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Mastercard Black Card vs. Amex Black (Centurion) Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
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Juan Ruiz

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Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...

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The Mastercard® Black Card™ and Centurion® Card from American Express (also known colloquially as the “Amex Black card“), are 2 of the most common cards that come to mind immediately when someone mentions “black card.”

Barclays issues the Mastercard Black card, while American Express issues the Centurion card. Both cards ooze prestige and appeal to well-heeled individuals who value luxury travel and service of the highest caliber.

But what are the differences between the 2 cards? In this guide, we’ll spell everything out for you. As you’ll find out, one of these cards is significantly more premium than the other, making it a no-brainer if you’re willing to pony up a small fortune for impeccable service.

Let’s get started!

All information about the Centurion® Card from American Express has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

Mastercard Black Card vs. Centurion Card — Overview

Just because both of these products are known to the public as “black cards” doesn’t mean they’re the same. In fact, they could not be more different in terms of features, benefits, fees, and so on.

We’ve compiled this table walking you through the basic, 10,000-foot view of each card:

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Feature/BenefitMastercard Black CardCenturion® Card from American Express
Welcome OfferNoneNo welcome offer available at this time.
Earning Potential1x points per dollar spent
  • 1.5x points per dollar spent on eligible purchases over $5,000
  • 1x points per dollar spent on other purchases
Redemption Options
  • 1.5% for cash back redemption; 2% for airline redemption
  • Cash-back
  • Charity
  • Experiences
  • Gift cards
  • Online shopping
  • Travel
  • Transfers to airline and hotel partners
  • AmexTravel.com bookings (Pay with Points)
  • Amazon.com purchases
  • Cash-back
  • Gift cards
  • Online shopping
Airline Program BenefitsNone
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status
  • Access to discounted Wheels Up Memberships
Hotel Program BenefitsNone
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status
  • Access to the Centurion Hotel Collection, Fine Hotels & Resorts, and The Hotel Collection
Statement Credits
  • $100 annual airline credit
  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years
  • Up to $1,000 in Saks credits annually ($250 per quarter)
  • A Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every 4 years
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash annually and Uber VIP status
  • Up to $189 CLEAR Plus credit annually
Travel Benefits and Protections
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • Access to the 24-hour Luxury Card Concierge
  • Enhanced trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel assistance services
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Avis President’s Club status
  • Hertz Platinum status
  • Centurion Arrival and Departure Services
  • PS at LAX Membership and 1 complimentary visit annually to PS created exclusively for Centurion
  • Access to Centurion Membership Services, including a personal concierge
  • 20% Pay with Points rebate on AmexTravel.com bookings
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Luxury Gifts
  • Biannual issues of LUXURY MAGAZINE
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits, including partnerships with ShopRunner and access to over 1,000 luxurious private country clubs across North America
  • Cell phone protection
  • Zero liability protection
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Complimentary Equinox Destination Access membership
  • No preset spending limit
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Return protection
  • Zero liability protection
  • No foreign transaction fees
Annual Fees$495 ($195 for each authorized user)$5,000 ($5,000 for each authorized user)

 

$10,000 initiation fee

The Centurion card, as you can tell, blows the Mastercard Black card out of the water in terms of costs and benefits.

At a high level, the Mastercard Black card offers very lackluster benefits for its price tag, while the Centurion card offers massive upside with its benefits and service, though at a much higher price tag than you might expect.

In any case, you can begin to see how comparing these 2 products ultimately results in an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Welcome Offers

Welcome offers or bonuses are introductory incentives offered to new cardholders to encourage them to start using the card for purchases.

After meeting minimum spending requirements, you earn a significant welcome bonus, which is used to turbocharge the rewards you initially earn.

Currently, neither the Centurion card nor the Mastercard Black card offers a welcome bonus.

Luxury Card Points vs. Amex Membership Rewards

The points currency with the Mastercard Black card is called Luxury Card points, whereas the currency associated with the Centurion card is known as Amex Membership Rewards points.

Luxury Card points are worth a fixed value depending on how they’re used, but Amex Membership Rewards points are flexible rewards points that can be used to book luxury award travel for outsized value.

For example, Amex points can be transferred to a long list of airlines and hotels to book incredible flights like Emirates first class and Air France business class and luxury hotels like Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and Conrad Bora Bora Nui.

Earning Potential

The Centurion card and Mastercard Black card have straightforward earning structures:

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Bonus Earning CategoryMastercard Black Card
(Luxury Card Points)
Centurion Card
(Membership Rewards Points)
Purchases of $5,000 or more1x points1.5x points
Other Purchases1x points1x points

Luxury Card points are worth at most 2 cents each when redeemed for airfare. However, they’re worth 1.5% when redeemed towards cash-back and less when used towards other redemptions like gift cards. However, when you use Luxury Card points, you don’t need to worry about searching for award availability, which is a potential benefit over Amex Membership Rewards points.

Amex Membership Rewards points are worth 2.2 cents each according to our valuations, but if you’re a savvy traveler, you can get upwards of 10 cents per point by booking luxury award travel. So from a rewards standpoint, you can get some amazing value from Amex Membership Rewards points.

Redemption Options

Fundamentally, the Mastercard Black card and Centurion card have different methods to use rewards.

Luxury Card Points

At the highest level, the best ways to use Luxury Card points are for airfare booked through the Luxury Card travel portal (2 cents per point) or cash-back (1.5 cents per point).

When using Luxury Card points for gift cards, you’ll usually get a value of 1 cent per point — in some cases, you can get special offers at certain merchants like Express or Athleta for around 1.1 to 1.2 cents per point.

You can also use Luxury Card points for online shopping, but this almost always results in a redemption value of less than 1 cent per point. Charitable donations through CharityChoice Gift Cards net you 1 cent per point of value.

Read our Luxury Card review for more information.

Amex Membership Rewards Points

Meanwhile, Amex Membership Rewards points can be used via any number of the Amex transfer partners to book award travel, resulting in a maximum value of up to 10 cents per point! This is the best way to get terrific value from your Amex points.

Additionally, you can make AmexTravel.com bookings using the Centurion card with a 20% rebate, which results in a 1.25 cent per point redemption value.

Lastly, you can redeem Amex points for gift cards, statement credits, online shopping, Amazon.com purchases, and more for a subpar value of less than 1 cent per point.

Hot Tip: We’ve also compared the Mastercard Black card to The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Hotel Program Benefits

Luxury resort
Image Credit: Alexander Kaunas via Unsplash

The Centurion card and Mastercard Black card are worlds apart when it comes to hotel program benefits.

In simplest terms, the Mastercard Black card offers no real benefits or advantages at hotels, whereas the Centurion card offers the most comprehensive suite of hotel benefits available.

To start, the Centurion card gets you Hilton Honors Diamond status, which is the highest tier available. This tier allows you to get benefits like upgrades to standard suites, complimentary continental breakfast, and more.

Also, you’ll get IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status, which is the second-highest elite tier within IHG Rewards. Notable benefits include complimentary upgrades, welcome amenities, early check-in, and late checkout.

Centurion cardholders also enjoy Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which is the mid-tier status. This gets you late checkout, preferred room upgrades, and more.

Lastly, the Centurion card enables you to access the Centurion Hotel Program, which is a small step above the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. At select luxury brands like Aman, Belmond, Mandarin Oriental, Oetker Collection, The Peninsula Hotels, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis, and Waldorf Astoria, you can get:

  • Room upgrades
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Early check-in
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
  • $100 to $200 property credit
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

This is pretty similar to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, save for the enhanced property credit of up to $200 instead of $100.

Lastly, the Centurion card allows you to also book stays at The Hotel Collection (as does The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Gold Card).

Statement Credits

One of the most important pillars of benefits when it comes to credit cards and charge cards is statement credits.

These statement credits are extra ways to get incremental value from your card and can go a long way in justifying annual fees in the long run.

The Mastercard Black card offers 2 statement credit benefits:

  • $100 airline credit every year
  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years

Meanwhile, the Centurion card offers these statement credit benefits:

  • Up to $1,000 Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($250 per quarter)
  • Up to $189 CLEAR Plus credit
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash ($15 per month, plus a $20 bonus in December)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

As you can see, the Centurion card offers several times more value than the Mastercard Black card through statement credits.

Travel Benefits and Protections

Aircraft
Image Credit: VOO QQQ via Unsplash

When you’re traveling, having extra insurance coverage or protections can offer tremendous peace of mind.

We took a deep dive into the travel benefits and protections offered by the Mastercard Black card and Centurion card and in this section, we’ll break them all down!

We discussed statement credits in the section above, but the Mastercard Black card offers a $100 annual airline credit and a $100 Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years.

Meanwhile, the Centurion card includes an annual CLEAR Plus credit of up to $189, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every 4 years, and up to $200 in Uber Cash every year.

In total, the Centurion card offers $389 in travel-related statement credits every year and up to $100 in credits every 4 years. The Mastercard Black card offers $100 in travel-related statement credits annually and up to $100 in credits every 5 years.

Airport Lounge Access

Another area of stark contrast between the Mastercard Black card and Centurion card is in airport lounge access privileges.

With the Mastercard Black card, you’re offered a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.

If you have the Centurion card, you can maximize the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which consists of:

Even more impressive, the Centurion card gets you exclusive membership to PS at LAX, which would otherwise be valued at $4,850 per year. PS at LAX is an absolute essential for celebrities, influencers, and public figures, so you’ll enjoy top-notch VIP service here.

Plus, you can receive a complimentary visit to a new space within PS created exclusively for Centurion Members once every year for yourself and 1 guest when you book a first or business class international ticket through Centurion Membership Services. You can also access it anytime for $550 per person.

Arrival and Departure Services

The Mastercard Black card doesn’t offer any special airport logistics services, while the Centurion card includes arrival and departure services at select airports.

These benefits include:

  • Greeting you at the gate or as you arrive at the airport
  • Expediting you through security, customs, and immigration (when possible)
  • Arranging for electric carts and baggage porters (when available)
  • Coordinating with your ground transportation for an easy exit

You can enjoy these services for yourself and up to 8 travel companions.

To enjoy arrival and departure services, you must use your Centurion card to purchase a first or business class ticket through Centurion Travel Services.

Here are the non-U.S. airports that currently offer arrival and/or departure services:

  • Abu Dhabi (AUH)
  • Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Athens (ATH)
  • Bali-Denpasar (DPS)
  • Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
  • Barcelona (BCN)
  • Cape Town (CPT)
  • Dubai (DXB)
  • Dublin (DUB)
  • Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Geneva (GVA)
  • Istanbul (IST)
  • Jakarta (CGK)
  • Johannesburg (JNB)
  • Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
  • Lisbon (LIS)
  • London City Airport (LCY)
  • London-Gatwick (LGW)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR)
  • London-Stansted (STN)
  • Madrid (MAD)
  • Manila (MNL)
  • Melbourne (MEL)
  • Milan-Malpensa (MXP)
  • Mumbai (BOM)
  • Munich (MUC)
  • Nairobi (NBO)
  • New Delhi (DEL)
  • Nice-Côte d’Azur (NCE)
  • Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
  • Rome (FCO)
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN)
  • Sydney (SYD)
  • Tel Aviv (TLV)
  • Vienna (VIE)
  • Zurich (ZRH)

And here are the U.S. airports currently offering arrival and departure services:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Palm Beach (PBI)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Orange County (SNA)
  • Washington-Reagan (DCA)

Rental Car Privileges

Upon activation, the Centurion card’s car rental benefits are unsurpassed, especially compared to the Mastercard Black card.

You’ll get:

Avis President’s Club is invite-only, and you’ll receive complimentary double upgrades, discounts on standard rates, a guaranteed car at corporate locations with only 1 day of advanced notice, and much more.

With Hertz Platinum status (also invite-only), you’ll get these fantastic benefits:

  • Rentals delivered to the location of your choice
  • More time to return (4-hour grace period)
  • Automatic upgrades
  • Your choice of car with priority availability worldwide
  • Complimentary ski racks and car seats
  • Exclusive savings and even more benefits

Being able to enjoy not 1 but 2 invite-only car rental elite statuses is absolutely unheard of. But with the Centurion card, it’s just par for the course!

Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance

When it comes to the Mastercard Black card, you’ll get “enhanced trip cancellation and interruption” coverage, but the word “enhanced” is relative, so don’t be fooled. You’ll get up to $5,000 per covered trip and up to $10,000 per 12 consecutive month period for both trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage.

Meanwhile, the Centurion card offers you up to $10,000 per covered trip and up to $20,000 per 12 consecutive month period for both trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage. This is double the amount of coverage from the Mastercard Black card.

Trip Delay Insurance

If you have the Centurion card and your eligible trip is delayed by more than 6 hours, you can get coverage of up to $500 per trip towards reasonable additional expenses incurred (including meals, lodging toiletries, medication, and other personal use items). You’re limited to a maximum of 2 claims per 12 consecutive month period.

The Mastercard Black card does not offer any trip delay coverage.

Lost and Delayed Baggage Coverage

If you hold the Mastercard Black card, you can get reimbursed for up to $100 per day for 3 days in the event of a baggage delay if your baggage is delayed by more than 4 hours. However, the Mastercard Black card does not offer any lost baggage coverage.

In contrast, the Centurion card offers lost baggage coverage, but not delayed baggage reimbursement. The lost baggage coverage insures you for up to $3,000 per covered person per trip with a maximum of $1,000 per person for all high-risk items.

Travel Accident Insurance

The Mastercard Black card offers up to $250,000 in travel accident insurance, while the Centurion card (as well as other Amex cards) does not offer any travel accident insurance any longer.

Travel Assistance Services

Another benefit offered by many premium credit cards nowadays is travel assistance services; this generally refers to urgent, unforeseen needs as opposed to travel planning or management.

For example, the Mastercard Black card offers:

  • MasterTrip Travel Assistance
  • MasterTrip Medical Assistance
  • MasterLegal Referral Services

MasterTrip Travel Assistance helps provide travel requirement information, such as information on visas, passports, immunizations, currency exchange rates, and more. It can also help locate lost or stolen travel materials, including luggage.

MasterTrip Medical Assistance helps provide you with a network of general physicians, dentists, hospitals, and pharmacies.

MasterLegal Referral services provide you with English-speaking legal referrals on consultations with embassies regarding your situation.

Also, Mastercard Global Services helps provide worldwide, 24-hour assistance with emergency card replacement, emergency cash advance, and lost or stolen card reporting.

The Centurion card offers a service called the Premium Global Assist Hotline, which also includes services like emergency translation, emergency transportation, emergency message services, valuable document delivery, repatriation of mortal remains, emergency medical transportation and evacuation, and more.

Travel Concierge Services

The Mastercard Black card offers access to a 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge whereby you can get help with planning travel, booking dining reservations, personalizing shopping services, accessing insider special events, and so on.

Unfortunately, the reviews for the Luxury Card Concierge aren’t great — what is great, though, is the personal concierge assigned to you through Centurion Membership Services.

The Centurion Membership Services team is world-famous for being able to arrange the most elusive dining reservations, exclusive event tickets, and niche activities on your behalf.

This well-connected concierge team can help facilitate your travels and lifestyle, which is limited only by your imagination.

Whether it’s finding the rarest, first edition toys for your child, last-minute travel requests, or ordering custom cars, the Centurion Membership Services team has got you covered.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Both of these cards are designed to help you live a luxury lifestyle, whether you’re traveling or not.

So in this section, we’ll walk you through each card’s shopping perks.

Complimentary Gym Memberships and Perks

Another amazing benefit associated with the Centurion card is the complimentary Equinox Destination Membership, which also includes Equinox+.

This is an incredible benefit that essentially gets you a complimentary luxury gym membership at some of the best gyms in the world. This is worth around $300 per month or around $3,500 per year, though the exact price may vary.

You can also get a $300 statement credit each time you use your Centurion card to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike, up to 15 bikes per calendar year.

Earn Bonus Rewards for Shopping

The Centurion card includes access to Amex Offers, which can be surprisingly lucrative. You can use Amex Offers to earn more points or get cash-back on select purchases.

Here are some of the most exciting Amex Offers we’ve seen:

  • Earn 5x total points on Amazon.com purchases
  • Spend $500 or more, get $100 back at Marriott
  • Spent $400 or more, get $80 back at MGM Resorts
  • Earn 5x total points at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Currently, the Mastercard Black card doesn’t offer anything to earn bonus rewards on shopping.

Cell Phone Protection

With the Mastercard Black card, you’ll be eligible to get up to $1,000 in cell phone protection every consecutive 12-month period. This is capped at $800 per claim with a $50 deductible and up to 2 claims per rolling 12 months.

With the Centurion card, you can enjoy enhanced cell phone protection coverage, which is established at $800 per claim with a $50 deductible and up to 2 claims per consecutive 12-month period. The twist is that you won’t be capped at $1,000 in total coverage when using the Centurion card.

Purchase Protection

Surprisingly, the Mastercard Black card does not include purchase protection, which is quite shocking.

Purchase protection is offered to Centurion cardholders, and you’re eligible for up to $10,000 per item, $50,000 per calendar year, and up to $500 for natural disaster-related events for up to 90 days after the date of the covered purchase.

Extended Warranty

Interestingly, the Mastercard Black card also doesn’t include extended warranty coverage.

The Centurion card has amazing extended warranty coverage, which provides up to 3 extra years on top of the original manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less! This coverage is limited to $10,000 per item or $50,000 per calendar year.

Return Protection

One of the rarest card benefits is return protection, which covers you in the event that the original merchant you made your purchase with won’t accept your return.

For returns attempted within 90 days from the date of purchase, the Centurion card can refund up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year through return protection.

Zero Liability Protection

As to be expected from cards of this caliber, the Mastercard Black card, and Centurion card come with zero liability protection, which can help protect you against unauthorized charges.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

There are no foreign transaction fees with both the Mastercard Black card and Centurion card (as should be expected with these ultra-premium cards).

No Preset Spending Limit

The Mastercard Black card has a credit limit, while the Centurion card has no preset spending limit.

In fact, the Centurion card made headlines when a cardholder was able to buy a $170 million painting with it!

Annual Fees and Adding Additional Users

Annual Fees

The Mastercard Black card comes with an annual fee of $495, while the Centurion card comes with a one-time initiation fee of $10,000 and an annual fee of $5,000.

Adding Additional Users

Each additional authorized user on the Mastercard Black card will cost $195, while each additional authorized user on the Centurion card will cost $5,000.

Final Thoughts

Well, the verdict is in! The Centurion card beats out the Mastercard Black card in terms of rewards, benefits, and features. The major drawback of the Centurion card is its $10,000 initiation fee and $5,000 annual fee (plus $5,000 annually for each authorized user).

However, the truth is that the fees will easily pay for themselves with the right consumer between the complimentary hotel elite status, $1,000 in Saks credits, complimentary Equinox membership, and PS at LAX membership.

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to justify the annual fee for the Mastercard Black card, especially when you have other amazing options like The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful in comparing the Mastercard Black card and Centurion card head-to-head!

The information regarding the Mastercard® Black Card™ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the Centurion® Card from American Express, baggage insurance plan 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 cell phone protection benefit of the Centurion® Card from American Express, coverage for a stolen or damaged eligible cellular wireless telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per eligible card account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per eligible card account per 12 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 extended warranty benefit of the Centurion® 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 Centurion® 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.

For the return protection benefit of the Centurion® Card from American Express, with return protection, 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 trip cancellation and interruption insurance benefit of the Centurion® Card from American Express, the maximum benefit amount for trip cancellation and interruption insurance 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 trip delay insurance benefit of the Centurion® 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.

The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Centurion Card the same as the black card?

Most people refer to the Centurion card as the “black card” because of its physical appearance. There are other black cards out there, including the Mastercard Black card, but the one that all the celebrities, CEOs, and public figures use is the Centurion card.

What is the hardest black card to get?

The hardest black card to get is undoubtedly the Centurion card, which is invitation-only and issued by American Express.

Is it hard to get the Mastercard Black card?

It’s not too difficult to get one of these cards. Unfortunately, the Mastercard Black card is very much a vanity item with limited benefits and high fees that don’t really make it worth your while.

Can anyone get an American Express black card?

No. The Centurion card is incredibly difficult to get. You have to be an existing Amex customer (ideally with an Amex Platinum card), have income beyond the top 1% of Americans, have a high net worth of at least $3MM+, and spend a lot of money on your Amex cards every year (usually at least $300,000).

There’s no formula to get invited, and even some of Amex’s best cardholders will never get invited.

How much is a Mastercard Black card?

The Mastercard Black card has a $495 annual fee with an annual fee of $195 for any authorized users.

What is the limit on a black card?

The Centurion card has no preset spending limit, but the Mastercard Black card has a credit limit. Usually, the credit limit on the Mastercard Black card is at least $10,000.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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