Amex Centurion Becomes Just Another Piece of Plastic

The famed American Express Centurion Card (U.S. version) is certainly not worth the $2500 fee any longer.

Centurion members used to get Diamond status in the Hyatt Gold Passport program. Last year that benefit was pulled, and American Express added Platinum status in the Priority Club program instead.

That’s hardly a like exchange: anyone can get Platinum status by doing as little as transferring some points into their account from Membership Rewards, the status provides very little in the way of benefits, and I can’t imagine that too many Centurion cardholders find themselves staying at Holiday Inns all that frequently in order to take advantage of it.

Now comes news that Platinum status in the Starwood Preferred Guest program will no longer be offered. Everyone signed up for the status through January 21 (about a week ago) will be Platinum through February 28, 2007. New signups will receive Gold status from here on out, and existing members will drop to Gold (unless the requalify on their own) beginning March 1, 2007.

If there was ever a card that you’d expect not to be devalued, wouldn’t it be this one? But American Express has opened the floodgates to anyone willing to pay (and demonstrate a history of large charges on an Amex charge card) so it’s no longer even that exclusive a product. Without Starwood Platinum status as a benefit I won’t even be tempted to get one of these (Delta and Continental Gold status just aren’t that alluring).

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 Milepoint.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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