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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.
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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.
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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