Applying for the Centurion Card
It can be fairly difficult to get your hands on the Centurion Card (also referred to as the AMEX Black Card).
American Express keeps this one a tight-lipped secret due to the fact the requirements for qualifying are quite high.
Only when you have received an invitation can you apply for the card, and there are 2 “versions:” the aforementioned personal card and the Business Amex Business Centurion card.
Anecdotally, both require that you spend and pay off somewhere in the neighborhood of $350,000-$500,000 on your other American Express accounts every year.
Each card has an annual fee of $5,000, and you’ll also pay an initiation fee of $10,000. Your ability to keep the card will be evaluated by American Express each year since it allows a number of exclusive benefits.
The card earns 1x points per dollar, but has no bonus earnings categories.
To put this card into perspective, it has very similar benefits to The Platinum Card® from American Express and the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, so these are highly recommended alternatives.
Bottom Line: The Centurion Card is invite-only and costs $5,000 per year with a $10,000 initiation fee. You’ll earn 1x points on purchases, but the real value is in its impressive list of benefits!
Airline and Airport Perks of the Card
Most interesting to the majority of people are the airport and air travel perks that the card offers, such as complimentary upgrades and priority wait-listing.
You get automatic Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status for being a member, which is the third of 4 tiers. This provides you with complimentary upgrades, priority waitlisting, priority boarding, and more.
Cardholders also gain some exclusive airport perks that you won’t find with any other cards.
One unique benefit is a personal airport guide when you travel in first or business class on international flights. When you arrive, they’ll be there to greet you and help you through customs.
American Express will also arrange ground transportation for you if you need it, which makes your airport experience nice and smooth.
As if the other airport benefits weren’t enough, the card also provides access to (Terms and Conditions Apply):
- Centurion Lounges – locations in Dallas/Worth, Las Vegas, Miami, New York LaGuardia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Houston.
- PS LAX – an exclusive communal space for Centurion cardholders who will receive a complimentary membership.
- Priority Pass Select – unlimited lounge access for you and guests to hundreds of airport lounges around the world.
- Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck – includes a credit for an application every 5 years to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Bottom Line: The Centurion Card will redefine “luxury air travel” for you with Platinum elite status in Delta SkyMiles, personal airport guides, and much, much more!
The Hotel Benefits of Being Invited
For those who love to travel, the card offers elite status at some of the finest hotels and resorts worldwide, such as:
Also available are access to the Centurion Hotel Program and AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts.
The Centurion Hotel Program offers its very own set of benefits, which include daily breakfast for 2, room upgrade at the time of booking, guaranteed 4 pm checkout, and in-room WiFi (at most properties).
Fine Hotels & Resorts also provides similar benefits to the Centurion Hotel Program, although these hotels are available to those with other Amex cards as well, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Bottom Line: Earn elite status in multiple hotel chains when you use the Centurion Card.
Car Rental and Auto Advantages of Being an Exclusive Member
With the card, you can also get travel benefits in the car rental and auto industry. The card provides elite status in 2 rental car programs:
- Avis President’s Club – receive a guaranteed vehicle at corporate locations, even without having a reservation. Also receive complimentary double upgrades and the lowest applicable rates on domestic reservations.
- Hertz Platinum – Car upgrades at the time of rental, plus courtesy pickup and delivery of vehicle to select private plane terminals.
Just by being a cardmember, you will also be part of the Centurion Auto Program, which gives you automatic access to premium vehicle purchasing, luxury rentals, and a variety of driving experiences, such as track and off-road!
Rentals are covered by the card’s primary rental car insurance, and premium roadside assistance is available in case you need towing up to 10 miles, jump starting, or changing a flat.
Bottom Line: You will be an Avis President’s Club and Hertz Platinum elite status member, and you’ll also be able to access the Centurion Auto Program when you own the Centurion Card.
Other Luxury Benefits of the Centurion Card
Sports fans can enjoy some cool benefits like access to exclusive sales and events including the Kentucky Derby, the Wimbledon Club Experience, and the Grand Prix de Monaco.
There are also a number of shopping and dining perks, too. A personal Centurion concierge service is available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and they can shop for you or book reservations.
If you enjoy fine dining, you’ll really love the Centurion Dining Program. A table is held for cardmembers every day at 1,000 of the world’s top restaurants.
A Centurion Wine and Wine Buying benefit is also available for members. This provides insider access to private tastings and tours in Napa. Plus, you’ll have wine buying offers on Centurion.com.
Cruisers will enjoy discounts and perks as well. Use one of AMEX’s cruise partners, and you can receive $100-$500 in credit per stateroom, plus additional amenities.
For those interested in fitness, you will also receive benefits at SoulCycle including complimentary classes, fast track to SuperSoul status, free passes for friends who want to try it out and some retail perks.
Bottom Line: The Centurion Card also covers cruises. You can get $100-$500 in credits for your cruise, plus other on-board perks. The card provides top-tier benefits for entertainment, shopping, and dining as well.
Business Card and Owner Benefits
As a business owner, you can benefit even more from being a member of the exclusive Business Centurion Card from American Express club.
Your card membership allows you access to the AMEX Open Forum, an online community for business owners that includes networking events.
You’ll also be able to enroll in FX International Payments, which allows you to waive transaction fees on eligible foreign currency payments.
Insurance Benefits With the Card
If the items you buy are important to you, then you’ll want to keep them protected. The Centurion Card will help you do that with its purchase, return, and extended warranty protections.
You’ll also have a range of travel benefits including baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, and the rental car insurances mentioned above.
Of course, the biggest problem with getting the card is you cannot apply for it without being invited. Unless you are spending in the $100,000+ range each year, you likely won’t be getting the invite.
Even if you do, the card definitely has a hard to swallow annual fee compared to most other travel rewards credit cards. At $5,000 annually plus a $10,000 initiation fee, you should be sure you’ll use the benefits!