3 Steps to Getting Your Hands on an Amex Black Card

When you want to open a new credit card, you can usually just go to the card issuer’s website and apply. That’s not the case for the Centurion Card, though.

The Centurion Card, better known as the Black Card, is offered by American Express. It comes with a $10,000 initial fee, a $5,000 annual fee, and a long list of enviable cardholder perks that include exclusive travel opportunities, concierge services, invitation-only events, and more.

This card is available by invitation only, though, and it is perhaps the most exclusive card in existence. So, if you want one in your wallet, what exactly would you have to do to get it? Here are the details.

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1. Sign up for an Amex card

The Centurion Card is open only to people with an existing American Express card. So, if you’re hoping to become a Black Card owner, you’ll need to sign up for another Amex card first to have a chance at getting an invite.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great American Express cards to choose from. Many of them come with some impressive benefits in their own right, even if they fall short of the special cardholder perks and services the Centurion Card provides.

The Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, charges a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). That’s a lot, but the card comes with access to a whole selection of airport lounges, a $200 airline fee credit on a qualifying airline, and statement credits for spending on UberEats, Walmart+, and Saks — among other benefits. Terms apply; enrollment may be required.

Other, cheaper options include the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, which comes with no annual fee at all (see rates and fees), and the Amex Gold Card, which offers bonus rewards at restaurants and supermarkets, making it ideal for foodies. Terms apply.

2. Charge a lot of money on your card each year

Once you have your American Express card, it’s time to start using it. And you’ll need to use it a lot if getting a Black Card is your goal. That’s because the Centurion Card is for big spenders only.

American Express does not provide details on exactly how much you must spend to get an invitation for the Centurion Card. However, by all accounts it’s a lot of money. There are numerous online reports suggesting you need to spend a minimum of $250,000 — perhaps even $500,000 or more — across your Amex cards in order to be considered.

3. Request an invitation

Centurion provides a form online that you can complete in order to request that Amex consider you for an invite for the Black Card. Submitting the form doesn’t guarantee that you will be invited, though. It’s at Amex’s discretion.

To be considered, you’ll need to provide details about your current American Express card. Unfortunately, even if Amex looks at your card history and sees you’ve spent more than enough to qualify for the Centurion Card, this doesn’t guarantee you an invite. American Express is selective about who carries a Black Card, and simply meeting minimum spending thresholds isn’t going to guarantee you access.

Still, requesting an invitation gives you a chance to ask Amex to consider you — and if you have the criteria the issuer is looking for, then it may decide to respond favorably to your request.

If you do get to sign up, be prepared to open your bank account to pay the initiation and annual fee, and additional fees for authorized users if you want to add them. While the costs of the card are high, chances are if you meet the requirements to qualify for the card, you can afford them.

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