Our take: The exclusive, invite-only Centurion® Card from American Express is a top-tier card that offers luxury perks at a premium price.
Known as one of the most difficult American Express cards to get, the Centurion® Card from American Express is a high-end card that’s shrouded in secrecy, comes with luxury travel perks and gives you status that only a card of this caliber can. With both a hefty initiation fee plus an annual fee, this card isn’t in many wallets. Exact requirements to be invited to apply for the Centurion® Card from American Express are unknown, but it’s believed that you must be spending (and paying off) upwards of $350,000 a year on a current American Express card.
Also referred to as a “Black Card”, this is one of the hardest cards to get. Not only do you need an income that can support the fees and spending requirements, but also a desire or need to spend that much. Through its many travel benefits including lounge access at airports, elevated status with certain airlines and hotel perks, travel aficionados will definitely get more out of this card than those who seldom travel.
Intro Purchase APR
Regular Purchase APR
prime rate + 12.74% for the Pay Over Time feature
Intro BT APR
Regular BT APR
Cash Advance Fee
either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Getting the Centurion® Card from American Express isn’t as easy as just applying — you have to be invited to apply. Those who are current American Express customers with a high level of spending might have a chance of receiving an invitation for this elite card.
However, you don’t have to sit around and wait for an invitation to arrive. If this is a card that you would like in your wallet, you’re a high spender and you’re already a loyal American Express member, you can request an invite. Note that there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive an invite, and you’ll likely only know when that envelope shows up in your mailbox.
How to request an invitation for the Centurion® Card from American Express
This card offers plenty of benefits, albeit geared more heavily to people who travel extensively. Infrequent travelers may have a more difficult time getting their money’s worth out of this card. Note that many of these benefits are also available on other cards from American Express, which are open for anyone to apply.
These time-saving benefits are also included with The Platinum Card® from American Express and can be used on a daily basis.
American Express® App: Manage your account from anywhere, at any time. Check on your account, discover new offers, redeem your Amex Membership Rewards® Points, and even freeze your card from anywhere.
24/7 Dedicated concierge service: Whether you need a last-minute flight booked while you pack your bags or flowers sent to a friend, a team of dedicated concierge professionals is standing by 24/7 to assist you. Unlike with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you will have access to the same concierge rather than a different one each time you call with a request.
Earning membership rewards
You can use your card at home and abroad to earn rewards on every purchase — however, compared to other American Express cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll earn rewards at a meager pace: only 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases including dining, theater tickets, flights and hotels.
You can redeem these points for gift cards, eligible charges to your Centurion® Card from American Express, travel bookings and more.
Dining and entertainment
Crafted Journeys: Make your trip extra special with a tour or experience that’s just for you. You work with a local expert to make initial plans and then they manage the rest of the details.
Global Dining Collection: Take the guesswork out of deciding where to eat with a list of recommended restaurants. Additionally you’ll have access to special reserved tables at these restaurants.
You’ll have access to some of the best travel benefits in the business, including lounge access through The Global Lounge Collection. Note that several other Amex cards can get you these same benefits, including The Platinum Card® from American Express.
The Global Lounge Collection
Enjoy access to more than 1,400 VIP lounges in 140 countries thanks to networks and partners that include:
No foreign transaction fee
Keep more of your money when shopping abroad since there are no foreign transaction fees with the Centurion® Card from American Express.
The Centurion® Card from American Express has the edge over cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express on luxury hotel benefits. The Centurion® Card from American Express offers perks like room upgrades and early check-in (when available) plus late checkout and a hotel credit with every stay at a participating hotel, whereas The Platinum Card® from American Express just offers one annual hotel credit.
Exclusive benefits at more than 1,200 Fine Hotels and Resorts
When you book your stay with your Centurion® Card from American Express you have access to the following benefits:
Additional upgrades and hotel credits at 8 iconic brands
Centurion members receive room upgrades at the time of booking plus a hotel credit of up to $200 when you stay at one of these eight properties:
The Hotel Collection
When you stay at any of the more than 600 properties that are part of The Hotel Collection, enjoy complimentary room upgrades and $100 hotel credit.
Initial fee $10,000
The Centurion® Card from American Express is unique in that it has a one-time initiation fee of $10,000. This is in addition to the annual fee. In order to get the card, you’ll need to pay both fees.
Annual membership fee of $5,000
Steep annual fees are common among luxury credit cards, but the $5,000 annual fee for the Centurion® Card from American Express ranks among the highest.
Additional cardholder fee of $5,000
You may choose to get additional cards for your spouse or partner for a $5,000 fee. There is a limit of two cards per account holder. There is no annual fee for the first additional card, but subsequent cards have an annual fee of $1,500.
Must pay card off each month
The Centurion® Card from American Express is a charge card, meaning you need to pay off your balance in full every month. Should you want to not pay off the full amount of a specific purchase, you can opt in to Pay Over Time and spread out your payments over several months with interest.
If you want a luxury card that offers many of the same perks, a generous welcome offer, rewards earning opportunity and is more accessible, consider the The Platinum Card® from American Express. The annual fee of $695 seems like a bargain compared to the Centurion® Card from American Express, plus it includes more than $1,000 in credits that can cover that cost easily.
Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, The Hotel Collection, and elite status with several hotels and car rental agencies.
Having this, or another card from American Express, is a good way to become a customer of the company. Over time, and with an excellent payment history, you may work your way up to getting an invite to apply for the Centurion® Card from American Express.
Since the credits, rewards program and benefits highly revolve around travel, this card is best for someone who travels frequently. Those who aren’t on the road much will get more value from a cash back rewards credit card.
To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.
|Centurion® Card from American Express||The Platinum Card® from American Express||Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card|
|Review Coming Soon||
on American Express's secure site
on Capital One's secure site
|N/A||Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.||Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®||Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel|
|N/A||5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.||5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards®||2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel|
|Intro Purchase APR|
|prime rate + 12.74% for the Pay Over Time feature||See Pay Over Time APR||21.99% - 28.99% Variable||21.74% - 28.74% (Variable)|
|Additional card details unavailable||The Platinum Card® from American Express||Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Additional card details unavailable|
Are you among the relatively small number of people who might qualify for this card and it applies to you? If so, or if you believe your spending level is continually increasing, continuing to use your current American Express credit card is probably a solid plan for you.
Not a current American Express customer but want this card? Start with a lower-tier card from American Express to build up your purchase history with the company.
And if you’re not spending multiple six-figures annually, then another premium card is probably a better choice. Try a cash back credit card or a rewards credit card to earn rewards on your daily purchases without the hard-to-reach requirements of the Centurion® Card from American Express.
The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.
The information related to the Centurion® Card from American Express has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.