The Centurion: American Express's most exclusive card. Allegedly once used to purchase — on credit, with a credit card — a $54,000,000 plane for a wealthy individual. A card that is by invitation only; made of titanium; "limitless" (based on your spending history); a card that elevates you to first class for free; a card that will put you on the highest level of reward point systems with hundreds of hotels and airlines. A card with a $5,000 set-up fee, and a $2,500 annual fee.

A card that requires you spend over $250,000 in a single year on your AMEX before you're considered for an invite.

I have read a few articles that make this "by invite only" reputation seem not so exclusive, in that you can call and request to be invited if you meet the requirements.

My question is this: should I come up with an American Express Centurion card, it can be assumed that I am spending a significant amount of money. At a minimum, nearly $21,000 per month. If my spending suddenly drops below this level — dramatically — but I continue to pay the annual fee ($2,500), will I keep the Centurion card?

  • 3
    Spending close to 250K on a card!! Means one must be earning in the region of what 1 million?. If so then where are your accountants and Bankers, what are you doing here rather than going on a vacation on your private yatch to private island :)
    – Dheer
    Dec 7, 2011 at 9:19
  • @Dheer - These could all be business expenses and so while the OP may be spending 250k+ a year there is no reason to infer that means the person is actually making(net income) that much. If this is the case I think the OP may be overly optimistic about his chances of actually getting a Centurion. But like him I would want to know if I am going to lose the card before i commit to spending 2500 a year to get it.
    – user4127
    Dec 7, 2011 at 20:23
  • @Chad: If its business expenses, would'nt the company figure it out and also pay for any fees.
    – Dheer
    Dec 8, 2011 at 4:14
  • @Dheer - I dont know the OP's situation. It is possible that the OP is providing services where he purchases equipment and services and is reimbursed for these expenses. Unless they are requiring it be done through AE I doubt that the company would be willing to pick up the fees as well. Really if you consider most workstations for business run at least 2000 it does not take long to run up 20k a month even if you are just purchasing and installing computers in satellite offices. Again just 1 scenerio where someone could qualify for the card but not be making $1M+
    – user4127
    Dec 8, 2011 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


The card-holder agreement does not explicitly specify a minimum spending requirement. It does though, have the following catch-all clause for closing the account:

We may: • cancel your Account, • suspend the ability to make charges, • cancel or suspend any feature on your Account, and • notify merchants that your Account has been cancelled or suspended. If we do any of these, you must still pay us for all charges under the terms of this Agreement.

We may do any of these things at our discretion, even if you pay on time and your Account is not in default. If your Account is cancelled, you must destroy your cards. We may agree to reinstate your Account after a cancellation. If we do this, we may: • reinstate any additional cards issued on your Account, • charge you any applicable annual fees, and • charge you a fee for reinstating the Account.

One would suspect that American Express would happily collect the fee from anyone who holds the card, but is not using it (in any way). Someone, though, that isn't spending the expected amount of money, but is availing themselves of the 24 hour concierge service, etc., would probably find their privileges revoked and/or their card canceled.

  • 2
    The note about having to destroy the cards is interesting in relation to these supposedly titanium cards. It's not exactly having to get to Mount Doom but a pair is scissors just isn't going to do the job.
    – Eric Nolan
    Jan 24, 2019 at 16:34

Generally speaking, you'll be able to keep it. Your spending ability may be reduced though.

The published eligibility criteria aren't necessarily carved in stone anyway. Some road-warrior types with platinum cards who don't necessarily spend $250k a year will get the card offered to them.

  • You are paying what, $7500 in fees? Yes you get to keep it. Not sure about the grandfathering of 4 supplementary cards though (it;'s only 2 now).
    – mckenzm
    May 31, 2019 at 0:07

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