What are the benefits of UK American Express Centurion card?

A friend of mine has just received his UK Amex Centurion card. Usually nicknamed the Black Card by the public, it is probably the most prestigious bank card out there, and very few people are eligible to even receive an invitation to apply. Still, many people – just like me – are very curious about its eligibility criteria and benefits, and I’ll take this chance to briefly talk about them.

[Background]

First of all, my friend already has the US Amex Centurion card. Having been a customer with both Amex US and Amex UK, he was quite frustrated with the difficulty to obtain a Centurion card in the UK, and shifted all his spend to the US Amex cards from late 2020.

He spent roughly two million dollars over a span of eight months, and then successfully received an invitation to apply for the Centurion card after querying the Platinum Concierge services.

Interestingly, he is based in the UK and none of the two million dollar purchases was made in the US.

[Get the UK card]

If you already hold the US Centurion card, you can acquire one in other countries through Amex Global Transfer services. It’s a privilege of the US card though, as Centurion members in other countries can’t acquire a US card through the same procedure.

Since my friend is based in the UK, it’s sensible to apply for a UK Centurion card too. After receiving the invitation, he still needs to fill out a form.

[Fees]

Because he’s already a Centurion cardholder, the joining fee is waived. Last I heard the fee was £3,000, although I’m not sure if it has increased since.

The annual fee is £3,400.

Unlike the US counterpart, the UK Centurion card comes with a free supplementary card.

[Welcome Box]

It took five days for the application to go through, and then two more days for the cards to arrive.

[Card Designs]

Similar to the US Platinum card, the Centurion card offers two artist designs besides the classic design, by Kehinde Wiley and Julie Mehretu respectively.

The two UK cards and one US card completes the collection 🙂

[Status Benefits]

The Centurion card offers elite status with the following airlines:

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club – Gold
  • Emirates Skywards – Gold

The following hotels:

And two car rental companies:

  • Hertz – President’s Circle
  • Avis – President’s Club

It may strike you first as an extensive array, but once you dig into the details you will feel much less excited. Hilton Diamond has substantial benefits but it’s not difficult to get; Melia Platinum and Jumeirah Gold have good perks, but their footprint is limited. Marriott Gold and IHG Platinum are next to useless…

In terms of airlines, the two offers are good, however neither VS or EK belong to any major alliance so the memberships don’t get you very far. In contrast, US Centurion card offers Delta Diamond status which is accepted across the entire Skyteam, and my friend also availed Star Alliance Gold and Oneworld Sapphire via status match programs.

[Lounge Benefits]

Lounge access benefits are almost identical to the Platinum card:

  • Priority Pass (+1 guest only)
  • Amex Centurion Lounge
  • Eurostar Lounge
  • Plaza Premium / Lufthansa / Delta / Escape Lounges etc.

The Centurion card only makes a difference when you access the Centurion Lounge or the Lufthansa Lounge. You can read more about the Amex Lounge benefits here.

The US Centurion Card issued Priority Pass can bring in unlimited number of guests.

[Other Benefits]

Fine Hotels & Resorts: stay a minimum two nights and enjoy an additional $200 credit on FHR bookings at select luxury hotels.

Limousine Transfers: eight complimentary two-way airport transfers, but the snag is you must book the flight with Centurion services.

Airport Fast Track: available at Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands.

Lifestyle Credits:

  • Harvey Nichols: £500 annually
  • Clos19: £500 annually
  • Addison Lee: £20 monthly

[Travel Insurance]

From what I’ve heard it’s way better than the US card.

[Spa, Fitness and Clubs]

[Refer A Friend]

Something that you surely didn’t know – The Centurion card also has an invite-a-friend feature:

However, the referral link opens an application for the Platinum card…

Okay that’s it! I’ll probably never qualify for this card, but to be honest the benefits are underwhelming and I wouldn’t pay £3,400 anyway. What do you think?

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2 Responses

  1. Morris says:

    It’s something I’d like to check off my “bucket list.” Neither the UK nor the U.S. versions compare in terms of point earning to the many free or far-lower fee products available in the U.S. market.

    Although the ICC version may be an interesting product, offering most of the perks of the UK version, but with (I believe) up to 20 free Platinum authorized users(!)

    • Kai says:

      Wow.. you can probably get your annual fee back (and make a profit) by selling those Platinum supp cards…