American Express Black – The Ultimate Credit Card

Forget the standard green and blue. Silver, gold and platinum don’t even come close. If you want the ultimate credit card, you want titanium (literally) and the color you’re after is black!

Most credit cards would be fighting tooth and nail to get you to sign up with them if you have superior credit, but there is one credit card that operates a bit differently: The Centurion Black card from American Express (also commonly referred to as the “Black Card” – there is also a Centurion Platinum card which should not be confused) The Black Card is so exclusive that you aren’t even able to apply for it – the only way to get one is by receiving a special invitation from American Express. Currently there are estimated to be less than 10,000 Black Cards in existence worldwide.

The Black Card began as a rumor in the 1980s that certain celebrities and dignitaries were being given a credit card from American Express that could buy anything with no limits (which happened to be black). There is no solid proof that the Black Card existed during this time, although some continue to insist it did exist. Either way, as rumors mounted about this exclusive black card, American Express decided to capitalize on the free publicity and launched the Black Card in 1999. Those who were first invited were Centurion Platinum card members who were supposedly spending a minimum of $150,000 a year.

Information about how one qualifies for the Black Card today is somewhat of a mystery since, although there are references on the American Express website about the card, there is no formal page where you can see the requirements to get an invitation to carry one (there is a user ID and password protected page for those that do have the Black Card). When the invitations first arrived in 1999, the Black Card came with a $1000 a year fee. People that now have the card say that the yearly cost has risen to $2500 a year and a minimum of $250,000 a year needs to be charged to qualify.

As might be expected, the invitation to receive the Black Card doesn’t come in a standard envelope that you and I are used to seeing when offering to apply for a credit card:

American Express Black Card welcome kit

And it also doesn’t come in a plain envelope when the card actually arrives:

American Express Black Card welcome kit

As would be expected, the Black Card does provide a number of privileges for the $2500 a year fee including access to a large number of exclusive clubs. Most importantly, it provides you a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week personal Concierge. If you want tickets to a sold out event, there is no need to panic. A simple call will get you virtually anything you need.

Of course, now that the American Express Black card is known to exist, the rumors have started to circulate that there is now an ultra special card for the elite of the elite called the American Express Chrystal Card…

This entry was posted in Credit Cards, X Files. Bookmark the permalink.

152 Responses to American Express Black – The Ultimate Credit Card

  1. Davin Black says:

    I work at a bookstore, and I’ve met two Black card owners at both ends of the social spectrum. The first guy I met with the card was a really laid back, polite older guy in a flannel shirt and torn jeans, buying a Johnny Cash CD (lol!). We spent time at the register comparing different artists, just talking like regular people – I didn’t even realize that he was that wealthy until (a) he pulled out his black card and (b) I got a glance at his keychain, and I swear on everything that I saw the key to a Mercedes SLR McLaren (I’m a bit of a car freak, and they had a picture of the keys to the SLR, Enzo, and Carrera GT in an old Motor Trend magazine). The other person I met with a Black card was this completely vapid, snobbish lady who gave everyone at our store a hard time because she couldn’t articulate what book she was looking for…I guess my point is that the card is just a card; it doesn’t MAKE you act like a jackass if you’re already predisposed to be a jackass. Is it worth having? Probably not, but if you have to point out all the negative/wasteful points to owning one, then you really shouldn’t worry about it anyways: you (like me) probably couldn’t afford it, and thus won’t get the offer. Would I get one if I could afford to have it? Most likely, yes: it would serve as another tool in an arsenal of tools available to me to make certain things go more smoothly. One of the earlier comments talked about getting better seats on any flight, and getting tickets to sold out venues – that’s something I think anyone would appreciate. I’d rather have the concierge put weight on the people I’m trying to get tickets (or whatever it is I want) at the regular price, than get in their faces myself and keep offering more money until they give in; definitely more efficient, and that’s what most Black card holders are really paying for. It’s no different than having a hybrid car for your commute, an suv for grocery/child-getting, and a sporty car for the weekend: you don’t NEED more than one car, but for certain things to get accomplished, one vehicle might do that job better than the others. Just my two cents *shrug*

  2. Anonymous says:

    I find it simply incredible the amount of attention this card gets. I would like to make a statement that most people with this card might be flabbergasted to hear: most people with money (or at least, as the old saying goes, old money) would reject this card, even if invited, because of the attention it gets. It is highly unnecessary, and is simply a status symbol. Money is one thing, class is another. This card is “exclusive”ly only for those who are so insecure about their wealth that they must show it off with a card. Think deeply about this: people who have money don’t spend it. I have one remaining question to all of those who carry (if there is anyone of this website who actually carrys it) the card. Why? What drove you to accept American Express’ invitation to you for this card? Was it the “coolness”, the association with wealth, the attention? Please clarify this.

  3. Brandon says:

    People with the “black card” are no different than me, we both put our pants on one leg at a time, but once my pants are on, I then proceed to eat a bowl of 10 cent ramen noodles.

  4. johnny c says:

    I got the card because .. yes .. the coolness. once you get the black card you join an elite group, the best of the best.

  5. jose says:

    still you have to que , still nice to have.

  6. Garrett says:

    OMG, lol, the best of the best what? its a f***ing credit card!

  7. Deni says:

    “the Black Ax Card” i have seen several in Scottsdale Az…as a single woman I have been privy to dinners and travel with this little black card in tow…membership has it’s privileges, is an understatement. The waiters that are handed this little titanium card certainly do recognize it, they almost always smile and have a look of understanding of the worth of the card meaning.It may be a status symbol to some, but those that have one, have earned the right to it’s ease of purchase power.

  8. Karen Gibbs says:

    A low cut dress works just as well,…without any finance charges.

  9. Deni says:


    a low cut dress to pay for dinner? Lose the anger sweetheart.Dating is not prostitution…I don’t care what card/cash they pay for dinner, I’m stating the card has it’s own stigma and like a fast car – if you can buy and own it, go for it.

  10. Karen Gibbs says:

    No anger here “sweetheart,” and never a need to prostitute. NEVER 🙂

  11. Bill B says:

    I just got the newly launched Amex Plum Card – you get 2% back if you pay your bill within 10 days. Our company spends over $100k per month with Amex – so we will save north of $25k per year. Seems like a better deal to me then Black Card – anybody disagree?

  12. TIFFANY BARGIG says:


  13. That Guy on the Internet says:

    News for you rich people; no-one cares! Wow your rich and you can buy anything you want! Well that’s awesome, but it still doesn’t help your looks or your personality… HAHA LOL

    I hate rich people who think they are better. I just laugh at them and they get pissed off. You can’t buy the world’s opinion of you. Good luck taking it all with you when we go

  14. Flint F. says:

    Very interesting previous comments. I simply think that if your financially able to own the black card and it would benefit you, then why not?

  15. Kerry says:

    I use to work at a children’s clothing store for the rich and when i had my first and last encounter with the black card I was surprised there’re pretty heavy and thick, I was told that they a a tracking device in them so if they get lost or stolen they could be tracked down that’s pretty cool, you have to admit that. not to mention they look really nice, but I wouldn’t want one cause it would be dangerous in my hands even if I had all the money in the world I’d still buy up a storm just cause I could


    I’m a Guinness World Record Holder and a National Celebrity!You can verify this on p.244 of the Guinness Book of World Records 2008 Edition under extreme golf.You can send my unlimited black card to:Scott McKinney 25692 Aurora way Mission Viejo,Ca..92691.Also, a reality show on the way! Thank you!

  17. greg says:

    Having the lack of common sense to leave your address in a blog to get this card pretty much guarantees that you will never get one. And if you have to announce that you are a national celebrity, then you aren’t.

  18. Max says:

    I deal with people holding this card every day. JUST ANOTHER LABEL

  19. greg says:

    i know a couple people who have them and one is even a close relative. as for me… well i’m far from that. it’s really nothing that special considering that people nowadays can do anything for themselves simply online as for purchases. however, the concierge service is the only thing i kinda envy, but when they get you those tickets you’re paying for the service as well. a symphony ticket of 500 might cost you 2000 or more… and they also arrange all travel plans to the letter of your request. again you have to pay for the service.

    someone mentioned carrying cash… that’s rediculous. a rich woman will go shopping and spend 20 grand in a trip… go ahead and tell me you’re going to carry around 20 grand in a bag. and as for the card being metallic it’s just a perk… and flashy to impress those who are that superficial.

    and lastly… there is no such thing as a crystal card. but keep talking like that and there might be one day just because of the noise being made.

  20. joe says:

    Most of the Black cards are held by salary types who travel and get thie expenes reimbursed. Think Law firms and bankers. It is not hard to rack up $250k in charges whn you fly business class 15-20 times a year, and stay in nice hotels, while taking clients out to dinner. Sure I would like one! the Platinum card has been great, it is worth all the cost the one time you have a problem while traveling, such as having someone hospitalized, or needing a few grand in cash, when most ATMs have a limit of $500-1000 a day.

  21. christina says:

    I totally agree with number 7 lol

  22. david lor says:

    The problem with the card these days is that it sets of the alarms at lax and london heathrow, you have to take it out your pocket at secuity.

  23. Lillian McGill says:

    Let’s look at this another way — I work as a private financial advisor — four to six clients, max. If you’ve watched “Dirty Sexy Money”, well, that’s my life.

    I MAKE my clients get an AmEx black, and yes, you can request them if you point out that you are charging an acceptable amount — and they’ll look at all your AmEx charges.

    It’s worth it and saves them a lot of time and money. I can make one call and find anything in the world; otherwise they’re paying me by the hour to do mundane tasks that AmEx will do far more cost-efficiently. I’ve made sure they all have the same contact person, so I’m dealing with the same individual all the time; s/he know exactly what I’m looking for….. One client has a spectacular vacation home that we’re willing to rent on occasion. It goes for $10,000 a night and AmEx Black loves knowing when it’s available since they can offer an exclusive to someone looking for someplace special.

    And they don’t do EVERYTHING. They have a reasonable code of conduct and won’t coordinate bribes, etc, although they can arrange for special protection/bodyguards if you’re somewhere that needs them; in Peru kidnapping is pretty much a cottage industry.

    Don’t look at it as snobbery. Look at it as a way to get things done. Most of you have cars; there are places in the world where people would be appalled you don’t walk short distances. But you drive the car because you can. AmEx Black is just another step up the ladder.

    Oh — and as to the posting with the rather weak command of English…yeah, chances are that kid MIGHT have one. Some parents don’t think education is very important since their kids will never “have” to work. The kids just wind up paying (and paying and paying) for it in the end. I can only do so much…

  24. Give me a break! says:

    To #40…guess what, you are too poor to own this card too. If your dad actually has this card (which is doubtful) then obviously he is too dumb to keep the card out of your grubby little hands. Enjoy the real world when it coms crashing down on you because daddy took his money away and you have to learn to work for a living…just the rest of the real world. Grow up!

  25. Sydney says:

    OMFG!!! all of you people that have a black card and wrote somthing like ” im the best of the best or its the best thing,or My daddy loves his black card!” YOU are so dumb you waste your time it is just a populatity contest get over it everyone is gunna be sucked in to it and going to be waiting for one their whole life STOP WAITING THIS IS THE DUMBEST THING EVER !!!! GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!

  26. SoCalNative says:

    Those of who keep saying it’s just a credit card seem to be missing the point. Yes it’s credit card, but that’s where it’s different from the average Visa, MC, etc. When you pay your bill off monthly there is no interest, no fee, no late fee. Holding an Amex at whatever color is better then any other card. I started as a green card holder, annual fee $25 bucks, cheaper than the interest that would have accumulated on any other card. Owning an Amex actually curbs your spending because you know that you have to pay the bill off every month. Over the years as you spend more, you get asked by Amex if you would like to step up to the next level. gold, platinum, black.
    Most people who own black cards are very successful business owners who spend a lot on money each month running a business. My neighbor who owns several web-based companies has a black card. His monthly advertising bill on the web is around $100,000. He also pays his gas bill, electrical bill, office supplies, shipping bills, cable, telephone, etc. all on the black Amex totaling around a 150k a month. Instead of paying many different bills each month you pay only one. When you spend 150k a month the $2500 annual fee isn’t that much compared to the convenience. The card is a great business tool.
    Then there are the perks, for spending a 150K a month or 1.8 million a year, you have now earned around 2million points. Each year my neighbor takes his family of five on vacation, fly’s first class, stays at a five star hotel, and has a rental car all for free because of the points, and he still has about five hundred thousand points left over, so that $2500 fee instead of being a negative is now a positive. I don’t know anyone that could take a family of five on vacation for two weeks and spend less then $2500 on just flying, hotels, and car rentals. When you spend that kind of money each month you want your money to work for you like a bank account and using the Amex card does that.
    Yes, you can sit here and talk crap about rich people, celebrities, and their ego’s, but the majority are hard working people that got where they are because they are driven to succeed.
    I am a Amex platinum card holder myself and enjoy all the perks that come with this card as well.

  27. I thought it was cool says:

    I serve at a not so cool or fancy restuarant so when i had a guest pay with his black card i admit i was a little star struck. Its heavy and beautiful. Maybe im shallow or i fell into the hypnosis of the whole thing but i showed everyone around me and talked about it all nite long. This card is awesome. Ppl who talk trash on this blog sound jealous and i bet you all would take one if you could. Just like everything its only a big deal bc we made it one, just like diamonds you know. I guess im just a sucker bc i think they are awesome but the downfall is i think for some is they spend so much to get it and keep it they forget how to tip. I tip better than this guy tipped me. $4 tip for a dinner for two. Come on, if you have one live up to what that card is all about.

  28. whatever says:

    i agree with its not all that….my dad has one and really its just like anyother credit card except its heavy and people always give me weird looks when i go to like jack in the box or taco bell!!!! reall guys anyone who thinks they are all that because they have ona are lame so what they arent that hard to get if my dad can get one and there just a credit card god

  29. envious says:

    Well…….we don’t have one, we don’t even have a cc as a matter of fact. As the old saying goes if you hang out with those who never have money, you’ll never have money. So since the majority of our friends have their own business maybe ours will take off like theirs and we will be a part of the elite. So as for everyone else the card just gives you something to shoot for. If that’s too much to grasp, chug down another glass of haterade!! I’ll see ya when I hand you my card.

  30. nstein says:

    just got one today it felt so good to recieve this wonderful card it makes you feel very special

  31. nstein says:

    all these people who knock this card is because they can not get one believe me when i use this card in different places people treat you much different

  32. john says:

    when will i get my black card i spend about 1,000 dollars a year max…and i still haven’t received mine..

  33. Faith says:


    I accepted the invitation for the centurion, simply because – like others have mentioned – it gets things done, and quickly at that.

    It’s not about the supposed ‘exclusivity’ or ‘prestige’ of it. It comes down to what it provides on a day by day basis.

    The fees, while higher than some, are not exorbitant – taking into account what it is that you receive, and really at the end of that day, isn’t that the trade off? You get what you pay for..

    Those that have said that they would just pay cash, obviously don’t quite understand the convenience factor. It is, for the most part, about security.

    You just can’t walk around with hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can’t take those risks in financial transactions, where you’re passing hands with millions of dollars, it never ends well. Not with the state that safety online is in these days.

    As someone has mentioned, the points scheme also makes it worthwhile. When you have to travel multiple times in a week – great distances – especially when you fly privately, you burn through money in a simply ridiculous fashion. So why not try to compensate in some manner.

    The black card, for me, is not a personal statement, as some who have procured it might believe it to be.. it is simply an aid to do what I need to be done.

  34. Andrew says:

    Is it difficult to get the platinum-card when you dont have the right income that they need?……

  35. Nancy Craig says:

    Can you tell me why we haven’t been offered the “black card”. Surely, you know how much we “spend” so I am wandering just “how much” you must spend to be “offered one”????

  36. efraIn says:

    I saw one “black card” last year, I had that “pleasure”. I work in a big bulidig si We share the facility with some mayor Creative adv. agencies in US. So I saw a lady paying her 20 dollars lunch with one of these unique and distintive cards.
    Her job?: “Amex: the card speaks for yourself”

  37. Bob Frapples says:

    everyone knows that if you have a black card you also have a big penis…

  38. Sarah says:

    Everyone who says what is the point of the card or that people who have them are snobs and shit dont actually have a brain to understand that they are just jealous. i have had a card since i was 15 and just because you have one of these cards it doest mean that you are a snob. everyone just needs to wake up and realise that yes some people have you doors open to them and therefore are able to have more opportunities than others. so please STOP moaning and bitching about other people that do have the card!!!!!!

  39. Nojob says:

    haha its the greatest card in the world… this websight dosn’t do justice to it

  40. RIGHT ON AMEX! says:

    10,000 Black Cards X $2,500 = $25,000,000 in card fees alone. Then there’s the “float” and the card holders all pay. Wow! Big bucks – little risk.

    Congradulations AMEX.

  41. Dan Shmelke says:

    To Comment 40 Their is no way that you take your daddy’s centurion card and use when ever you want I have a Black card and my kids have tried to use it any well the first time they tried to use the police were called and put in custody until I showed up to bail them out. So easy way of fixing that problem i gave them there own……

  42. richard iwanski says:

    one day she will be mine … oh yes !

  43. Just me says:

    I appreciate the fact that status is desirable in this day and age but I have to say if you are human and I know you all are there is always something in everyones life that is priceless and no matter what credit card you have or how much money you have money cant buy true happiness . what is that one thing that is priceless to you ??? Is it someone you no longer have in your life ?? Is it someone you have in your life right now ??? I know most people would answer yes and then my question to you . is the card that important or would you give it up for that thing in your life for what you find priceless. If you say no then you most certainly dont deserve the card or any money for that matter . We as a society need to realize that status, money , and satisfying ourselves is really selfish and takes away from the good we can do for others with or without money and ultimately I think we should be more concerned with defining success as the number of peoples lives we have improved and touched other than our own, rather than how much we have accomplished ,how much money we have or what credit card we carry .

  44. priya says:

    out of curiosity, and perhaps someone has already answered this, if it’s thicker than a normal credit card how can it swipe in a machine?

  45. bobthebuilder says:

    such shame how people feel superior than others just becuase they have a nice piece of plastic in thier wallet! people who tihnk they just landed! what is the world coming to !

  46. Kelsey says:

    I work and own a golf store in the mountains of western North Carolina and surprisingly I see at least two Black cards a week. They actually do feel different from the regular plastic cards.
    Every person that I have helped with the black card has been very nice and down to earth. To comment on 97 most of the people who have these cards are older, established and have earned this card through hard work.

  47. john says:

    I found a black card one time and thought it was fake because it was metal. It was in the NY Knicks locker room, That’s when I first knew about it. I got one too now. Good card but being an NBA player has much better perks. Later.

  48. Kim says:

    My boyfriends has a well deserved black card, and yes it sometimes is hard to swipe through machinest it can be done. You don’t need to have perfect credit, but very good credit is required and you can call American Express to request this card. What American Express asked for is that you do spend well over $100,000 per year on this card. The way to get it is not that hard (if you make the money). Simply request any AE card, use it and pay perfect on it for at least a year, then simply call AE up and request a black card. It ally is that easy. The fee for the crd at this time is $2500. As for the perks…they still come at a price as well. Hard to get items?? Expect to pay double if you use their service to purchase it. Example, we wanted a WII for a child during X-mas. These were hard to find at the time, so he called AE and that’s it!! We got it overnight. The thing is he paid twice the price for it. This card is unlimited, but there are business cards out there that offer better more realistic perks. Half the time that we use it, cashiers simply take a closer look at it and just keep look at him. And by the way..people with real money, never carry cash. I know a few millionaires and they all have that same thing in common.

  49. Troy says:

    I find it humorous on how many people claim to have this card, especially since only 10,000 or so are known to exist.

    I used to work for Sharper Image and I have run across 2 customers with this card. One was from Australia, and the other from the United States. All I can say is the first time I felt that card, it was a feeling of power. Then swiping the card, very smooth swipe. I actually almost dropped the card the first time I held it because I didn’t realize it was made out of titanium.

    I will never be able to afford to have that card, but I’m envious of those who do have them. As for the two gentlemen that held the card, both were classy and I helped carry their purchases to their cars. Both of them gave me a nice tip (who said rich people are all snobs) and surprisingly enough when they returned they always asked for me.

    I haven’t had any problems with anyone using the black card, but then again they they highest they spent was 5K at Sharper Image.

  50. Sam I Am says:

    I saw this referenced at SubliminalMessages.Com and just wanted to say that if I win the Powerball tomorrow, this will not be something I would want to waste any money on. Basically, it tells robbers to follow you home and tells merchants to try to rip you off. Not the message I’d like to share with my waiter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *