Credit Cards

American Express Black Card: Who Qualifies?

Centurion-CardIt’s so rich, it even “clinks” when you drop it on the countertop upon payment. That’s because it’s made of a black, anodized titanium. When it comes to elite clubs, the cardholders of the American Express Black Card, also known as the Centurion Card, are in one of the most exclusive. These charge card holders have unlimited charging capability with perks that usually only the most rich and famous are able to access.

How does one go about getting such a “free pass” to the upper echelons of society? It’s not easy to qualify for the American Express Black card, but then that’s what makes it worth the effort.

You Can’t Just Ask for One

The Centurion Card, named after the American Express logo, is an invitation-only card. You don’t get to apply for it. In other words, they’ll contact you when they’re ready to have you as a member. However, despite this seemingly insurmountable hurdle, there are ways to position your financial life to increase the odds that this invitation will be forthcoming.

Be an American Express Client

You can work your way up to a black card, if you already have a Platinum American Express Card, although sometimes invitations are issued to gold card members who satisfy other criteria. The gold and platinum American Express cards are cards you can apply for, that will give American Express some idea of your creditworthiness, especially with their brand of charge card. Unlike credit cards, charge cards require payment in full at the end of each month.

Spend at Least $250,000 Annually

Credit card and charge card lenders only make money on you if you spend. It’s estimated that you should spend at least $250,000 annually on your platinum card to get noticed for the black card. If you can’t afford that, you probably won’t be able to afford their $7,500 initiation fee and the $2,500 annual fee that comes with the card. It’s rumored that your net worth should be a whopping $16.3 million in assets plus an additional $1.3 million in annual income to qualify for the Centurion Card.

Have a Perfect to Near Perfect Credit Score

If your FICO score is not in the 800’s, you have no chance of getting an invitation. For a card that offers its members unlimited purchasing potential, American Express demands nothing but the most faultless credit history. Even if you don’t have many of the stringent requirements to qualify for an American Express Black Card, there is still one more way to get in line.

Work for a Business that Offers It

Some exclusive companies also give out the American Express Black Card to their executives to use when they travel. In that regard, working for the right company can help make it easier to qualify for a black card. However, if you don’t have that option, you’re stuck trying to impress American Express with your wealth and spending habits, even though none of the actual requirements are ever disclosed: American Express is very secretive about who and who doesn’t qualify for an American Express Centurion Card and most of the information garnered about this exclusive club is about as mythic and changeable as the tales of the people who use them for unbelievably extravagant purchases.

That being said, following these rules of behavior can put you on the path to getting noticed by American Express, so that invitation might just appear in your mailbox after all.

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