Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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$5,000 per year plus a one-time joining fee of $10,000 (for U.S. users)
N/A, this is a charge card,Pay over time is available upon request
An invitation-only card with serious luxury travel benefits. If you're not invited, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers many similar benefits.
The information presented regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
After working on your business for years, you finally hit the level of revenue you always dreamed of. There’s still work to be done, but your financial goals have been met.
One day, you get a letter in the mail from American Express saying you’ve been invited to apply for their Centurion Card from American Express.
You know that this is the highest honor they bestow upon their customers, and you’re excited to find out more.
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.
You can find more information on how to get a black card in our expert guide.
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):
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for any number of items or services, including travel, gift cards, events and entertainment, or even donations to charity.
If you’ve earned a significant number of points through your Centurion Card, here are a couple options for you:
Option #1: Your highest value reward option is to transfer points to airline travel partners. Most come with a 1:1 ratio. A typical international business or first class flight costs between 50,000 to 150,000 points one-way.
Points redeemed in this way can usually provide a value of at least $0.02 per point.
Option #2: You can use your points to book travel through the American Express Travel Portal. Points are typically worth $0.01 each for flights, but you also get a 50% point redemption feature with the card.
For example, if you use 100,000 points to get $1,000 in flights, you will get 30,000 points back as a rebate, netting only 70,000 points in total. This equates to a little over $0.014 per point.
Option #3: Use your points to pay for Uber rides directly through the app. When you select your payment info, you will have the option to pay with points.
However, if you want to earn a lot of American Express Membership Rewards points, here are a few tips:
Tip #1: Be sure to use the card for all purchases. You get 1x point for every dollar spent.
Tip #2: Using your card with Uber will earn you 2x points for all rides!
Tip #3: Get 2x points for travel booked through the Amex Travel Portal.
Tip #4: Utilize the Auto Purchase program to earn tons of extra points for vehicles you purchase!
Tip #5: While the card has no standard bonus categories, you can always find some good deals with the Amex Offers program. Check them out from your account at AmericanExpress.com.
Amex airline transfer partners:
|Amex Airline Transfer Partner||Min Transfer||Transfer Ratio|
(Amex > Partner)
|Aer Lingus||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Air Canada||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1,000||1:1||Almost instant|
|British Airways||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Cathay Pacific||1,000||1:1||Up to 1 Week|
|Delta Air Lines||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Etihad Airways||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Flying Blue Air France/KLM||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Singapore Airlines||1,000||1:1||1-2 days|
|Virgin Atlantic||1,000||1:1||1-2 days|
Amex hotel transfer partners:
|Amex Hotel Transfer Partner||Min Transfer||Transfer Ratio|
(Amex > Partner)
|Choice Privileges||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Hilton Honors||1,000||1:2||Almost Instant|
|Marriott Bonvoy||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
American Express provides some great alternative cards more within most people’s price ranges.
For those looking for Delta status, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offer many similar elite status perks. Check out our detailed comparison of the Amex Platinum Card vs. the Centurion Card.
We’ve compared this card to other popular credit cards:
The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and 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 Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
If you’ve been invited to become a cardmember, the one-time fee along with the annual membership fee for the card can be a bit steep.
However, if you are a frequent traveler who likes to go first class, then this card could be well worth it.
This isn’t necessarily due to bonus points that you can accumulate, but rather from the non-spending advantages you attain simply from being a card member. These include (Terms and Conditions Apply for all benefits):
Plus, you’ll be covered whether your travel is in the air or on the ground, thanks to:
There are other top-notch advantages, too, such as:
Business owners will also have access to opportunities that can grow their company via AMEX Open Forum. Plus, with FX International Payments, you can enjoy waived transaction fees on eligible foreign currency payments.
This card’s annual fee is $5,000. There is also a one-time joining fee of $10,000 for U.S. residents. Fees may differ by country.
Cardmembers must first receive an invitation from American Express in order to apply, and must meet certain criteria to remain eligible for card membership.
Points on the card will never expire or go away, unless you cancel this card and all of your other American Express rewards cards.
As long as you keep at least one of your AMEX rewards cards open, you will keep all of your points, too.
According to an older FlyerTalk post, there were over 26,000 cardholders back in 2007. This number has likely increased by 2016.
The card is available by invite only, so if you have the right financial profile for American Express to invite you, you will be able to get the card.
Anecdotally, those with annual spending over the $350,000 range are more likely to be eligible for an invite.
If you’re not eligible for an invite, you can use The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers many similar benefits.