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Elite American Express Black Card Review

When you’re searching the market for a valuable credit card, American Express comes to mind for their service, commitment, and exclusive benefits. They have been ranked as an elite credit card company for sixty years, offering premium products to high spending consumers. And, if you’re looking for more information about the most exclusive card they have to offer, you’ve come to the right place.

The American Express Black Card, otherwise known as the American Express Centurion Card, is offered exclusively to high volume spenders. We’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars per month. It’s also the most expensive credit card to carry but allows many benefits to members, some of which are quite secret.

Here’s our review of this extravagant credit card so that you can make an informed decision if you get access to carry it. Keep reading to learn more.

The Basics

There are many extreme benefits of carrying this card relative to its elite status. Besides bragging rights, you can also rest assured that you’re getting a card that caters to your needs.

Cardmember Benefits

As with some other American Express products, the American Express Black Card has the American Express Membership Rewards program. For each dollar spent, one point is earned that can be redeemed for gift cards and merchandise. Perhaps the best way to use these points, however, is with American Express Travel, where you can redeem your points for travel reservations.

Points are worth about 1.3 cents each for airline travel and about 1 cent each for all other travel and merchandise. You can also transfer your points to airline miles with 17 different frequent flyer programs.

If you travel a lot for work or pleasure, there are many other benefits of using the American Express Black Card.

The Pros

Aside from the basic cardmember benefits, this card is excellent for travelers. You won’t even notice the annual fee or startup costs if you utilize this card to its maximum benefit.

Travel Benefits

The travel benefits associated with the American Express Black Card are perhaps the best available. This is the most elite credit card offered in the United States, after all. You can rest assured that you will be treated with the utmost respect, and hospitality service will be beyond grandeur wherever you go to rest your head.


You can use your American Express Membership Rewards points for some of your travel related expenses. But, with the American Express Black Card, you can also request elite status in hotel loyalty programs at four major luxury hotel brands.

These brands include the following:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest Gold
  • Hilton Honors Diamond
  • IHG Priority Club Rewards Platinum Elite
  • Relais & Chateaux Club 5C

You’ll enjoy special services such as noon check-in and 4 p.m. checkout times. You’ll have an option to upgrade to a higher floor, or a room with a better view and complimentary in-room premium internet service. Of course, you’ll also receive a welcome gift upon arrival.

Some locations offer complimentary breakfast, and other exclusive amenities vary by location.

Rental Cars

You’ll enjoy exclusive benefits at the rental car counter with both Hertz and Avis when you use your American Express Black Card. Benefits include guaranteed reservations and upgrades. You might also receive special rates on all car classes and complimentary ski racks or child seats.

As an added measure, cardmembers automatically receive rental car insurance if they deny the optional coverage offered by the rental agency. This insurance comes with complimentary premium roadside assistance which can be used for towing, changing tires, and more.


Air travel is where the benefits of this card really go above and beyond. The American Express Black Card automatically places you at the Platinum Medallion status with Delta Airlines SkyMiles frequent flyer program. Without this membership, it takes 75,000 miles of air travel and $9,000 in tickets to qualify.

You’ll enjoy upgrades to first class for no fee and Delta’s Comfort+ service, which offers other complementary and elite services. Other benefits are exclusive to cardholders and include same-day standby travel and waived fees for checked baggage.

And the benefits don’t stop with Delta. You’ll be part of Centurion cardholders exclusive program for members, the American Express International Airline Program. With this access, you’ll enjoy a companion ticket with the purchase of a full fare international ticket.

There is no limit to how many times per year you can utilize this benefit with the Black Card status.

Beyond the skies, you’ll receive access to many business lounge programs throughout the United States. These include those found in the Delta SkyCluband the Priority Pass Select network. AMEX even has its own Centurion lounge network.

The Cons

Of course, not every credit card is for everyone. One of the drawbacks of this card is that you can’t just get it because you have good credit and spend a lot of money.

Invitation Only

You might have guessed by now that this card is only offered to an elite group. That means you can’t necessarily request this card, even if you’re already an American Express card member. There may be times when you can request a review for eligibility for this particular card, but in most cases, it’s invitation only.

There are no published requirements stating what it takes to get ahold of this card, but some general criteria you may need to meet include the following:

  • High Net Worth
  • At least $1 million annual earnings
  • $100,000 – $450,000 annual spend
  • Current AMEX Cardholder for at least one year

Of course, you must also exhibit exceptional payment history on your current accounts with American Express to qualify for an upgraded status. American Express offers membership for this card for personal, business, and corporate use.

The Verdict on The American Express Black Card

The American Express Black Card is for elite spenders and thus we don’t know all of the benefits offered to members because those details are kept confidential. What we do know is that this card is a good choice for those that intend to use it exclusively for the travel benefits. While there are many extreme benefits that come with carrying this card, the initial startup cost and annual fee are quite hefty at $7,500 and $2,500 respectively.

If you want to get the most out of this card after paying these fees, utilizing as many benefits as possible will earn you the best reward. This card is most definitely the best credit card for travel and it can enhance your lifestyle. And, think of the other benefits that we haven’t found or discussed here, those that only card holders will ever experience.

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