The Washington Post once had an apt slogan for the Centurion Card: If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. The Centurion card has many drawbacks: high sign-up fees, annual fees comparable to luxury car rentals, and a notable lack of category spending bonuses.

However, for the most spenders, the Centurion Card can be worth every cent of a million cents, paying just the entry fee. Benefits including discerning customer service, elite travel status, luxury discount store membership and points, and lucrative point redemption options can easily offset the cost. However, points and perks are only valuable if they are useful to you.

Exclusivity is the main attraction of the Centurion card and is expressed in a number of ways. If you are interested in delegating your travel plans, reservations and gifts, having a 24-hour concierge service will be a great benefit. Events with celebrities from the entertainment, culinary and sports worlds are exclusively for cardholders.

The criteria used to determine whether you’re worth applying for are vague, but it’s safe to say that unless you speak to an American Express representative by name, the Centurion Card is unlikely to be in your cab. Estimated minimum expenses range from $250,000 to several million dollars per year. However, if you want to give it a try, you can apply for the exam online.

Please note: Centurion provides personal and business cards. If you have a choice, business cards offer other valuable benefits, especially discounts on airfare.

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At first glance

  • Invitation only, but you can apply for the exam
  • $10,000 entry fee
  • $5,000 annual fee, also payable per authorized user
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1​​ on all purchases under $5,000
  • Earn 1.5 Membership Rewards points for every $1​​ spent on purchases over $5,000, up to an additional 1 million points per year
  • 50% Membership Rewards Redeem for Paid Airfare Rewards (Business only)

Remuneration

Earn rewards

The American Express* Centurion® Card offers 1.5 points per dollar on purchases over $5,000 (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year) and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Redeem rewards

The most interesting benefit of the Centurion Card Business Edition is 50% off airline tickets purchased with Membership Rewards points. That’s an effective return of 2 cents per dollar, more than any other American Express card that offers unlimited spending in any category. Points earned on transactions over $5,000 are actually 3% refundable when redeemed this way. This reward does not exist on the personal version of the map.

You can also redeem your points for various gift cards in the travel, retail and dining categories. Tariffs vary by provider, and each Membership Rewards point varies between 0.5 cents and 1 cent. You can also pay with points at a rate of 0.8 cents per Membership Rewards point at several suppliers (especially Amazon). As you can see, you’re better off using membership rewards travel rather than redeeming points for gift cards.

Reward Potential

American Express Centurion Black Card Review

Since the American Express Centurion card profile is not suitable for earning points, and spending varies so much, it makes more sense to discuss the value of the fringe benefits.

  • Equinox All Access Gym Membership: $3,120 per year, assuming you live or travel near one of Equinox’s 300 locations and value a gym membership.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Credit: $1,000 per year, with $250 awarded quarterly.
  • CLEAR membership for cardholders and their families: $179 plus $50 per family member.

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The card also offers travel benefits that are more valuable the more you use it:

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  • Delta Platinum Medallion Status: Benefits include upgrades completed five days prior to departure, waived award re-deposit and change fees, baggage allowance, and increased mileage accrual.
  • Hertz Platinum Status: Invitation-only status includes VIP drop-off and pickup, as well as upgrades to the best standard (and occasionally luxury) cars available at the time.
  • Hilton Diamond Status: The highest level of Hilton membership with suite upgrades, late check-out, breakfast benefits and increased paid night income. The card also offers intermediate status with Marriott and IHG.

More card benefits

  • Unique Card Designs: Stand out from the crowd with unique card designs, including wearable cards designed by Prada.
  • VIP Airport Arrivals at 32 Major Airports: Save time by letting Amex handle your arrival details.
  • Different hotel statuses: Marriott Bonvoy Gold and IHG Platinum benefits include increased stay revenue, late check-out, and more.
  • Airport Lounge Access: With the expansion of the Centurion lounge network (and a well-documented problem of overcrowding), skip-the-line can save time and increase the efficiency of stopovers. Centurion cardholders also have access to a dedicated area in the lounge.

American Express Concierge

The concierge benefits of the American Express* Centurion® Card deserve special mention. Many cards offer concierge services, but the level of service for Centurion cardholders is a notch above others. From spending hours looking for sold-out Christmas gifts to managing an evacuation in the midst of a volcanic eruption, this level of concierge will help you with the best of the best. If it’s legal, you may be able to ask the Centurion Concierge to get it or do it for you.

Beautifully printed

Interest expense

  • Regular APR: 16.24% variable on eligible Pay Over Time purchases
  • Purchase introductory APR: Not applicable
  • Introduction to Balance Transfer APR: N/A

Cost

  • Annual Fee: $5,000
  • Balance transfer fees:-
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: none

How the cards are stacked

It’s impossible to make a full comparison of the Centurion card with other cards as it serves a small segment of the market and offers unique advantages. However, the American Express Business Platinum and American Express Platinum cards offer some of the features of Centurion for a fraction of the annual fee.

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Comparison of the American Express* Centurion Card and the American Express Business Platinum® Card

The Platinum Business Card® from American Express costs $695 per year (terms apply. See rates and fees), which seems like a steal compared to Centurion’s $5,000. Certain benefits, such as access to airport lounges (though there is no dedicated section in Centurion Clubs) and hotel and rental car status, are the same for both cards. However, Centurion offers Hilton Diamond, Delta Executive Platinum, and Hertz Platinum, which Platinum doesn’t offer.

While Centurion offers multiple tiers, American Express Platinum offers per dollar on flights and prepaid hotel purchases and $5,000 purchases through American Express travel suppliers, electronics retailers, software and cloud systems suppliers, and transportation suppliers Higher 5 Membership Rewards® points or more elsewhere, up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year. Earn 1 point per $1​​ on all other eligible purchases. However, Centurion’s monthly payout can be significantly larger than Platinum.

When redeeming, the transfer partner for both cards is the same. The Centurion Business Card offers a higher 50% discount on point payments, compared to 35% for the Platinum Business Card. Another advantage of the Centurion Card: Discounts apply to all flights on every airline, not just in business and first class, and not just on specific airlines.

American Express Centurion® Card* and American Express Platinum® Card

If you can’t choose the American Express Business Platinum Card, some of the benefits of the American Express Black Card are also available on the American Express Platinum Card for a much lower fee of just $695. (Terms apply. See rates and fees.) Like the Business Platinum Card, the card earns 5 bonus points per dollar on flights booked directly through the airline or through American Express Travel, up to a maximum of 500,000 per calendar year USD, earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotel bookings and 1 point per dollar on American Express travel and other eligible purchases.

Instead, the American Express Platinum card relies on consumer interest from its Centurion cousin, albeit at a rudimentary level. The card offers Saks Fifth Avenue up to $100 per year (vs. $1,000) and Equinox Gym members $30 per month (vs. full membership on the Centurion Card). (Registration required.)

Is this card right for you?

If you must ask, the answer is probably no. Centurion cards are only available in a very small part of the market and will add value to an even smaller part. But if you’re an extreme spender who values ​​exclusive access and world-class customer service, then the Centurion Card might just be in your wallet.

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Jake Smith

Escrito por

Jake Smith

He is the editor of Eragoncred. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Eragoncred and a financial industry reporter. Jake has spent most of his career as a Digital Media journalist and has over 10 years of experience as a writer and editor.