What is America Express Black Card and How to i Get It?
What is America Express Black Card? – The Centurion® Card from American Express, sometimes called the Black Card, can be a worthwhile option if you are interested in luxury experiences rather than saving money. When you think of the American Express black card, you may conjure up images of the wealthiest people in the world plunking one down to pay for items that cost more than most Americans earn in a year — or possibly a decade.
American Express Black Card
The official name of the Amex “black card” is the Centurion® Card from American Express (not to be confused with the more recent Mastercard® Black Card™).
Before 1999, the Centurion card was just a myth. “There had been rumors going around that we had this ultra-exclusive black card for elite customers,” Doug Smith, director of American Express Europe, told Snopes. “It wasn’t true, but we decided to capitalize on the idea anyway.”
And thus the American Express black card, subject of many a rap song and gold digger fantasy, was born.
How to Get an American Express Black Card
Though you can read its terms and conditions, you won’t find an application for this card online. That’s because this exclusive piece of plastic, er, metal, is available by invite only.
The requirements to get a black card aren’t publicly available either, but based on other users’ reports, you should probably:
- Use other Amex cards
- Be an active cardholder for at least a year
- Charge at least $250,000 per year (though some estimates are as high as $450,000)
And that’s just to maybe get an invite!
What It Costs to Get an American Express Black Card
If you’re one of the few invited to apply for a black card, the buck won’t stop there. You’ll have to pay a hefty initiation/application fee, as well as an annual fee, for the privilege of using this card.
- Initiation Fee: $5,000–$7,500
- Annual Fee: $2,500
Can you believe it? More than $5,000 just to get a card? But hey, there are no foreign transaction fees! (Most of the best travel credit cards can get you that)
We guess if that price shocks you (like it does us!), you’re probably not ready for the black card. Instead, focus on building your credit responsibly with the slew of other offers out there.
American Express Black Card Benefits
The benefits of the American Express Centurion card match its world class reputation.
If you ask around, you’ll probably hear wild tales of the power of this card and its services. Snopes relates several, including one where an American Express employee traveled by motorcycle to retrieve a handful of sand from the shores of the Dead Sea. The reason? A Centurion cardholder’s child, who lived in London, needed it for a school project.
In addition to Dead Sea sand, here’s what else this card offers:
– Membership Rewards Points
When you swipe this card, you’ll earn Amex Membership Rewards Points, which you can use toward flights or hotel stays.
– 24/7 Personal Concierge Program
Need front row tickets to T-Swift? How about extended shopping hours at Gucci? Or a tough-to-secure reservation at Nobu or Per Se?
No request is unreasonable when it comes to the deluxe Centurion concierge service, which you can also use for simpler requests like reminder calls for anniversaries and birthdays.
– Automatic Hotel Elite Status
Centurion cardholders get automatic Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, which translates to perks like free upgrades and late check-outs.
You’ll also get elite hotel statuses like Hilton Honors Diamond, IHG Priority Club Rewards Platinum Elite and Relais & Châteaux 5C, with perks like complimentary internet and upgrades, as well as membership to the Centurion Hotel Program, which includes benefits at five luxury hotel chains: Aman, Belmond, Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula Hotels and St. Regis.
– Automatic Car Rental Elite Status
When you rent a car with your Centurion card, you’ll get:
- Primary car rental insurance (as long as you decline the collision damage waiver).
- Roadside assistance, including free towing and jumpstarting.
- Elite status with car rental companies like Hertz and Avis.
Through the Centurion Auto program, you’ll have access to a luxury car rental service, with preferred pricing on exotic high-end vehicles like Lamborghinis, Bentleys and even Formula One racing cars.
– Delta Skymiles Platinum Medallion Status
In addition to hotels and car rentals, you’ll get to feel special when you fly Delta.
You’ll receive automatic Platinum Medallion status, which means complimentary upgrades and priority check-in and boarding — and no charges for reissuing mileage tickets.
– Other Travel Perks
If it’s not obvious yet, the American Express black card offers some serious perks for travelers.
Though there are more benefits than we can list here — including for cruises, restaurants, stores and other events — here are a few more you should know about:
- Access to Centurion Lounges: Known as some of the best airline lounges around, Centurion Lounges have high-caliber food, drinks and services, with some even offering spa treatments and massages!
- Priority Pass Select membership: As a Priority Pass member, you’ll gain access to hundreds of airport lounges around the country.
- Free in-flight WiFi: Want to get work done on the plane? You’re in luck: This card comes with complimentary Boingo and Gogo WiFi access.
- Global Entry fee credit: Every four years, you’ll receive a $100 statement credit to cover your Global Entry application fee.
- $200 travel credit: On an airline of your choice, you’ll receive up to $200 in annual statement credits to cover fees like checked bags and in-flight food and beverage purchases.
- International arrival services: When you fly first class into one of 32 international airports, you’ll be assigned a personal guide to speed up your immigration and customs process.
There are many perks unrelated to travel as well, including complimentary ShopRunner membership and a variety of shopping protections.
– No Pre-Set Spending Limits
Perhaps the best-known perk of the Centurion card is the fact it has no pre-set spending limit (also known as a credit limit).
This can come in handy if you want to impulse-buy something expensive, like a $36 million tea cup. Just make sure you’ve got enough money in the bank, as charges must be paid in full each month.
Frequently Asked Questions on American Express Black Card
- Can I Get More Than One?
Though American Express black card holders could once have up to 99 authorized users share their account, those golden days are over. In a bid to make the card more exclusive, cardholders are now limited to two authorized users per account.