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…

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152 Responses to American Express Black – The Ultimate Credit Card

  1. Emma says:

    Hmm..So, I guess “Black” is better!

    I am concerned over the grammatical as well as spelling errors these wealthy card holders are showing us. I understand a type-o, but just plain old illiterate are some of you! Who do you think you are fooling(smile) Well I am a “Blue” AMEX carholder with only a limit right now of $11,000. I am not required to pay the full monthly balance but when I can, I do. I have not charged more than about $1,000 in one month. I understand the convienience of having “any” credit or debit card today. If I were invited to apply for the “BLACK” Amex card someday I would go for it, since that would only mean one thing I can afford to have it! I smile at the I “own” the black card comments, right away I know they do not since you “hold” the “BLACK” cards not “own” them. Always BET on BLACK!

  2. Richard Aronson says:

    How about a “Platinum Plus’ for those who have supported AE for many years? – I’ve been a member since 1965 and spend between $25,000 & $40,000 p/y.

    Raise my yearly fee and offer some perks…

    Well, off to China all on AE!

  3. smelly card says:

    selling sharpie’s, seems to be the place!

  4. Josh says:

    My dad has an Amex Black Card. He owns a shipping company and has had Amex Gold cards given out to all of his employees all linked to him as the main card holder. He holds the Black Card. He’s had it since the card was introduced back in 1999. It came in a large case with booklets and the card is made of titanium and is heavy. Sometimes it has trouble swiping at gas stations as it is a bit thicker than your typical plastic card. He gets a lot of benefits and flies a lot. The card gets him upgraded to first/business class every time he flies.

    He’s been with Amex for over 30 years. I have a Plat Card myself and have been a card holder for over ten years. Great service.

  5. Strider says:

    I work at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, where the LA Galaxy play and someone, a guy, bought tixs at my window. he gave me his card and it was this black american express card. once he handed it to me i knew this was not a plain jane card. it had a heavy set to it and seems like made of metal. i handed it back and told him i like your card. he said thanks and i give him his tixs, didnt check the name.

  6. mike says:

    24 hours a day, 7 days a week personal Concierge. i would use this service all day all night if i was ever invited….hahaha…. good stuff tho bro…

  7. MW says:

    I too put my pants on just like the rest of you…however after I put my pants on I make gold records…

  8. Samuel Smith says:

    I Work for American Express now there is the black card now the American Express Chrystal Card I havn’t heard any wind of….

  9. boon says:

    i knew a friend who paid

  10. Poor-Dude says:

    I dont need this card to pick up chicks, ya old bastards! jk. cool if you have, cool if you dont!

  11. There is an easy way to get this card. If you have currently a Platinum use it for everything you do and buy. American Express see the trafic created and sometimes depending on the traffic they will invite you to join – invitations soemtimes waiver the first year subscription fees too!
    So you can knock yourself out with the card for a whole year before committing to it!

    But once you have it – you really do not want anything else in your wallet!
    It really does make shopping easy. with a back up second to none!
    Their concierge service is brilliant!

  12. Ruf says:

    The Black Card has tremendous “snob appeal” thats for sure but it’s not the be all to end all card. That distinction goes to the Amex Chrystal Card which is the ultimate ego card.
    I have either but I do have a Visa with a high spending limit. I tried to purchase a new car on it last year but the dealer refused it because he didn’t want to pay the 3% merchant fee to VISA. I seriously doubt if he would have accepted the Black AMEX either…so much for “snob cards”.

  13. says:

    The Black Card in EU and then especially in The Netherlands is different then it’s US counterpart when it comes to privilages like the concierge and “no expending limit” option. In the Netherlands the concierge is a typical helpdesk in the Netherlands wich informs you about what can or can’t be done with the card and some basic help regarding reservations. Regarding spending: Don’t think you can go to some broker and say ” hey i wanna buy this house, charge the 1000.000 US dollar to my Black Card like in the US cause in the Netherlands it has a limit. So..what is the real benefit of a black card in the Netherlands compared to it’s platinum counterpart? Hardly any so..i gave mine back last year after 3 years with this card and kept the platinums ones (Mastercard/Visa/AAA/Diners etc)

  14. Jess says:

    My Mum’s got a Black American Express card. It’s soooo pretty. I love it. I use it all the time as does she, haha.
    Everybody here who is hating on the Black Card are just jealous because they can’t have one.
    Grow up.

  15. Steven Ramsay says:

    my mom has one. yay me!!

  16. Vegas Made says:

    Hello, My name is Patrick and I recently became very wealthy and obtained a Black Card. At 23 i would have to say this is the greatest investment I have ever made.(Besides f.griffin)Also, I recently bought a 2006 Corvette Z06 with it at $67,000 no problem. I made a couple of purchases in one day equaling $129,000 in February. My card was frozen and I freaked out. I do believe the limit on my card is 10m but I am not sure, I do not plan on maxing it out so no worries about that!

  17. emi says:

    i have served two people who paid using the black card. it feels awesome!

  18. UK Centurion Cardmember says:

    Well I do have one (UK based) and it is not worth the new

  19. Gary Kalynchuk says:

    Today I obtained a Black AMEX card for $5000 plus $2500 in Canada. The famous Centurian Card.

    What a rip off. Anyone who gets this card needs to know that in Canada, at least, it is only a very expensive Platinum card. My story is as follows:

    After I registered I wanted to book some travel and was transferred to what I thought was Centurian Travel Services. I was on hold for over 30 minutes and finally hung up. I finally(after 60 minutes) received a phone call from someone in Platinum Travel. I phoned the return number and found out that there is really no such thing as Centurian Travel, but it is really just the same group that services Platinum Travel members. If they are busy you get the same priority as Platinum members.

    Why pay $2500 for the same service that you get for $400 with the Platinum card. The whole Centurian thing, at least in Canada is a ripe off and invited Platinum Card holders should be careful. It is a money grab, as you do get not better service, at least in travel then Platinum members.

    I have been an AMEX member since 1986 and am going to cancel my Centurian and Platinum membership. I think that AMEX is basically going broke with the whole credit crisis and now duping long Platinum members like myself to get additional fees to cover there losses.

    I am President of a Construction that uses AMEX cards and I will be talking to our UK Owners immediately to rely this story. We have 45000 employees, which use AMEX corporate cards. Time to go to VISA.

    You have been warned!

  20. Joseph A> says:

    I have been an Amex member since 1980 and received my Centurion card in 1999. You certainly have to pay off your balance every month but you do not need to spend 250K a year. Amex is alot stricker than they used to be regarding membership. The card does open many doors othewise closed to the regular user. A great many perks are available. But if you flash it at a resturant or Hotel very few younger staff people realize what it is. If you’ve worked hard during your lifetime and happen to blessed with some wealth no bit of plastic is needed to remind you of your life’s journey.

  21. neil stein says:

    just recieved my black card about one year ago and help to have one guys it is a great card

  22. chris says:

    comment 24….you have no amex black. you cant even spell haha

  23. Byron Davis says:

    Just got mine today!

  24. Taylor M. says:

    I used to flash my platinum card, wear a 15k Rolex as well as others ( well I still do on a few occasions ).
    But after a business associate of mine was kidnaped in Columbia and never heard from again, after I was followed home twice from clubs until I got to my driveway gates, after some really creepy people were all of a sudden trying to befriend me at golf courses-conventions-etc. all in one year… I realized that my insecurity about what others may think of me may cost me my life. In this economy I am now enjoying being humble and ‘fitting in’. The perks are there when I need them but the card is hidden behind a colored card in my wallet from now on.

  25. Neil Patel says:

    Meanwhile back in reality… corporate mind control is alive and well. Let me get this straight – you paid 7.5k for a card that requires you pay it off every month, that requires you to continue to pay each year, that requires you to pay 1.5k per ea. extra card, that requires you to spend 250k per year after you gave them 7.5k for a monochromatic metal card ?! But oh the perks !- 1) attract Ho’s that can out scheme you any day of the week – 2) tell hot educated women that you are deeply insecure – 3) guarantee being kidnapped in a foreign country because you flashed your card – 4) enjoy having your time wasted by what only a hillbilly would consider real concierge service ( for only 1k a year you can sign up for outstanding concierge service by dedicated vendors ) – 5) let service know that it’s not only ok but fun to spit in your food before they bring it out – 6) let everyone who knows you have the card think it’s ok to charge you more or quote you more or expect a much bigger tip for standard service – 7) make you a preferred target for all criminals and con games in your own country… and on and on. This is status ? If it is -you have an odd concept of what self respect is.
    The only issue here is that Amex is praying on your insecurity. Anyone of real wealth has assistants doing everything for them already and their accountants that would never approve this ridiculous expense as a form of payment. If your a Paris Hilton type then yes it fits your fake life(style) – her business is selling young fools on consumerism. Corporate brainwashing is indeed complete – that’s why people pay for shirts and hats that advertise other companies products. If I’m spending 250k per year using a magnetic strip the company issuing that thin mylar film better kiss my a** and pay me at least 2.5k a year for my business. Your only impressing weak minded sycophantic trash.

  26. Lucia says:

    I recently received an invitation for this card, read what the membership fee was, and threw it in the garbage. I have no idea why the invitation was sent to me because I don’t spend $250,000/yr nor do I travel enough to take advantage of those services. I agree with Dan, the best credit card is one without a balance…

  27. Jax says:

    Quoting post number 55: “I got the card because .. yes .. the coolness. once you get the black card you join an elite group, the best of the best.”

    You mean “wealthiest”, not “best”. Wealth does not automatically make one the “best”. There are very wealthy “decent” people and there are very poor “decent” people. There are also very poor “a$$holes”, and there are very wealthy “A$$holes” I’ve met plenty of both. I have no time for the latter – wealthy or not.

  28. perry dwars says:

    I have been an american express customer for years. I just inherited $25million dollarws and would like to take advantage of the balck card.

  29. April says:

    I think the creation of the Centurion card was a wonderful thing. I certainly intend to own one eventually. What I don’t understand though is the attitudes of some people on this site. If you can’t afford to have a Black card, that’s fine, but why are you so bitter towards others who can? That type of bitterness is very sad and very pathetic.

    Second, for those on here who claim to have Black cards, I don’t doubt that some of you may have them. . . but some of you are lying. And if you aren’t lying, then it is frightening to know that some of you hold a Black card, but write as if you left school after the third grade. There is something to be said for having acceptable grammar and writing skills. Everyone makes the occasional typo. Everyone makes the occasional spelling error. However some of you have written posts that are close to being illegible. Yet you claim to have a Black card.

    And of course there are those posts that clearly show that the writer does not have a Black card, but is instead just hiding behind a facade on the Internet and pretending to have one. What’s the point? No one knows you unless you provide your name and address. Stop the lies. It is very pathetic and sad.

  30. ridwanzero says:

    Hello…..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. .

  31. Juergen says:

    LMFAO. I uderstand it if the card benefits you in a way where you need to fly every week and then you can get easy upgrades and such, but if you don’t do a lot of travelling then this card is a joke. I mean, instead of giving AMEX $2,500 or more, why don’t you use that money to get some real platinum or gold. I mean why waste that money? To brag to your friends? As for me I just have a simple AMEX card through AMEX/Costco that only costs $100 a year and a platinum VISA! That’s right. I said, “VISA!”

  32. MR A Talukder says:

    I am interested to aplly for black america express card. I know it is with invitation only. if you would be kind enough to tell me, what are requirment to thanks in advance..

    Mr M R A Talukder

  33. Camilla Guiness says:

    The next to this card is the titanium card. I have one, it’s vryheavy and can’t snap etc. The fees are excessive but the perks are cool! Any airport in the world you get a limo to hotel etc. Great travel insurance. Etc! No crystal card tho, sorry!

  34. D says:

    I came accross this site by accident and could not believe the crap i am reading who has time for all this. You might just say the same thing about me but let me tell u right now any one on this site claiming to have the black card is lying. I am not boasting but i have money and family with more and none of them have time for this and neither should u thats if you are really rich. . .

  35. DocTgo5 says:

    Wow…what a good post…getting comments for over 3 years!
    I agree that those that have it, do so for an ego thing. I can’t say I blame them…. and those that are ragging on those that have it….they ARE jealous, otherwise they wouldn’t bother to even comment.

  36. Bright says:

    Hi everybody,
    There is a dedicated website for the Centurion card.
    Can you give a valid ID and Password?

  37. bea says:

    I read most of these comments. I guess spending for a good cause is the best for the card. I hope the company (with all the collected fees and what else is hidden)donates some points to the poor countries. Just a thought.

  38. ... says:

    The black card is the only card i use now days. I can buy anything i want without being asked questions or being declined because of the card limit. I can put millions of dollars on my card without any problems

  39. Steven UK says:

    According to Journal International, the average age of a Centurion reader from Europe or the Middle East is 49 years. 94% of primary cardholders are male and they have an average of 3.3 properties. Their average household income is

  40. The minimum net worth in liquid cash is $2.5 Million. I was an invited Platinum card member. Original cost was $300 a year and that went to $1,000. The Black Centurion minimum expenditure IS about $250k per annum.
    The fee is varied depending on how long and how you were solicited/invited or you initiated the request. Like the Platinum, the Black has myriad fringe benefits, such as entree’ to membership only private clubs, hotels, guest residencies and much much more. It is also a walking credit reference for huge purchases, even houses.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I have held a Centurion card since 2000. I was invited because I started a company in a basement that grew to be a very successful with offices in 3 countries and was later acquired. I’ve earned everything that I have and started with nearly nothing but an education that I paid for myself.

    Here are a few observations.

    1) Originally, the Centurion card was by invitation only. It required $250,000 per year spending and also required a certain status (CEO, actor, etc.) The spending requirement was never $150,000 or some of the other numbers posted on this site.
    2) The original annual fee was $1,000. That fee remained the same for existing card holders for several years. Then it increased to $1,500 and now is $2,500 for the original owners. People who receive their first card in later years pay more than the original card holders. Apparently, the current annual fee is $5,000.
    3) American Express markets the card’s “status”, but the value of the card is in the perks: airline elite status, hotel elite status, airport lounge memberships, free rental car elite status, special event invitations, free gifts from American Express, etc. (For example, American Express has sent digital cameras, $500 gift cards to stores like Salvatore Ferragamo, etc. They just show up in the mail.)
    4) The travel benefit is bogus. The same travel desk serves Platinum and Centurion card holders. They just answer the phone differently if you dial the Centurion number.
    5) The card does have a very high spending limit. However, that’s not what causes the card to be “frozen” when you attempt to buy a Porsche. All American Express cards track spending patterns. They will question the charge if you make a large purchase that deviates from your typical spending pattern.
    6) The “status” of the card quickly wears off and the attention can be embarrassing. Who cares if some teenaged cashier makes a fuss about the card? The only time the card’s status has value to me is in certain business settings.
    7) There is a certain “convenience” factor, but only because my assistant plans all of my travel through the “Centurion” travel service.

  42. person says:

    ok i dont know what the big deal is. My dad has had one ever since i can remember. well i guess 13 years cuz thats how old i am

  43. Dr Enam Rahman says:

    I’ve had one for about 4 years now, it was stolen a few months back but thanks to its internal tracking device it was recovered, I had no idea it even had this technology built in.

  44. FWO says:

    Never have been impressed by credit cards and I’m not impressed with the Centurion. Don’t say I cant afford it, because I make plenty and spend plenty more. Checks are the only way I do business and for the people that must have such a card, it doesn’t prove a thing. They are not special, just need to feel special. Here’s lookin’ at you Mr. Lombard. ; )

  45. Dr Bill Hadd says:

    American Express Black…although having a lot of trouble in these economic times…it reads credit reports from 6 months back and if you have a lot of refinancing a 2million business loan and clearing up debt, disputing and litigating hospital bills, applying for more credit cards and more credit….paying off your balance early and paying more than you owe….it sends the staff and the monitoring computers into a tail spin. I have two black cards and run 20 of my businesses thru them…I do not expect to have my limit decreased to $1000 just because I payed them off early and had this activity which should have had a positive impact! Until they get their act together…I will be dieting on Platinums of Visa and MC…they may not have an unlimited budget but I can pay them off 20r3 times a month!! With an operation budget in the millions you would think they would fly their ass over to Thailand and straighten this out.
    All my empoyees have Platinum Amex card that run thru the Blacks!
    Not happy or please with the Black!
    Count me trying to deal with Amex in Thailand where only 1 in 50000 business even know what it is..musch less honor it!
    The banks here close at 330 every day and for the weekend on Friday…they reopen on Monday at around 9-10am but all the banks and credit card systems in the USA are at least 13hr earlier which means it will be Tuesday before Amex or the US banks will be able to do anything for me and the banks will close in two more days on Friday.
    Try dealing with that!!

  46. Alex says:

    Oh just so we all know..very large purchases trigger AMEX to track your spending. I paid payroll using my AMEX Gold on June, July and August of 2010 and I received a phone call asking me to sign up for a black card. The payroll amount each month was 36,544. I have not spent that much since then…maybe average 8,200 on it monthly. Ohhhh and let’s get this right!! You can’t go to a car dealership and use an AMEX. They flat out refuse!! They don’t want to pay the 3% fee AMEX charges them especially for a car over 75k. One more thing all AMEX cards have a limit. The no limit ones take an average of what you spend on it and that is your limit.

  47. Brandon Blevins says:

    Well I have read this article and many of the comments. I do not know the last time i laughed so hard. Apparently everyone who owns a Black card has commented on this page. Where do you jackasses get off on lying about owning this card? It is a very interesting card but no one wants to hear your bs.

  48. cathy says:

    A Black Card is the ultimate in snobbishness. But then, if you want to be snobbish – and we all do to some extent – then you should work hard to be able to afford one!

  49. chris says:

    What is puzzling me is why would i want to give away 2500 dollars a year just to have a card. I don’t knock the card but i just don’t get paying that much money for something. I would rather just give 2500 a year to family or someone that need it. Maybe i just have a good heart, I don’t know.

  50. Chitra Nielsen says:

    I am a realist and a future carrier of your card. My plans and goals will require such a card and it will be fun to use it when I travel around the world 1st class structuring health and education systems for children and young adults! When I’m ready, I’ll be in touch for that card! Thanks!
    Bless ~ Chitra

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