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American Express needs to do something to keep the $5000 annual fee Centurion (“Black Card”) feel worthwhile.
The benefits of this card, on top of what Platinum customers receive, are mostly Hertz Platinum, Delta Platinum, and Hilton Diamond, in addition to a $250 quarterly Saks credit. It no longer receives an annual $200 airline fee credit. Here’s a deeper dive into the card’s benefits.
American Express has been opening a network of airport lounges over the past decade, because that’s where their cardmembers are. After initially trialing the first Centurion lounge with Centurion cardmembers only in Las Vegas, the program expanded significantly. New York is their biggest market, and it looks like they have a new space coming, at least initially for Centurion cardmembers only.
Centurion New York is expected to open in March on the 55th floor of One Vanderbilt, about a block from the Hyatt Grand Central (former Grand Hyatt), featuring food by Daniel Boulud.
Here are additional details.
“*Guest access policies and hours of operation for Centurion New York are subject to change. All access to Centurion New York is subject to space availability. To access Centurion New York, patrons must present a government-issued I.D. and must be at least 18 years of age to enter without a parent or legal guardian. Centurion Members must also present their valid American Express Card. Purchases may be made using an American Express Card or cash. Reservation cancellation fees will apply if cancellation occurs within 24 hours of reservation time. Details and prices are subject to change. Patrons must be at least 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcohol at Centurion New York. Please drink responsibly. American Express reserves the right to remove any person from Centurion New York for inappropriate behavior including, but not limited to, conduct that is disruptive, abusive or violent and/or failure to adhere to any house rules or terms or conditions. American Express will not be liable for any articles lost or stolen or damages suffered by any patrons of Centurion New York. Access to Centurion New York is subject to all rules and conditions set by American Express. American Express reserves the right to revise the rules at any time without notice.”
I’ve been on the 91st through 93rd floors of this building where the views are incredible (the Wells Fargo-Bilt launch party was held there).
Conceptually this isn’t really different than the holiday lounge popup for Chase United credit card customers at the Mall at Short Hills, New Jersey. Just more expensive. New York is both a hub and destination for cardmembers, and providing them a space that others cannot access drives value to the card – which otherwise is very weak for points-earning, and about the same weight as the Platinum card and the no annual fee Bilt Mastercard…
Information about the American Express Centurion Card is neither provided nor reviewed by its issuer.