boxes as possible for your circumstances, and that may or may not be a black option. Comparing a range of cards before applying will help make sure you choose the right one for your circumstances either way.
Here's what to look at when you compare black credit cards
Black credit cards may have high flying features and rewards but they are still, in essence, the same as any other rewards card with a high credit limit. This means comparing them is incredibly important for finding the right card for you. So here are the major factors you’ll need to consider to compare black credit cards:
Some black credit cards have their own rewards program, such as the ANZ Rewards Black. Others are linked to frequent flyer programs including Qantas, Velocity and Emirates Skywards. There are also black credit cards that let you choose between a credit card rewards program or a frequent flyer program.
For example, the Westpac Altitude Black can earn either Westpac Altitude points or Qantas Frequent Flyer points depending on what you prefer. Take some time to look at the different reward program options, and particularly the number of points you’ll earn per $1, so you can tell which one will give you the best bang for your buck.
Compare complimentary extras based on what’s practical and valuable to you. For example, someone who frequently pays for entry to airport lounges might want a black card that has complimentary PriorityPass membership, while someone else might place a higher value on a card that offers a complimentary night’s stay in a hotel.
Some black cards will offer both of these benefits (and so much more), but knowing exactly what extras are worth the most to you will help you choose your ideal card. Make a list of the extras you’re interested in based on their importance, then see which black card has the best terms for them.
Quality of extras and customer service
The terms and conditions for complimentary extras, as well as the level of service you get with a black credit card, impact on its overall value. The quality of customer service offered, for example, could be very different depending on the credit card company and the way it’s set up.
Likewise, the coverage available with complimentary insurance could be more or less limited depending on the partnering insurance company. Browse online forums and discussion boards for information on particular cards, or even post your own question. You could be surprised by what you find out this way, and it has the potential to save you a lot of money down the track.
Minimum credit limits
Black credit cards come with high minimum credit limits that could be between $15,000 and $30,000. Make sure you look at the details of this limit and consider how much access to credit you will need so that you can get a card that allows you to spend as much as you need without going beyond your means.
Costs of black credit cards
When looking at several black credit cards, make sure you check the annual fees and standard interest rates so that you can estimate how much it will cost you for each card.
Interest rates and interest-free days
Even a difference of 1% p.a. could save you a lot of money if you carry a balance, so it’s always important to check the standard interest rates when comparing black credit cards. Interest-free days, on the other hand, offer greater convenience and value if you regularly pay your balance off in full. You could get a lot more flexibility if a card offers up to 55 days interest-free compared to one that offers up to 45, for instance.
What about introductory offers for black credit cards?
If you want to get a new black credit card, you could also enjoy bonus points, a low or 0% interest rate or a reduced or $0 annual fee for the first year. Some cards may offer a combination of introductory offers, which all have the potential to add value to the card you choose in the short term.
But make sure you check the details of introductory offers and look at the ongoing or standard costs to determine the long-term value of each black card you compare. Ideally, you should get a card that will continue to offer you value long after the honeymoon period ends.
As black credit cards have so many different features, it’s important to make sure you look at all of these categories when choosing which one will be right for you. There are only a few black cards on the market, so it should be easy to narrow your choices down.
Remember, even though black credit cards are definitely at the pinnacle of premium options, the most important thing is always finding the right card for your circumstances so that it really works for you (and not the other way around). If you don’t think a black card is for you, start comparing other cards down the ladder to find an option that suits your needs.
What does a black credit card represent?
There's a small selection of black credit cards available in the Australian market for those looking for the ultimate level of prestige and the features that come with it. These cards may seem like the perfect balance of rewards and features, but remember most of them come with hefty fees.
Since most people don't know the difference when it comes to black credit cards, you can get the same level of awe by flashing any other premium credit card. In terms of features, be sure you'll be able to use what is offered. If you have no intention of taking advantage of the concierge service and other benefits that cards like the American Express Centurion Card offer, then there really isn't any point in paying a few thousand a year just to show it off.
Regardless of which black credit card you opt for, the fact is that people could treat you differently the moment you whip it out of your wallet, which might be one of the reasons why you want one. So, if you want to be treated like a star, it might be time to consider getting a black credit card.Back to top
Frequently asked questions about black credit cards explained
What sort of rewards points will I earn with a black card?
This depends on the type of black card. For example, the Westpac Altitude Black gives you the choice of earning Westpac Altitude points or Qantas Points. Similarly, the Citi Prestige will give you a choice of either Citi's own rewards program or the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
Note that most credit card reward programs have options for transferring points to a range of frequent flyer programs. Meanwhile, opting to earn Qantas Points could attract an additional fee. For instance, the Citi Prestige applies an additional fee of $49 p.a. if you opt to earn Qantas Points.
What income is needed for a black card?
Where can I find a list of what benefits Centurion cardholders receive in Australia?
Unfortunately, because this is an invite-only program, details about exactly what discounts and offers these cardholders receive are hard to come by. We do know that, on invitation, you'll receive a booklet outlining all of the benefits offered through this card, in addition to details of the account fees.