The Centurion® Card from American Express, also known as the American Express Black Card, is an Amex card with no set spending limit, a suite of travel and lifestyle perks, and rewards for your spending. But you can’t apply for the card as it’s available only by invitation to a select number of people. Here’s what we know about getting invited.
How to get the Centurion® Card from American Express
As an invitation-only card, the Centurion® Card from American Express has no stated eligibility criteria. 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. 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 financial requirements. Although there are no financial requirements listed for this card, it’s clear 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 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 the American Express Black card reportedly has a higher spend requirement to receive an invite. You must spend and pay off at least $450,000 with your Amex cards in a calendar year.
Hotel elite status. Get a boost to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, 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. The Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Diamond boosts require you to enroll through your Amex account before you receive the benefit.
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. Plus brands in Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts collection, which includes over 1,000 properties worldwide. Get perks such as noon check-in, property-specific amenities, daily breakfast for two, room upgrades and 4 p.m. checkout and more.
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 Delta status tier includes higher Medallion Mileage earnings, 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 and American Express Centurion Lounges. To access some of these lounges, such as the Priority Pass Select lounges, you’ll need to first enroll through your Amex account.
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 after enrollment. 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.
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.
Alternative premium credit cards that are not invitation only
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 similar cards, such as:
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Citi Prestige® Credit Card
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
Note: Many people visually confuse the Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™ with the Centurion® Card from American Express. If you’re looking for a lookalike card, this could be it.
Earn 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 within the first 6 months of your account opening. Also earn 10x points on restaurants and US Shop Small retailers, up to $25,000 within your first 6 months of account opening.
Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of your account opening
Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of your account opening
Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,500 within the first 90 days of your account opening
5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel
5x points on prepaid hotels you book through American Express Travel
1x points on everything else
1x points on all purchases, but with 2 value when redeemed for airfare or cash
10x points on Lyft rides up to March 2022
3x points on travel after you earn your annual travel credit
3x points on dining
1x points on everything else
5x points on flights and dining
3x points on hotels and cruises
1x points on everything else
3x points on travel and mobile wallet purchases
1x points on everything else
Intro APR period on balance transfers
0% for the first 15 billing cycles, 14.99% variable after that
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club®, The International American Express and Centurion® Lounges
Priority Pass (12 months complimentary access)
Other fee credits
Up to $200 in annual Uber credits, up to $200 in eligible hotel credits, $179 in CLEAR credits, and more
$60 in annual DoorDash credits in 2020 and 2021
Other complimentary memberships
Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Hilton Honors Gold
Complimentary year of Lyft Pink
At least one complimentary year of DashPass
Compare other American Express credit cards
To increase your chances of getting an invitation for the Amex Black Centurion, consider applying for another Amex card to build trust with the card issuer and to show you can manage a premium card.
Is the Centurion® Card from American Express worth it?
As a status symbol and a gateway to premium perks and features, the Centurion® Card from American Express could be worth it if you’re invited to apply.
What is the Centurion® Card from American Express made of?
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 and a weight of 14 grams. Metal credit cards are becoming more common though, so you don’t have to pay a steep price to ditch the plastic.
Quick look at the Centurion® Card from American Express
Can’t apply for the card — invite only
Initiation fee — $7,500
Annual fee — $2,500
Rewards program — up to 1.5x points on all purchases
Hotel elite status at four hotel brands
Complimentary Delta SkyMiles Platinum membership
Fee credits — Airline and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Access to special events like Grand Prix de Monaco, Coachella and Kentucky Derby
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 American Express cards to find one that suits you.
Frequently asked questions
Consider starting with The Platinum Card® from American Express, which will let you build a good history with Amex. You can apply for this card without an invitation.
There is no set time, nor is there any guarantee that you’ll be invited. However, if you spend over $250,000 each calendar year and regularly pay off your balance, you may increase your chances of getting an invitation. You can also inform American Express representatives that you’re interested in the card.
This one-time fee is charged at the time of your account opening. The Centurion® Card from American Express has an initiation fee of $7,500. You’ll also pay an annual fee of $2,500.
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
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