The Centurion® Card from American Express

Get luxury benefits such as travel credits and hotel upgrades.

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Man checking in at a hotel with a receptionist

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The Centurion® Card from American Express, also known as the American Express Black Card, 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.

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: 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 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.

  • 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.

The American Express Black card gives you perks such as noon check-in, property-specific amenities, daily breakfast for two, room upgrades and 4 p.m. checkout. With some of these locations, you’ll also receive a $100 or $200 property credit when you pay for two or more nights in a single stay.

  • 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, 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.

  • 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. You’ll 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.

You can also book tables at the top restaurants in the world through the Centurion Dining Program. 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 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’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 (see rates & fees) — a fraction of the cost of the Centurion® Card from American Express. You’ll also find premium perks like:

  • A top-notch welcome offer. 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 $100 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 Marriott Bonvoy 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.

Another premium credit card

Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™

  • Stainless steel—Outweighs the competition with 22 grams
  • 2% point value when you redeem for airfare
  • 1.5% point value when you redeem for cash back
  • Enjoy 24/7 access to Luxury Card Concierge
  • $100 annual airline credit toward qualifying airline purchases
  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit
Read less
Read more

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.

Updated October 21st, 2019
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
See Rates & Fees
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles for all other purchases
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months plus $100 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees

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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 American Express credit and charge cards to find one that suits you.

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