The Centurion 'black' card has a $2,500 annual fee and is invite-only, but you can get most of its benefits with the Amex Platinum.

Business Insider Traveling 2 months ago

Also known as the Centurion card, the American Express "black" card is so prestigious that you have to be invited to use it. Yes, you read that right — you can't just apply for it and expect to get approved. You have to receive a private invitation from American Express.

So, how do you get an invite for a black card? While the requirements aren't officially published, rumor has it that you have to be a high earner who has spent and paid off between $350,000 and $500,000 across all of your American Express accounts in a calendar year. And once you're approved for the card, there's a $7,500 initiation fee, and a $2,500 annual fee. It makes premium credit cards like the Amex Platinum ($550 annual fee) and the Amex Business Platinum ($595) look downright affordable.

Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

Benefits of the Amex black card

Aside from the status symbol that comes with simply carrying an Amex black card in your wallet, you can enjoy these perks by having one.

Hotel elite status

With a black card, you can lock in hotel elite status at four major hotel chains: Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Relais & Châteaux. Hotel elite status gets you sweet benefits like room upgrades, late checkouts, resort and spa credits, and free breakfast.

The Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum offer status with Hilton and Marriott, but not with IHG and Relais & Châteaux.

Delta elite status

According to The Points Guy, the black card also offers cardholders Platinum Medallion elite status with Delta. You can't get this benefit with any other credit card, and it offers you perks like complimentary upgrades and bonus miles.

Airport lounge access

There's nothing better than knowing you have access to a comfortable airport lounge while you're traveling, especially if you have a long layover. The Amex black card gets you free access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when you're flying Delta, and Priority Pass airport lounges. You can sit back and relax on the comfortable chairs while indulging in some good food and drinks.

The airport lounge access you get as a Centurion cardholder is virtually identical to the lounge access you get with the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum.

24/7 concierge service

An Amex black card gets you your own personal concierge whenever you'd like one. You can count on the round-the-clock concierge service to help you make travel plans or reservations at exclusive restaurants. This service can also get you tickets to just about any event and/or purchase gifts on your behalf.

Once again, the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum also offer concierge services. However, Centurion cardmembers are definitely the top priority for Amex concierge, and they get the best access to restaurant reservations and more.

International arrival service

If you travel abroad often, you'll love the black card's international arrival service. As long as you fly business or first class via American Express Travel, you'll be assigned to your own personal guide who will make the immigration and customs process a breeze. This isn't a benefit you can replicate with any other Amex card.

No spending limit

There are no preset spending limits with the black card, so you can easily buy big-ticket items that you may not necessarily be able to pay for with other credit cards. Keep in mind, however, that since the black card is technically a"charge card," you must pay off your balances in full every month. (The Amex Platinum and Business Platinum are also charge cards.)

Other lifestyle perks

Beyond offering elite status with more travel partners, international arrival service, and the top tier of Amex concierge service, the black card stands out from the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum with its selection of wine-related benefits, such as consultations with a wine specialist and wine-buying offers.

Black cardholders also get several shopping perks, including special offers and VIP benefits with Net-a-Porter.

The Amex Platinum is more attainable, and offers many of the same perks

If you don't get an invite for the American Express black card, don't fret. As you can see, many of the benefits it offers are available on the Amex Platinum, which has a $550 fee. You'll get no preset spending limits, hotel elite status, complimentary access to airport lounges, and concierge services.

If you're a business user, the Amex Business Platinum is worth a look. It offers most of these benefits as well, and has a $595 annual fee.

Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Traveling › 3 days ago
I had received offers for the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, but was never tempted to apply until I discovered the Amex Centurion Lounge at San Francisco Airport (SFO). Amex Centurion Lounges offer a comfortable place to relax before a...
Business Insider › Finance › 2 months ago
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express and the American Express® Business Gold Card are the top-of-the-line business credit card options from Amex. The Business Platinum comes with a higher annual fee but more perks and cardholder benefits...
Business Insider › Traveling › 3 weeks ago
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a tremendous value to cardholders who travel, even with a high $550 annual fee. If you're an active-duty servicemember, Amex will waive your annual fee if you request it. The benefit is available as part...
Business Insider › Traveling › 3 weeks ago
I have both the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, and I'm happy to pay the annual fees for both. While several benefits overlap, each card has meaningful perks of its own. If you can use the...
Business Insider › Traveling › 1 month ago
With a $595 annual fee, the Business Platinum® Card from American Express is one of the most premium charge cards available. The card is packed with perks including airline fee rebates, discounts on premium airfare, airport lounge access, and Global...
Business Insider › Traveling › 2 weeks ago
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a much higher annual fee than most credit or charge cards, which can scare off some people. However, the card comes with enough perks, rewards, and tangible benefits to far outweigh that annual fee...
Business Insider › Finance › 3 weeks ago
One of the benefits of having an Amex card is getting access to Amex Offers. Amex Offers are deals for cash back or bonus points for shopping with retailers like Instacart, Amazon, and Casper. One current Amex offer can get you $30 back or 3,000 Amex...
Business Insider › Traveling › 1 week ago
The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express are both great credit cards. Many of the benefits of each card overlap, but there are a few perks unique to each. Even though I have both cards and think...
Business Insider › Traveling › 2 months ago
If you have an Amex card, you're eligible for Amex Offers that can get you cash back or bonus points with retailers and restaurants. These offers are available on Amex cards ranging from the Platinum Card® to American Express to the Marriott Bonvoy...
Business Insider › Traveling › 1 month ago
The Amex International Airline Program is a lesser-known benefit available to holders of the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express. The International Airline Program offers discounts on flights in...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google