The American Express Centurion® Card — commonly referred to as the Black Card — is one of the most exclusive cards out there. Celebrities and musicians commonly talk about having one or wanting to have one; it’s a sign you’ve made it in the social circles of the rich and famous. But, is it really worth the hype?
5 things you should know about the Amex Black Card
Urban legends and rumors abound when it comes to the Amex Centurion® Card. In fact, myth-busting and fact-checking site Snopes has a whole entry dedicated to the lore of the Black Card. Despite what some people think, the card does exist, but it isn’t the magical card many people make it out to be.
Here are some of the hidden secrets behind the most prestigious of cards, and what you should know if you dream of having your own.
1. The perks are significant
One of the main benefits of the American Express Centurion® Card is the concierge service it offers to cardholders. If you need last-minute concert tickets, VIP access, or even someone to hunt down this year’s hottest Christmas toy, the American Express Concierge will help.
2. It’s invitation-only
Even if you have plenty of money, you can’t just apply for a Black Card. Instead, American Express extends invitations to a very select few. To be eligible for an invitation, you have to spend upwards of $450,000 per year on a current American Express card.
3. There are high fees for the privilege of having the card
You would think spending enough money to warrant an invitation would be enough for American Express, but it’s only the beginning of the high costs associated with the Black Card.
If you’re invited to become a card-member, you’ll have to pay hefty fees just for the privilege of having the card. According to American Express, there’s a $7,500 initiation fee and a $2,500 annual fee. If you want to add an authorized user to your account, that’s another $2,500 per addition.
4. You likely need to be a millionaire to qualify
The Black Card is only for the super-rich. Even big-business CEOs and some celebrities would struggle to qualify. According to reports, the average American Black Card holder earns $1.3 million a year, and has a net worth of $16 million. That means just 0.10% of the American population would qualify.
5. The travel benefits are insane
The travel rewards on the Black Card are admittedly amazing. As a cardholder, you get airport lounge access and elevated hotel membership status. You can also get unlimited first-class upgrades with Delta airlines and even upgraded rental cars.
The problem with the Black Card
Most people will never qualify for the American Express Centurion® Card. But, if you’re one of the select few American Express invites, should you apply for a card?
Although there are some unique benefits to the Black Card, its reputation mainly comes from its prestige and exclusiveness. Because it’s held by celebrities and multi-millionaires, people want to be seen carrying the card because it’s a status symbol.
Otherwise, the significant costs associated with the card will likely negate the value of the rewards that come with it.
Get your rewards fix with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If the American Express Centurion Card is out of reach, but you still want a rewards credit card with valuable benefits, check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
. Although there is an annual fee of $95, that’s a lot cheaper than the $2,500 the Black Card charges. Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card was designed for travelers, offering special perks:
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
To qualify, you will need good to excellent credit. You can find out where you stand by checking your credit score for free.
If your credit isn’t high enough right now for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, follow these five tips to boost your credit score.
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