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Does the American Express Black card exist?

Valued Contributor

Re: Does the American Express Black card exist?

Centurion Card is basically like any other AMEX charge card except you need to be invited to get one and has a lot more benefits.  It does not have unlimited spending or anything like that.  In fact, it uses the same NPSL spending decision engine that all AMEX charge cards use.  As such, a Zync can have more spending power than AMEX Centurion.


Physically, the cards themselves are made of Tinanium or some kind of metal blend (think license plate).  Name on front for personal.  Name and business on front for business centurion.


There are Centurion cards issued by AMEX divisions in many different countries all with their own setup on benefits, cost, qualifications etc.  So I will only talk about US.


AF is currently $2500 and has intiation fee of $7500 currently (not sure if 7500 covers first year AF).  The AF used to be $1000 and I think those people are grandfathered in at that AF.


There are two types of Centurion Cards in the US: Business and Personal.  Personal is much harder to get than Business.  The key difference is that with Personal Centurion, you tend to receive A LOT more gifts and freebies.  So when you hear about people complaining that they aren't seeing as much stuff as before, take it with a grain of salt as many more Business Centurions issued.


Last confirmed requirements for invite was an annual spend of $250,000 on your Amex.  However, Amex was letting a lot of people slide or "cheat" the system.  You could spend 20ishK for a couple of months and then ask for Centurion invite as you were pacing 250k that year.  Business Centurions were being issued to companies on request if they had extended relationships with American Express.  For example, my old startup was offered Business Centurions with basically no spend as we were using AMEX for some other stuff.  But think how easy for an decent sized business to spend 20ishK for a couple of months.


The net result of this loose policy of invites has been AMEX severly restricting invites.  In 2011, the rumor is that no invites went out except for a few exceptions.  In 2012, it is confirmed that Business Centurion invites have started to go out.  Rumors are that personal Centurion Invites have started to go out in last month, but no confirmation yet.  In any case, new requirements for invites is not published or confirmed.  It does seem to be that invites have gone out to those who have long history with AMEX and high spends as opposed to newer Amex holders with 10X the spend.  Amex has returned to Centurions being an invite only club vs. a meet these requirements and your in club.


Talked to my buddy recently, who turns out is now high up in AMEX, and he said he can push through a consideration for an invite as a favor, but he gave me some guidelines on what I would need to do to help ensure an invite.  However, he did not outline what it takes to get considered as not really revelant for our conversation (as he could just ask them to consider me).  Given the reduced hard benefits of Centurion vs the past, the Centurion is more of a luxury decision as the benefits don't seem to make monetary sense anymore.  However it does still retain its cachet with their return to a mysterious invitation process.  Kind of wish I had made an effort to get one back in the day when it was even more mysterious and AFs/initation fee was cheaper.

Message 11 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: Does the American Express Black card exist?

It definitely does exist. I had one as an AU on my parent's centurion awhile back.

EX 798, EQ 789, TU 784
American Express Platinum (NPSL) || Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Barclays American Airlines Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard - $20,000 CL || Chase IHG Rewards World Mastercard - $25,000 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL || Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank Hilton Reserve Visa Signature - $20,000 CL || J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Message 12 of 16
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Does the American Express Black card exist?

I have a black card in my wallet.   2 more punches and I get a free coffee but we might be talking about 2 totally different cards.  Smiley Happy

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Message 13 of 16
Mega Contributor

Re: Does the American Express Black card exist?

p- wrote:

If you get an AMEX through USAA the card is black.  I've had a couple of people look a little closer at it, and I have done nothing to discourage the assumption that I am a "Black" card holder  :-P


Smiley Very Happy

EQ FICO 548 3/3/16
Message 14 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: Does the American Express Black card exist?

Shogun wrote:

I have a black card in my wallet.   2 more punches and I get a free coffee but we might be talking about 2 totally different cards.  Smiley Happy


Starting Score: 639 (Walmart TU)
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Message 15 of 16
Established Member

Re: Does the American Express Black card exist?

We have the Business Centurions at work for Exec. VPs and above.  Everyone else gets the Business Gold cards.  Supposedly even with the annual fee we save money because the VPs can call and book travel with the concierge, which helped to eliminate several assistant positions.

Message 16 of 16