Best Black Card Alternative? The Platinum Card from American Express

John Ganotis

John Ganotis | Blog

Dec 30, 2018 | Updated Mar 14, 2019

The mysterious invite-only American Express Centurion card (or “Amex Black Card”) comes with a whopping $2,500 annual fee, if you can get it.

If you’re looking for an awesome metal card with some VIP perks, what’s the next best alternative that might get you on the path to a Centurion invitation?

This may be the card for you:

Made of Metal

We don’t recommend getting a credit card just because it’s made of metal, but that’s certainly part of the appeal of the Centurion. It was one of the first metal credit cards.

The Platinum Card may not be black, but it’s made of metal and has an awesome stainless steel finish.

Lounge Access

The Platinum Card provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges in 130 countries. American Express has its own brand of high-end lounges, called Centurion Lounges, which you’ll get access to with the Platinum Card.

Additionally, you’ll have access to Delta Sky Club lounges when flying Delta, Escape Lounges, Airspace Lounges, and the huge network of additional lounges through the Priority Pass Select membership that comes with this card.

Travel Credits

Although the Platinum Card comes with a $550 annual fee, you can easily make up for that in benefits, like the travel credits. It comes with:

  • $200 Airline Incidental Fee Credit: Choose one airline per year to get up to $200 in incidental fees, like baggage fees or in-flight purchases, refunded each year.
  • $200 Uber credit: Get $15 per month in credit for Uber rides, except for December, when you’ll get a $35 credit to use on Uber.
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit: Pay your application fee for one of these programs on your Platinum Card, and get reimbursed. (available once every four years)
  • $100 hotel credit: The Hotel Collection, an American Express hotel benefit, gives you a $100 credit on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities for every eligible two-night stay.

It’s not really a travel credit, but the Platinum Card also includes a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit each year, adding to the possible value you can get.

Hotel & Rental Car Status

There are rumors that the Centurion comes with VIP treatment through status upgrades when you’re flying, booking a hotel, or renting a car, but you can get some great automatic status upgrades just for having a Platinum Card, as well.

The Platinum Card provides Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold status, which can help you earn more points faster when you stay at those hotel brands frequently, along with other benefits.

If you’re renting a car, you’ll get National Emerald Club Executive status, Avis Preferred status, and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards privileges just for having the card. This can give you upgraded cars and opportunities to skip long lines at rental counters.

Complimentary Gold Card

When you have a Platinum Card, you can add an unlimited number of authorized users who will get complimentary Gold Cards. These Gold Cards provide the same spending rewards as the Platinum Card, and they also get their own Global Entry/TSA Pre✓ credits, but they don’t get lounge access or the other travel credits.

Take note that the Gold Cards you can get for authorized users aren’t the same as the American Express Gold Card, which has a $250 fee, is made of metal, and earns great rewards at U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.

A Possible Path to Centurion

Rumor has it that the way to get a Centurion invitation is to spend a lot on other American Express cards. With the Platinum Card, you’ll be getting lots of great benefits and rewards while using the card, and may put yourself in a position to get a Centurion invitation in the future.

Check out the Platinum Card from American Express here:

Was this helpful?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The Insider

Ellen Sirull
Hilton Honors Credit Cards: How to Earn Points and Get Free Night Stays
Ellen Sirull | Apr 18, 2019

You have four different options for Hilton credit cards. Find out which one will fit best with your personal spending and travel habits.

Read More
Susan Shain
Priority Pass Select: How It Works (and Credit Cards That Have It)
Susan Shain | Apr 18, 2019

Want to get free food and drinks at airports around the world? You need Priority Pass Select. Here's how to get it for free with Priority Pass credit cards.

Read More
Susan Shain
United Airlines Credit Cards: Here’s Our Top Pick
Susan Shain | Apr 09, 2019

Trying to choose between the various United Airlines credit cards? We've done the legwork for you — here's the best card for most United flyers.

Read More