Centurion Credit Card from American Express

Centurion is American Express premier black card that is offered by invitation only to its best clients. American Express is the leading issuer of credit cards and is the largest credit card company in the world, by volume. They are known for having innovative products and a selection of cards that meet the needs of a wide range of clientele.

The Centurion credit card is the top of the line for both American Express and in the industry. The card is offered through the American Express Centurion Bank as well as American Express Bank. The card may be used at any locations worldwide that display the American Express logo.

Qualifications for the Centurion Credit Card

The Centurion Credit Card is issued by American Express and is known as the Black Card. This card was the first of the exclusive black cards to be presented to the market and has been among the American Express card line up since 1999. What makes this card unique is that it is offered to customers through invitation only. Customers must meet strict requirements regarding income, net worth, and credit in order to receive an invitation. American Express reviews the accounts of its Platinum credit card holders to find applicants who might qualify for the Centurion Credit Card. It caters to American Expresses most wealthy and influential clients.

American Express does not explicitly list the qualifications for the card. However, the average customer who carries the card has an income of 1.3 million per year and an average net worth of 16.3 million.

Fees for the Centurion Card

The annual fee for the Centurion credit card is $2500. In addition to an annual fee there is an initial one-time fee that is $5,000. The card is made from anodized titanium and is heavier than standard plastic cards. In some countries the cards contain the “chip” which provides a higher level of security, reduces fraud and enables the card to be used for contactless pay methods found in those countries.  

The annual fee and initiation fee for the card varies by country.

Benefits of Carrying the Centurion Card

Aside from the prestige that is attached to carrying the Centurion credit card, there are a number of monetary benefits that make customers willing to pay the high annual fee and set up costs of carrying the card. These benefits start with the lack of a credit limit. With high net worth, high credit scores and high incomes customers are trusted to use the card responsibly, and therefore granted unlimited usage of the card.

One of the most coveted features is the dedicated access to travel agents and concierge services through American Express. These services provide access to exclusive tickets, dinner reservations at hard to book restaurants, and tickets to sold out events. The concierge can assist with gift buying, travel plans or any other needs the card holder has. A personal shopper is available for stores like Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue and Escada.  

Complementary tickets for companions on international flights. This feature is available with the purchase of a full fare ticket and is available of certain airlines. A free ticket on an international flight can save the cost of the annual fee, especially if the cardholder is flying first class. If the cardholder flies first class several times a year the cost of the card will more than pay for itself. Reservations must be made through the American Express reservation system, not directly with the airlines. This may or may not result in the lowest possible airfare. Other airline benefits include airport lounge access and first class upgrades on available flights.

Hotel benefits offer one free night when a hotel is booked through American Express and at least one night is paid for on the same trip. These benefits extend to top class chains such as Amanresorts and Ritz Carlton’s.

Car rental benefits include a free membership with both Avis and Hertz premium clubs. The Avis president’s Club and the Hertz Platinum Service. This benefit is offered when the car rental is paid for with the Centurion card.

These benefits are exclusive to the US cards. Each country has its own fee structure and benefits based on the agreements made with companies in those respective countries.

While the Centurion card is the most expensive credit card offered, many clients find the benefits to be worth the cost. If you travel extensively and can qualify, the $2500 may provide significantly more than that in benefits.