Last autumn, I wrote extensively about why I was considering an American Express Centurion (Black) card. While I ultimately opted against the card, it’s now easier than ever to request one.
I chose not to get the card for three reasons. First, the initiation fee rose 25% and the annual fee doubled to $5,000/year, further eroding the card’s value proposition. Second, American Express let me down in a big way with a recent chargeback (perhaps I’ll share the details at some point…). Finally, after talking to many Centurion cardholders I determined that the customer service offered to Black cardholders is not all that much better than what high-spending Platinum card members receive.
So I passed. And I’m glad I did, because this card is just foolish to put spending on with so many better options. Sure, the access to higher rebates on Membership Rewards redemptions and access to Lufthansa First Class lounges would have been great, but with the current state of affairs and my choice to wait it out in the USA instead of Germany, it’s not like I’d be using that benefit very much. I also would have used the Equinox membership and Saks credit, but those were luxuries I did not need.
Interestingly, One Mile at a Time noticed that the American Express Centurion website now has a link for you to request consideration. The simple website only has a login portal and a link at the bottom stating: Interested in Centurion® Membership? Click Here.
You’ll come to a page in which you can apply based upon a current American Express card.
Centurion Membership is by invitation only.
If you are interested in being considered for invitation to Centurion Membership, please provide the information below:
Note: Submission of your information is not an application for credit and does not obligate American Express to invite you to apply for the Centurion Card.
Once you apply, you’ll receive the following message:
Thank you for your interest in Centurion.
If you are selected to apply for Membership, you will receive an invitation via your mailing address on file.
If you do not qualify, you will not get a rejection note…you just won’t hear anything at all.
Is Centurion Membership Worthwhile?
Is this card worthwhile? The benefits include:
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status
- Hilton Honors Diamond status
- IHG Rewards Club Platinum status
- CLEAR membership (for the cardmember + family members)
- $1,000 Saks credit per calendar year
- Equinox Destination Access membership
- Centurion Lounge access with fewer restrictions than Platinum members
- Lufthansa First Class Lounge access in Frankfurt (Terminal B) and Munich (Terminal Z)
If you use every one of those benefits and rack up a lot of Membership Rewards points on your American Express Gold and Platinum cards, this may be a good card. Otherwise, I can think of far better uses for that exorbitant initiation fee and hefty annual fee.
Don’t expect an approval if you spend under $250,000 on your personal card each year or $500,000 on your business card. Even that is hardly a guarantee. But you now have a straightforward way to request consideration.