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Buying a Ferrari on an AMEX card [to elicit Centurion invite]?

Buying a Ferrari on an AMEX card [to elicit Centurion invite]?

Old Aug 20, 11, 5:07 am
  #1  
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Buying a Ferrari on an AMEX card [to elicit Centurion invite]?

I've been saving/investing for years with a goal that once I reach X, I'm going to take a chunk and buy a Ferrari for personal pleasure (I realize I'm throwing my money away in this case, but that's fine with me). I don't have all the money yet but getting really close to my goal so I'm sure it'll happen at some point soon.

I've also been wanting a Centurion card but my semi-conservative lifestyle (Ferrari excepted) only racks up ~$100k in expenses annually (including mortgage). Since you only have to hit the spending limit during 1 year, I was hoping it's possible to pre-pay AMEX for the $350k or so, buy the Ferrari and get an invite for Centurion shortly after (one would assume a Ferrari qualifies as the "non-business expenses" AMEX is looking for in Centurion card holders ).

I figure I could entice the Ferrari salesperson to take the credit card by offering to make them whole on the ~3% AMEX fee ($10k fee isn't much when considering the $7,500 for the card, plus I'll get a ton of SPG points )

When I started thinking about it though, I came up with a few questions:

Would AMEX let me pre-pay that much?

Do car dealers even take credit cards for such purchases? Exotic car dealers?

Would an invite be likely, or are they more looking for consistency?

Appreciate any insight into my frivolous question!

Last edited by 2tall4economy; Aug 20, 11 at 12:34 pm
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Old Aug 20, 11, 5:22 am
  #2  
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if you pay the list price, they should take the cc, but perhaps a price lower than list would be better....

the car guy shouldn't have a problem w/ you paying with more than 1 card swipe....

if your limit is < 350k, usually, prepay wouldn't allow a charge greater than your cl, at least for we of the great unwashed, but it would make it easier/possible to do the multi swipes....
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Old Aug 20, 11, 5:47 am
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Must be nice
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Old Aug 20, 11, 5:50 am
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Cent is by invite only now. There is no set spending threshold per se.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by 2tall4economy View Post
I've also been wanting a Centurion card but my semi-conservative lifestyle...
Aside from buying a Ferrari I don't think spending $17,500 (10k +7.5k) for a credit card would be considered semi-conservative either.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 8:54 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by 2tall4economy View Post
I figure I could entice the Ferrari salesperson to take the credit card by offering to make them whole on the ~3% AMEX fee ($10k fee isn't much when considering the $7,500 for the card, plus I'll get a ton of SPG points )

When I started thinking about it though, I came up with a few questions:

Would AMEX let me pre-pay that much?

Do car dealers even take credit cards for such purchases? Exotic car dealers?

Would an invite be likely, or are they more looking for consistency?

Appreciate any insight into my frivolous question!
This is based purely on personal experience, so it mightn't apply in your circumstance, but:

1. Yes, you can prepay, but call ahead to inform Amex about the impending charge.

2. Yes, they will. I think they aren't allowed to make you pay the 3% fee outright, but they might call it an "administrative charge" instead, or (more likely) roll it into the price of the car. And it'll probably be more like 5%. Just because they can...

3. I asked if buying cars on my card played any part in the process and I got a very vague answer to the effect of 'yes, somewhat', but that they also look at your overall 'lifestyle spending' and make a decision based on that. Consistency would probably play a big part. I.e. if most your spending is travel-related or on luxury items, the likelihood of getting invited increases substantially.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 11:47 am
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I swiped my plat at McDonalds the other day.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 11:57 am
  #8  
 
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I'm not sure about this, but I am doubt AMEX will offer you the Centurion just because of one huge purchase. They might look at your spending history and see that you will not normally meet their spending requirements. If you don't have to pay the 3.5% (at least that is what my company pays to accept AMEX) then there is no risk in your plan. But spending an extra $12,000 is a pretty big risk.

I have never done this, but do car dealers generally accept credit card payments for the whole car? I once paid a car payment with a card and it went as a cash advance with lots of fees and no miles.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by srt8-blue View Post
Must be nice
I thought I was wealthy once. Then I moved to Manhattan & realized there's a whole different level of wealth which I didn't have any sense of.

Don't envy me. Ferrari ownership has been a loooooooooooong journey.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 1:02 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by will2288 View Post

I have never done this, but do car dealers generally accept credit card payments for the whole car? I once paid a car payment with a card and it went as a cash advance with lots of fees and no miles.
About 25 years ago, I had a American Express Platinum but later decided that it was not worth it. Unless they have a certain perk, such as companion tickets, that you would buy if you don't have the card, it's not worth it.

As far as buying a car, nothing is free. If they accept it, they won't give you as much of a discount. I bought a new car and paid the deposit with a credit card. I tried to pay a higher deposit and paid $2,000, I think. I think I got 1% back or $20. I've made a few $8,000 purchases, too.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 1:17 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by 2tall4economy View Post
I thought I was wealthy once. Then I moved to Manhattan & realized there's a whole different level of wealth which I didn't have any sense of.

Don't envy me. Ferrari ownership has been a loooooooooooong journey.
If you live in Manhattan and are interested in a car that will go fast you might want to consider a Lamborghini instead of a Ferrari.

When parked on any New York street a Lamborghini will go from "zero" to "stolen" in under 30 seconds, which is half the time of a Ferrari.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 1:38 pm
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I can't tell from your post if you've actually spoken with your dealer or not. So if you haven't maybe you should start there. I have a fifteen year relationship with one of my dealers, with seven high-performance vehicle purchases. I always talk about paying in full with my card, and they always say no. I even offer to pay their fees. They would let me charge up to $5,000 USD on the card specifically for the vehicle (their policy is $2,000). They are also very open to accepting card payment for service warranties, dealer installed options, accessories, and other small-ticket items at the time of purchase.

As others have already stated, you won't be eligible for Centurion unless you plan on buying one every year. I go by a consistent $250,000+ per year, for a few years, of discretionary and luxury items. Cell phone bills, utilities, gas, etc. do not count towards that total. If you meet that, then you might be considered for an invite.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 4:54 pm
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not gonna get the invite

buying the Ferrari wont get you an invite...

Here are the "known" ways to get an invite

1. Big spend month over month for 12+ months...should be at a minimum $500,000 (some say more) per year and in the right categories (luxury hotels, travel, luxury goods, etc...)

2. Invest with Amerprise as your brokerage...they have a close relationship with AMEX and do share info on your net worth unless you explicitly "opt out". Keep a large balance in an amex bank account, etc...

...those are the only ways into Centurion these days...an established history of big spending.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 5:37 pm
  #14  
mia
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Originally Posted by bubu-SNA View Post
... Amerprise as your brokerage...they have a close relationship with AMEX ...
Ameriprise was spun off from American Express, but this hasn't stopped Ameriprise from offering MasterCard products to their clients.
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Old Aug 20, 11, 6:03 pm
  #15  
 
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Not sure if you can prepay your Amex to increase your credit for single purchases. I have been making payments in between statements, paying things in instalments because I have a $15K/month limit on my US Amex card. I asked about sending in a "credit" but was told it would not be accepted.
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