The American Express Centurion Card, more commonly known as the “Black Card,” has become the status symbol du jour for high-end cardholder
So how do you go about getting a Black Card? The good news, as it were, is that you no longer have to be invited by Amex to get one. Just call Amex and ask. To heighten your chances, you’ll need to accomplish the following (from the blog QuickSprout.com, whose founder is a Centurion cardholder):
• Have a nearly blemish-free credit history.
• Spend at least $250,000 annually on a current Amex Platinum or Gold card.
• Accept a one-time card membership fee of $5,000, along with an annual fee of $2,500.
• Have a “major” net worth (undisclosed by Amex).
You can call and ask for an invitation at the AMEX offices, but this ploy definitely falls into the “it can’t hurt to ask” category. If you do, be prepared to answer some tough questions.
One hurdle, for example, that would be tough to crack is the $250,000 annual spending minimum. That’s about $21,000 per month and most individuals would balk at spending that kind of dough. QuickSprout advises offering to pay the money upfront, to convince Amex you’re a good credit risk.
If you want to bypass the invitation/application route, you need to be both successful and creative. One possibility for the elite business set is working for a firm that issues Centurion cards to high-end executives. That way you don’t have to hunt down the card — it will find you.
It’s a high mountain to climb but those who are there say it’s worth it. Amex built the Black Card around its signature phrase, “membership has its privileges.” In the case of the Centurion card, boy does it ever.