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      07-12-2011, 03:22 PM   #45
BimmerJim
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Interesting that Audi didn't the cut. Just confirms that they are BMW wannabes.
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      07-12-2011, 03:28 PM   #46
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My chick is a manager of a fashion retail store in Greenwich, CT. In her experience, the people with the black Amex cards are by far the cheapest customers.
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      07-12-2011, 03:30 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge2Dub View Post
Honestly, I've seen a lot of high net worth folks driving Hyundai's (they were in plenty of garages in Osterville, MA this past week, including ours)...the Santa Fe seems to be a favorite for its utility, warranty and price (depreciation).
What were you doing in Osterville from San Diego!? My parents have a place in Marstons Mills and we go to the beach in Osterville (Dowses).
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      07-12-2011, 03:32 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by termsheet View Post
I've had one since about 2005. While the requirements may have changed, when I got mine the requirement was that you were a Platinum card member for at least one year and that you charged more than $50K per month during that time. I have several friends that also have them and the most common way to hit the spending numbers is through charging business expenses on the card because $50K per month is a pretty hefty monthly number for just personal expenses. They did ask for my net worth after they invited me and did pull my credit as part of process but I don't know how much that factors in to their decision. I do know the invite is based on spending history on the Platinum card, not how much money you have in the bank. If you charge big numbers consistently and pay your bill you'll probably get an invite.

The card is anodized titanium.

The fee is $5000 up front and of the half a dozen people I know with them the fee was never waived. I can't remember the annual but $2500 for the cardholder and $1500 for each additional sounds right. My wife has one as well. If you're sweating the fees, it probably isn't the right card for you. At an average net worth of $16M, the average cardholder is making more than $500K a year in after tax dividend income alone, plus their average salary is $1.3M. $4000 a year is a rounding error for someone with that balance sheet and income statement.

The main benefit from my POV is travel. You get platinum status on Delta, gold on continental, platinum on US Air and some status on Virgin which I never fly. So you always get the first class/status line through security. If you buy a business or first class ticket, you get a second ticket for a companion for free. You also get a card called Priority Pass which let's you into almost any airport lounge in the world. You get Starwood gold, Marriott silver, Hyatt and Hilton I think. You also get Hertz gold and the Avis equivalent plus a Centurian discount code that gives you upgrades and a 20% rate discount. The card also includes full coverage rental insurance so you can decline the rental car company insurance. They also have a hotel program where if you book through amex you often get $100 hotel or spa credit or free airport transportation, etc. The credits vary from hotel to hotel. The hotels in the program are all high end. For example you get upgraded to the highest room available at any Ritz Carlton. I've been given the presidential suite several times and always upgraded to a suite on the club floor.

Most importantly you get a dedicated travel agent that has your passport, all your loyalty program numbers and preferences on file. When I need to make complex reservations I call her, I'm rarely on hold, and she calls me back with all my options. No time wasted searching Kayak. Plus, once I was in Europe and all the flights, including mine, were getting cancelled. I called bc and while everyone else was waiting in line for the airline people bc got me on the next flight. The card also includes roadside assistance and international emergency health insurance in case you are injured oversees. I had a friend who's wife injured her leg in an accident in India and they put her on a private medical jet back to the USA under the insurance. They also keep a register of my other credit cards, membership cards, etc, and if I ever lose my wallet, I just call them and they cancel everything and handle getting my cards replaced. They have preferred programs with several jet and yacht charters as well, although I've never booked a jet through them.

You also get a dedicated concierge that handles restaurant reservations. They have seats reserved at some restaurants but they tend to be really popular places. Many times they have been unable to get me a table last minute at really hot, lessor known restaurants in LA. I've heard it's better in NYC but my experience is hit and miss. My concierge handles things like buying the new iPhone so I don't have to deal with it or sending people birthday presents on my behalf. My friends wife saw a limited edition handbag in a magazine, sent it to his concierge and they tracked one down for her. I have used them many times for hard to get concert tickets or front row Lakers tickets as my season tickets are about 20 rows up. They almost always get the tickets but you pay up for them.

There are probably a few other perks I'm forgetting but the main ones are travel and shopping. That's the upshot. Between first class upgrades, hotel upgrades, access to airport lounges and the rental car discounts I figure I probably do get an ROI on the fees. But I would never take the time to add it up.

I have 2 BMWs, a DBS and I have no interest in a Rav4 . I wouldn't even rent one. Maybe there is something to the Hundai if it is attracting so many buyers that can drive whatever they want and I think that's the whole point of their marketing exercise.
Nice write up and thanks for explaining. Different strokes for different folks. The Rav4 is pretty nifty being all wheel drive and getting 28 MPG. Some folks just don't need a high end car. They'd rather invest in the housing market, like some have here.
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      07-12-2011, 03:57 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
What were you doing in Osterville from San Diego!? My parents have a place in Marstons Mills and we go to the beach in Osterville (Dowses).
Oh sweet...I was at Dowses last Thursday (seriously, I was one of the the guys in a Hyundai Santa Fe). My family owns homes in Osterville, Dennis, West Barnstable and Falmouth so my wife and I try and go to the Cape at least twice per year (we always have a place to stay). I absolutely love Osterville, Craigville Beach and Little Beach in Dennis. Also, have you been to Four Seas Ice Cream in Centreville?...that's my guilty pleasure!

In regard to the Hyundai, I don't love it, but it does it's job well and with some nice luxuries. It's job: dog hauler, zodiac boat puller (claming), sailboat puller, off-road capable, people hauler, beach parker (it has a few scrapes, so no worries about door dings), etc.
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      07-12-2011, 04:10 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge2Dub View Post
Oh sweet...I was at Dowses last Thursday (seriously, I was one of the the guys in a Hyundai Santa Fe). My family owns homes in Osterville, Dennis, West Barnstable and Falmouth so my wife and I try and go to the Cape at least twice per year (we always have a place to stay). I absolutely love Osterville, Craigville Beach and Little Beach in Dennis. Also, have you been to Four Seas Ice Cream in Centreville?...that's my guilty pleasure!
Of course I've been to Four Seas. I've been going there every summer for 30 years (my whole life) so I've pretty much seen it all. I wish we could get there more but my chick is ALWAYS working. We really need to work on that job thing because I'd love to do more than a week each summer (a few 4-5 day weekends mixed in would work wonders.).
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      07-12-2011, 04:12 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termsheet View Post
I've had one since about 2005...
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing the details.
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      07-12-2011, 05:03 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termsheet View Post
I've had one since about 2005. While the requirements may have changed, when I got mine the requirement was that you were a Platinum card member for at least one year and that you charged more than $50K per month during that time. I have several friends that also have them and the most common way to hit the spending numbers is through charging business expenses on the card because $50K per month is a pretty hefty monthly number for just personal expenses. They did ask for my net worth after they invited me and did pull my credit as part of process but I don't know how much that factors in to their decision. I do know the invite is based on spending history on the Platinum card, not how much money you have in the bank. If you charge big numbers consistently and pay your bill you'll probably get an invite.

The card is anodized titanium.

The fee is $5000 up front and of the half a dozen people I know with them the fee was never waived. I can't remember the annual but $2500 for the cardholder and $1500 for each additional sounds right. My wife has one as well. If you're sweating the fees, it probably isn't the right card for you. At an average net worth of $16M, the average cardholder is making more than $500K a year in after tax dividend income alone, plus their average salary is $1.3M. $4000 a year is a rounding error for someone with that balance sheet and income statement.

The main benefit from my POV is travel. You get platinum status on Delta, gold on continental, platinum on US Air and some status on Virgin which I never fly. So you always get the first class/status line through security. If you buy a business or first class ticket, you get a second ticket for a companion for free. You also get a card called Priority Pass which let's you into almost any airport lounge in the world. You get Starwood gold, Marriott silver, Hyatt and Hilton I think. You also get Hertz gold and the Avis equivalent plus a Centurian discount code that gives you upgrades and a 20% rate discount. The card also includes full coverage rental insurance so you can decline the rental car company insurance. They also have a hotel program where if you book through amex you often get $100 hotel or spa credit or free airport transportation, etc. The credits vary from hotel to hotel. The hotels in the program are all high end. For example you get upgraded to the highest room available at any Ritz Carlton. I've been given the presidential suite several times and always upgraded to a suite on the club floor.

Most importantly you get a dedicated travel agent that has your passport, all your loyalty program numbers and preferences on file. When I need to make complex reservations I call her, I'm rarely on hold, and she calls me back with all my options. No time wasted searching Kayak. Plus, once I was in Europe and all the flights, including mine, were getting cancelled. I called bc and while everyone else was waiting in line for the airline people bc got me on the next flight. The card also includes roadside assistance and international emergency health insurance in case you are injured oversees. I had a friend who's wife injured her leg in an accident in India and they put her on a private medical jet back to the USA under the insurance. They also keep a register of my other credit cards, membership cards, etc, and if I ever lose my wallet, I just call them and they cancel everything and handle getting my cards replaced. They have preferred programs with several jet and yacht charters as well, although I've never booked a jet through them.

You also get a dedicated concierge that handles restaurant reservations. They have seats reserved at some restaurants but they tend to be really popular places. Many times they have been unable to get me a table last minute at really hot, lessor known restaurants in LA. I've heard it's better in NYC but my experience is hit and miss. My concierge handles things like buying the new iPhone so I don't have to deal with it or sending people birthday presents on my behalf. My friends wife saw a limited edition handbag in a magazine, sent it to his concierge and they tracked one down for her. I have used them many times for hard to get concert tickets or front row Lakers tickets as my season tickets are about 20 rows up. They almost always get the tickets but you pay up for them.

There are probably a few other perks I'm forgetting but the main ones are travel and shopping. That's the upshot. Between first class upgrades, hotel upgrades, access to airport lounges and the rental car discounts I figure I probably do get an ROI on the fees. But I would never take the time to add it up.

I have 2 BMWs, a DBS and I have no interest in a Rav4 . I wouldn't even rent one. Maybe there is something to the Hundai if it is attracting so many buyers that can drive whatever they want and I think that's the whole point of their marketing exercise.
Sounds awesome!!
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      07-12-2011, 05:22 PM   #53
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£2.80 again.Better than a kick in the bollocks I suppose!
Maybe I'm building up to the big win on Friday?

...hmmm,probably not!
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      07-12-2011, 05:46 PM   #54
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      07-12-2011, 05:57 PM   #55
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I helped a friend get a black card a couple of years ago... He was 30k short of 250k with a deadline of less than a month and I was buying a car in cash. The dealer let me swipe with no additional fees so it was a no brainer. Since then I've been on a dozen trips with him to japan and around Asia. The service and upgrades we get when we travel are completely worth it. Not to mention the numbers that get slipped between the card/bill at restaurants. Yeah pretty materialistic, which is why I haven't got one. My Amex plat is free and does what I need without the fluff.
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      07-12-2011, 06:24 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termsheet View Post
I've had one since about 2005. While the requirements may have changed, when I got mine the requirement was that you were a Platinum card member for at least one year and that you charged more than $50K per month during that time. I have several friends that also have them and the most common way to hit the spending numbers is through charging business expenses on the card because $50K per month is a pretty hefty monthly number for just personal expenses. They did ask for my net worth after they invited me and did pull my credit as part of process but I don't know how much that factors in to their decision. I do know the invite is based on spending history on the Platinum card, not how much money you have in the bank. If you charge big numbers consistently and pay your bill you'll probably get an invite.

The card is anodized titanium.

The fee is $5000 up front and of the half a dozen people I know with them the fee was never waived. I can't remember the annual but $2500 for the cardholder and $1500 for each additional sounds right. My wife has one as well. If you're sweating the fees, it probably isn't the right card for you. At an average net worth of $16M, the average cardholder is making more than $500K a year in after tax dividend income alone, plus their average salary is $1.3M. $4000 a year is a rounding error for someone with that balance sheet and income statement.

The main benefit from my POV is travel. You get platinum status on Delta, gold on continental, platinum on US Air and some status on Virgin which I never fly. So you always get the first class/status line through security. If you buy a business or first class ticket, you get a second ticket for a companion for free. You also get a card called Priority Pass which let's you into almost any airport lounge in the world. You get Starwood gold, Marriott silver, Hyatt and Hilton I think. You also get Hertz gold and the Avis equivalent plus a Centurian discount code that gives you upgrades and a 20% rate discount. The card also includes full coverage rental insurance so you can decline the rental car company insurance. They also have a hotel program where if you book through amex you often get $100 hotel or spa credit or free airport transportation, etc. The credits vary from hotel to hotel. The hotels in the program are all high end. For example you get upgraded to the highest room available at any Ritz Carlton. I've been given the presidential suite several times and always upgraded to a suite on the club floor.

Most importantly you get a dedicated travel agent that has your passport, all your loyalty program numbers and preferences on file. When I need to make complex reservations I call her, I'm rarely on hold, and she calls me back with all my options. No time wasted searching Kayak. Plus, once I was in Europe and all the flights, including mine, were getting cancelled. I called bc and while everyone else was waiting in line for the airline people bc got me on the next flight. The card also includes roadside assistance and international emergency health insurance in case you are injured oversees. I had a friend who's wife injured her leg in an accident in India and they put her on a private medical jet back to the USA under the insurance. They also keep a register of my other credit cards, membership cards, etc, and if I ever lose my wallet, I just call them and they cancel everything and handle getting my cards replaced. They have preferred programs with several jet and yacht charters as well, although I've never booked a jet through them.

You also get a dedicated concierge that handles restaurant reservations. They have seats reserved at some restaurants but they tend to be really popular places. Many times they have been unable to get me a table last minute at really hot, lessor known restaurants in LA. I've heard it's better in NYC but my experience is hit and miss. My concierge handles things like buying the new iPhone so I don't have to deal with it or sending people birthday presents on my behalf. My friends wife saw a limited edition handbag in a magazine, sent it to his concierge and they tracked one down for her. I have used them many times for hard to get concert tickets or front row Lakers tickets as my season tickets are about 20 rows up. They almost always get the tickets but you pay up for them.

There are probably a few other perks I'm forgetting but the main ones are travel and shopping. That's the upshot. Between first class upgrades, hotel upgrades, access to airport lounges and the rental car discounts I figure I probably do get an ROI on the fees. But I would never take the time to add it up.

I have 2 BMWs, a DBS and I have no interest in a Rav4 . I wouldn't even rent one. Maybe there is something to the Hundai if it is attracting so many buyers that can drive whatever they want and I think that's the whole point of their marketing exercise.
I've had AMEX Platinum for a few years which has a similar (just downgraded**) set of benefits as Centurion and would echo termsheet that if you travel/dine/shop extensively the annual fee more than pays for itself in ROI.

I actually tracked the monetary value of the benefits I could quantify the first two years I had AMEX Platinum and it paid for itself about 4x over compared to the annual membership fee. Things like extra nights free and food/spa credits at hotels, $200 annual statement credit for airline fees (ticket/baggage fees, lounge access fees, drinks/food on the plane, etc), Priority Pass membership, Global Entry fee reimbursed, etc are easy to quantify. That doesn't include things that can't be quantified like access to invite only events, concierge getting me into restaurants on short notice (it is helpful in places like NYC, London, Dubai), etc.

If you are into luxury travel/dining it will more than pay for itself. If/when I get an invite to Centurion I won't hesitate for a second to pony up for it. I only run a little over $250k a year on my Platinum so not holding my breath as I have read elsewhere that they are looking for about $500k/year now for US invites (foreign invites are much easier, lower spending threshold, to get).

**A good analogy I like to compare Centurion to Platinum is if you are a frequent flyer think of AMEX Centurion as Global Services on United or Concierge Key on AA, and AMEX Platinum as 1K/United or Executive Platinum/AA.
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      07-12-2011, 06:33 PM   #57
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      07-12-2011, 06:38 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmmcdaniel View Post
If you are into luxury travel/dining it will more than pay for itself. If/when I get an invite to Centurion I won't hesitate for a second to pony up for it. I only run a little over $250k a year on my Platinum so not holding my breath as I have read elsewhere that they are looking for about $500k/year now for US invites (foreign invites are much easier, lower spending threshold, to get).

**A good analogy I like to compare Centurion to Platinum is if you are a frequent flyer think of AMEX Centurion as Global Services on United or Concierge Key on AA, and AMEX Platinum as 1K/United or Executive Platinum/AA.
Nice analogy.

$250K/year in the US will work if the card is being used in places that Amex wants it to be seen (events, clubs, travel, etc.).
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      07-12-2011, 06:56 PM   #59
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Funny how this pop up - only got an invitation a week ago. Wonder if they are doing a campaign of some sort. My wife is expecting so we will cut down our travel for the next year or so. The extra points pay for the fee itself, but we are not going to use the other benefits for a least a while.

Interestingly, if I didn't have my love with BMW, I would be driving a Hyundai.
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      07-12-2011, 07:48 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krnnerdboy View Post
I helped a friend get a black card a couple of years ago... He was 30k short of 250k with a deadline of less than a month and I was buying a car in cash. The dealer let me swipe with no additional fees so it was a no brainer. Since then I've been on a dozen trips with him to japan and around Asia. The service and upgrades we get when we travel are completely worth it. Not to mention the numbers that get slipped between the card/bill at restaurants. Yeah pretty materialistic, which is why I haven't got one. My Amex plat is free and does what I need without the fluff.
Free platinum card ??
I charge about 50-70k a year...auto pay so I am never late.
Am I doing something wrong or are you not checking your statement for your annual fee? In other words I call bullshit
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      07-12-2011, 08:12 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termsheet View Post
I've had one since about 2005. While the requirements may have changed, when I got mine the requirement was that you were a Platinum card member for at least one year and that you charged more than $50K per month during that time. I have several friends that also have them and the most common way to hit the spending numbers is through charging business expenses on the card because $50K per month is a pretty hefty monthly number for just personal expenses. They did ask for my net worth after they invited me and did pull my credit as part of process but I don't know how much that factors in to their decision. I do know the invite is based on spending history on the Platinum card, not how much money you have in the bank. If you charge big numbers consistently and pay your bill you'll probably get an invite.

The card is anodized titanium.

The fee is $5000 up front and of the half a dozen people I know with them the fee was never waived. I can't remember the annual but $2500 for the cardholder and $1500 for each additional sounds right. My wife has one as well. If you're sweating the fees, it probably isn't the right card for you. At an average net worth of $16M, the average cardholder is making more than $500K a year in after tax dividend income alone, plus their average salary is $1.3M. $4000 a year is a rounding error for someone with that balance sheet and income statement.

The main benefit from my POV is travel. You get platinum status on Delta, gold on continental, platinum on US Air and some status on Virgin which I never fly. So you always get the first class/status line through security. If you buy a business or first class ticket, you get a second ticket for a companion for free. You also get a card called Priority Pass which let's you into almost any airport lounge in the world. You get Starwood gold, Marriott silver, Hyatt and Hilton I think. You also get Hertz gold and the Avis equivalent plus a Centurian discount code that gives you upgrades and a 20% rate discount. The card also includes full coverage rental insurance so you can decline the rental car company insurance. They also have a hotel program where if you book through amex you often get $100 hotel or spa credit or free airport transportation, etc. The credits vary from hotel to hotel. The hotels in the program are all high end. For example you get upgraded to the highest room available at any Ritz Carlton. I've been given the presidential suite several times and always upgraded to a suite on the club floor.

Most importantly you get a dedicated travel agent that has your passport, all your loyalty program numbers and preferences on file. When I need to make complex reservations I call her, I'm rarely on hold, and she calls me back with all my options. No time wasted searching Kayak. Plus, once I was in Europe and all the flights, including mine, were getting cancelled. I called bc and while everyone else was waiting in line for the airline people bc got me on the next flight. The card also includes roadside assistance and international emergency health insurance in case you are injured oversees. I had a friend who's wife injured her leg in an accident in India and they put her on a private medical jet back to the USA under the insurance. They also keep a register of my other credit cards, membership cards, etc, and if I ever lose my wallet, I just call them and they cancel everything and handle getting my cards replaced. They have preferred programs with several jet and yacht charters as well, although I've never booked a jet through them.

You also get a dedicated concierge that handles restaurant reservations. They have seats reserved at some restaurants but they tend to be really popular places. Many times they have been unable to get me a table last minute at really hot, lessor known restaurants in LA. I've heard it's better in NYC but my experience is hit and miss. My concierge handles things like buying the new iPhone so I don't have to deal with it or sending people birthday presents on my behalf. My friends wife saw a limited edition handbag in a magazine, sent it to his concierge and they tracked one down for her. I have used them many times for hard to get concert tickets or front row Lakers tickets as my season tickets are about 20 rows up. They almost always get the tickets but you pay up for them.

There are probably a few other perks I'm forgetting but the main ones are travel and shopping. That's the upshot. Between first class upgrades, hotel upgrades, access to airport lounges and the rental car discounts I figure I probably do get an ROI on the fees. But I would never take the time to add it up.

I have 2 BMWs, a DBS and I have no interest in a Rav4 . I wouldn't even rent one. Maybe there is something to the Hundai if it is attracting so many buyers that can drive whatever they want and I think that's the whole point of their marketing exercise.

I say the travel and concierge are awesome with this card. Just an email to the agent and every thing gets taken care off. She even calls the reservation manager and makes sure all the common things gets taken care off without having to spell it out every time.
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      07-12-2011, 08:15 PM   #62
cracker123
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Interesting - why is the plum better?
You get cash back on early payment which is great if you are already spending a lot.
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      07-12-2011, 08:25 PM   #63
HappyG
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It jacked up my buddies wallet because it does not flex as much plastic..cool to have, but it's still a credit card. Now if it was free money...
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      07-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #64
Pauldramos
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I've often heard that waitstaff judge customers by their watches. It's not till the end of the meal that the blk Amex comes out.
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      07-12-2011, 09:00 PM   #65
ibarry92
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Hyundai shouldn't be underestimated because they are stepping their game up with their newer models. And not to mention that genesis is looking nice and it's pretty quick.
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      07-12-2011, 10:11 PM   #66
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My neighbor has had a Black Card for over 15 years and he loves BMW's. In fact hes the one that got me into them! His wife has a Mercedes.
Don't think he could have it for 15 years when the Centurian card was only released in 1999
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