From travel credits and hotel upgrades to airport lounge access and complimentary champagne – discover a world of exclusive features with the American Express Centurion.
The American Express Centurion Card is one of the most prestigious and exclusive cards in the world. Introduced in 1999, this charge card has no set spending limit, a suite of travel and lifestyle perks and rewards for your spending. It is also only available by invitation from American Express and shrouded in mystery.
Use this guide to learn about some of the benefits, features and costs for this card and how to improve your chances of getting an American Express Centurion in Australia. You can also compare other American Express credit cards to decide which premium option offers the most benefits for you.
How is the American Express Centurion different to other cards?
American Express is known for offering a range of premium cards. The key difference with the Centurion is that it is only available by invitation to a select number of people. These chosen few then gain access to an extensive range of complimentary extras such as flights, lounge access, hotel stays and upgrades and insurance.
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. It's also been said that cardholders required a five-figure monthly spending bill per month to get this card.
How much does the American Express Centurion cost?
Within Australia, the annual fee for the card is $5,000 with a one-off establishment fee of $5,000. This means you'd pay $10,000 in the first year and $5,000 per year after that. Other American Express cards have annual fees ranging from $0 to $1,200.
Comparison of other credit cards available from American Express
What are the features and benefits of the American Express Centurion Card?
While American Express does not offer public details of this invitation-only card, some of the benefits you could look forward to include:
- Personal or business use. The card can be used for personal as well as business use. You can also request additional cards for family members or employees.
- Titanium card. One of the most famous features of the Centurion Card is that it is made of titanium. However, you can also be issued with a plastic version that's compatible with contactless and mobile payment services.
- Travel benefits. Some of the travel benefits you could enjoy with this card include complimentary flights, a dedicated travel-booking service, airport chauffeur service, Priority Pass membership, Virgin Lounge and Qantas Club Lounge benefits and cruise company credits.
- Hotel benefits. As well as a complimentary hotel stay and upgrades at many locations, exclusive privileges and hotel reward program benefits are available with partners including Hilton Honors, Starwood Preferred Guest and InterContinental Hotels.
- Complimentary insurance. The American Express Centurion offers a suite of complimentary insurance covers including international travel insurance, purchase protection, refund protection and extended warranty cover.
- 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.
How can I get an American Express Centurion Card?
As an invitation-only card, there are no specific eligibility criteria available for the American Express Centurion Card. But if your aim is to get this card, there are a few details that could help you get an invitation:
- Build a relationship with Amex. American Express only sends out a limited number of Centurion invitations to its existing customers. So you can work towards getting this card by using other premium American Express products.
- Pay off your account regularly and on time. If you want an Amex Centurion invitation, you'll also need to show that you can afford to use it by making account repayments regularly.
- Make use of your current extras. The American Express Centurion is reported to have an extensive suite of complimentary extras and benefits that cater to premium card members. So using the perks available on your current card could help show American Express that you are the type of person who appreciates and benefits from these features.
- Meet the financial requirements. Although there are no official financial requirements listed for this card, it's clear that the Amex Centurion is designed for big spenders and earners.
The American Express Centurion Card has become a status symbol for the elite. Informally called the “black card”, this card has held a high position among ultra-premium cards since its launch. But if you don't get an invite for a Centurion card, you can still compare the wide range of American Express credit and charge cards to find one that suits your current needs.
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Frequently asked questions
I haven't been invited to own the American Express Centurion Card, what else can I consider?
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.
How long would I need to use American Express Platinum card to be invited for this card?
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, you may be able to increase your chances of getting an invitation. It may also be worth letting the American Express representatives you deal with know that this is one of your ambitions.
What is the one-time fee?
This fee is charged at the time of your account opening. 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.
How many people are offered this card every year?
Being an exclusive card, there is very little information available. However, according to estimates there are less than 10,000 cardholders in Australia.