Black credit cards are rare and exclusive. They’re designed for the rich and are considered prestigious. Plus, they come with some great perks including special discounts.
However, qualifying for the best black credit cards can be quite difficult as they have strict eligibility requirements. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best black credit cards in Canada and help you pick the right one.
- What is a black credit card?
- Why do people choose a black credit card?
- 10 best black credit cards in Canada
- American Express Centurion Black card: most prestigious
- BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege: best for big wigs
- American Express Aeroplan Reserve: best for frequent flyers
- RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege: best for a big bonus
- CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege card: best for unique benefits
- HSBC World Elite Mastercard: most economical
- Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite: most basic
- TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite* Card: most affordable
- BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*: best for rewards
- J.P. Morgan Reserve Card: most exclusive
- Frequently asked questions about black credit cards
What is a black credit card?
Black credit cards work like traditional cards but are harder to get and offer more benefits. They’re considered a status symbol, and anyone with a black card is considered financially successful. These cards are typically heavier and made of metal, but they’re usually costlier too.
The most popular of all is the American Express Centurion Black Card. It is so rare that it’s believed that only 84,000 of American Express’ 100 million users own it.
This is the first and most popular black credit card in Canada, but there are several alternatives. We’ll discuss the ten best black credit cards in Canada later in this article.
Why do people choose a black credit card?
Technically speaking, a black credit card works just like a traditional credit card. People want it for one reason: status.
A black card is a status symbol and conveys prestige and wealth. Think of a watch. A Rolex does the same job as a Casio, but the former is a status symbol and will instantly tell people you’re financially secure.
Black credit cards are easily identifiable. They are available in different shades of black and are usually heavier than traditional credit cards as they’re made using different metals. Some may even have embellishments such as diamonds.
However, that’s not all they offer. Some of the best black credit cards may come with additional benefits including
- Access to a higher number of lounges
- 24/7 concierge service
- Other travel-related perks.
Companies believe that people who own black credit cards are regular travellers, so these cards are perfect for people who love to fly. Some cards even come with free upgrades.
Those who do not qualify for a black credit card yet but still want similar benefits can choose from other travel credit cards.
In addition, if you own a black card, you could enjoy benefits such as no spending limits. That way, you can shop without any worries and may even have access to special discounts based on the provider. Perks differ from provider to provider, but generally include discounts, free upgrades, and more.
10 best black credit cards in Canada
Here are some of the best black credit cards for Canadians to choose from:
American Express Centurion Black card: most prestigious
- Initiation fee: $5,000
- Annual fee: $2,500
- Annual interest rate: 18.24% variable for eligible pay-over-time purchases
The Amex Centurion Black card is the most prestigious black credit card in Canada. It’s an invitation-only card, so you cannot apply for it.
This makes it very exclusive and hard to get. Owning an Amex credit card for over a year and spending at least $100,000 on it during a period of 12 months can increase your chances for an invitation.
An impressive credit score is a requirement, but the company doesn’t specify a minimum. The card is designed for high net-worth individuals and applicants are expected to have a yearly income of at least $1 million. Those who meet these requirements will have a higher chance of approval, but there are no guarantees.
People compete for this card for several reasons. It’s a hand-forged, embossed, and hand-engraved card that looks impressive and boasts rich benefits.
Cardholders enjoy 24/7 personal concierge and elite membership perks at a number of top hotels in the world. In addition, cardholders automatically acquire membership with Delta and enjoy automatic upgrades on selected flights, free companion tickets on selected flights, and more.
Furthermore, members become a part of the American Express Global Lounge program, getting access to thousands of lounges, including the exclusive Centurion Lounge that only caters to Platinum and Centurion cardholders. On the plus side, Centurion cardholders can enjoy the lounge without any limits, whereas Platinum cardholders can only access it for up to three hours.
Cardholders can apply for two additional Centurion cards for $2,500 each. You may request additional Amex Gold cards for free. However, members can lose the card if they don’t spend at least $250,000 per year.
Read more about The Platinum Card from American Express
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege: best for big wigs
- Initiation fee: $0
- Annual fee: $499
- Annual interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 23.99% on cash advances; (21.99% for Quebec residents)
The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege card is another credit card with very high income requirements. It can be a little difficult to qualify for this card as the minimum income requirement is $150,000 for an individual or $200,000 for a household.
Since the average household income in the country is under $100,000, very few individuals or families will qualify for this card. Only the top few will get approved, which is where the exclusivity lies.
In addition, applicants must have a credit score of 660 or higher. The card might appear a little expensive, but it’s worth it as the high cost is offset by the company offering a $200 lifestyle credit.
This is a yearly bonus that’s automatically added to the statement. Furthermore, the company has a special bonus offer.
New users receive 90,000 bonus points, which translates to about $500. In addition, cardholders can earn up to 5x BMO rewards points on every eligible purchase.
This is a great card for people who do not qualify for the American Express Centurion Black card as the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege is another top black credit card in Canada. Its impressive benefits include
- Extended warranties
- Purchase protection
- Travel accident and medical insurance
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Rental car theft and damage insurance.
Travellers will definitely enjoy this card as it also offers 24/7 concierge service and discounted or complimentary access to Visa Infinite Wine Country, Visa Infinite Dining, Visa Infinite Troon Golf, and Visa Infinite Luxury Hotels.
You can request additional cards for $99 per card. Adding users can boost the rate of reward earnings by 25%.
In addition, all cardholders get a complimentary Priority Pass membership worth $99 per year. Some other benefits include discounts at selected stores, free credit monitoring, and excellent security features, such as the ability to quickly lock and unlock credit cards.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve: best for frequent flyers
- Annual fee: $599
- Interest rate on purchases: 20.99%
- Interest rate on cash advances: 21.99%
Here’s another Amex black card that is designed for the bigwigs. The American Express Aeroplan Reserve card only costs $599 per year, and has the best earn rate among all American Express Aeroplan credit cards.
The company has a special offer for new clients. They can earn up to 110,000 Aeroplan points if they spend at least $6,000 in net purchases in the first six months of membership and meet other spending requirements.
You can redeem Aeroplan points through the Air Canada app and website to make a variety of purchases, including car rentals, activities, gift cards, flights, and hotels. Like most credit cards, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve offers other perks such as
- Emergency medical insurance
- Rental collision or loss damage insurance
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Lost baggage insurance.
Cardholders even get access to entertainment options, including American Express Experiences and Front of the Line.
However, what makes this card truly special is the Aeroplan benefits it offers. Cardholders enjoy special pricing when redeeming points for Air Canada.
Those who spend at least $25,000 in a year will receive an annual Worldwide Companion pass. Furthermore, every $5,000 spent on the card will earn members 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment. These benefits make this black card a great option for people who fly frequently.
Flying to or from Toronto comes with additional benefits in the form of complimentary valet service, parking discounts, and fast track security. Moreover, you can request additional cards for $199 per year.
There is also the option to request additional cards for free, but free cards do not come with the above benefits and can only collect more points.
This card has everything a typical black credit card has. It also looks good, thanks to precision cut and engraved 13g metal. The card is a little on the expensive side but the perks are quite impressive.
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege: best for a big bonus
- Annual fee: $120
- Annual interest rate: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on advances
- 1.25 Avion point per dollar spent on travel purchases
- 1 Avion point per dollar spent everywhere else
The RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege card has a lot of things, including an impressive welcome bonus of 55,000 points worth $1,100. Those who spend wisely can easily offset annual charges and still enjoy the perks the card has to offer.
This card has an excellent reputation due to stringent eligibility requirements, such as a minimum $200,000 income. Credit score requirements are also tough. The company doesn’t advertise a minimum credit score, but it’s believed that approval is more likely for applicants with a score of at least 760 or higher.
The card offers 1.25 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. You can redeem points to purchase gift cards, merchandise, hotels, flights, and more. Additional benefits include travel insurance and mobile device insurance. This is one of the few cards to offer such high points.
Cardholders can convert points 1:1 for a number of airlines including Asia Miles, American Airlines AAdvantage, and British Airways Avios.
Look out for RBC promotions in which cardholders can earn up to 50% more miles for transferring points to Avios. This can skyrocket reward value.
Furthermore, cardholders enjoy impressive discounts at Petro-Canada and have a chance to win more points. The card offers special discounts at other businesses as well, including Carlson Wagonlit and UBER. You can even earn cash back by linking your card with the Ampli app.
You can request additional cards for $99 per card. These offer all the benefits of the main card and can help earn points quickly.
The process to apply for a new card or an additional card is fast and straightforward. You can submit applications online with minimal documentation.
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege card: best for unique benefits
- Initiation fee: $0
- Annual fee: $499
- Annual interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on advances; 22.99% for Quebec residents
The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege card is a metal card that looks and feels good. Applicants must have an annual individual income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000 to qualify. The card is a great choice for people interested in unique rewards as it offers some exciting benefits.
Members enjoy a $200 annual travel credit for a number of purchases. In addition, they receive Priority Pass membership and up to 6 complimentary visits per year.
Two NEXUS application fee rebates are also included. A NEXUS card can be great for cardholders who regularly visit the US, as it gives American and Canadian citizens expedited processing when entering either the US or Canada.
Cardholders can earn up to 3 points for every $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre. This goes down to 2 points for eligible dining, gas, groceries, and transportation. Every other purchase earns 1.25 points per $1 spent.
Furthermore, the card gives users access to VIP benefits at luxury resorts and exclusive entertainment and dining experiences. There are also special discounts for business class travellers on certain airlines.
Like most other black credit cards, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege card provides excellent protection in the form of travel and medical insurance, purchase protection, and auto rental collision and loss damage insurance.
HSBC World Elite Mastercard: most economical
- Initiation fee: $0
- Annual fee: $149
- Annual interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on advances
We don’t associate the word “economical” with black credit cards as they’re notoriously expensive. However, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard is an exception.
The card costs $149 per year, but new users can have it for free as the company is running an impressive waiver offer. This offers a first-year annual fee rebate for the primary user.
In addition, new cardholders get a welcome bonus worth 20,000 points, a $100 value. Moreover, being an active user has its benefits.
Spending $1,000 per month for the first six months could earn users up to an additional 60,000 points, worth $300 in travel value. Quebec residents can earn even more points, up to 110,000 in total.
The card comes with no foreign transaction fees and a $100 annual travel enhancement credit for seat upgrades, lounge access, and airline baggage. This makes the HSBC World Elite Mastercard a good pick for travellers.
In addition to these perks, travellers enjoy Booking.com and Agoda discounts, free Wi-Fi through Boingo, complimentary DragonPass membership, and international travel and medical insurance.
Like most black credit cards in Canada, you need an annual individual income of at least $80,000 or $150,000 household income to qualify. Those who do not meet these criteria can still qualify if they have a minimum of $400,000 in assets under management.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite: most basic
- Annual fee: $150
- Interest rate on purchase: 20.99%
- Interest rate on cash advances: 22.99%
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is easy to qualify for. The minimum annual income requirement is only $60,000 for an individual and $100,000 for a household. Those who do not meet this requirement can still qualify if they have $250,000 in assets under management.
The minimum credit limit is $5,000 and the first additional card is free. After that, additional cards cost $50 each per year.
There are no foreign exchange charges and the card gives the primary cardholder free Visa Airport Companion Program membership with six free lounge visits per year to over 1,000 locations. The card also offers discounts at a variety of outlets, including hotels, restaurants, and car rentals.
Insurance coverage includes delayed and lost baggage insurance, travel emergency medical insurance, flight delay insurance, and trip cancellation insurance.
Cardholders may also purchase Scotia Credit Card protection that comes with death benefits, job loss benefits, lockout benefits, and more.
New users can earn up to 40,000 Scene+ points as a welcome bonus. Plus, the company has an impressive points system offering up to 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases. These points can be redeemed at a variety of stores.
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite* Card: most affordable
- Initiation fee: $0
- Annual fee: $139
- Annual interest rate: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on advances
The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite* card is a very affordable card with friendly terms. However, it isn’t a true black card because it doesn’t enjoy the same prestige as most popular black cards. It is easy to qualify for and doesn’t look as attractive as some other black credit cards in Canada.
Applicants need an annual income of $60,000 for an individual or $100,000 for a household to qualify. TD has a special offer for new users. Applicants who apply by May 28, 2023 will pay no annual fee for the first year and can earn additional points.
The card has a minimum credit limit of $5,000 and some impressive perks, including auto rental collision or loss damage insurance, travel medical insurance, and delayed or lost baggage insurance. Additionally, the card offers discounts at a number of stores. Applicants can request additional cards for $50 each per year.
Unfortunately, the card doesn’t come with free lounge access. However, card owners can enjoy an annual discount on a Priority Pass membership that offers access to over 1,200 lounges. On the plus side, cardholders can earn points on every eligible purchase. These points can be used to make purchases or pay the balance.
BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*: best for rewards
- Initiation fee: $0
- Annual fee: $150
- Annual interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 23.99% on advances; 21.99% for Quebec residents
The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard® impresses when it comes to rewards. Anyone with at least $80,000 individual annual income or $150,000 household income can qualify and get access to impressive perks. There are no specific credit requirements but you must have a decent score to be approved.
We think that this is a basic card, but it gets the job done. It’s black in colour but has no embellishments or fancy designs. It gives the pleasure of owning a black card, but don’t expect the same level of perks as with other cards on this list. Those who want similar rewards but don’t meet the above requirements can choose from other reward cards in Canada.
This black card has an impressive reward system offering up to 5 BMO rewards points per $1 spent. New users will receive 60,000 bonus points and an annual fee waiver for the first year. These points can be used to make a variety of purchases. Other perks include travel and medical insurance as well as lounge access. There are no major rewards such as ticket upgrades, but travel-related perks are offered.
All cardholders get 24/7 access to free concierge service. Furthermore, card owners can enjoy 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada and 20% off shows held in Las Vegas. It is also possible to add another cardholder for just $50 per year. This can help users earn more points.
J.P. Morgan Reserve Card: most exclusive
- APR on Purchases 13.49% (V)
- Balance Transfer APR: 13.49% (V)
- Balance Transfer Fee : 5% (min $5)
Not many people know of the J.P. Morgan Reserve card, formerly known as the Chase Palladium Card. This is another invitation-only card that is best known for looking good. It weighs about 27 grams and is minted out of brass and plated with palladium.
The card isn’t advertised, it’s only for the rich. It’s said to be designed for American users, but there are no geographical restrictions. Anyone with an account with J.P. Morgan Private Bank can qualify, although eligibility criteria are highly restrictive.
Account owners with at least $10 million in assets managed by J.P. Morgan Private Bank are said to qualify for this prestigious card. The card is so rare that there are less than 5,000 in circulation.
The card brings prestige and offers full United Club membership and unlimited Lounge Club membership. Cardholders can earn double points on travel and enjoy no cash advance fees or late payment charges.
Frequently asked questions about black credit cards
A black credit card is a status symbol indicating wealth. Black credit cardholders are considered wealthy and big spenders, and often receive preferential treatment at hotels, lounges, and stores. Above all, black credit cards give users access to exclusive communities and invitation-only events.
Anyone who meets income and credit score requirements can get a black credit card if they are of the age of maturity and a Canadian resident. Most banks give users the option to apply online and submit digital copies of documents, but personal visits may be needed in some cases. Those who do not meet black credit card requirements can consider traditional credit cards.
Most black credit cards do not have a credit limit, but some do. Contact the issuer as the limit may depend on your income and other such factors.
There are over a dozen black credit cards in Canada, including some invitation-only cards.
Black credit cards can be an excellent choice as they bring prestige and offer some excellent benefits, but they can be hard to qualify for. Users can enjoy lounge access, insurance, travel-related perks, high credit limit, and discounts. Those who do not meet black credit card requirements can consider traditional credit cards.
The Amex black card is an invitation-only card. You cannot apply for it. The best way to increase your chances is to get an Amex card, spend heavily, maintain your credit score, and have a yearly income of at least $1 million. Those who do not qualify can consider the American Express Aeroplan Reserve card, another popular Amex card.
Requirements vary from company to company. You need a minimum of $1 million in income per year to qualify for the invitation-only American Express Centurion Black card, whereas you need at least $150,000 individual or $200,000 household income to qualify for the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege. One of the easiest to get is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite that only requires at least $60,000 individual income or $100,000 household income per year.
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About The Author: Arthur Dubois
Passionate about personal finance and financial technology, Arthur Dubois is a writer and SEO specialist at Hardbacon. Since his arrival in Canada, he’s built his credit score from nothing.
Arthur invests in the stock market but doesn’t pay any fees because he uses National Bank Direct Brokerage online broker and Wealthsimple’s robo-advisor. He pays for his subscriptions online with his KOHO prepaid card, and uses his Tangerine credit card for most of his in-store purchases. When he buys bitcoins, it’s with the BitBuy online platform. Of course it goes without saying that he uses the Hardbacon app so that he can manage all of his finances from one convenient place.
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