Let me once again start this post my emphasizing that obviously there are more important things going on in the world, but I think for everyone’s sake, some distraction is actually a good thing. Over the coming days I’ll be publishing both “normal” blog posts, and also ones specific to the current global situation.
Anyway, while I have no inside knowledge here, there’s a rumor circulating that suggests American Express may soon be introducing a new ultra premium credit card that’s somewhere between the Amex Platinum Card and the Amex Centurion Card. I’ll share what I’ve heard, and then my take on what this card could look like.
Details of the rumored premium Amex Card
In fall 2019 the rumors began about a possible new ultra premium Amex card. At a conference an Amex executive was asked about the rumor of a product being launched between the Platinum and Centurion, and he said he had no comment, but did so in a way that caused many to believe that something was imminent.
Doctor Of Credit now notes that a list of vendors that produce American Express cards points at a new product being in the works. On page 51 of this document (which talks about cards produced in the US), five card types are listed:
- Gold Charge Metal 2018 (read my review of the card here)
- Platinum Charge Metal 2018 (read my review of the card here)
- Black Charge Metal 2020
- Centurion 2020
We’re of course familiar with the Gold, Platinum, and Centurion products, and the years listed coincide with when changes have been made to these cards.
- There’s not currently an Amex “Titanium” product
- While the Centurion Card is often referred to informally as the “Amex Black Card,” it looks like there could be a new card actually called the “Black Card,” or something
Why a card between the Platinum & Centurion could make sense
That’s why it’s also interesting to note that Amex recently increased the gap between the Platinum and Centurion products. As of this year, the Amex Centurion’s annual fee has increased from $2,500 to $5,000, and the card maintains the $7,500 initiation fee.
With Amex having created such a big gap between the annual fees, it sure makes sense that they might be introducing a product between the two. The timing of that also makes sense…
What benefits could the Amex Black or Amex Titanium offer?
The above is all that’s really rumored as of now, and everything regarding the annual fee, etc., is complete speculation. If I had to guess, I’d say:
- The annual fee will be somewhere around $1K-2K, probably right in the middle; that seems like a happy medium between $550 and $5,000
- I would guess that the focus will be on benefits rather than on a rewarding return on spending; it’s interesting that while Chase and Citi have used their premium cards to introduce widely valuable 3-5x points categories, Amex continues to be most focused on benefits for their most premium cards
Just to give a sense of Centurion Card benefits, the card offers perks like:
- Complimentary CLEAR membership; this would ordinarily cost $109 at most
- A $1,000 Saks credit per calendar year
- An Equinox Destination Access membership; this would ordinarily cost $300 per month
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status and Hilton Honors Diamond status
Perhaps the card would have somewhat watered down versions of those benefits? Maybe fewer restrictions on Centurion Lounge access, either SkyMiles Silver or Gold status, and maybe Hilton Honors Diamond status, given that the Hilton Aspire Card offers that as well?
Most importantly, I think they’re probably targeting those who want to feel like they have a fancy “Black Card” while not wanting to drop $5K per year.
At this point all we can do is speculate, though rumor has it that Amex may be considering a card between the Platinum and Centurion, called either the Titanium or Black.
It appears they were aiming for a 2020 launch, though with what’s going on right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this delayed.
If Amex does introduce an ultra premium card, I’d love to see it actually offer generous points earning categories, though I’m not holding my breath…
If Amex does introduce a new ultra premium card, what would you like to see it offer?