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August 11, 2006

Black is the new black

Agent Bedhead claims Britney Spears has finally lost her mind. Perhaps. All I know is that if I am ever sufficiently wealthy I am already sufficiently immodest as to do whatever it takes to get an AmEx Centurion card. These "black cards" were only an urban legend until American Express decided to oblige a very few of its best customers.

The Centurion Card, popularly known as the Black Card, is American Express's most exclusive charge card. Urban legends of a special, black-colored card offering dignitaries and celebrities unlimited spending power and after-hours access to high-end stores circulated in the 1980s. While the rumors were false, American Express decided to capitalize on them by launching the Centurion Card in October 1999 to selected holders of Platinum Cards, with an annual fee originally at $1,000.

The card is available only by invitation and, as of January 1, 2006, requires minimum annual spending of $250,000 on another American Express card and exceptional credit history among other requirements. Certain requirements have been known to be waived for major celebrities and business figures. As of 2006 the annual cardholder fee was $2,500 and it is estimated that there are fewer than 10,000 cards issued worldwide.

Actually, a Mastercard World Signia would do me fine. If it is good enough for Coutts it is good enough for me. In any event, I expect black is well on its way to being déclassé.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 11, 2006 09:51 AM

Comments

Hey now. ;-)

What I don't understand is why anyone would want such a card?

If you're that rich, wouldn't credit cards be a mere hastle? Perhaps one card for booking hotels and whatnot, but maybe I'm missing the point.

It's a status thing, right?

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 11, 2006 02:11 PM

I suppose the alternatives are obvious: cash, cheques, etc. I expect a Black Card is useful for all the things a regular AmEx would be useful for but with the advantage of having no practical spending limit and all the other features mentioned in the linked material (I like the Snopes article best).

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 11, 2006 02:32 PM

A personal concerge would get on my freaking nerves. ;-)

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 11, 2006 05:05 PM