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Obesity in America has become so bad that even our credit cards are overweight. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been feeling my wallet become increasingly heavy — and while that could have been because of the addition of new cards, there’s also been a new trend for credit card issuers to make their cards heavier. Not to say I don’t see the appeal in a nice, luxurious-feeling credit card, but who really wants a heavy wallet?!
I recently got the American Express Centurion Card, aka the Black Card, and I was pretty shocked by the feel of the card. So I wanted to see how the card that costs $10,000 ($7,500 for the initiation fee and a $2,500 annual fee) stacks up to some of its competitors. No, not in terms of its benefits and perks (although those are nice, as I recently outlined in a Travel + Leisure post), but in how much the card weighs.
So we put the Amex Centurion to the test with three other premium cards — the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Prestige — to see which one is the fattest on the market.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred weighed in at .5 of an ounce — not all too heavy. But the metal-made card still feels heavier than your average piece of plastic.
The Citi Prestige is by far the lightest of the four we tested out, and I applaud Citi for that because who wants a heavier wallet. For a premium card like this, it’s easy for issuers to get carried away with materials. Fortunately, it weighed in at just .2 of an ounce.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card is by far the heaviest card of the four and if you’ve ever held one, that should come as no surprise. The card itself sets off TSA metal detectors! When I put the card on the scale, the metal was audible from across the TPG office, weighing in at a full 1 ounce.
And finally, the Centurion Card. Even though the card gives me automatic Gold status with SPG and could arguably be the “heaviest” in terms of its benefits, it was nowhere near the most substantial of the bunch, weighing in at .5 of an ounce — the same as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
So, the winner of this competition — if you want to call it that — is the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card, although I’d argue the Citi Prestige is better off. Because at the end of the day, there’s only so much I can carry before I’m, quite literally, weighed down. I’m not opposed to the .5-ounce cards; they’re a happy medium between the super heavy and the super light. In all, I think the Centurion Card (and the Sapphire Preferred) come out winners here. Although the zero sign-up bonus on Centurion is nothing to get excited about, at least the physical card itself is.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards