Why The American Express Centurion Black Card Is Such An Exclusive Credit Card

Today, the American Express Centurion Card, more commonly known as the “American Express Black” sits a tier above the company’s Platinum offer. It offers access to over 1,400 VIP lounges at airports and shopping areas in 140 countries around the world, plus room upgrades at top-tier hotels including the St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. The card also has a special concierge service, which offers unique travel experiences. Centurion cardholders get $1,000 a year in shopping credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as outside-hours access to stores.


Picking up an Amex Black is no easy task. In order to get access to these perks, Forbes says you need to be ready to pay a $10,000 initiation fee, as well as a $5,000 annual fee, and an 18.99% APR variable on pay-over-time purchases. You also need to have an excellent credit score. Most importantly, you need to be invited to get a Centurion card. It’s that exclusive, and there’s no preapproval application.

But, if American Express doesn’t think you’re worthy of the Black, you can pick up the company’s Platinum card, which carries almost the same privileges for an annual fee that’s nearly 14% of the Amex Black, per Forbes. You also don’t have to be invited to pick up a Platinum card, although you’ll need an excellent, or very good, credit score to get one.