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      07-12-2011, 10:16 PM   #67
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why bother with credit cards? unless you pay them off every month its just ridiculous. I go debit card or cash only. Every once in awhile I pull out my credit card and always try to at least pay half or it off before interest hits...........

Oh shit I just woke up from a dream in which I had no credit card debt. LOL!
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      07-12-2011, 10:49 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by acey81 View Post
Amex Black is not exclusive enough.
On the contrary, they've discontinued it (don't know since when), so that means nobody can get them anymore.

My dad has one and he loves the perks! Every cashier and waiter gives him a funny look when he gives them the Amex black And he also loves BMW...drives an X6M (fast freaking vehicle)
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      07-12-2011, 11:11 PM   #69
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Anyone else feel ridiculously poor after reading this?

Sounds a lot like 6speedonline all of a sudden...
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      07-12-2011, 11:15 PM   #70
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In order to get the travel perks don't you have to book through their service at ridiculous prices?

I heard they charge an arm and a leg for a business ticket making the second free one pretty worthless since you'd pay half the price for both if you book through expedia/orbitz or whatever.
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      07-12-2011, 11:24 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armenh View Post
Anyone else feel ridiculously poor after reading this?

Sounds a lot like 6speedonline all of a sudden...
Without a doubt. My household income is nothing to sneeze at but after reading this I'm thinking about going and applying for food stamps.
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      07-12-2011, 11:31 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pillpopper View Post
why bother with credit cards? unless you pay them off every month its just ridiculous. I go debit card or cash only. Every once in awhile I pull out my credit card and always try to at least pay half or it off before interest hits...........

Oh shit I just woke up from a dream in which I had no credit card debt. LOL!
It is a charge card, you have to pay it off every month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mshab356 View Post
On the contrary, they've discontinued it (don't know since when), so that means nobody can get them anymore.

My dad has one and he loves the perks! Every cashier and waiter gives him a funny look when he gives them the Amex black And he also loves BMW...drives an X6M (fast freaking vehicle)
I just received an invite last week so it hasn't been discontinued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ca$hOnly View Post
In order to get the travel perks don't you have to book through their service at ridiculous prices?

I heard they charge an arm and a leg for a business ticket making the second free one pretty worthless since you'd pay half the price for both if you book through expedia/orbitz or whatever.
Not everything, but some you do. For most people the Plat provide most of the benefit at a much reduced cost. The fares worked out to be very competitive, but you get better service. The 2 for 1 is available to the plat card as well though.

Unless you do a lot of travel, it is really not worth the extra fee, and that's really only for the extra points you get. If you travel enough, you are getting the perks from the airlines and hotel groups anyway.
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      07-12-2011, 11:35 PM   #73
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      07-12-2011, 11:46 PM   #74
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Does the AMEX Black reward you with points?
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      07-13-2011, 12:20 AM   #75
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I have a friend with one, he drives a BMW. Meh, my card works the same (makes purchases) just not in same amounts. Thats ok though, I enjoy my humble life, I don't have to have "exclusivity" to be happy...
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      07-13-2011, 12:26 AM   #76
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Does the AMEX Black reward you with points?
Yes, standard membership rewards program just like Platinum. As stated above, quite a few of the benefits are shared with Platinum which has a much lower fee.
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      07-13-2011, 12:47 AM   #77
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      07-13-2011, 01:14 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termsheet View Post
Yes, standard membership rewards program just like Platinum. As stated above, quite a few of the benefits are shared with Platinum which has a much lower fee.
Thanks.
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You sound like my buddies who have AMG's - Slam the gas, slam the brakes...
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      07-13-2011, 01:26 AM   #79
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...got one of those

I've carried the business black cent for 11 years now...The write up on benefits "termsheet" posted earlier is 100% dead on correct. I even remember the old days when the annual fee was $1500 with no initiation...Amex promised to never raise it in its marketing literature. The few "launch" centurion holders who actually pay their annual fee are still bitter about it. "A" list celebrities get a pass on the fees. I know one personally who's fee is waved...I tried squeezing amex for a fee waver via association & got bluntly shut down on a couple of occasions. It really is just the celeb since amex considers it marketing to have the card used by "A" listers.

The easiest way to get a black amex for joe schmoe was to run high business spending through an amex platinum...it got me the invite @ 21 years old after a few years of 100k a month spending (buying computer gear for a business)

Up to about 2008 250K in annual spend in the right categories like luxury goods, hotels, travel, got you flagged for an invitation. In the past few years amex has pulled back on the invitations as they diluted the exclusivity of the card. I've seen general building contractors with black cards after they ran building supplies through an amex, generating very high annual spending. These days the invitation qualifications are more stringent. Spending has to be north of 500k and absolutely in the right type of categories (so using the card to finance inventory for a business & other shenanigans wont work anymore). They introduced the 5K initiation "I'm rich fee" to put-off the avg person who'd stomach the $2500 annual fee for the benefits that managed to get an invitation. Its a cool card to have, 2x manufacturer warranty pays for my annual fee as I'm a gadget freak...and gadgets break. The elite airline status benefits are the best benefit in carrying the card. Lots of free first class upgrades on coach fares...it really pays off if you fly 5 to 10 times a year.

One thing termsheet neglected to mention is that Amex sends out very generous gifts to centurion card holders 1-2 times a year. I've received gifts such as $500-$1000 gift cards to various luxury/designer label stores. A three day all expense paid parlor suite @ the Wynn which included chauffeured RR Phantom to drive me around Vegas. $1000 for a "spa day" gift card (to any spa of my choosing)...a Cannon digital camera, etc. I believe the extravagance of the gifts is directly related to celebrity status & amount of annual spend.

Anyway, bottom line is that any six figure earning professional who is "savvy" can get a centurion card by molding themselves into the profile amex is looking for...The card is "wallet candy". Using it in certain places attracts gold digging cougars & high end hookers the same way pulling up in an exotic sports car would. I carry a secondary gold card these days linked to the centurion card as I find that the black at times can attract very unwelcome attention (like that idiot clerk @ a bakery that someone mentioned earlier).

...oh ya, and I completely understand the Hyundai driving statistic. Some people just do not give a shit what they drive. I know a couple of high net worth individuals who are happy in an F150, or a Hyundai. I slum it in a 5 year old Nissan Titan when not driving the M. Lots of wealthy people out there...most of them avoid "bling" which can attract the wrong type of attention.
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      07-13-2011, 01:54 AM   #80
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I have one, my dad got it for me on my 16th bday....All it is a fashion statement, and everytime i pull it out people always look at me and alway ID me. The problem is that you cant pull it out anywhere because people might come after you. Also because it is titanium everytime you swipe it, it doesnt always go through so you have to swipe it a couple of time. But the good thing about them are that when they send you the book of want you can spend your points on, they have the coolest trip... My family and I went on the trip to india, so nice. The funny thing is that my friend from saudi has one too but his is plastic, i think the international ones are all plastic. But the stupidest thing is that they send you an email of what you bought everytime you get something. I only use them in clubs cause you just walk right in, and cut the line
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      07-13-2011, 02:01 AM   #81
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interesting thread to read ..but I officially feel poor now
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      07-13-2011, 02:54 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boost986 View Post
interesting thread to read ..but I officially feel poor now
Yeah I feel poor as shit now.
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      07-13-2011, 07:15 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ca$hOnly View Post
In order to get the travel perks don't you have to book through their service at ridiculous prices?

I heard they charge an arm and a leg for a business ticket making the second free one pretty worthless since you'd pay half the price for both if you book through expedia/orbitz or whatever.
The prices are competitive but you get added benefits.

The first year fee is 5000 initiation fee + 2500 annual membership fee , you just have to look at it as getting a piece of jewelry.

You get same points at Plat and Gold nothing different. BA once in a while has get 40 - 50% extra on your Amex points so transferring there is the best way to spend it. You can also spend points on private jets and so on.
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      07-13-2011, 07:41 AM   #84
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Bless their heart's... Love the Car, not the Card!
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      07-13-2011, 09:32 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armenh View Post
Anyone else feel ridiculously poor after reading this?

.

I am 27 years old and I make 100k a year and now I feel like a freaking bum!

Thanks guys....

Also, thanks for enlightening me on all these cards that I now desperately want but will never get. Thanks
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      07-13-2011, 09:52 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by 335_MI6 View Post
The funny thing is that my friend from saudi has one too but his is plastic, i think the international ones are all plastic.
I do a lot of work in the middle east and last I heard the plastic cards are issued so that they can put the chip in it used by the Chip + Pin machines used outside the US (think Europe, but Middle East uses the same machines/technology), as they can't manufacturer the titanium cards with the chip in it. I thought that those individuals received both cards though, titanium with no chip, plus plastic with chip.
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      07-13-2011, 10:29 AM   #87
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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.
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      07-13-2011, 10:44 AM   #88
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I have a BMW Visa Card, it has a roundel on the front....
I had that too!
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