The American Express Centurion Card – Enjoy luxury with a high flyer, prestige credit card

Information verified correct on May 23rd, 2017

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The American Express Centurion Card takes the meaning of prestige to a different level.

In the world of cards, American Express Centurion Card has its own aura. Introduced in 1999, it is a charge card with no set spending limit. An exclusive card, cardholders must be invited by American Express to use the card. Here we’ll unpack some of the benefits, benefits, features, limits and fees for this card and how to improve your chances of getting invited to use this card in Australia.

Who is eligible for the American Express Centurion Card and how does it work?

As an invitation-only card, American Express hasn’t made the eligibility criteria available to the public. An ideal way to start would be to develop a history with American Express by using other premium products and demonstrating your frequent spending and ability to repay. It has also been said that cardholders required a five-figure monthly spending bill per month. While the eligibility criteria is quite ambiguous, it's useful to note that the average household income for cardholders was $1.3 million with assets of $16.3 million in 2011. The card is tailored according to the financial resources of the customers and comes with a set spending limit.

As a charge card, American Express Centurion Card cardholders must repay their balance amount by a due date, usually by the end of the month. It does not provide a revolving credit system like a credit card but has a high spending limit or no spending limit depending on the cardholder and what they've been approved for.

Comparison of other credit cards available from American Express

Rates last updated May 23rd, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Fly faster with up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return Economy flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $450 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $400 Travel Credit every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $395 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $200 Travel Credit every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Take off sooner with up to 2.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $375 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Take off sooner with up to 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent and pay $0 annual fee.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Fly faster with up to 2.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $249 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Fly faster with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and enjoy the convenience of Apply Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary access for you and a guest to over 1,000 VIP Lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a range of in-store benefits at David Jones.
20.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
Earn 4 Reward Points per $1 spent at David Jones and receive invitations to exclusive Season Launch Parades, fashion events and more.
20.74% p.a. $295 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Business Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$109 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Business Card
Take off sooner with up to 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent and take up to 51 days to pay for your purchases.
$249 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Gold Business Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$169 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Business Card
Fly faster with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and save with up to 55 days interest-free.
$299 p.a. More info
American Express Business Accelerator Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
20.74% p.a. $160 p.a. More info
American Express Platinum Rewards Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent and receive up to 55 days interest-free.
20.74% p.a. $80 p.a. More info
American Express Qantas Corporate Green Card
Fly faster with 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and receive complimentary business travel accident insurance.
$70 p.a. More info
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 11.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy $0 annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. More info

What are the features and benefits of using an American Express Centurion card?

An exclusive card only currently in use by an estimated 10,000 cardholders in Australia, some of the benefits you could look forward to include:

  • Flexibility. The card can be used for personal as well as business use.
  • Design. Since 2006 the card is made of anodized titanium with the information and number etched into the metal through laser. In some countries the plastic version is still in use.
  • Travel benefits. The customers can access premium airport lounges and clubs. Complimentary companion airline tickets are also available on select airlines.
  • Hotel benefits. Exclusive privileges are available at hotel chains like Ritz-Carlton, AmanResorts and more.
  • Insurance. Complimentary travel insurance is available if the card is used to cover travel costs.
  • Mobile contactless payments. Whether you have an Android, Apple or Samsung device, you can save time at the cash register and pay with the convenience of your smartphone with Android Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.

What are the fees and limits of the card?

Within Australia, the annual fee for the card is $5,000 with an additional one-time fee of $5,000. The credit limit on the card varies between customers and is based on factors such as credit history and income.

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I haven't been invited to own the American Express Centurion Card, what else can I consider?

American Express Platinum

One of the ways to build a good history with American Express is start with American Express Platinum card which can be applied directly and does not need any personal invitation. The minimum income requirement for the platinum card is $100,000 and the annual fee is $1,200. You can see our review of the American Express Platinum Charge Card for more details about the fees and features of the card.

American Express Centurion card was designed as a status symbol and has been limited to the elite. Informally called the “black card”, this card has held a high position among ultra-premium cards since its inception. It can have no spending limits and offers a host of premium benefits including complimentary insurance, travel benefits, exclusive perks and much more.

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Frequently asked questions

There is no set time, nor is there any guarantee that all the platinum cardholders will be invited. However, if you can keep a monthly spend limit of over $10,000 per month and regularly pay the balance, the chances of invitations will increase.

This fee is charged at the time of processing for the card. In Australia, this fee is $5,000 which was increased from $4,300 on July 11, 2012. Besides this fee the cardholders will also be charged an annual fee of $5,000.

Being an exclusive card, there is very little information available. However, according to estimates there are less than 10,000 cardholders in Australia.

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Adrian Barclay

Adrian spends most of his working hours writing about home loans and everything property, as well as interviewing finance experts.

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