Obtaining a credit card couldn’t be more straightforward: you fill out a few details on an application form and wait for the card issuer to approve it. No big deal, right? Even your cat could do it.
Well, that’s not the case if you’re looking to acquire a specific ultra-exclusive credit card people typically associate with high-class business moguls, celebrities, and those rich enough to purchase a yacht on a whim.
This card instantly conjures images of glamour and prestige. It’s considered a premier symbol of illustrious status and immense wealth. The perks it offers will make you feel like royalty. And it’s so elusive and exclusive there’s no official application form. You actually have to receive an invitation from the card issuer to have the privilege of owning one!
So, what is this mysterious credit card, and what does it take to get a hold of one?
The most difficult credit card to get approved for in Canada: The AMEX Black Card
The American Express Centurion® Card, informally known as the AMEX Black Card, is the most exclusive and prestigious credit card available. Aimed squarely at those with enormous bank accounts who live extravagant lifestyles, it offers a broad array of benefits that go above and beyond your typical credit card.
First introduced by American Express in 1999, the posh card is sure to make an indelible impression when plunked down at a table. Given its rarity and exclusivity, it speaks volumes about the wealth and status of anyone who holds one. The card is even referenced in popular culture, appearing as a prop in film and television shows and mentioned in songs by artists like Kanye West.
How to qualify for the AMEX Black Card
While the terms and conditions of the AMEX Black Card are freely available online, there’s no official application form. Card membership is by invitation only at the discretion of American Express.
Details about the eligibility criteria are scant, but over the years, reliable sources have assembled a list of attributes that may qualify you for the luxurious card. You must
- Have an existing AMEX Platinum Credit Card account;
- Spend a certain amount every year on your current AMEX credit card — rumoured to be anywhere from US$250,000 to US$500,000;
- Have a sizable net worth (think in terms of millions of dollars);
- Possess an impeccable credit score — but you probably already knew that!
However, these eligibility requirements are more speculation than fact — the real ones are shrouded in secrecy. American Express has never disclosed the actual “secret” for obtaining the Black Card.
How much does the AMEX Black Card cost?
The Amex Black Card is a pricey piece of plastic. There is a one-time initiation fee that will set you back $10,000. After that, your annual fee obligation is $2,500. The card charges an interest rate that’s equal to the prime rate + 12.74%, which is in line with other AMEX credit cards.
Features and benefits
The Amex Black Card is no slouch when it comes to exceptional features and lavish perks. Here are SOME of them:
- No spending limit. Since it’s a charge card, you have the freedom to splurge. Just be sure to pay off the balance by the due date of each statement — the interest can really add up!
- Hotel upgrades. Instantly attain Elite status at hotel brands such as Fairmont, Hilton, Marriott, and Relais & Châteaux.
- Vehicle rental upgrades. Rent limousines and exotic luxury vehicles, such as Bentley and Lamborghini.
- Around-the-clock concierge service. Have your very own 24/7 concierge to help you book reservations, arrange travel plans, make last-minute gift purchases, etc.
- Airport lounge access. Gain complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass airport lounges and Delta Sky Clubs.
- High-end shopping perks. Receive $1,000 in credits per year at Saks Fifth Avenue and exclusive offers from luxury retailers as part of the Centurion Shopping Program.
- Equinox membership. Gain instant membership in this high-class gym chain with locations in Canada, the U.S., and U.K.
- Flight upgrades. Receive a yearly airline fee credit worth $200, free Wi-Fi while flying, first-class flight upgrades, free companion airline tickets, priority status during check-in and boarding, membership in AMEX’s International Air Program, etc.
Oh, and did we mention that your AMEX Black Card is fashioned in anodized titanium? This material makes the card as tough as steel but still remarkably light — just don’t rely on it to double as a bulletproof vest!
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
American Express is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Fool contributor Mark Gregorski has no position in the companies mentioned.