amexcenturion

What is the most prestigious credit card?

The American Express Centurion sets the benchmark for elite and luxurious cards.

Also known as the Black Card, this exclusive product has served the highest tier of American Express cardholders since 1999. Named after the iconic American Express centurion logo, this card is traditionally made of titanium and issued by invitation to the wealthiest American Express Platinum cardholders.

The American Express Centurion is so exclusive that none of this information is actually published on the company’s website. But rumour has it you have to spend US$250,000 a year on your Platinum Amex card before you’ll be eligible to receive an elusive Black Card invitation. Several years ago it was also reported that Centurion cardholders had average annual household incomes of approximately US$1.3 million and net worths of about US$16 million – figures which have probably increased by now.

Features of the Amex Centurion credit card

If you’re aiming for one of these prestigious credit cards, here’s what you need to know about it:

  • Invitation-only. Despite the mystery shrouding the Black Card, one thing is for sure – you can only get one of these by invitation from American Express. You must be a high income, high net-worth individual and hold an American Express Platinum card with a proven high annual expenditure.
  • Fees. The Establishment Fee varies depending on the country of issue, but in America your one-time initiation fee is currently US$7,500. It is rumoured to be the same in Australia. The annual fee is currently reported to be US$2,500 in America and AUD$5,000 in Australia.
  • Titanium cards. Crafted out of anodised titanium metal, the Black Card is laser-etched with your account information. Amex issues the Centurion with two cards so business and personal expenses can be easily separated. A plastic version of the card is also issued in some countries, for the sake of convenience.
  • No limit charge card. The Black Card is technically a charge card, not a credit card. This means that you are not charged an interest rate on purchases and are required to repay your full balance by the due date on each statement. If you don’t, you could be charged a late fee or have the card suspended. There is no stated credit limit on the Black Card, although American Express will allocate a "spend ceiling" based on past spending and repayment patterns.
  • Dedicated relationship manager. Possibly the most celebrated perk of the card, you'll also have 24/7 personal concierge services for almost anything you want, including getting you a table at the most chic booked-out restaurants, arranging your last-minute travel itinerary, or buying your kid the perfect pet – whatever you need done.
  • Travel benefits. The Amex Centurion gives you access to premium airport lounges and clubs worldwide, complimentary companion airline tickets on select airlines, flight upgrades and travel insurance covers. It also offers chauffeur limousine services for overseas flights and queue-skip privileges throughout the airport.
  • Automatic program upgrades. With the Amex Centurion, you are automatically upgraded and enrolled into the highest-tiers of hotel rewards programs (Shangri-La Diamond, Hilton Honors Diamond), car rentals (Hertz President's Circle, AVIS President's Club) and airline rewards (Emirates Gold, Qantas Club access, Priority Pass membership).
  • Hotel benefits. This card also offers hotel upgrades and free additional nights at participating hotel chains globally. Most enviously, it also offers 12pm check-in and 4pm check-out.
  • Shopping benefits. The Amex Centurion entitles you to your own personal shopper, exclusive luxury brand sales, advance tickets to exclusive events, and VIP access to practically anything money can buy.

Prestigious credit cards in Australia

Rates last updated April 22nd, 2019
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Citi Prestige Card
400,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program
3
20.99% p.a.
$700 p.a.
Earn 20,000 monthly bonus points for 20 months (400,000 total). Plus, unlimited airport lounge access and free hotel stays.
American Express Platinum Card
80,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
2.25
N/A
$1,450 p.a.
Annual $450 Platinum Travel Credit, 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points and access to more than 1,200 VIP lounges worldwide.
Westpac Altitude Black
80,000 bonus points
Westpac Altitude Rewards
1.25
20.24% p.a.
$250 p.a.
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, 2 yearly Priority Pass lounge invitations.
Westpac Altitude Black - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.24% p.a.
$300 p.a.
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, 2 yearly Qantas Club lounge invitations.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle
120,000 bonus points
Westpac Altitude Rewards
3
1.25
20.24% p.a.
$449 p.a.
Up to 120,000 bonus Altitude Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle - Qantas
120,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
0.75
20.24% p.a.
$499 p.a.
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.

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The top 5 most prestigious credit cards in the world

businessCCtieFrom gold plating to pure gold, rare metals to solitaire diamonds, there is a select group of credit cards that offer both luxury and extravagance. Based on exclusivity, perks and status, these prestige credit cards are top of our list:

  1. American Express Centurion. This Amex card is widely-acknowledged as the first, and most prestigious, invitation-only black card in the world.
  2. JPMorgan Chase Palladium. Made of metal, palladium and 24K gold, this card is also issued by invitation alone to JPMorgan’s private banking wealth management and investment banking clients with investments of at least US$30million.
  3. Dubai First Royale Mastercard. Trimmed with gold and embedded with a .235-carat solitaire diamond, this card is only offered to royalty and ultra-millionaires in the UAE.
  4. Coutts World Silk Card. This tastefully unembellished card is only available to UK private bank Coutts clients only.
  5. Sberbank Visa Infinite Gold Card. This card is made of gold and is adorned with .17 carats worth of diamonds – and that’s before you get to any of the privileges and perks that come with it. With a reported upfront cost of US$100,000 (approximately AUD$132,600), Kazakhstan’s Sberbank has only issued it to 100 of its top clients.

Prestige credit cards in Australia

While credit cards are often used for everyday spending, they can also be a visible symbol of status and distinction. Remember, though, that is prestige will come at a cost – usually in the form of high annual fees.

Compare other prestigious credit cards

Rates last updated April 22nd, 2019
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes, global wifi access and a concierge service.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Bonus Points Offer
100,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program
1
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Citi reward Points when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, save with a $49 first year annual fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Annual Fee Offer
20,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$50 p.a.
Earn 20,000 bonus Velocity Points and save with an ongoing $50 p.a. annual fee. Plus, receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
100,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
19.74% p.a.
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 90 days and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Citi Rewards Program
1
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 20.99% p.a.)
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Qantas
60,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of card approval. Plus, a $50 first year annual fee.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
90,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 60 days of account opening. Plus, a $295 annual fee in the first year.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a long-term balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Online Offer
60,000 bonus points
Suncorp Bank Rewards Program
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% balance transfer offer and get up to 60,000 bonus points. Plus, a $49 first year annual fee when you apply online.

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Rates last updated April 22nd, 2019
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
19.74% p.a.
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 90 days and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
100,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Westpac Altitude Black - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.24% p.a.
$300 p.a.
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, 2 yearly Qantas Club lounge invitations.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
100,000 bonus points
ANZ Rewards Program
2
18.79% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive 100,000 bonus Reward Points and $100 back onto your card when you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months, plus, lounge passes.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle - Qantas
120,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
0.75
20.24% p.a.
$499 p.a.
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
Westpac Altitude Black
80,000 bonus points
Westpac Altitude Rewards
1.25
20.24% p.a.
$250 p.a.
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, 2 yearly Priority Pass lounge invitations.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle
120,000 bonus points
Westpac Altitude Rewards
3
1.25
20.24% p.a.
$449 p.a.
Up to 120,000 bonus Altitude Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
Citi Prestige Card
400,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program
3
20.99% p.a.
$700 p.a.
Earn 20,000 monthly bonus points for 20 months (400,000 total). Plus, unlimited airport lounge access and free hotel stays.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    EranOctober 21, 2015

    Hi! I have a black card with Westpac.

    I was wondering if they also do a metal/steel version of the card ?

    Their plastic black are very bad quality

    • finder Customer Care
      AllyOctober 22, 2015Staff

      Hi Eran,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      For a list of Black credit cards, kindly refer to this page.

      Cheers,
      Ally

  2. Default Gravatar
    TomMarch 19, 2015

    Is it possible to get the visa black, or any other metal credit card in Australia besides the centurion?

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanMarch 20, 2015Staff

      Hi Tom, thanks for your inquiry!

      For a list of Black credit cards please see this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

    • Default Gravatar
      March 20, 2015

      Thanks Jonathan,

      I have the Citi bank – visa infinite card but was wondering if there are any metal credit cards, besides the centurion available in Australia.

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanMarch 20, 2015Staff

      Hi Tom, thanks for your response.

      Please see this page for other metal credit cards.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

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