American Express Centurion Black Card Review 2019

American Express Centurion Black Card Review 2019

Share: Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.

American Express Black Card is a highly desirable card that is “invite only,” for big spenders. The estimated spending amounts of the invitees are $250,000 to $500,000 a year on their credit card. This card is for high net worth individuals who make over $1,000,000 a year and who are big spenders. There are many high-end benefits for card holders. Many of these benefits are exclusive to card holders and other cards in the market do not have the same or even similar benefits.

American Express Black Card

4/5
 American Express Centurion Black Credit Card Review 2019

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Our Bottom Line

Best For High Net Worth, Travel Individuals
 
 


Credit Rating Requirements

Excellent Credit

  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion

  • Elite Hotel Status or Centurion Hotel Program

  • $2,500 Annual fee

  • High Requirements – At Least $250,000 Spend/Year

Highlights

  • Earn 1.5X points on purchases over $5,000
  • Get a surprise gift every year
  • Access to over 1,000 of the world’s top restaurants
  • Dedicated Concierge Service
  • Up to a $200 annual credit for fees such as checking baggage and in-flight purchases
  • VIP events that only cardholders are invited to

 
Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):

ProsCons
Membership PointsHigh Initial Fee
Elevated Centurion Lounge ExperienceHigh Annual Fee
Delta SkyMiles Platinum MedallionAuthorized User Fee
Holiday GiftsHigh Requirements/Spending
Restaurant Reservations, Wine Buying BenefitsInvitation Only
Dedicated Concierge Service
Elite Hotel Status or Centurion Hotel Program

American Express Centurion Black Credit Card – Benefits

Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Black Card card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.

Membership Points

American Express Black Card holders earn 1.5X on purchases over $5,000. Many of the benefits are not earning points or rewards, but the many perks listed below.

Elevated Centurion Lounge Experience

American Express Black Card members get exclusive access to American Express Centurion Lounges at airports. Many Amex Lounges can be crowded and American Express Black Card holders get reserved seating at these lounges.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion

This may be the most valuable benefit of the American Express Black Card. The Platinum Medallion allows cardholders unlimited first-class upgrades on Delta. You can also get upgrades without paying the additional fees. Members also get priority check-in and boarding. This is about a $4,000 value.

Holiday Gifts

American Express Black Card holders get a surprise gift every year. This gift is usually around a $250 value and can vary from high-end items, to exclusive dining experiences, to gift cards.

Restaurant Reservations

American Express Black Card holders can have access to over 1,000 of the world’s top restaurants that may be hard to get otherwise. American Express pre-reserves tables in advance and card holders can call the Amex concierge service to get a reservation through them.

Wine Buying Benefits

American Express Black Card holders are offered private wine tasting tours and exclusive wine buying offers. The American Express Black Card also offers an annual complimentary appraisal of up to 100 wines.

Dedicated Concierge Service

American Express Black Card members have a dedicated concierge service that will go to great lengths to meet customers’ needs.

Elite Hotel Status or Centurion Hotel Program

The American Express Black Card grants special hotel services for card holders at some of the top hotel chains in the world. Card holders enjoy perks such as late check-out, upgraded rooms, and credit at the hotel to spend on amenities such spa services. American Express Black Card holders are automatically signed up for the Hilton Honors Diamond status. This a $1,915 value which offers many Hilton perks.

Rental Car

American Express Black Card holders can get upgraded memberships to several of the leading rental car companies. This includes Hertz Platinum which guarantees vehicle upgrades.

TSA Precheck or Global Entry Reimbursement

American Express Black Card will reimburse your application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry once every four years. This cost is usually around $80 to $100.

50% Airline Bonus

You receive 50% of membership points back when you redeem points and book travel through American Express Travel or Centurion Travel Services.

Centurion International Service

Card holders will be greeted personally by an Amex representative in international airports who will help them through customs and immigration processing.

And Many More Benefits

Cardholders get up to a $200 annual credit for fees such as checking baggage and in-flight purchases, $3,000 in Baggage Coverage, VIP Events, purchase protection, extended warranties, and travel protections.

American Express Centurion Black Credit Card – Drawbacks

Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of the American Express Centurion card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.

High Initial Fee

American Express Black Card has an initial fee of $7,500 just to get the card.

High Annual Fee

American Express Black Card has an annual fee of $2,500, the highest in the market.

Authorized User Fee

To add an authorized user, American Express Black Card charges an additional annual fee of $2,500.

High Requirements/Spending

American Express Black Card members must spend about $250,000 or more annually on a current American Express Card.

Invitation Only

The only way to apply for American Express Black Card is by invitation. Card holders must make over $1 million a year and have a high net worth. The card is not for available for the general public.

Alternatives to American Express Centurion Black Credit Card

There are a couple of great cards you can consider as an alternative to the American Express Centurion card:

American Express Platinum card American Express Platinum Card

The Platinum Card from American Express offers many of the same perks as the Black card at a fraction of the cost. The Platinum card perks for hotels and rental cars are very similar. The Platinum Card also has a $200 travel credit, TSA pre-check reimbursement, and free wifi at airports and on airplanes. The Platinum Card annual fee is $550. It also offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. The Platinum card is not “invitation only,” and is available to the general public.

Chase Sapphire Reserve review Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers many rewards and benefits, but those rewards come with a smaller annual fee of $450. You get a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first four months. Points go further if travel is booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You get 3X the points on travel and restaurants with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you book travel through Chase you also get a $300 credit once every year, which can help pay for the fee.

Mastercard Black Card Mastercard Black Card

Mastercard Black Card is a premium card offered by Mastercard which offers some of the best travel rewards in the market. It is also available to the public and does not require a special invitation. Card holders earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The rewards can be increased to 2% if they are redeemed for travel purchases. The Mastercard Black Card also has a concierge service, $100 annual travel credit, TSA pre-check and many travel and hotel benefits. The card’s annual fee is $495.

Is the AMEX Centurion Black Card Right for You?

American Express Black Card is one of the most exclusive cards in the market and is out of reach of the average consumer. The Black Card is for high net worth individuals who are big spenders. The American Express Black Card offers many travel benefits and uses; in fact, you will find that the travel perks are the most extensive in the market. This card is best for high net worth individuals who spend a lot of time traveling. The initial and annual fees are steep, and the average card holder can get similar benefits from other cards in the market. American Express Black Card holders should take advantage of all the perks in order for the card to be worth it. Many may find the status symbol a sufficient benefit but the card offers hundreds of perks, exclusive offers, and benefits that card holders should explore fully.