Karat Black Card Review
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.
Up to 5%
Recommended credit score
Steven Dashiell is a writer at Finder specializing in all things credit cards. With more than 300 articles under his belt, he aims to help readers embrace credit cards and maximize their rewards. Steve is studying to become a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, and is a frequent face on Finder’s YouTube channel, offering the latest in credit card hacks and advice. His expertise has been featured on numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Time, CBS, Fox Business, Lifehacker, Martha Stewart Living and more.
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.
The Karat Black Card compares favorably to some of the more popular rewards card offerings out there. Up to 5% back on the products you need most for your influencer activities is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, the Karat also doesn’t charge interest or fees. In the context of influencer spending however, it’s a little too early to say whether this card will fulfill influencer financial needs. What’s more, the mysteries around just how your social media status affects this card long-term leave a few important questions of card longevity. For that reason, you may want to consider comparing other, more established, high-end rewards card options before committing to this one.
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.”
- 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% cashback 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.
Compare credit cards
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.