Amex Platinum Card vs. Centurion Card [Detailed Comparison]
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Few credit cards come with the exclusive bragging rights of the Centurion® Card from American Express. And rightly so, as this elusive titanium charge card, known colloquially as the “Black Card” or “Amex Black Card,” remains available by invitation-only to select high-net-worth individuals.
We may not know how many Centurion cards have been issued, but there is certainly a lot of hype surrounding the card. This attention presents an opportunity for us to explore the attributes of its allure and compare it to another valuable travel rewards card, The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Because the Centurion card comes with an extraordinarily high acquisition fee and subsequent annual fees, we suspect there must be some substance behind its reputation. This premise alone is prompting our need to compare this sought-after status symbol with the card we know represents great value for the frequent traveler.
And so, for your practical economic knowledge, and perhaps some entertainment, we’re going to proceed with our comparison of a card that few have had in their wallet against a travel rewards card you should ultimately consider.
Amex Platinum Card vs. Centurion Card — Overview
|Benefit||Amex Platinum Card||Centurion Card|
|Travel/Lifestyle Benefits and Protections||
|Airport Lounge Access||
|Annual Fees and Authorized Users||
The Value of a Welcome Offer
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
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When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
- The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
- 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
- 5x points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
- Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
- TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
- Access to Amex International Airline Program
- No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)
- $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
- Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
- Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
- $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
- Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
- Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
- $695 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Amex Platinum 150k Welcome Bonus Offer
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- Amex Platinum Card Requirements
- American Express Platinum Military Benefits
- Amex Platinum and Business Platinum Lounge Access
- Amex Platinum Benefits for Authorized Users
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Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
Welcome bonuses do vary but you can count on receiving a value of 1 cent per Membership Rewards point when redeeming points for travel via Amex Travel. This valuation equates to a 50,000-point welcome bonus having a value of $500 and a 100,000-point bonus having a value of $1,000.
You may, however, receive additional value by transferring Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners.
The Centurion Card
The Centurion card does not offer a welcome bonus.
Membership Rewards Points
Both the Amex Platinum card and the Centurion card earn valuable Membership Rewards points.
Comparing Earning Potential
|Amex Platinum Card||
Comparing Redemption Options
Since both the Amex Platinum card and the Centurion card earn Membership Rewards points, redemption options are similar. One noticeable difference is that redeeming points on the Centurion card are worth more when redeeming for flights on Amex Travel as the cardholder will receive a 50% rebate of the points on eligible flights.
|Card||Best Redemption Options||Additional Redemption Options|
|Amex Platinum Card||
||Redeem for travel (other than flights) on Amex Travel, transfer to hotel partners, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, Amazon, Ticketmaster, donate points|
Airport Lounge Access
The American Express Global Lounge Collection
Both the Centurion card and the Amex Platinum card offer lounge access to over 1,400 airport lounges worldwide. With either card, you’ll have access to all of the lounges in The American Express Global Lounge Collection. Complimentary access is valid for the cardholder plus up to 2 guests, except where noted.
With either card you’ll have access to the following lounge networks:
- Airspace Lounge
- Centurion Lounges (including international locations)
- Delta Sky Club (when flying Delta same-day)
- Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner
- Select Lufthansa Lounges (when flying Lufthansa same-day)
- Plaza Premium Lounges
- Priority Pass Select lounges, upon enrollment
- Select Virgin Clubhouses
At this time, Amex Platinum cardholders and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders are allowed free entry for themselves and up to 2 guests. However, beginning February 1, 2023, complimentary guest access for these cardholders will be eliminated.
Comparing Authorized User Lounge Access
Authorized users added to either the Amex Platinum card or the Centurion card receive the same lounge access benefits as the primary cardholder, including the same guest access privileges.
Airline, Hotel, and Rental Car Program Benefits
Airline Program Benefits — Amex Platinum Card
The Amex Platinum card does not offer any specific airline program benefits.
Airline Program Benefits — Centurion Card
Delta Platinum Medallion Elite Status
The Centurion card comes with Delta Platinum Medallion elite status, which delivers a long list of benefits. You’d normally have to fly 75,000 miles each calendar year (or 100 segments) and spend $9,000 on Delta tickets to achieve Platinum status.
Here are some of the benefits Delta Platinum Medallion elites can expect to receive:
- Unlimited complimentary upgrades
- Choice Benefits — select from a list of regional upgrades, shopping certificates, gift Medallion status, or choose 20,000 SkyMiles
- Earn bonus miles on flights
- Waived fees for checked bags and ticket changes
- Discounted CLEAR membership
- Priority boarding, security, and baggage
- Dedicated phone line
Centurion International Arrival Services
You’ll be greeted by a personal guide who will expedite you through customs and immigration when you travel internationally in first or business class.
Hotel Program Benefits — Amex Platinum Card
The Amex Platinum card offers a wide range of hotel program benefits, including elite status, on-site property amenities, and elevated service.
As a cardholder, you’ll enjoy the following hotel benefits with the Amex Platinum card:
Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
Upon enrollment, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite members receive upgraded rooms when available, free Wi-Fi, welcome bonus points, a 25% bonus on earnings, and late checkout.
Hilton Honors Gold Elite Status
Upon enrollment, Hilton Honors Gold elite members receive upgraded rooms, free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, and earn 18 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent at Hilton properties.
Prepaid Hotel Credit
Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings, which require a minimum 2-night stay, through Amex Travel when you pay with your card.
American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
Cardholders receive the following benefits:
- Room upgrade, subject to availability
- Breakfast each day for 2
- Early check-in and late checkout
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- An amenity valued at $100
The Hotel Collection
Book your prepaid stay of 2 nights or more and receive a $100 credit towards an on-site qualifying dining, spa, or resort activity. You’ll also earn 5x Membership Rewards on your booking.
Hotel Program Benefits — Centurion Card
The Centurion card offers the same hotel program benefits as the Amex Platinum card with a few exceptions:
Hilton Honors Diamond Status
In addition to all the benefits of Hilton Honors Gold status, Diamond status offers additional earnings on Hilton hotel stays, complimentary lounge access, and suite upgrades when available.
The Centurion Hotel Program
Receive the same benefits and amenities as with the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts plus receive an extra $100 to $200 Centurion Hotel Program credit to spend during 2-night stays or more.
Rental Car Program Benefits — Amex Platinum Card
- Avis Preferred — Receive a 25% discount on base rates and a 1-category upgrade when available.
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards — Receive a 1-category upgrade on a rental of an intermediate-size vehicle or greater.
- National Emerald Club Executive Status — Receive a 1-category upgrade when renting a full-size vehicle or greater, elevated earnings, preferred car selection, and easy returns.
Rental Car Program Benefits — Centurion Card
- Avis President’s Circle — Receive complimentary double-vehicle upgrades, walk-up car availability (even without a reservation), and discounted rates.
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Platinum Status — Receive elevated personal service, vehicle upgrades, and rental delivery to select private airports.
Statement Credits and Additional Benefits
Both the Amex Platinum card and the Centurion card come with statement credits for specific purchases:
- Up to $200 in airline credits for incidentals
- Up to $85 statement credit for TSA PreCheck application fee or up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry application fee
The Amex Platinum has several other additional statement credits:
- $189 annual CLEAR credit
- Up to $300 annual Equinox credit
- Up to $240 digital entertainment credit
- $200 prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays
- Up to $200 annual Uber credit
- Up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit
- $12.95 monthly Walmart+ credit
- $300 SoulCycle bike credit
Travel Benefits and Protections
The following is a sampling of highlighted benefits and a brief description of how the benefit works on each card:
- Car Rental Insurance — The Centurion card comes with primary car rental insurance while the Amex Platinum card offers secondary car rental coverage. However, the Amex Platinum card offers the option to purchase Premium Car Rental Protection which includes primary car rental coverage for a flat fee (maximum $24.95) for the entire rental period.
- International Airline Program — Both Amex Platinum and Centurion cardmembers receive access to discounts and upgrades in this premium airfare-purchase program, however, the booking fee is waived for Centurion cardmembers.
- Baggage Insurance — Both cards carry this protection with up to $2,000 for lost, stolen, or damaged checked bags and $3,000 for carry-on.
- Trip Cancellation, Interruption, and Delay Coverage — Purchase a round-trip ticket with your eligible card and receive up to $10,000 per trip/$50,000 per year for covered events and up to $500 if your trip is delayed more than 6 hours.
Shopping Benefits and Protections
While the Centurion card has its own set of additional shopping benefits, which we’ll discuss shortly, both cards offer a multitude of basic shopping benefits and protections.
- Amex Offers — Enjoy ongoing special offers that provide rebates and bonus points for specific purchases.
- American Express Presale and Preferred Seating — Members receive early access to event tickets and priority seating.
- Entertainment Access — Receive access to member-only events and special experiences.
- Return Protection — If an item you purchased is not accepted as a return by the merchant within 90 days of purchase, the purchase price could be refunded.
- Extended Warranty — 1 additional year is added to the manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less on eligible purchases. Coverage is provided for up to $10,000 per purchase, $50,000 per eligible card.
- Purchase Protection — Pay for your eligible purchase with your card and receive up to $10,000 per occurrence, $50,000 per account per calendar year if the item is accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost. Coverage is provided for 120 days (90 days in New York) from the date of purchase.
Additional Perks of the Centurion Card
With a list of benefits nearly too long to describe, the Centurion card steps it up a notch or 2 above the Amex Platinum card with perks and services that cater to every potential aspect of the cardholder’s daily life and travel activities.
- Private Concierge and Travel Agent — Receive personalized assistance with any reservations, transportation assistance, event planning, travel disruption, and so much more.
- No Preset Spending Limits — Your card does not come with a spending limit but it does need to be paid off at the end of each monthly statement period.
- CLEAR Membership — Speed through security with a complimentary CLEAR membership
- Elite Wine Services and Centurion Wine — Receive special wine discounts, complimentary free wine storage, wine appraisals, consultations, and more.
- Centurion Dining Program — Enjoy access to a pre-reserved table for Centurion members at 1,000 fine dining establishments worldwide.
- Special Tour Packages — Select from exclusive 3-day Tuscany or Napa Valley customized tours.
- Special Access and Invitation-only Events — Get VIP invitations and treatment at events such as concerts, sports, and even special events such as the Kentucky Derby or the Grand Prix de Monaco.
- Centurion Shopping Program — Enjoy a personal shopper and free express shipping, with access to NET-A-PORTER shopping services.
- Surprise Gifts — Members receive unexpected gifts such as shopping certificates and luxury merchandise.
- Centurion Auto Program — Receive access and preferred pricing when purchasing, leasing, or renting luxury vehicles.
- Elevated Centurion Lounge Experience — Centurion cardmembers receive unrestricted access, a reserved seating area, and special top-shelf beverages at Centurion Lounges
Annual Fees and Adding Additional Users
Given the exclusivity of the Centurion Card, there isn’t a lot of public information regarding the annual fees. However, some have indicated that the card carries an initiation fee of around $10,000 along with an annual fee of $5,000.
At $695, the Amex Platinum card has an annual fee that is a fraction of the Centurion card fee (see rates & fees).
At this point, you might be wondering why we featured a card that few are likely to be invited to have. One reason is for the informational value, but the bottom line for the comparison is to illustrate the tremendous value of the Amex Platinum card and alternative travel rewards cards… and you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars for the privilege of having these cards.
Also, please note that Amex does not publish information on the Centurion card, so the data in this article was gathered from those who have the card, bulletin boards discussing the benefits, news articles, and Wikipedia.
If you have the Centurion card and can add information from your own personal experience of using the card, we encourage you to do so in the comments section.
For the car rental insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
For the baggage insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, coverage can be in effect for Covered Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier Vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an Eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked Baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per Covered Trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each Covered Person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the Trip Delay Coverage insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For the Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, the maximum benefit amount is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For the Return Protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
For the Extended Warranty benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, when an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase to an Eligible Card, Extended Warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the Original Manufacturer’s Warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the Purchase Protection benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your Card Membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect Covered Purchases made on your Eligible Card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Coverage Limits Apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.