The American Express Centurion black credit card is arguably one of the most expensive credit cards in the world, with an annual fee costing thousands of dollars. Apart from a certain prestige associated with flashing the rare black card if you care about that sort of thing, are the benefits of owning the card worth the whopping annual fee?
Some would argue that the travel benefits of the Centurion card alone are worth the fee, particularly if you’re a frequent traveller. Card holders have access to discounted fares, airline lounges, fast track service at airports, upgraded status with multiple hotel programs and more. But what about the credit card points that you would rack up on the card? With a rumored eligibility criteria of a $250,000 minimum annual spend, the points on the card would be substantial indeed, so what would those points get you?
Faster points accumulation
American Express Centurion card holders automatically get access to the highest tier of rewards. In Australia, for example, members have access to the Ascent Premium program, which offers 1.5 points per dollar spent for up to half a million dollars. After that threshold, every dollar spent earns one credit card point. These points do not expire as long as the card as is current and in good standing.
Points for credit
Points can be redeemed towards your credit card bill. In Australia, redemption starts at 14,500 points for $100, or a rather average return of 1.03%. $1,000 in credit can be redeemed for 130,500 points, with an average return of 1.15%, a smidgen above the industry average.
Points for travel
Centurion card points can also be redeemed for credit towards any pre-paid travel booked through the Centurion travel agency. Here, 10,000 points can be redeemed for $100 worth of travel, or a generous 1.5% return on card spend. All or part of the travel can be paid for with points and no blackout dates or seat restrictions apply.
Conversion to airline miles or hotel loyalty program points
American Express Centurion card points can also be converted to airline miles or hotel loyalty program points with a number of partner airlines and hotels. In Australia, for example, members can choose from several airlines including Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and more. Conversion rates differ by airline, but starts at one point per mile. Hotel partners include the Hilton HHonors program (1,000 points = 1,000 Hilton HHonors points), Priority Club Rewards (1,000 points = 600 Priority Club Points), Starwood Preferred Guest (1,000 points = 330 Starwood points), and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts (900 points = 30 Sirius Points).
Points for shopping
As with many other credit card points programs, the Centurion card points can also be used for shopping. Redemption options include gift cards, theme park tickets, premium wines and more.
The American Express Centurion black credit card is expensive – there’s no question about that. But do the rewards not to mention the recognition and prestige that comes with it worth it? The decision is yours.