A look at the high-end gifts sent to Amex Centurion cardholders

Feb 21, 2020

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American Express has a delightful habit out of surprising and delighting some of its highest-value customers, specifically those who hold one of its ultra-premium credit cards.

For instance, we’ve heard stories of The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders receiving gifts from the likes of Blade, Tiffany & Co. and an Amazon Echo.

Related: 10 things to do when you get the Amex Platinum

Not all cardholders receive these surprise-and-delight gifts and it’s hard to say exactly what criteria Amex uses when sending them out, but it’s cool when it happens. However, there’s one category of customers Amex wants to keep even happier than Platinum cardholders — Amex Centurion and Business Centurion cardholders.

These invite-only cards require a hefty amount of spending up front before Amex will even consider you (we’re talking well in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year), in addition to a $7,500 initiation fee and $2,500 annual fee. (These fees are going up as new benefits are added on April 1.) In exchange for those fees and that massive amount of spending, you get some pretty substantial perks. They include a dedicated personal concierge, Delta Platinum Medallion Status, Hilton Diamond status, 50% of your redeemed Membership Rewards back as a statement credit when you us points for flights booked via Amex, waived American Airlines change fees, and assorted special-access opportunities and gifts thoughout the year. (TPG values Platinum Medallion status at $3,865, so that perk alone is pretty great!)

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Around the holidays, Amex has a history of spoiling its Centurion members with even more treats.

This year, for his Centurion card holiday surprise-and-delight gift, Brian Kelly, TPG himself, selected a bottle of Vintage 2008 Dom Pérignon and a Tiffany & Co crystal ice bucket from the list of Centurion options, which together, come to a retail value of $675.

(Photo by Elizabeth Hund/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

Here were this past year’s full list of choices:

  • A Sofia Cashmere travel set which includes a bag, cashmere blanket, eye mask and a pair of socks ($395 value)
  • A hand-blown crystal water carafe from Blue Hill at Stone Barns ($285 value)
  • A $200 donation to The Nature Conservancy
  • One-time sponsorship toward Team Rubicon, a disaster-response organization
  • One-time sponsorship to Communities in Schools, a national organization that supports and empowers students to stay in school

In 2018, the Centurion card gift options included experiences provided in partnership with Four Seasons Hawaii. These were the highlights:

  • 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

In the past, Brian has gotten surprise holiday Business Centurion gifts such as a crystal decanter and glassware set from Tiffany & Co.

Pretty recently, Amex refreshed the look of the Centurion card and sent cardholders the new card in a Tom Ford wallet, which retails at $340.

Centurion Card
(Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

The Centurion gifts often have at least $200 in value and are but one of the many components that can make an Amex Centurion card a good overall value for some high-end cardholders.

Related: Best Amex credit cards of 2020

Centurion and Platinum Amex cardholders can enjoy the Amex Centurion Lounge (Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

The Amex Centurion and Business Centurion cards are in a league of their own. With the hefty spending and fees required to unlock an invite and maintain your account, these luxe gifts are an easy way to keep these elite customers happy, in addition to the travel and lifestyle perks the cards offer.

For the rest of us, the Amex Platinum with its built-in annual airline-fee credits, Uber credits, Saks Fifth Avenue credits, lounge access and more will just have to do.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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