The Amex Black Card

Snopes.com has a good piece on the infamous “Black Card,” American Express Centurion, which carries a $2500 annual fee (long-time cardholders are gradfathered at the old $1000 rate) and comes with airline and hotel status.

Perhaps the most interesting revelation in the piece, aside from learning that Amex concierges got an aspiring actress an audition with a soap opera, is that the card actually originated out of an urban legend. Rumors abounded that the famous and super-wealthy had a card like this, and that’s what gave American Express the idea to offer it.

    “There had been rumors going around that we had this ultra-exclusive black card for elite customers,” says Doug Smith, director of American Express Europe. “It wasn’t true, but we decided to capitalize on the idea anyway. So far we’ve had a customer buy a Bentley and another charter a jet.”

Contrary to the rumor repeated in the piece that the card cannot be applied for, American Express Platinum cardholders who average six figures in charges to their personal cards each year can ask their Platinum concierge to request a Centurion card.

Personally I’ll stick to my Diners Club card.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. You could also try out the Visa Black card, although it’s caught a lot of flack. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, cards like these are supposed to represent status, and I think the Visa Black does that almost as well as other high-end cards.

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