Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » What is a Black Credit Card?
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What is a Black Credit Card?

catch-all to describe the most prestigious cards, a black credit card is solely available to the ultra-wealthy and usually invitation only.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

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What Is The Black Credit Card?

If you’ve ever been to a fancy event or exclusive restaurant, you may have seen someone paying with a black credit card. While a gold or platinum color card may seem like the premium category for many of us, a black credit card is a step above these options.

Black credit cards are a type of option that is extremely exclusive. The term “black credit card” is a catch-all to describe the most prestigious credit cards. These cards are almost solely available to the ultra-wealthy, and most cards are usually invitation only.

The entry point for these cards is incredibly high, and you can expect a massive annual fee. Some cards require that you spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, even to be considered.

Black credit cards are typically only available to big-spending, high-earning customers, but they can offer impressive perks.

How Much is a Black Credit Card?

When people talk about a black credit card, they are typically referring to the American Express Centurion card. This is considered the only real black credit card, but this exclusivity comes at a price. While the Centurion card does offer some amazing benefits, there is a $10,000 initiation fee and you’ll need to pay a $5,000 annual fee.

There are some other premium credit cards that could be considered black credit cards, but you can still expect an initiation fee costing thousands of dollars together with an annual fee of $2,500 or more.

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What Credit Score Do You Need for a Black Card?

Unlike most other credit cards, American Express and other credit card companies don’t tend to publish the requirements for black cards. Typically invitations are extended to high earners and those who have spent $350,000 or more across their cards in one calendar year.  So, there is no particular credit score minimum to aim for.

Rough estimates suggest that you will need to have a score above 800, but if you have a score in the high 600s or 700s, you may still receive an invitation if your overall spending and wealth attract Amex's attention.

If you think your bank account and spending across your American Express cards could make you eligible for a Black card, you can visit the Amex Centurion website and click the “Interested in Centurion Membership” link.

This is at the bottom of the page and will prompt you to fill in your name, the last four digits of your current card, and the security code from the back of your card. This will not guarantee an invitation to apply for a black card, but it will express your interest in consideration.

Amex platinum card as an alternative to the Centurion card
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the primary alternative to the Centurion card (Photo by photobyphotoboy/Shutterstock)

What Is The Credit Limit On A Black Card?

One of the reasons why the American Express Black card is so prestigious is that it has no preset spending limit. This means that you never need to worry about purchasing a large item that would take you over your limit.

However, the black card is a charge card, so your charges need to be paid in full every month.

Black Credit Card Pros and Cons

As with any credit card or financial product, there are positives and potential negatives associated with the Amex Black credit card.

If you do receive an invitation, it is important that you are aware of both of these before you make a decision to proceed.

Pros
Cons
It’s Exclusive
Invite Only
Personalized Customer Service
Large Initiation Fee
Tremendous Perks
High Annual Fee
Versatile Membership Rewards
Lounge Access

There is no doubt about it, but being an Amex Centurion cardholder means you’re part of a very exclusive group. 

If you like the thought of the cache involved in presenting your card for payment when you’re vacationing or dining out with friends or business contacts, you’ll enjoy this card.

One of the perks of this card is that you can enjoy personalized customer service.  Amex And Chase offer the best concierge services.

Your concierge team is available to assist you with fantastic levels of service, from getting a table at an exclusive venue or tracking down a sold out Christmas gift to coordinating an evacuation during a natural disaster when you’re on vacation.

As you would expect this card is packed with perks. From Equinox All Access gym membership to Saks Fifth Avenue Credit, you can enjoy this card at home. 

However, there are also some superb travel benefits including Delta Platinum status, Hertz Platinum status and Hilton Diamond status.

You can earn reward points on all your purchases with the potential to earn up to one million points per year.

As you would expect with a premium, luxury credit card, the Amex black offers lounge access, so you can work or relax in a comfortable place when you travel.

While you can express your interest, there are no guarantees that you’ll receive an invite to apply.

You’ll need to pay an initiation fee, which is currently $10,000. Even black card alternatives to the Amex Centurion require several thousand dollars as an initiation fee.

You’ll also need to cover a high annual fee, with an additional fee required if you want to add authorized users to your account.

How To Get A Black Credit Card

Card issuers tend to be very discreet about how to receive an invitation to an exclusive black credit card. Unfortunately, the only way to get a card is to receive an invite; you can’t simply fill in an online application and pre-qualify.

However, if you want to improve your chances of getting an invite, there are a few things that you can do. First, qualify for the Platinum Card From American Express and become a high spender.

You’ll Need To Spend At Least $350K 

You’ll need to spend an average of $350,000 to $500,000 or more each year to attract the attention of the invitations team. You may also need to work on your credit to ensure that it is above 800, if your banking and spending are not quite at the highest levels.

If you’re interested in the J.P Morgan card, you’ll need to become a private banking client and use the company for managing all your assets, but unless this runs to several million, you are unlikely to receive an invitation.

How Many Black Credit Cards Are There?

As we touched on earlier, the Amex Centurion is considered THE black credit card, but there are a couple of other black credit cards on the market.

  • The Mastercard Black Card: This luxury account features a black-coated metal card. However, it is not as exclusive to apply as the Amex Centurion. The card has a $495 annual fee, with $195 for each additional authorized user.
  • JP Morgan Reserve: This was formerly the Chase Palladium, and you need to be a J.P Morgan private banking client to qualify. The card has a $595 annual fee but is strictly by invitation only. As with the American Express card, the requirements are not widely published, but the rumor is that you need to have at least $10 million in assets managed by J.P. Morgan to be considered.
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Black Credit Card Alternatives

If it is unlikely that you will qualify for a black credit card, don’t despair, as there are some fantastic alternatives on the market.

As the name suggests, these cards offer various luxury benefits which are not necessarily tied to a particular airline or brand. For example, you may get high reward earning potential, lounge access, and more insurance protections.

The best luxury credit cards also enjoy dining experiences, shopping credits, and elite hotel status. These cards have a high annual fee, but they are typically lower than you would be charged with a black card.

If you want a black credit card for travel perks, you may be satisfied with a premium travel credit card.

These cards tend to have a fairly high annual fee. Still, it is easily offset with the perks, which typically include travel insurance, lounge access, and other travel benefits such as priority boarding.

Some of the most famous cards include:

You will typically need good to excellent credit, but they are far easier to qualify for than black credit cards. So, this could provide a viable alternative since you can still enjoy a premium travel experience.

Review Travel Credit Cards

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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