Before you get too excited about joining the exclusive club of American Express Black cardholders, keep in mind that much of the information available about the card is anecdotal. We reached out to American Express, and the company representative's response was, "Centurion offers the highest level of benefits and services to its Members. However, we do not discuss benefit, service or selection details publicly."
The card isn't available to everyone. In fact, even individuals with an excellent credit score and a long, positive track record with American Express may not be selected to apply. One thing's for certain: You'll need to be an existing American Express cardholder to qualify. The rest relies on the financial institution's secret criteria.
Black card holders tend to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the card per year. High spending isn't an official requirement to receive an invitation, but if you plan on getting on the Centurion team's radar, six-figure annual spending is the best way.
There are two types of Centurion cards: the personal Black card and business version. It may be easier to qualify for the business card. As with other corporate cards by American Express, a Black business card will reflect on your personal credit report and not the company's.
The Centurion card annual fee is the highest of all credit cards on the market. You'll need to pay a one-time initiation fee of $10,000 on top of a $5,000 annual fee just for the privilege of having a Black Card. Plus, adding other cardholders costs an extra $2,500 each per year.
In comparison, the Platinum Card's annual fee is $695 per year for many of the same services. The main difference could be the higher level of personal concierge services; it takes a large staff to hunt down hard-to-find products, tickets, and reservations.
You'll earn the same level of rewards other American Express cardholders earn. The Black card doesn't accrue Membership Rewards Points any faster than other American Express cards.
Centurion cardholders are typically assigned a personal concierge, available 24/7. You'll have a direct line to the person, who can serve as a personal assistant to handle nearly anything you need. However, there's a whole team behind the scenes dedicated to handling Centurion cardholder requests. As you can imagine, some requests can be time-consuming, such as locating the latest game console days before Christmas.