The Centurion® Card from American Express review | finder.com

The Centurion® Card from American Express

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This invite-only card boasts luxury benefits including travel credits, hotel upgrades and access to top airport lounges.

The Centurion® Card from American Express is a charge card with no set spending limit, a suite of travel and lifestyle perks, and rewards for your spending. But you need an invitation to get access to this card.

How is the Centurion® Card from American Express different from other cards?

A key difference with the Centurion® Card from American Express is it’s available only by invitation to a select number of people. These chosen few gain access to an extensive range of luxury perks.

While the eligibility criteria are ambiguous, in 2011 the average household income for cardholders was $1.3 million with assets of $16.3 million. Cardholders must reportedly spend and pay off at least $250,000 in a calendar year with their Amex cards to be invited.

How much does the Centurion® Card from American Express cost?

The card has an initiation fee of $7,500 and an annual fee of $2,500. Other American Express cards have annual fees from $0 to $550.

Another premium Amex card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn more.
  • $200 airline fee credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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Compare other American Express credit cards

Updated January 17th, 2019
Name Product Filter values Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
$95
15.24% to 26.24% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
15.24% to 26.24% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
15.24% to 26.24% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. Rates & Fees
$550
None (Charge Card)

N/A

Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & Fees
$250
See Rates & Fees

N/A

35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

What are the benefits of the Centurion® Card from American Express?

While American Express doesn’t publish details of this card, here are some of the known benefits you’ll find.

Personal and business versions

The business version of this card reportedly has a higher spend requirement to receive an invite: at least $450,000 spent and paid off with your Amex cards in a calendar year.

Titanium construction

One of the most compelling features of the Centurion® Card from American Express is its anodized-titanium construction. This gives the card its distinctive color. Metal credit cards are becoming more common though, so you don’t have to pay a steep price to ditch the plastic.

Hotel elite status

Get a boost to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold, Hilton Honors Diamond, IHG Priority Club Rewards Platinum Elite and Relais & Châteaux 5C. Upgraded status often comes with perks like room upgrades, late checkout, welcome gifts and point boosts.

Centurion Hotel Program

Amex’s Centurion Hotel Program includes eight first-class brands: Mandarin Oriental, Belmond, Aman, Oetker Collection, Peninsula Hotels, Waldorf Astoria, Rosewood and St. Regis.

When you stay with these brands, you’ll receive perks like noon check-in, property-specific amenities, daily breakfast for two, room upgrades and 4 p.m. checkout. You’ll also receive a $100 or $200 property credit when you pay for two or more nights in a single stay.

You’ll receive the same perks when you stay with brands in Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts collection. This portfolio includes over 1,000 properties around the world.

Membership Rewards points

The card offers 1x points per dollar you spend. On purchases over $5,000, you’ll receive 1.5x points with a cap of 1 million additional points per year.

Complimentary upgrade to Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion

This status tier includes higher Medallion Mileage earnings, Delta Sky Club access, a Choice Benefits gift, complimentary flight upgrades, fee waivers, priority check-in, priority boarding, access to a VIP phone line for support, discounts on Hertz car rentals and savings through Delta Vacations.

Complimentary airport lounge access

The Centurion® Card from American Express gets you into the top airport lounges in the world. These include:

  • Priority Pass Select lounges.
  • Lufthansa First Class, Senator and Business Lounges.
  • American Express Centurion Lounges.

Fee credits

Every four years, you’ll receive a $100 credit for your Global Entry and $85 for your TSA PreCheck application fee.

Every calendar year, receive up to $200 in statement credits for airline incidental fees. You can use them for in-flight purchases, checked bags and change fees.

Airport and airline perks

Get access to Centurion International Arrival Services: When you fly internationally in business or first class to select destinations, a guide will meet you at your destination airport and take you through customs. For a fee, Centurion can also arrange transportation and baggage assistance.

When you redeem your Membership Rewards points for a flight through Centurion Travel Service or American Express Travel, you’ll receive 50% of them back as statement credit. Also, get access to Amex’s International Airline Program, which gives you lower rates on premium-class fares.

Travel insurance

Receive baggage insurance, which provides coverage up to $3,000 for carry-on and checked baggage. Also, receive rental car insurance when you pay for your rental with your card and decline the agency’s insurance.

You can also call Roadside Assistance anytime you’re stuck on the side of the road.

Cruise benefits

When you book eligible cruises of five or more nights, you’ll receive benefits like cruise credits, premium amenities and 1x more Membership Rewards points when you book your cruise through Amex Travel.

Car rental perks

Get status boosts to Hertz Platinum and Avis President’s Club, which offer car upgrades, priority car availability and more.

First-class experiences

Access select events, such as the Grand Prix de Monaco, Coachella and Kentucky Derby. Through Amex’s By Invitation Only program, you can enjoy VIP events for music, fine dining, fashion, sports and more. And you can book tables at the top restaurants in the world through the Centurion Dining Program.

Take a peek at The List, which gives you an up-to-date look into the top hotels, shopping hubs, destinations and restaurants in cities around the world.

If you love wine, you’ll love accessing private tastings and tours through Centurion Wine. You’ll also receive choice offers for wine purchases.

Shopping extras

Through the Centurion Shopping Program, you can receive offers on luxury purchases. Get help from the personal shoppers at Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter. And earn InCircle points for your purchases at Bergdorf Goodman, Last Call, Neiman Marcus, Horchow and Cusp.

You’ll also receive purchase and return protection on eligible items you buy with your card.

How can I get the Centurion® Card from American Express?

As an invitation-only card, the Centurion® Card from American Express has no stated eligibility criteria. But if you’d like one, these tips might help.

  • Build a relationship with Amex. American Express sends a very limited number of Centurion® Card from American Express invitations to its existing customers. You can increase your chances of getting one by using other premium Amex products.
  • Pay off your account regularly and on time. If you want the Centurion® Card from American Express, you’ll first need to show you can afford to use it.
  • Meet the financial requirements. Although there are no financial requirements listed for this card, it’s clear that the Centurion® Card from American Express is designed for big spenders and earners. You’ll need to charge and pay off at least $250,000 in a calendar year to have a chance at an invite — or at least $450,000 in a calendar year if you want the business version of the card.

What’s another card with premium benefits?

The Centurion® Card from American Express is difficult to get with its invite-only status, astronomical fees and high spending requirements. But you can find some of its benefits with The Platinum Card® from American Express.

This card comes with a $550 annual fee — a fraction of the cost of the Centurion® Card from American Express. You’ll also find premium perks like:

  • A top-notch welcome offer. Right now, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases with your card within the first 3 months of your account opening.
  • Excellent travel rewards. Earn 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. Also earn 5x points on prepaid hotels you book through American Express Travel and 1x points on other purchases.
  • Fee credits. You’ll receive a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year and a fee credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application every four years. Also, receive up to $200 in Uber credits per calendar year.
  • Airport lounge access. Get into the top airport lounges in the world, including the best-in-class Centurion Lounges.
  • Hotel perks. Receive premium benefits when you stay at properties in the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and The Hotel Collection. You can also enjoy Gold status with Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton Honors.
  • American Express Concierge. Amex’s concierge service helps you secure gifts for loved ones, tickets to select events, reservations at the world’s best restaurants and more.

Bottom line

The Centurion® Card from American Express has become a status symbol for the elite. Naturally, it’s held a high position among ultra-premium cards since its launch.

If you’re not quite ready for it, bide your time and build your profile with American Express. You can compare the wide array of American Express credit and charge cards to find one that suits you.

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Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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