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Black cards are a status symbol that are typically invite-only and reserved for big spenders who can afford to pay initiation fees and annual fees totaling thousands of dollars. But the invitation-only requirement has changed slightly for the oldest "black card" — the Centurion® Card from American Express.
The Centurion Card, or the "Amex Black Card," is still invite-only, but the Amex Centurion website now allows existing Amex cardholders who are interested in Centurion membership to request consideration by filling out a short online form.
An Amex spokesperson told CNBC Select that prospective Centurion members have always been able to request consideration for a membership to Centurion, but it typically has been handled over the phone and more recently, a digital feature has been added. Below, we review how you can request an invite for the Amex Centurion Card and the card's qualifications, fees and benefits.
You can complete the invitation request for an Amex Centurion Card in a minute, but there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, you'll need to be an existing Amex cardholder to request an invite. And the Amex Centurion website also disclaims that: "Submission of your information is not an application for credit and does not obligate American Express to invite you to apply for the Centurion Card."
Simply follow these steps to request an invite to the Amex Centurion Card:
- Go to the Centurion website.
- At the bottom of the page, click on: "Interested in Centurion® Membership? Click Here."
- Enter your first and last name and the card number and security code for your Amex card.
- Submit your invite request.
- Amex will reach out if you qualify by sending an invitation via your mailing address on file.
While Amex doesn't officially publish the qualifications for the Amex Centurion Card, black cards often require you to have a strong existing relationship with the card issuer, which typically means high spending requirements upwards of six-figures or more each year.
The cardmember agreement does state a hefty $10,000 initiation fee when you open the card and a $5,000 annual fee (see rates and fees). That's at least $15,000 in fees the first year, without considering adding authorized users, which cost an additional $2,500 per year for additional Centurion cards (up to two).
While the annual fees are mind-boggling, the Amex Centurion Card does offer top-notch benefits that frequent travelers may consider worth the card's steep cost. Centurion cardholders receive access to Amex Centurion Lounges, complimentary Delta Platinum Medallion, Marriott Gold and Hilton Diamond status. Each loyalty program offers its own suite of perks that can be worthwhile for Delta, Marriott and Hilton enthusiasts.
The value of these perks ranges, but can be worth thousands of dollars. For instance, Hilton Diamond status typically requires $12,000 in spending, which cardholders receive complimentary. And Hilton Diamond status offers free continental breakfast for you and a guest, your fifth night free when you book a hotel stay with points and other VIP privileges. Meanwhile, Delta Platinum Medallion status offers a "Choice Benefit" (such as a $200 Delta travel voucher), waived baggage fees, priority boarding and more.
If you want a premium card without $15,000 in fees your first year and $5,000 thereafter, consider more mainstream cards with significantly lower annual fees, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550, see rates and fees), American Express® Gold Card ($250, see rates and fees) or the American Express Cash Magnet® Card ($0, see rates and fees). All three of these cards can save you thousands in annual fees and offer competitive rewards and benefits.
For rates and fees of Centurion® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, click here.
Information about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card and Centurion® Card from American Express has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
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