You want your American Express card to turn black:
In 1999 American Express announced the introduction of its Centurion™ card. Available only by invitation to selected Platinum card members, this black credit card promises to simplify the lives of the harried rich. In exchange for its hefty annual fee (initially $1,000 US, but now $2,500), cardholders receive automatic upgrades on fifteen of the world’s leading airlines. They also receive assistance in securing hard-to-come-by tickets for popular events, reservations at trendy restaurants, and shopping for Christmas gifts. Someone from the service will even call to remind cardholders of upcoming anniversaries. It is akin to having a personal concierge always on call.
“There had been rumors going around that we had this ultra-exclusive black card for elite customers,” says Doug Smith, director of American Express Europe. “It wasn’t true, but we decided to capitalize on the idea anyway.”
Daily Finance notes that the Black Card is not a credit card, but a charge card, like the original Amex, and must be paid off in full every month:
That may be one of the secrets to the success of the world’s wealthiest: They pay off their plastic in full every month. In other words, they live within their means, which is a great approach to managing your finances, whether “your means” enable you to buy a Bentley, or just pay the $10 admission fee to see one at a car show.
I mention this because of a throwaway line in Motor Trend’s New Car Guide (9/12):
Cool Fact: 6 percent of AMEX Black Card holders own a Hyundai.
And not this one, either.