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

american-express-centurion-card

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 June 25th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return flight and 2 American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$395 p.a.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
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)
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Earn uncapped Velocity points on purchases and redeem for a range of rewards including flights, accommodation, car hire and gift cards.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Qantas American Express Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus the protection of complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$249 p.a.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Earn Qantas points that can be redeemed for a one way, return or multi-destination Classic Flight Reward on over 50 partner airlines.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
American Express Platinum Card
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,000 VIP lounges.
$1,200 p.a.
David Jones American Express
Receive benefits through David Jones including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.

Compare up to 4 providers

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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