Unadvertised Perks of the Invite-Only Amex Centurion Card
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There’s no credit card more exclusive than the invite-only Amex Centurion Card, which offers some of the highest spenders out there — Amex won’t confirm a hard number, but we’re talking $250,000-$500,000 a year just to be invited — an unmatched level of personalized service and luxury experiences.
TPG himself has the business version of the Centurion card and was happy to share some of his favorite benefits with us, but the card also offers a number of lesser-known perks. Many of these fall under the category of “surprise and delight,” and while they probably aren’t reason enough to get a card with a $7,500 initiation fee (on top of the ongoing $2,500 annual fee), they sure go a long way toward keeping some of Amex’s top customers happy.
An Elevated Centurion Lounge Experience
One of the only problems with Amex Centurion Lounges is that they can get crowded quickly, as smart travelers seek out a better food and drink experience than what most comparable airport lounges offer. Amex has imposed some access restrictions to try and curb the overcrowding, but Centurion card holders will never have to worry about this. Not only do these new restrictions not apply to them (only to holders of the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express), but Centurion lounges also include a reserved seating section for Centurion card holders so they won’t have to fight the crowds. Enrollment required for select benefits.
The elevated experience doesn’t stop there. If you’ve ever tried to order a glass of Champagne in a Centurion lounge and been a little confused to be served prosecco instead of the Veuve Cliquot staring at you conspicuously from behind the bar, you should know that those bottles are reserved for Centurion card holders. Some lounges offer other premium drink selections as well, including high-end scotch or tequila, though this often varies by location.
Amex has a history of surprising some targeted Platinum card holders with unexpected gifts, but Centurion card holders can look forward to a much better offering. In the past TPG has received a crystal decanter set from Tiffany & Co, but the options he was given this year might have been even better. There was a huge emphasis on lifestyle experiences over material gifts, with some of the best options including the following:
- Bottega Veneta Nero Intrecciato card case ($270 value)
- A private oyster farm tour at the Four Seasons Hualalai
- Sunset sail on a catamaran at the Four Seasons Lana’i
- A private dinner for two at the Four Seasons Maui
- A limited-edition bottle of Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne and two crystal flutes from Baccarat
- A complimentary night at up to two of the four Four Seasons properties in Hawaii
- A $200 charitable donation to the International Rescue Committee, Children’s Health Fund, or Mission Blue
The gift options averaged about ~$250 in value, essentially knocking 10% off the annual fee. Unfortunately the limited-edition Champagne was out of stock by the time TPG made his selection, so he ended up opting for the limited edition Bottega Veneta card case.
Pre-emptive Restaurant Reservations
The concierge service that many premium credit cards now offer is a valuable and underutilized perk, but Amex takes it one step farther for its Centurion card holders. While concierges will do their absolute best to accommodate dining requests from Platinum customers, they also reserve a table for Centurion card holders every day at 1,000 of the world’s top restaurants. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis, and this small act means Centurion card holders will have a better chance at getting some otherwise hard to get reservations.
Wine Buying & Collecting Offers
In addition to private tours and tastings in Napa, Amex runs monthly wine-buying specials only for Centurion card holders. They also have access to an annual tasting experience at Crush Wine & Spirits for two people, complimentary storage for up to one year for all wine purchased through Crush Wine & Spirits and access to a dedicated wine buying specialist. For serious collectors, the Centurion card also offers a complimentary annual appraisal of up to 100 unique wines and preferred rates for storage and logistics at Domaine Wine Storage facilities.
Dedicated Concierge Service
The personal, dedicated concierge that each Centurion card holder receives is one of the most compelling and well-known perks of the card, but the lengths they’ll go to help their clients is hard to imagine. There’s a reason TPG says that his concierge, Ray, is worth over $20,000 a year to him. And TPG also has the perfect story of just how valuable a concierge can be. He was stranded in Bali during the Mount Agung volcano eruption, which of course closed the airport indefinitely and stranded thousands of passengers. Ray was able to work with an Amex employee based in Singapore to string together a series of vans, ferries and planes to get TPG off the island at a time when most other people were out of options.
This of course is in addition to the more “standard” duties Ray performs, such as finding TPG an exceptional tour guide to take his family around the Great Wall of China and Tiananmen Square, and landing him front-row seats for a Celine Dion concert.
Everything about the Centurion card program — the secrecy, exclusivity and incredibly expensive luxury — is designed to keep it limited to the high spender who would actually benefit from it. In addition to the gifts, premium drinks and reserved lounge seating, it’s best to think of this card as a lifestyle concierge service. As such, it shines the most in highly personal and specific circumstances where the team at Amex gets a chance to cater to your specific needs.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points Terms Apply.
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, up to $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber Cash annually (only for use in the U.S.) (Enrollment required for select benefits)
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
- American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
- $695 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees