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Karat Black Card Review

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A card for influencers who need something outside the traditional credit space.

  • Consider this card if you are an influencer that makes millions of dollars and can’t find a suitable traditional credit card.
  • Pick something else if you’re not an influencer, or if you don’t have a large enough following to qualify for this card.
  • Apply with a significant social media following of at least 100K and a provable income resulting from your social media activities.

$250

Welcome offer

Up to 5%

Cash back

$0

Annual fee

300

Recommended credit score

Details

Product NameKarat Black Card
Annual fee$0
Purchase APRN/A
Balance transfer APRN/A

Expert review

Steven Dashiell

Review by


Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.

Expert review

It was just a matter of time before the influencer trend made its way to the credit card space, and what better introduction than a card co-designed by an ex-Instagram employee? The Karat Black Card determines your credit limit based on several factors related to your influencer status, including followers, social media platforms, follower engagement and financials. If approved, you’ll earn $250 right off the bat. The Karat Black Card also offers up to 5% cash back on purchases customizable to your influencer activities, such as streaming equipment.

It’s an interesting product and one that makes a certain amount of sense. Many influencers don’t make money in the “traditional” fashion. This leaves them with oddly limited credit options compared to the amount of money they might earn in a given year. The Karat Black Card is looking to fill that void.

Card benefits

  • Signup bonus. Earn $250 simply for qualifying for the card.
    This is a rather small signup bonus considering the card’s starting credit limit. But it’s not bad considering you don’t have to spend anything to earn it.
  • Earn rewards. You can earn up to 5% on purchases relevant to your influencer space. For example, streamers might earn rewards on electronics or streaming equipment. That said, you aren’t guaranteed the full 5% cash back rate – your ultimate earning bonus depends on your spending habits and “social media reach.” Unfortunately, Karat hasn’t offered any sort of guidelines on what earning rate you can expect based on follower count.
  • No interest and no fees. The Karat Black Card is a charge card, so you won’t pay any sort of fees to use this card. That includes annual fees, interest fees and foreign transaction fees.
  • No personal guarantee requirement. If your influencer business goes belly-up, you won’t be responsible for any leftover debt on the card.
  • If your influencer business goes belly-up, you won’t be responsible for any leftover debt on the card. The minimum starting credit line on the Karat is $50,000.

What to watch out for

  • Qualification requirements are nebulous. Since a wide range of factors will be considered when applying for the card, it can be tough to pin down whether or not you’ll qualify, and at what earning rate and credit limit.
  • Long-term usage of the card is still in question. There’s no public information available on how many followers you need (though, you’ll need at least 100k) or how much money you need to make to qualify. It also isn’t clear what happens if you grow less popular in the influencer space over time. What happens if you lose followers, or engagement or income? These are unanswered questions that leave us wondering about the stability of the card long-term.
  • Not a true credit card. The Karat Black Card is a charge card, not a credit card. That means you’ll need to pay off your full balance at the end of each month.

How to apply for the Karat Black Card

Applying for the Karat Black Card is different from applying for a traditional credit card. As of this writing, you’ll need to submit your income information and social media metrics to the Karat website. You can also direct message Karat through their Instagram account.

Karat will review your information and inform you of the next steps. Currently, Karat is prioritizing creators with “verified followings of at least 100K or those referred by our partners.”

Bottom line

The Karat Black Card is a unique card that can be useful to qualifying influencers. But even if you are a multi-millionaire influencer, we’d still recommend contacting a bank and seeing what standard credit card options are available to you before applying for the Karat Black Card.

There are a plethora of high-end rewards card options that are just as lucrative as the Karat card, with fewer unanswered questions about long-term support. And depending on your spending needs, you might find the rewards ecosystems of traditional cards more beneficial than cash back.

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