The American Express Black Card has a reputation as the most elite card available on the market. Big spenders know that it carries a level of prestige that rises above its’ competitors, and it’s well known as the elite credit card offering in the world. Celebrities and fans alike see it as a status symbol, and the Black Card is frequently mentioned in pop culture music references as a means to show off a level of success in a musician’s career. It’s likely that you’ve heard of the American Express Black Card (or Centurion as it’s also known) before, but what do you really know about it? What are the requirements to sign up? How much do you have to spend? What are the Centurion Card benefits or terms and conditions? Let’s take a deeper look to learn a little bit more.
How To Get An American Express Black Card
Few people know this, but there are some serious requirements to be eligible for a Black Card. Until 2006, you actually had to be invited to get one. They’ve since removed the invite restrictions but you’ll still need to be in a pretty elite club to be eligible for a Centurion Card.
- First, you’ll need to already have an American Express Platinum Card. Since one of the requirements of having an American Express Black Card is to spend a minimum of $250,000 per year, you’re gonna to start by spending and paying off that much on your Amex Platinum Card. This means you’re going to need make as many purchases as possible on your Platinum Card, and stay on top of paying off your monthly balance. Pay everything you can – pay utilities with Amex, pay for every dinner – anything you can think of. If you’re credit limit is too low, you can actually over pay your bill at the end of the month to gain a larger balance for the following month. Did you flinch when I mentioned you need to spend and pay off $250,000 per year just to qualify for a Black Card? Well, then it likely isn’t for you.
- Make sure your credit rating is high – avoid bad credit. There’s no point in even trying to apply for a Black Card if you have a poor credit rating. Make sure, in addition to your Amex bill, that you’re paying off all of your other bills and credit cards at the end of the month, on time. If you have questions, there are plenty of other great resources available online to help you build better credit.
- Own significant assets. American Express is going to look at your asset portfolio as well as your credit history, so it will be a positive sign if you own a business, home, vacation home, luxury yacht, or have an extraordinarily large savings account. Of course, owning significant assets is also going to help you on your quest to spend $250,000 per year on your Platinum Card!
Black Card Requirements
There are minimum requirements for anyone who wants to become a Centurion cardholder. If Amex decides you’re an acceptable risk then you’re on to the next step – so what are the requirements?
- One time sign up fee of $5,000. To experience the privilege of a black card, you’ll need to pay this one time upfront fee.
- An annual fee of $2,500. This fee is required for all cardholders.
- Spend a minimum of $250,000 per year. As discussed above, this is the minimum allowable amount you need to spend and pay off to become an American Express Centurion cardholder.
Black Card Benefits
What exactly are the benefits of carrying an American Express Black Card? There are many perks available to existing American Express customers, but even more so for Centurion Card Holders. Many of these perks will work towards off-setting your sign up and yearly fees, so you’ll want to take advantage of them at every chance possible.
- Tickets – Tickets for major concerts, sporting events, and other high profile outings are automatically reserved for Black Card members. Don’t bother trying to scramble with TicketMaster when you can use these member privileges!
- High Spending Limits – Your spending limit will be based on your asset portfolio and credit history, and unlike many rumors have speculated, is not unlimited. However, it is likely very high, meaning you can purchase extremely high value objects with your Centurion Card.
- Private Jet – As part of your American Express Black Card membership, you’ll be able to have the option of partial ownership of a private jet, in addition to rewards points towards travel.
- Travel – Automatic upgrades on hotels, resorts, and many airlines are all part of the package that comes with Black Card membership. In some cases you can even earn one night stays just for being a member!
Additional Black Card Services
In addition to the perks mentioned above, you also receive many other complimentary services as part of your Centurion Card membership. It seems that American Express really goes out of their way to provide an amazing experience for Black Card customers!
- Personal Concierge – Simply pick up the phone and call your personal concierge, and they’ll help you do almost anything – from making dinner reservations, shopping for you, and even providng personal reminders for appointments, birthdays and more. This seems to be a great benefit to us – almost like having a personal assistant!
- Travel Concierge – In addition to your personal concierge, you also get the benefit of a full service travel agent, who can assist you in booking flights, limos, helicopters, hotels, car rentals and more. Why worry about booking your own reservations when your personal travel agent can do it for you?
- Translator – Traveling to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language? American Express Black Card services will make arrangements for you.
- Financial Assistant – Need to sell an asset or business? Your financial assistant that comes with your Black card membership can help you with the process.
- Personal Shopper – Too busy lounging on the beach to do all your own shopping? Let your personal shopper do it for you!
There’s clearly an overwhelming number of reasons why the American Express Black Card is the most elite credit card in the world. Did we mention that on top of all the benefits mentioned above, your Black Card is actually made of titanium? Not only will your friends (and everyone else around you) be impressed with your level of spending, but you can also show off the cool form factor. One thing is true – the Black Card is definitely not for everyone; it’s hardly for anyone! If you can step up to the table with a strong credit background, high volume of assets, and outrageous spending habits, you may qualify – but we’re guessing you already knew that.
So what do you think of the American Express Black Card? Have you seen one in the wild before? Do you know anyone who has one? Share your thoughts in the comments below!