The lure of the infamous black card was legendary even before it was invented as a piece of plastic made from titanium. Tales of a credit card so exclusive that its holders were secret members of some dark sect with a status of millionaires only was merely a myth. Nevertheless it was a myth which American Express admits they were happy to capitalize on. Today Amex promotes this image by not providing any details of the card except to current Amex card holders, even though the cards mysteries have long been dispelled by cardholders who have revealed all.
Once the preserve of only invited card holders, the black Centurion card is now available to existing American Express card holders that apply for it, though rumour persists that applicants must spend $250,000 per annum via the Platinum card to qualify. However the information which Amex puts on its website is that the card remains invitation only, probably hoping to capitalize on the exclusive element as they did with the original myth.
Those who do qualify are already putting $6,500 in the coffers of Amex through the merchant fees their Amex spending raises for the company. In addition to spending a quarter of a million dollars a year to be accepted as a black card holder, you need to be able to afford the one off initiation card fee of $5,000, and the $2,500 annual fee.
The majority of Black Centurion card holders are wealthy male businessmen, many of whom receive the card as a corporate perk. Thus an excellent way to obtain a black card of your own is to hook up with an existing card holder who will be happy to spend the lowly sum of just $1,500 dollars for an additional card for you. This is the recommended route of obtaining a card for shopaholics who like to travel in style, but lack the necessary means of their own to charge $250,000 a year.
A good place to find Black Centurion card holders would be in one of the places which their exclusive card gives them access to, such as the most popular restaurants where it’s impossible to book a table without the clout of the Amex personal concierge. Casinos can make good hunting grounds too.
Lurking around airports may reveal a card holder or two, who will be taking advantage of the free travel upgrades. Some like to flash their black as a way to get better service, as it’s known to impress. The ultimate luxury for the person who finds a black card holder willing to share their perks is the ability to arrange to have a shop closed down so you can shop in total exclusivity.
Certainly the card holder who is willing to pay the annual fees will receive more benefits if his card is partnered by an additional one. There could be great pleasure derived in thinking up pointless requests for the personal concierge to track down.
Inevitably as the mysterious black card is now available in greater numbers its exclusivity is devalued somewhat, with some card holders now finding the service not worth the fees. Indeed it is not so difficult to obtain after all, despite Amex’s advertising of “rarely seen, always recognized.”
If you feel the card would up your status then ask your employer for one as part of your salary package, naturally ensuring they are prepared to pay the fees, or find an existing card holder and ply your charm to become their additional card holder.