How many people have an Amex Black Card?

The American Express Black Card, also known as the Centurion Card, is an exclusive charge card issued by American Express. It is made of anodized titanium and only available by invitation to select customers who meet certain spending thresholds. The Black Card has become a status symbol among the wealthy and is often associated with luxury lifestyles.

What is the Amex Black Card?

The American Express Centurion Card, colloquially known as the Amex Black Card, was introduced in 1999. It is made out of anodized titanium and is only available by invitation to American Express customers who meet certain qualification criteria. It has no preset spending limit and offers a variety of luxury perks and benefits.

Some key features of the Amex Black Card include:

  • Made of titanium
  • No preset spending limit
  • By invite only for select American Express customers
  • Annual fee of $10,000+
  • Concierge service for booking travel, entertainment, and restaurant reservations
  • Access to airport lounges
  • Complimentary companion airfare on international flights
  • Exclusive dining and entertainment offers
  • Premium travel benefits and upgrades

The exclusivity and luxury perks associated with the Black Card have made it a status symbol among wealthy consumers. Reports indicate that only a small percentage of American Express customers actually hold the Centurion card.

How Many Amex Black Cards Have Been Issued?

American Express does not publicly reveal how many Centurion Cards have been issued or how many customers currently hold the card. As an exclusive, invite-only product, details about the Black Card member base are kept private.

However, various reports and estimates over the years can provide some indication of how rare and exclusive the Black Card truly is. Here are some key statistics about the Centurion Card membership:

  • In 2017, American Express confirmed there were fewer than 100,000 Centurion Card members worldwide.
  • As of 2018, it was estimated that only about 10,000 customers held the Black Card in the U.S.
  • In 2022, sources stated that the total number of Centurion Cards issued was likely between 15,000 – 20,000 cards.
  • The acceptance rate for the Black Card in the U.S. is rumored to be about 5%.

Based on these estimates, it is reasonable to conclude that American Express has likely issued somewhere between 15,000 – 20,000 Black Cards globally. With strict qualification criteria, the total number of cards and members remains extremely small compared to American Express’ overall customer base of tens of millions of cardholders.

What Are the Requirements to Get an Amex Black Card?

American Express does not publicly share the specific eligibility requirements to receive a Centurion Card invitation. However, based on reports over the years, some key criteria are:

  • Spend Threshold – Customers need to consistently charge at least $250,000+ per year on their existing American Express cards.
  • Card Member History – Individuals need to have a longstanding history as an American Express cardholder to be considered.
  • Good Credit – Excellent credit is required for qualification. The customer’s track record with American Express is also thoroughly reviewed.
  • Income – High annual income, in the millions, is typically expected.
  • Net Worth – A high net worth in assets, such as real estate, businesses, or investments is generally required.

Essentially, to be approved for the Black Card you need to already be a loyal, high-spending American Express customer, have pristine credit, and be able to continually afford the $10,000+ annual fee.

How Many New Black Cards Are Issued Each Year?

Again, American Express does not disclose any details about how many new invitations are extended for the Centurion Card each year. But based on what is known about the overall member base, industry experts estimate that Amex likely issues between 1,000 to 2,000 new Black Cards annually.

This extremely limited number of new cards helps preserve the exclusivity of the Centurion Card. With a total estimated membership of 15,000-20,000 people, issuing only around 1,000 to 2,000 new invites per year ensures the Black Card continues to be an ultra elite product.

How Many People Have the Card in Specific Countries?

American Express reports there are Centurion Cardmembers in about 40 countries worldwide. But when it comes to details about membership breakdowns by country, specifics are not made public.

That said, it is widely reported that the United States is home to the largest number of Black Card holders globally. Estimates indicate there are likely between 10,000 to 15,000 Centurion members in the U.S. Scope Ratings projected there were 15,000 U.S. cardholders as of 2018.

Countries known to have a significant number of Black Cardholders besides the United States include:

  • China – Hong Kong and mainland China combine to have the 2nd largest group of Centurion members after the U.S.
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia
  • India
  • Russia
  • United Arab Emirates

As American Express has expanded the Centurion Card internationally, emerging markets with increasing numbers of ultra high net worth individuals like China, India, and the Middle East have become home to more Black Card holders.

How Many Black Card Members Are Celebrities?

The exclusivity and luxury status of the Black Card has made it a popular status symbol among celebrities as well. While American Express does not confirm any details about specific cardholder identities, many celebrities have been spotted with the iconic black titanium card over the years.

Some famous Black Card holders are rumored or reported to include:

  • Beyoncé
  • Floyd Mayweather
  • Harrison Ford
  • Jimmy Kimmel
  • Karl Lagerfeld
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Mariah Carey
  • Rihanna
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Sarah Jessica Parker

Of course, celebrity status alone is not enough to qualify for the Black Card. These and other stars also need to meet the heavy spending and credit requirements in order to receive and maintain a Centurion Card membership.

How Many Black Card Members Are Billionaires?

The Black Card’s criteria of a high net worth and ability to afford the lofty annual fee means that many ultra-wealthy billionaires certainly carry the prestigious Centurion Card.

Some billionaires who are either confirmed or rumored to hold the invite-only Black Card include:

  • Elon Musk
  • Bill Gates
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Warren Buffet
  • Larry Ellison
  • Drew Houston
  • Jim Walton
  • Phil Knight
  • Charles Koch

With net worths ranging from multi-billion to hundreds of billions, these individuals definitely meet the wealth qualification for Black Card membership. Combined with heavy spending patterns and credit histories with American Express, the ultra elite billionaires club has more than a few Centurion Card carriers.

How Many Black Card Holders are in the Fortune 500?

In addition to billionaires, executives and business leaders who rank on the Fortune 500 list of wealthiest companies are prime customer targets for American Express’ invite-only Black Card.

While not confirmed, some Fortune 500 CEOs rumored to carry the Black Card include:

  • Tim Cook – Apple
  • Jamie Dimon – JPMorgan Chase
  • Satya Nadella – Microsoft
  • Mary Barra – General Motors
  • Brian Moynihan – Bank of America
  • Darren Woods – Exxon Mobil
  • Andrew Jassy – Amazon

American Express does not share details about the professions of Centurion Card holders. But it stands to reason that C-suite executives from Fortune 500 firms, who earn multimillion salaries and spend heavily on travel, dining, and entertainment for work, are prime candidates for the invitation-only Black Card.

How Much Do Black Card Members Spend Annually?

The Centurion Card’s tagline is “Membership has its privileges” – and those privileges come with a steep annual fee starting around $10,000 but often much higher based on spending. So how much do Black Card members actually spend per year to justify that fee and maintain their membership status?

While individual member data is private, industry analysts estimate the average Black Card holder spends between $500,000 to $1 million annually on their card. That equates to an average of $25,000 to $100,000 per month.

This level of heavy spending makes sense given the qualification thresholds – members need to continue spending at least $250,000 a year after being approved. Power players like CEOs, celebrities, and billionaires spend substantially more to take full advantage of the unlimited spending capacity.

Overall, Centurion Card members are clearly big spenders who think nothing of dropping five- or six-figures or more each year on luxury purchases, travel, high-end real estate, and other extravagances. Their lavish annual spending is what helps makes the hefty $10,000+ membership fee worthwhile.

How Does Spending Compare Between the Black Card and Platinum Card?

To provide more perspective, it is illuminating to compare the spending patterns of Centurion Card holders to individuals who carry American Express’ next most exclusive card – the Platinum Card.

Since the Platinum Card is also invite-only for wealthy cardmembers, but does not require the $10,000+ annual fee, the spending activity provides insight into where Black Card members sit on the spectrum.

Here is how average annual spending shakes out:

  • Centurion “Black” Card – $500,000 to $1 million+
  • Platinum Card – $150,000 to $200,000

Based on these estimates, your average Black Card member spends 2.5 to 5 times or more annually than Platinum Card holders. The significant difference showcases just how elite the Centurion Card users are in their extravagant spending compared even to others with exclusive invite-only cards.

How Many Black Card Members Pay the Annual Fee?

The lofty annual fee ranging from $10,000 up to $100,000+ for the Centurion Card raises the question – how many members actually pay it themselves versus having it paid by their company?

While definitive numbers are unknown, industry experts estimate that:

  • 25%+ of Black Card members pay the annual fee personally
  • 75% or more have the fee paid by their company

For celebrities, top athletes, and inheritors of wealth, the annual cost is likely covered out of pocket. But for C-suite executives, financial managers, entrepreneurs, and other businesspeople, corporate payment of the fee through an account tied to the company is much more common.

This makes the Black Card a strategic business investment for executives who spend heavily on travel, dining, and entertainment for work. Ultimately, the card’s array of luxury perks and benefits provides significant value that exceeds the annual fee cost.

How Do Rewards and Points Compare to Other Cards?

Given the steep annual fee, do Black Card members recoup that cost through points, miles, and rewards earned for their high spending?

Compared to premium and travel rewards cards from other issuers, the Black Card’s rewards rate is not higher. However, benefits are earned through Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed for high-value perks and bonuses.

Here is how the Centurion Card rewards stack up:

  • Centurion Card earn rate –
    • 5x points on flights and hotels
    • 1x points on other purchases
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve earn rate –
    • 3x points on travel and dining
    • 1x points on other purchases
  • Citi Prestige earn rate –
    • 5x points on dining and air travel
    • 1x points on other purchases

While not the highest basic earn rate, Centurion members can redeem Membership Rewards points for exclusive perks not available to other cardholders. This includes amenities like upgrades, companion tickets, exclusive events, and real-time point redemption for travel.

For big spenders, these high-value rewards options offer significant benefits that offset the card’s annual fee.


The American Express Centurion Card is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive status symbols and charge cards in the world. With an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 members globally, invitation-only entry, and a lofty annual fee, the Black Card remains highly elite.

Centurion members typically include a select mix of celebrities, billionaires, Fortune 500 executives, and other ultra high net worth individuals who spend lavishly on travel, dining, entertainment, real estate and luxury goods annually. This elite combination of wealth and spending power is what continues to make the Black Card a powerful icon of luxury around the globe.

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