Amex Updates Centurion Card – Increased Annual Fee

Whether or not you’re into credit cards, chances are you’ve heard of the most prestiegious credit card out there. That would be none other than the Centurion card, or “the black card”. It isn’t unheard of to see celebrities use this card, and on some occasions they even sing or rap about it. All of this prestige comes with a price, and coming soon, American Express is making it even more expensive to flaunt.

The Changes

Starting in April of 2020, the Centurion card is going to go through a few changes.

  • Annual Fee will go to $5,000 (previously $2,500), Initiation Fee Will go up to $10,000 (previously $7,500)
  • Complimentary CLEAR for member ($179) and family members ($50)
  • $250 Saks Credit per quarter
  • Equinox Destination Access Membership (worth $250 per month)
  • Private Suite at LAX (still $2,700 per visit)
  • $200 Airline incidental credit being removed

Final Thoughts

I’m sure for many that hold the Centurion card like big time celebrities and the very wealthy, the increased annual fee will make no difference. If you value the Equinox benefit, that would be a value of $3,000 which more than makes up for the increased annual fee of $2,500 per year. That’s before the CLEAR membership and Saks credit for a total of $1,179 per year. 

That being said, I’m sure there are plenty of people that have the Centurion card that either don’t find value in the increased annual fee, or that can no longer afford to keep the card anymore. The removal of the $200 airline incidental credit also sucks too. My guess with that is that American Express made it so tricky to use, that most card holders either don’t use it, or don’t care to use it. 

Realistically speaking, the Centurion card was never about value or rewards, but it doesn’t even offer that much in the first place. This card is all about status, and American Express knows this. By increasing the annual fee and initiation fee, they have only made it more exclusive, while earning even more money in the process. 

Is the Centurion card worth keeping? Let us know what you think down in the comment section below. 

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