American Express Centurion (Black) Credit Card

Have you guys ever heard of the mystic “black” credit card that no credit limit that some rich and famous people use? This card used to be urban legend, but American Express took advantage of the rumour and created their version of the card. The Centurion Credit Card.

I never knew about this card before, but after reading an interesting thread on RedFlagDeals, I thought that I’d share the details with you.

For those of you who are frugal and don’t believe in paying fees for using a credit card, than this article isn’t for you. Believe me because when I read about the fees, all I could think was “who in their right mind…”. But then again, when you’ve got a ridiculous amount of cash, a few thousand bucks isn’t going to mean much.

Here are some details (referenced from wikipedia):

The Benefits

  • The card is made from titanium, the only titanium credit card on the market (i’m not sure if I would consider this is a benefit)
  • Personal dedicated concierge service and travel agent along with free flight companion tickets.
  • Personal shoppers at retailers like Gucci, Escada.
  • Access to airport clubs and free first class flight upgrades.
  • Hotel benefits like one free stay at every Mandarin Oriental Hotel / year.
  • Platinum status for popular US airline point systems.

The Fees

  • $5000 one time initiation fee + $2,500/yr ($7500 fee in your first year!)
  • $1500 / year for additional cards (..and I thought $50 for an extra card was expensive)

Do you qualify?

  • Minimum annual spending of $250,000
  • Exceptional credit history
  • I assume exceptional income as well.

Apparently, to date, the largest purchase made on the card was a $30 million dollar jet. Imagine..

Note that this card is currently for U.S residents only.  The closest things we have here in Canada is the Visa Infinite card.

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Margriet Schetselaar
7 years ago

Many years ago I saw a salesgirl’s eyeballs nearly popping out when she accepted a credit card. It happened in a higher echelon clothing department in The Hague, Netherlands.
The card in her hands was “without limit”. Only today I discovered a tiny problem. American Express introduced the Centurion was in 1999. It was based on this “mystic” card that made the sky the limit. As far as I know they were the “official” first without limit.
It was 1993 when I saw this black card held by the salesgirl … Was it the “mystic” one?

The Centurion makes eyeballs popping out too … saw that happen some years ago at another warehouse. I guess you only have to look a guy’s creditcard to unveil a billionair.

8 years ago

Ah, I also have the Merrill +, as I have a wealth of investments at Merrill Lynch, but the Citibank Ultima doesn’t interest me (I have business in India too). But to the guy that criticises people about bragging about credit cards, sure, there’s lots of deadbeats here bragging about what they just can dream to have, but some of us do have these cards and it’s not to brag before friends or unknown people or hotel employees, but it’s a thing of prestige with your clients, very wealthy clients that want to know they are dealing with wealth fellows. If you invite them to a restaurant in Dubai or at the Marina Bay sands hotel in Singa, don’t take your guaranteed capital one or mbna smart card, for god’s sake. They’ll spit on you.

8 years ago

I have one, the maximum I’ve paid with it is north of 365000 $ but normal purchases I do are around 55000 to 75000 $ a month. The titanium thing is pretty cool and it stands out among my other gold cards. They’ve accepted it at hotels in Hanoi, Tananarivo and Brunei, funny how some hotel and resto employees find it so cool that they have to ask me about it.

9 years ago

my mom has that card… its not worth it at alllllllll…..

the benefits dont cover the expenses we pay for it…

like when i travel i travel on buisness or first class.. i already have a lounge to stay in! i dont need the amex lounge…

and when making a hotel reservation they give you high rates with usually breakfast inclluded and late checkout… not that big value…

mmmm and the personal shoping service is offered to all amex card holders nothing special…

9 years ago

This card is for the rich no doubt about it, I see previous people who have posted mention they tried to get this card by attempting to spend the 250K per year and thinking that that amount is allot of money. Seriously though for the rich ( where this card is aimed at) 250K a year is nothing. I have worked with clients that spend this amount a day or even a week keeping their staff and assets running.

I have known some clients who have given million dollar tips for a waiter they liked. Also, most of the super rich view this card as new money trash, or for people who have something to prove.

As a merchant banker you are always weary of those dressed up in expensive suits who own expensive cars and have expensive credit cards, usually in debt trying to prove they are rich. The true wealth wears board shorts to business meetings and dont usually have expensive cards.

Shane Chagpar
11 years ago

Confirmed. The Black Card has been made available on an invite only basis to Canadians. Both myself and a client of mine received invites (in a very nice box) this month.

Shane Chagpar
11 years ago

Confirmed. The Black Card has been made available on an invite only basis available to Canadian residents. Both myself and a client of mine got the invites this month.

rob murray
11 years ago

what is rockstars rob murrays card i forgot and pin look it up on the computer

R U Really Rich
11 years ago

Hello Everyone,
It is nice to see how many of us want to impress our importance. I am not sure how many of you actually own a Centurion Card , if any to begin with . , I dont think Centurion card holder would like to share their experiences on this site ,
Remember one common rule in life , The Rich people always brag how poor they are , they dont advertise their money unless someone is newly rich . Centurion is only good for travellers or people who stay in hotels a lot , expenses paid by the company .Also Amex is the least acceptable card in the world compared to Visa or Master card .You would be surprised to know majority of the celebrties carry Visa or the Master card . Centurion card is more hyped in North America than rest of the world .
$7500 is a lot to pay for the card , Amex is also very unreliable card to carry ,Amex has tendency to cancel cards without prior warning , Webs pages are full of Amex abrupt cancellation and complaints .
If you people claim to be rich and own the centurion card , think again Perhaps you are not rich enough to know that ” Coutts & Co ” has been the most prestigious card in the world since last 20 plus years ( never heard of it ) , Ofcousre, none of us reading on this site are not at that level yet ..nor will we be ….Winning lotto is just not enough …Rich people rather be on yatchts or private planes than bragging falsely here .Speaking of Private planes , Stratus Reward Visa is more exclusive than Amex Centurion when it comes to Private Jets. ( Again never heard of this too )
What about the Ultra Ultra Rich Arabs , since there is no Centurion in Middle East , what do they do ? …See I told you , you guys are not rich people , Arabs carrry Citibank Ultima card ..Now go and do your research and start bragging again about these new cards that you guys carry on different web sites ….
No need to feel sad , be happy that you are alive and healthy , Money couldn’t save Micheal Jackson or Kings or Queens in the past .. …Black card or a Green card …just enjoy it .
All the Best

11 years ago

Just received my invite for the centurion card today. To the other centurion card holders out there in canada – is it worth it? What is the best part about having the card? Have you been able to do/attend/get something that you would not have been able to othewise without this card?