In the spirit of the Olympic Games, I thought it’d be cool to show you guys what the _3 most prestigious credit cards in the world _look like. If Usain Bolt inspires you to go on a run, then maybe these cards will inspire you to build strong credit. Well technically you also need a ton of money, but one can dream.
Anyway, on to the medal ceremony
Bronze - American Express Centurion
The infamous “Black Card” is probably the most well-known high-end card. It actually started as a rumor in the ‘80s, but AMEX capitalized on the buzz and made it a reality in 1999.
It’s black and made of titanium. To get invited, you have to spend at least $250,000 annually on one of American Express’s cards. There’s an initiation fee of $5,000 and an annual fee of $2,500. I guess if you’re spending over $250K a year a few thousand dollars don’t really matter. Estimates show that there may be over 100,000 Centurion card holders.
Features are pretty similar to that of the American Express Platinum. You get all of the Platinum features (think personal concierge service, upgrades on travel, airport lounges) but much better upgrades on the car rentals, flights, and hotels. You get a little more insurance on coverage and the occasional gift (like concert tickets or gift card). Is it worth the $5K initiation fee and $2.5K annual fee? Probably not, considering the AMEX Platinum’s annual fee is only $450 in comparison.
Consensus among longtime Centurion card holders is that AMEX has slowly been downgrading and eliminating the perks. You’re paying for the “ooh”s and “ahh”s you get when you flash the recognizable Black.