Inside scoop: The Amex Black Card

Sitting with one of our clients over a craft cocktail at La Lupita, we were curious to learn of their experience obtaining the status symbol a/k/a the Amex Black Card (officially named the American Express Centurion Card). As you likely know, the Amex Black Card is invitation only – you can’t simply apply for it.

Here’s a quick summary of the knowledge we learned that evening:

  • American Express does not have a set “target spend amount” as to what would constitute an invitation.
  • One factor in their evaluation is where you’re spending on your current Amex cards. Luxury goods, fine dining, first-class airfare – those are the categories that matter to them. Business related expenditures don’t count for much.
  • The second factor is where you live; the median salaries and cost of living of your address will influence the general range of required spend.
  • The third factor is your spend history; Amex will likely want to see multiple years of heavy spending to establish a lifestyle trend.
  • As reference, their annual spending ranged between $500,000 to $1 million on their American Express cards for several years before receiving an invite.
  • If invited and approved, the Amex Black carries a massive $10,000 initiation fee and an ongoing 5,000 annual membership fee.

Suffice to say, while the Amex Black will remain one of those mythical creatures to almost all of us it has certainly earned its reputation as a status symbol.

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