The AMEX Black Centurion Card Just Got Twice As Expensive!

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The AMEX Centurion card, colloquially known as the Black card, is the most feature laden card out there.

But it’s a shadow of what it used to be.

The card’s annual fee started off at $1,000 before climbing to $1,500, $2,500, and as of next April, a whopping $5,000 per year. The additional user annual fee will also go up to $5,000 per year.

The initiation fee for new Centurion cardholders will go up from $7,500 to $10,000.

The benefits though have crumbled. The card used to offer top-tier status on Continental, USAirways, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, and Starwood. Those are all gone. The card does still offer Delta Platinum, Hilton Diamond, and Hertz Platinum status.

In addition to the annual fee climbing, the cards will lose their $200 airline fee credits, unlimited free GoGo inflight WiFi passes, and unlimited Boingo WiFi. It will also lose free premium roadside assistance.

In its place cardholders will get:

  • $250 Saks credit every quarter, up to $1,000 per year.
  • Equinox Destination Access membership. These upscale gyms normally cost $300/month.
  • LAX Private Suite Membership, which discounts access from $3,500 to $2,700 for domestic flights and provides some extra benefits.
  • CLEAR Membership for you and up to 3 additional adult family members. Delta Platinums normally pay $109/year for membership and $50 per additional adult.

Unless you’re already paying for Equinox membership, those benefits hardly justify a doubling of the annual fee. It’s a shame they couldn’t provide more elite status benefits to make up for it.

Other benefits, like meet and greet at select airport, and random gifts, should remain. But even those gifts aren’t what they used to be. For example DDFB admin Handoneh Bizamat got this gift of a night in the Encore with his Centurion renewal the same day as he got back from a trip to Vegas. But back in the good old days even regular old Platinum members got 2 free nights in the Encore and 2 free nights in the Wynn.

In the good news department, the Business Centurion card will continue to offer its killer benefit: An unlimited 50% points rebate on all airfare redemptions.

Overall though, most people would be better off with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Sure you won’t get Delta and Hertz Platinum status, but Hilton Gold is nearly as good as Hilton Diamond. And you’ll still get a 35% points rebate, a $200 airline fee credit, 10 annual GoGo passes, Boingo internet, and you’ll save some $4,400/year in annual fees. Plus you’ll still keep Centurion lounge access.

Then again if you have a Centurion card in the first place, you’re probably not worried about the annual fee. At least that’s what AMEX is betting.

HT: Handoneh Bizamat and Zev Nirenberg,via DDFB

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45 Comments On "The AMEX Black Centurion Card Just Got Twice As Expensive!"

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Shucks — I was just about to apply….guess I can buy a used car instead


I have a black card; I am going to cancel when my renewal comes up in July.
Its just not worth 5k a year.


Don’t see a signup link


Don’t singup! He said


There is NO application, you need to be invited.


If you have to ask — it’s not for you 🙂


The Hilton Tel Aviv no longer gives lounge or executive floor access to Hilton Gold members. Need to be Diamond or higher.


Hilton Tell Aviv is overrated and outdated. That diamond room was the nicest room in the hotel the rest was nothing special and is in need of major renovation.


@dan the card is already a few years @ 4,500 which is now just a 500 dollars increase, however an additional user is now @2,500


With DL/VS JV, is there any point in having VS status in addition to DL plat?


That’s the reasoning used by Amex when they removed the VS benefit.
But without VS status you lose Clubhouse access, special membership team to help with redemptions (which are better using VS than DL) etc


Are you sure about the 50% point rebate? I thought it was less than the platinum card!!!


Do military get the annual fee waived??:)

More bang for your buck

I’ve heard they removed the hertz Platinum benefit. Could be wrong tho

ted onig

No; Its still there, and its one of the most valuable perks of the card in my opinion.

BTW, just had a long talk w one of my managers at the black card, and the phone is ringing off the wall w people complaining over the new fee.

Andy Hicks

Yeah definitely still in place. Have had Centurion for 11 years now and of the few worthwhile benefits remaining, Hertz Platinum is a big one. Too bad I’ll probably drop it.


How do you sign up for it?
If I have a few million points in my Amex business platinum card, can the points join with the black card ? Looking to redeem at 50% cash back


I will not pay 10k for the card for the wife and I. That is becoming absurd.


Wife only costs you 10k a year?!?! You got a bargain….


The 500,000 max on the 35% back is the downer on the platinum


mark Cuban was denied a $140,000 bottle of champagne with his black card! this is not a typo!he then called them to activate and they authorized the charge


He wasn’t declined because he couldn’t afford it, it was because he never activated the card.


Chase should strike while the iron is hot and pillage the elite Amex customers with a Sapphire Titanium Card with a $1,500 annual fee, top tier United, British Airways, and Hyatt Globalist status.


and include amazon prime plus top tier Marriott

Jeff B

@Dan, trying to figure out if I should drop one of my black cards. I have both the personal and business centurion, my wife and 8 kids are all AU’s on the personal. With the increase in fees my total annual fees equals a small Kiddush.

The chairman’s club on rentals really does help me save. My family saved approx $1000 on car rentals over 3 years by having the black card. It pays for itself.

I love the prestige the card gives me, when I go into the airport to book Spirit flights to save the fees, they ooh and ahh.

When we wanted to reserve a table for 2 at prime avenue, the restaurant said that are not taking reservations. But using my black card I was able to have a driver bring the food instead to the door of my house. That is service!

To all the haters out there who say that the card is not worth it, they are just jealous. If you had a free newspaper delivered to you each morning when staying at a hotel, you would be singing a different tune.

Best use of the card was having their concierge find me a broker to sell my amex points. He found a nice frum guy, pays me 1.125 for my amex points. This in itself was worth it


this is awesome.






Platinum seems to be the better way to go. I may downgrade my personal. As of 1/1/20, airline fee credit of $200 is eliminated on black, boingo preferred plan is eliminated on black and STILL mileage rebate is 20% as opposed to platinum’s 35%


No rebate on either on personal card!


You need to call and complain. I just spent 15 minutes on the telephone explaining how Equinox (Which has NO Clubs near Philadelphia region) and Delta which has maybe 5% of PHL gates are useless benefits. Plus, I do not need to walk into Saks quarterly. I do not need their Clear membership as GOES works fine, thank you. I do not go to LAX so I dont need their private terminal. AND, their Centurion lounges are a joke. They are overcrowded (MIA and PHL); the people in there do not know how to behave in public. The dress code is shorts, tank top, feet on the nearest chair and rush to food.

AMEX simply does not get it. They think coming up with a list that sounds good…… good. Someone sitting up in corporate thinks they understand the members. They do not!

Importantly, claims all her calls from members have been positive. Pure BS likely.

I am closing all my AMEX accounts. I am sick of them. I have nearly 5,000,000 (yes, 5 million) membership points. If someone wants to discuss obtaining them, reply.


Are you on DDF?


Does anyone have recommendations how to gift the equinox membership to a person that isn’t the card holder?

I called equinox and they require photo id matching the name on the black card.

There has to be a way.


Both the Platinum and the Centurion used to provide much better value. Now they are just nice looking metal cards that don’t justify the annual fee. The only benefit that you cannot buy when needed is entrance to the centurion lounges but anyway there are not too many of them so even if you fly a lot, the chance to benefit from it is low (flying from the few airport and specific terminal where they are located).


lol….someone @ Amex really thinks people are stupid that they will pay 5K-10K for a card that gives less than 1K in benefit…