Black Cards

American Express issued Centurion Card.
It's not for you.

Black Cards are high-profile credit cards issued to "super-affluent high net worth individuals." These cards are generally handed out (by invitation only) to company owners, celebrities, and other people of substantial credit score and net worth. These cards generally carry high-value bonuses for the holders, including travel benefits, purchase protection, unlimited credit, and a 24-hour concierge. These cards have a very high upfront membership cost and an annual payment ranging from 500 United States Dollars to 2500 United States Dollars.

Currently there are three sets of Black Cards issued by banks, each of them of different holdings:

  • Centurion Card - Issued by American Express (AmEx) in two forms. One for personal use and one for business use. These are the stereotypical "Black Cards" and are given, or rather leased to people with on average 16.3 million United States Dollars in assets and an annual income of around 1.3 million United States Dollars. Application Fee: US$2500; Annual Fee: US$5000. That's right, the first year to have this card costs $7500.
  • Palladium Card - These are even rarer than the Centurion type cards. Issued by JP Morgan Chase to ultra-high net worth clients of the investment bank. The general funds required for issuance is 25 million United States Dollars in Chase financial holdings. Only 5000 of these cards have been issued.
  • Black Card - Not the first, but the first to acquire the trademark "Black Card." This is a lower end Black Card from Visa. No application fee; Annual Fee: US$495.
  • Platinum Card, American Express' high level card, the one that Visa Black Card is competing against, it also costs $495 a year.
  • Plum Card, American Express, mid-high level card, offers some points on purchases, costs $295 a year.
  • Gold Card, American Express, lowest end of their high cards, the limits are typically above $20,000, but you have to pay it off at the end of the month. Costs $125 a year, but you can get up to 49 extra cards for employees that require them at no extra charge.