Studies show that services used with your Black Card can come with a mark-up of as high as 66 percent. For instance, the concierge service at the Ritz-Carlton got a Black Amex member a room at a rate of $349 per night that a corporate discount could have supposedly booked for $210, or two thirds of the cost.
American Express explained that purpose of the card is not to provide members with discounts but rather to enhance lifestyle and to provide elite access and services.
An American Express company spokesperson said, “We call them card members and not holders as it is about being in an exclusive club, and it is about being special and that is how we build the benefit and value. It’s about access. We do fashion events with designers such as Roberto Cavalli or Diane von Furstenberg where 25 people get to meet the designer who helps them pick out clothes one-on-one. We do famous chef events and you can cook with them at home. There is a program to shop with famous people like Stacey London.”