The trappings of swanky lifestyle dot the flyer that talks of VIP treatment at hotels and villas, free luxury gifts, access to
The Visa Black Card, issued by
Just seeing a high-end credit card promotion hit area mailboxes should be a clue that we're no longer talking about everyone's Great Recession. Credit card issuers are making pitches in time for summer vacations, back-to-school sales and holiday spending.
During the first three months of 2014, about 992 million credit card offers were mailed to consumers, up about 7% from the same time last year, according to
We're seeing more than twice the number of card offers hitting mailboxes than we did five years ago during the meltdown. In the first three months of 2009,
Lately, mailings are pitching credit cards that offer travel-related rewards, and yes, some high-end annual fees that many consumers would have deemed absolutely nuts when times were crazy-tight.
For consumers who watch every penny, such a high annual fee still shouts "Don't take me."
But the Visa Black Card isn't the only premium card with a stratospheric annual fee.
Ulzheimer said he has a Delta Reserve Credit Card from
Medallion miles enable travelers to move up on the SkyMiles level, which can lead to seating upgrades and priority boarding.
The list has "rewards that are meaningful to me," Ulzheimer said. He travels two to three times a month and always flies on Delta, given that he lives in
For most people, a high-cost card isn't worth it just for miles or rewards. One way to look at it: You'd need to spend
Business travelers value other perks, too, such as bonus points for buying airline tickets, a free checked bag and airport lounge access. But vanity aside, many of us don't need all these extras.
"How frequently does one really need to access a VIP lounge?" said
Premium credit cards with very expensive annual fees of
As for the Visa Black Card, the
He'd prefer the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard or the Sovereign Bank Sphere Credit Card.
Credit.com said some good travel-rewards cards are Barclaycard Arrival Plus, Capital One Venture Rewards Visa Signature Card and BankAmericard Travel Rewards. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard has an
Ewart said the Amex EveryDay card could be a good card for a young couple or a family wanting to build travel rewards. She sees it as an "intro to miles" card with no annual fee.
Sure, a sleek black card might be as flattering as a little black dress. But if you really want to travel in style, study all of your options.
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