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.