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While the exclusive Centurion® Card from American Express, or the "Amex Black Card," and the Chase J.P. Morgan Reserve® are invitation-only black cards, CNBC Select found one that you can actually apply for if you have good or excellent credit and are looking for over-the-top luxury perks.
Below, we break down the rewards, benefits and fees of the Mastercard® Black Card™ to help you decide if it's the right card for you.
Earn 1X point for every dollar, 1.5% value on cash-back redemptions and 2% value on airfare redemptions
No current offer
0% for the first 15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening; N/A for purchases
Balance transfer fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee
While the appeal of a black card lies mostly in its travel benefits and concierge services, the Mastercard Black Card can still earn you points whenever you spend: 1X point for every dollar.
It's not the most generous rewards program, but your points can carry greater value depending on how you choose to redeem them. Cardmembers earn 1.5% on cash-back redemptions, which can be applied as a statement credit, and 2% on airfare redemptions (with no blackout dates or seat restrictions). This means racking up 50,000 points can get you a $1,000 ticket on an airline of your choice.
Black cards are known for helping ease the stress of a high-demand lifestyle while filling your days with luxury and enjoyment. Below is a breakdown of just some of the perks you can enjoy with the Mastercard Black Card:
- 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge: Helping busy cardmembers manage their hectic lives, the personal concierge assists with everything from travel bookings to creating once-in-a-lifetime memories. Such experiences listed on Mastercard Black Card's website include assisting a cardmember with proposing on the Jumbotron in New York City's Times Square and arranging an emergency Tylenol delivery in the middle of the night to a cardmember's sick child.
- VIP Airport Lounge Access with Priority Pass™ Select: No matter where you go, black cardholders can relax and dine in one of the many complimentary lounges you have access to before your flight.
- Annual Airline Credit: Receive up to $100 in annual air travel credit toward flight-related purchases. This can include everything from your airline ticket to a first-class upgrade.
- Global Entry & TSA Pre✓® Application Credit: Receive a $100 statement credit to go toward the cost of applying for Global Entry, which means getting through the airport faster than ever after an international trip.
- Cell phone protection: Coverage for damage and theft.
- Travel insurance: Covering cardmembers for the unexpected, including baggage delay, travel accidents and trip cancellation.
- Rideshare: Earn a $10 Lyft credit by taking 5 rides in a month.
- Mastercard® Priceless®: This perk lets you enjoy exclusive invites to the events you care about most, whether you are passionate about sports, concerts, shopping, culinary experiences or art.
The Mastercard Black Card charges a $495 annual fee, plus $195 for each authorized user.
In comparison, the Chase J.P. Morgan Reserve has a $595 annual fee (Value Penguin reports) and the Centurion Card from American Express has a steep annual fee of $5,000, on top of a one-time initiation fee of $10,000 when you sign up (according to its cardholder agreements).
There is an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening, but there is no interest-free period on purchases. The regular variable APR is 16.49% and there's either a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee, whichever is greater.
For those traveling abroad for business or for pleasure, there are no foreign transaction fees.
The Mastercard® Black Card™ is a great card for those credit cardholders looking to make the most out of life, particularly if you have a high-profile or demanding schedule. Its 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge helps you plan your life so that you can be present for what you care about most.
But not everyone is so busy that they need the help of a black card. While the Mastercard Black Card has a lower annual fee than other elite credit cards, applying for it may not make the most sense for your lifestyle.
If you are looking to pay a lower annual fee while still enjoying ample rewards, one of CNBC Select's best rewards cards may be a better suit. For example, the American Express® Gold Card has a lesser $250 annual fee and gives members 4X points per dollar on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases) and 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, plus 1X points on other eligible purchases. (See rates and fees).
Information about the Mastercard® Black Card™, Centurion® Card from American Express and the Chase J.P. Morgan Reserve® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
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