This is an interesting review of the most Exclusive Card in the world (they say so) known as the Black Card, ie. The Centurion Card from American Express.
First things First, who gets this card? So probably everyone in the credit card world desires to have this card once in their life, but is it really meant for the most of us?
Amex Centurion is an expensive card with not so many benefits reward points wise, still it holds the power to even buy a 2 crore car on a single swipe.
To hold this card you need to have a platinum card from American Express in the first place where you should spend handsomely for 2-3 years for American Express to realise that you are eligible for the centurion card. After becoming eligible you are sent an invitation in a big metal like box where they tell you about the card and the initiation and annual fees.
Post accepting the invitation the card is then processed and made in Singapore and then delivered to your mailing address in about 14- 20 days also in a medium sized metal box. There are two cards in it one which is the main centurion card made out of Titanium and the other is also a Centurion Card but is made out of Plastic. American Express suggests you to use one for your personal expenses and the other for your business expenditure.
Now lets talk about the benefits of this card :
6 Membership Rewards Points on every ₹200 you spend
10X Rewards when shopped through American Express Reward Multiplier
Diamond Tier of Hilton Honors
Gold Tier of Marriot Bonvoy
Diamond Tier of Shangri La Golden Circle (Now Discontinued)
Hertz President Circle Five Star
Radisson Rewards Gold Tier, now known as Premium Status (Middle Tier)
ITC Culinaire Membership
With all of this you also get a complimentary night in any Oberoi Hotel (each year which can be availed in your birthday month) & a complimentary suite night at most Taj Properties (this can be availed each year once).
Fine Hotels and Resorts which is also available in Platinum Card is a little different with Centurion Card, as along with the basic benefits of FHR you also receive an additional US$100 or US$200 food & beverage or spa credit with a minimum two night stay plus A room upgrade at the time of reservation.
Relationship Manager, this is the most important and useful part of this card where you can always rely upon your RM for all kinds of travel/concierge needs. Having a dedicated RM is probably the sole benefit for me having this card since my RM is only a single call away for all my queries/bookings and even table reservations.
Worth noting benefits are:
₹50,000 worth of Taj Vouchers twice in a calendar year, when you make an eligible booking of domestic travel or stay worth ₹100,000
Complimentary Overseas Medical Insurance of $250,000 for the first seven days of your trip.
Complimentary cover of ₹1 million against cyber threats.
Coverage of your tangible goods against loss or damage within 90 day of purchase.
Preferential airfares on some of the world’s finest airlines when booking with American Express Travel & Lifestyle Concierge or via Relationship Manager.
To sum it up, American Express Centurion Card is an invite only Charge Card with a hefty initiation fees of ₹7,00,000 plus an annual fees of ₹2,75,000 excluding GST, which turns out to be ₹11,50,500 inclusive GST for the first year. It’s certainly not a cheap affair and no you will not get any points or vouchers on Yearly Renewal Charges. This certainly isn’t a card where you look to accumulate tons of points or get the benefits out easily.
Centurion is a card which gives you ease of mind when travelling or booking tables at Fine Dining Restaurants. There is no pre spending limit on it. The transfer ratio in India to travel partners is a little weak 2:1 on leading airlines and 1:1 on Marriot Bonvoy, the same as Platinum. For the most Platinum still makes sense as you do get a huge value out of it, but if you are someone who travels a lot and spends a bomb monthly, the Centurion does makes sense, as I said before having a dedicated Relationship Manager is alone the biggest benefit of this card.
I got hold of the Centurion post Covid-19 (2021) and I was told that there are only Triple Digit Members currently in India. I feel now the number has certainly increased and Amex has relaxed their policies so it is a little easier than before to get hold of this card, but I still believe Centurion shares a lot of benefits with the Platinum hence I strongly believe for most Platinum makes sense.
Why did I go for the Centurion? The main reason of-course was getting a one point contact (RM) for all my travel and concierge needs. The flexibility and freedom of spending without having to check my Credit Limit. FHR is certainly a useful tool for me and most of the times I have been upgraded from base to at-least one bedroom suites in some of the finest hotels in the world. I also did an all points booking via Hilton Honors at Waldorf Astoria Dubai DIFC for 5 nights and due to my Hilton Honors Diamond status was upgraded to a one bedroom suite with a view of the Burj Khalifa. So I definitely feel that this card is undoubtedly the best card in the world, in one word “CONVENIENCE”.
What about those private event invitation, i mean we have heard that card holder gets invite for various private and luxury events.
Is it true as its not mentioned in the review?
If yes then can share experience?
Could you give an idea about how much spend is needed on your Platinum card before you get the Centurion invite?
Can you share some insights on what triggers a Centurion invite and the card they send for business spends?
Can we one get the card on their business name (Pat Ltd/ Ltd company ) ?