Archive | March, 2009

AMEX UK Titanium Pins and Chips

TimesOnline UK reports on a batch of American Express cards including Centurion (Black Card), as well as Platinum cards that had batch of faulty cards produced in February in the UK (The Centurion Card in the UK runs a £1,800, maybe this will someday become a bargain if the pound continues to decline against the dollar (now 1.4 = 1)). TimesOnline UK reports come from at least one Centurion member Olver Watson:

Who confesses to being “rather excited” when his card arrived in a small velvet pouch wrapped in several layers of black packaging, says: “I immediately set out to do what most credit card users do: I changed my PIN to a combination that I could remember. Or at least I tried to. I found that not only did the titanium card refuse to allow me to do so, but I could no longer use the card.”

Although, this must be specific in the UK, I can’t remember many times that I’ve ever used a credit card to get cash, at least, unless in Las Vegas. One nice perk of the Centurion is that they sign you up to withdraw cash direct from your bank account via ATM, bypassing those ever so limiting daily limits many banks place on ATM withdrawls. We’ve also heard of users nervous to put their cards in the old-style ATM machines that suck in the card, and heard in some cases of credit card readers of this type getting jammed by the Black Card. Titanium isn’t perfect, at least not in the world designed for plastic.

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Centurion Card Canada Benefits

    1. Takes personal service to new heights, strives to provide you with access like you’ve never experienced before and unparalleled privileges in abundance.
    2. As a Centurion member, you’ll find that just one phone calll will summon the connections and expertise of service professionals, Seek, and Centurion Service will do their utmost to find.
    3. Centurion Concierge can help source and secure whatever it is you seek.
    4. As a Centurion member you have access to professional assistance every minute of the day, every day of the year. Our team of consultants are available to assist you with any request.
    5. Centurion travel from Amex Canada Inc.
    6. Centurion website: Visit the exclusive Centurion Website to stay up to date. It gives you access to the very latest Centurion privileges, service and unique offers, whenever you need them.
    7. Centurion Travel can exert its influence on your behalf – securing your arrangements whenever possible even when a property is otherwise fully booked.
    8 Complimentary access to airport lounges around the world, including complimentary Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide, which opens the doors to more than 235 lounges around the world including all Star Alliance member airline business lounges. Centurion membership also entitles you to access American Airlines Admirals Clubs, Continental Airlines Presidents Club, Delta Crown Room Club, Northwest Airlines, Servisair Executive, Plaza Premium, and also give you complimentary access to Priority Pass Lounges opening doors to over 450 airport lounges worldwide.
    9. Hotel Privileges, complimentary room upgrade at check-in, complimentary continental breakfast and additioanl special amenities at over 600 of the worlds most glorious properties in exquisite locations. Including Raffles Hotels and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Mandarin Oriental to name just a few. Also gives room upgrade at reservation to more than 440 boutique hotels around the world.
    Centurion members receive complimentary Elite Statu memberships such as Fairmont Presidents Club Platinum , Starwood Preferred Gold, Hilton HHonours, Relais and Chateaux and Club 5C, and InterContintal Hotels Group.
    10. As a centurion member you can take advantage of the International Airline Program, that offers you complimentary companion tickets, complimentary upgrades, special class fares, or discounted fares on some of the worlds finest airlines to destinations around the world. Airlines include Air Canada, Air France, and Continental to name a few. Private Jet Services can be arranged.
    11. Cruise Privileges, Access premium benefits such as onboard privileges and shipboard credits on some of the worlds best cruise liners such as Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and more.
    12. Complimentary Avis President Club and Hertz #1 Club Gold Membership, and Elite Rent a Car benfefits.
    13. Centurion Concierge can help secure tickets to shows you want, the Centurion network has been known to help create once in a lifetime opportunities for some of the worlds biggest fans to actually meet some of the worlds biggest bands.
    13. Centurion Dining, There tables reserved every day for Cardmembers for many of the finest restaurants across the country.
    14. Shop VIP, your enjoy special shopping privileges at some of the finest retails spots around the world and right here in Canada. These benefits may include personal shopping services, extended shopping hours, complimentary alterations, gift wrapping, and much more, partners include Harry Rosen, Saks Fifth Avenue and many more.
    15. As a Centurion member you’ll be invited to our most exclusive events, from evenings with celebrated figures, luxury retails, or sporting events.
    16. A special rewards offering, for redeeming your points from the most lavish to the most everyday rewards. Redeem your points for an exceptional selection of travel and lifestyle rewards.
    17. You earn 1.25 membership points for every dollar you charge to your Card. Your automatically enrolled in this top Tier of the membership rewards program, gives you access to our entire catalogue of rewards including an array of prmium brands and experiences.
    18. Travel Insurance Benefits.
    19. Retail Protection, that extended warranties, and coverage for damaged and stolen purchases.
    20. Emergency Assistance, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Posted in Centurion Card, Centurion Card Canada1 Comment

Relais & Châteaux

Relaix and Chateaux Logo Relais & Châteaux was established in France in 1954 with a goal to spread it’s unique “art de vivre” by including only outstanding properties with unique character. Currently 475 properties are members of Relais & Châteaux, which is considered a family of hoteliers, and chefs from around the world who share a “passion for personal commitment” and “ensuring their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony.” Relais & Châteaux considers a selection of their properties a choice to “experience an unforgettable celebration of the senses.” Their properties range from vineyards in Napa valley to the beaches in Bali, from the olive trees in Provence to the lodges in South Africa.

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UK Travelodge Guest Leaves Behind His Black Card

American Express Centurion CardA recent Travelodge report from 2008 have suggested that UK Hotel Guests has been leaving behind some, strange but luxurious items: A horse, a Diamond Rolex watch, a set of World War II medals, a Wedding Dress, and an AMEX Black Card.

Topping the UK wide Travelodge list was a Centurion Card, also known as the American Express Black Card, which is the most exclusive credit card in the world with an annual fee of £1,800. The rich owner of the card stayed in the Heathrow Central Travelodge and jetted off without it.

And it wasn’t the only symbol of wealth that was misplaced in the budget chain, the well off also left behind keys to a Porche 911, a set of Maruman golf clubs and a diamond Rolex watch.

Full article here

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Graphite Platinum AMEX Implies “Switch and Bait” by Visa

Artist Adam McEwen recently created two sculptures for his exhibit “Switch and Bait” in New York, both sculptures were made from “machined graphite.” Graphite, like its allotrope diamond, is a form of carbon. One of his two exhibits is an American Express Platinum Card created from Graphite. Art is in the eye of the beholder, but to us it seems that he is implying that the Visa Black Card is pulling a “Switch and Bait” and ripping off American Express Platinum Card (which the Visa Black Card more accurately compares to).

adammcewenswitchandbait1_amex_platinum_graphiteIf you’re in NY, exhibit is held @

Switch and Bait
Through 18 April 2009
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery
520 West 20th Street
Chelsea, New York City map
tel. +1 212 243 3335

Posted in Alternate Cards, General0 Comments

Abercrombie & Kent

Abercrombie & Kent is a luxury travel company that has some unique destinations and experiences that are coined “& moments”. Examples Abercrombie and Kent cite, include activities such as participating in a food-offering ceremony with Buddhist monks in Bangkok, explore the citadel of Machu Picchu in the company of it’s resident archaeologist, or end a perfect day on a safari with a five-course banquet under the stars.

Abercrombie and Kent Travel Company

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Noel Gallagher Brags About His Black Card

Noel Gallagher Black CardNoel Gallagher has been acting up once again. In an interview early March, Noel Gallagher from Oasis bragged to talkSPORT magazine that he could buy anything he wanted and that his black AMEX card could not be denied anywhere.

Noel Gallagher: “I don’t mean to be f***ing rude but I do won a black Amex card that has unlimited credit and cannot be denied anywhere. I could walk into a showroom selling Boeing 747s and, regardless of whether I could afford it, they’d have to accept the card.” and continued to say “When I was taking drugs on a regular basis it was a frightening experience for the record company. You could have literally gone out and bought a house on a whim – and I have more whims that I care to mention.”

Apparently he likes to take it out, Noel Gallagher took out his black American Express card during the filming of the 2007 BRIT Awards backstage show, see culture references.

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Visa Black Card Rolex Giveway (2009)

Rolex LogoA few of our readers that have the Visa Black Card just let us know that the received a monthly newsletter stating that there will be a Black Card 2009 Rolex Giveaway. The letter states that card members are automatically entered in a drawing to win, and one card member will be selected at random on December 31, 2009 and will receive a $10,000 Rolex gift card that is redeemable at an authorized Rolex dealer. Primary account holders in good standing are eligible for the drawing.

Posted in Visa Black Card3 Comments

AMEX Credit Card Was Originally Purple Paper Not Black Titanium

American Express 1958 Original Card Purple PaperPaper, Plastic, Titanium, and Carbon Graphite?

Credit cards had existed prior to American Express, namely Diners Club (which was actually a paper or cardboard card that was in circulation).

The first AMEX credit card was actually introduced October 1, 1958 – American Express introduced travel-and-entertainment charge card (The original card was actually paper printed with purple ink to resemble Travelers Cheques)

The first plastic American Express appeared in the early 1960s, while their adoption had become increased as vendors found traditional AMEX booklets too difficult to manage. It was because of this that well received the new plastic cards, which used charge plate machines, thereby making transaction and record keeping easier and less error prone.

American Express AMEX First Plastic Card from 1960s

Plastic cards became dominant and remained the main player, however, it was not until 1966 that the common credit card came to, when Bank of America established BankAmerica Service Corporation to franchise the BankAmericard which then became known as “Visa“, still not black). Mastercard, originally Mastercharge, came to be in 1966 in addition, where both Visa and Mastercard credit cards were open-loop (inter-bank), and American Express was closed-loop (intrabank).

American Express took the lead again in 2004 in some parts of Europe, and in 2006 in the United States by changing their elusive BLACK CARD (formally known as the Centurion Card), to a hand crafted titanium card to replace it’s plastic ancestor. Times as changed, this isn’t your grandfather’s “purple cardboard,” although American Express Charter Members (Members since 1958) do get some special privileges.

American Express Centurion Card2008 of course brought the “Visa Black Card“, made from Carbon Fiber. The Wikipedia editors, however, did neglect to include credit cards in applications of carbon fiber (we’re kidding): “The properties of carbon fiber such as high tensile strength, low weight, and low thermal expansion make it very popular in aerospace, civil engineering, military, and motorsports, along with other competition sports.”

We’ll stick with black hand hammered titanium for now, someone update Wikipedia.

Posted in Alternate Cards, Entertainment, General, History2 Comments

KanYe Wests American Express Cards are Black and Red

Kayne West Good Life African American Express Red AMEXKanye West for some time now has been pushing a new term for the “Black Card.” On his “College Dropout” album Kanye raps in “Last Call:

I went to the malls and I balled too hard
‘Oh my god, is that a black card?’
I turned around and replied, why yes but I prefer the term
“African American Express”

In his “Good Life” music video pictured left, Kanye shows his “African American Express” Red Card. The American Express Red is an American Express Card offered by American Express UK as part of the RED initiative that was started by Bono (U2)  and Bobby Shriver (DATA) to raise money for the Global Fund. Money spent on the card helps the global fund by sending 1% of purchases to the RED Global Fund.

The Global Fund (first created in 2002) is setup to help fight AIDS, TB (Tuberculosis), and Malaria. The rich can help even more with the Red Card, as when annual spend passes £5000 the fund percentage is increased to 1.25%.

Kanye isn’t the only rapper to help the RED initiative, Timbaland feat Keri Hilson on his second album “Timbaland Presents Shock Value.Timbaland raps in “The Way I Are:”

“I ain’t got no Visa
I ain’t got no Red American Express

We can’t go nowhere exotic
It don’t matter ’cause I’m the one that love you best
Talk to me girl”

Unfortunately unless you’re in the UK, you’ll have to stick with the Black Card for now.

American Express Centurion CardAmerican Express (AMEX) RED UK

Posted in Kanye West2 Comments

Visa Infinite Black Card (RBC Royal Bank)

Last year Visa launched the RBC Royal Bank in Canada in 2008 by Invitation only. This card was launched prior to the other ultra exclusive Canadian Black Card, American Express’ Centurion Card launched in December 2008.

Visa Infinite Black Card RBC Royal Bank

The RBC Royal Bank Visa Infinite Black Card is:

*Invitation only
*1 Million CAD in Liquid Assets, Net Worth of 3 Million CAD or >.
* 250,000 or more Annual Income.
* Annual Fees $399 per year for Private Banking clients, $599 for non-Private Banking clients.
* RBC Rewards redemption rate of 2% instead of 1% for all travel rewards, all flight classes (no blackout periods or seat restrictions)
* Visa Infinite Concierge Service (Virtuoso)
* Complimentary Priority Pass membership (the $99 annual fee version)
* Complimentary TabletPlus membership (usual fee $195)
* Complimentary access to Zagat® restaurant ratings and reviews
* Dedicated customer support number for Visa Infinite clients only.
* Extensive travel insurance coverage and emergency assistance
* Minimum $20,000 credit limit”

Posted in Visa Infinite12 Comments

Centurion Card Launched in Canada

Centurion Card CanadaIn December 2008, American Express sent out invitations for the Centurion Card in Canada. The invitation eligible, includes about approximately 274,000 consumers, or 2.7% of the population. In Canada the qualifiers are a bit different than in the US, and requires that eligible candidates have

at least $1 million in financial assets, excluding collectibles, homes, cars, and general consumer goods. That is, you need to have $1 million in liquid assets, or cash.

Despite economic turmoil, Trevor Van Nest, VP of Consumer Card Marketing @ American Express Canada says “We had sweaty palms, but the response has exceeded expectations,” and that although “There has been a slight dip in spending, but the absolute dollars are still higher than any other market,” and their targeted cardholders spend “several hundred thousand dollars a year [on their credit cards].”

The Canadian Centurion Card, or Black Card, similar to the US, is made from titanium, requires a one-time initiation fee, annual membership fee of $2,500. The benefits on the card itself, for the most part match that of the US Centurion Card, although severely lack when it comes to US travel benefits which include elite status on multiple arlines (Continental, Delta, US AIR, Virgin Atlantic). VIP Shopping priviledges (personal assistant, after hours shopping, free gift wrapping and alterations). at retailers including: Harry Rosen, Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The American Centurion Card in Canada now competes with the Visa Infinite Black Card launched by RBC and CIBC in March 2008, which includes typical luxury credit card benefits, has an annual fee of $120, and requires cardholers have a minimum household income of $100,000 CAD.

Posted in Centurion Card Canada6 Comments

Chinese Artst Makes Sculptures Using Black Card

Mao Zedong, standing on a box of Dom Perignon, with the American Express Black Card/Centurion Card in his hand. As a strong status symbol in popular culture it is not surprising that the Black Card is emerging in Art work.

black_card_chinese_artist_americandream

“Getting Rich is Glorious”
Deng Xiaoping

About the Artist:  R. Lloyd Ming
R. Lloyd Ming uses photography, video art, installation and sculpture to ask hard questions about society. He is inspired by artists who use found or readymade objects to create their work and Ming typically also works in this way. Notable influences are Marcel Duchamp, Subodh Gupta, Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson, Haim Steinbeck, Joseph Cornell, Louise Nevelson and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Ming is particularly influenced by the work of American artist Robert Rauschenberg. Throughout his career Rauschenberg used objects he found on the street to make sculptures he called combines.

http://www.RLloydMing.com

Posted in Centurion Card, General4 Comments

Maserati Quattroporte Centurion Edition (for Black Card Members)

A new partnership between American Express Centurion and Maserati has resulted in the creation of the Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion, Special Series. First unveiled at Forbes House (Belgravia, London) for an exclusive audience of American Express Black Card (Centurion Card holders), the Pininfarina designed luxury saloon was received with excitement.

Black Card Centurion Maserati

“The Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion special series is exclusively built to order: finished in stunning metallic Nero Carbonio (carbon black), it features a sumptuous Bianco Polare (polar white) Poltrona Frau® leather interior with embossed Centurion logo on the headrests, a bespoke numbered plaque, titanium coloured trim and 20” ball polished rims. The Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion 4.2 is powered by an impressive 400HP 4.2 litre V8 engine, powering the car to a top speed of 167 mph and allowing it to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.6 seconds. The fully automatic ZF gearbox ensures a smooth and responsive ride in all conditions.” If that’s not fast enough for you, the Centurion Edition Maserati is also available in a 4.7 litre edition, with 430HP engine that can reach 174mph top speed, and go from 0 to 62 mpg in 5.4 seconds.

Unique Serial # Plate Identification

Black Card Maserati Centurion Edition Plate

Centurion Logo Embossed Headrest

Black Card Maserati Quattroporte Centurion Embossed Headrest

Prices will start from £88,315 (approx $125k USD) for the Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion 4.2 and £94,185 (approx 133k USD) for the Maserati Quattroporte for Centurion 4.7.

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Visa Infinite Black Card launched in Africa by Access Bank

The Visa Infinite Black Card has just been announced by Access Bank of Nigeria as Africa’s “most prestigious credit card”. Similar to other cards carrying the “Black Card” name, targeted at “For discerning clients who desire unlimited spending power, convenience and privileges with a single prestigious solution.”

Advertised benefits to this invitation only “Limited Membership, Infinite Privileges” card include:

  • A concierge service to manage cardholder travel, hotel reservations, currency exchange, transportation, special vacation packages, etc
  • Travel insurance coverage, including: medical treatment, evacuation, emergency medical, including emergency medical treatment, and of course loss of luggage
  • Priority Pass Membership
  • Minimum $30,000 credit limit
  • Specific 24/7 call centre service
  • Ticket Exchange
  • Emergency card replacement and cash advances
  • Collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • 29% Interest rate

Visa Infinite Black Card Access Bank Africa

Posted in Visa Black Infinite - Accessbank1 Comment

The Black Card Era: Visa, AMEX, and many more

Rapper Clipse tells us, we are in indeed in the Black Card Era. The “black card“, urban legend turned reality in 1999 may finally be exhausting it’s life as everyone in the world can now have a black card. As NBA stars like DeShaw Stevenson would remind you, as would Visa, the Black Card “is not for everyone“, as would WIZKID Productions “Black Affair” for Mid-night Ballers.

DeShawn Stevenson Black CardWizkid Black Card

But that hasn’t stopped everyone from capitalizing on the “Black Card“, for example, if you want to go to a club that caters to the”Black Card” crowd, and is VIP only (Arizona’s Black Card Ultralounge pictured below, has now closed)

black_card_ultralounge

The Black Card PartyBlack Card Thursdays At FR.OG

There is of course a social club that has established itself as the “Black Card Circle“:

Black Card Circle is the Premier Communication Platform and Relationship Building Organization for Influential Individuals Worldwide.

Black Card Circle Logo

Or if you want to listen to some tracks from the Ali Vegas released a mixtape titled “Black Card Council – Unlimited Street Credit.” that are cater to the sophistication that “Black Card” members so often discern, you can.

Black Card Council

There is the “NatWest Black Card” which is prestigious in the UK, and requires you are over 25 with £75,000 or greater (sorry Harrison Gervitz).

natwest_black

Andy Warhol said in 1968 that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”

…and the black card brings people that bit of fame. For now, you’ll have to stick to one of the above, or you can get the latest new comer to the black card market, the “Visa Black Card“.

Visa Black Card

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