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