The American Express Black "Centurion Card": Why It's the Millionaire's Choice
Since 1999, the American Express Black or "Centurion Card" has been a credit card associated with wealth and power. There are actually two different versions of the card as well; there is a business model, as well as a personal card.
Due to its elite status and perks, a card holder must be invited by the American Express Company and not many invitations go out. As to how an individual qualifies for the card, the public can only speculate that credit score, net worth and a certain spending criteria be met; however, the qualifications for the card are not publicized. For a business to qualify, it is speculated that the business's gross earnings must total a certain amount as well as having an immaculate credit score and a large spending history; yet, just like the individual qualifications, the business qualifications are not publicized.
It is not as simple as just being invited though, after one is invited to become a "Centurion Card" holder there is a $5,000.00 onetime fee (U.S.) along with a yearly $2,500.00 fee. Originally the card was made of plastic like many other credit cards; but, more recently the card has been produced out of a titanium allow, which is the same thickness as the plastic, but has been known to not scan properly. So if it is so elite and so expensive, what are the benefits?
The benefits to the American Express Black card are not only monetary, the card acts as an all access pass to many services and unique clubs that are hard to access. Some of the perks for United States card holders include an on call travel agent, companion airfare (some restrictions), personal shoppers at various locals, airport club access and flight upgrades. As for hotel service, the "Centurion Card" is an all access pass to room upgrades, free nights and individual elite hotel clubs. There are many other perks for those who travel internationally and hold international black cards as well, and those are just the advertised benefits. In addition to all of the access, the card has become a symbol of wealth and power.
Any individual holding a Black Card is typically received with respect and care, because most service attendants see the credit card as a symbol of the elite. All of the benefits cater to a higher earning clientele and the card is in high demand. The American Express Black Card is sought after by millionaires around the world due to its elite access capabilities and the respect that is brings. Competitors are creeping up with card comparable to the American Express Black card, but currently American express still has the upper hand offering more benefits and having more experience than the newer competitors.