The Death Spiral of the Centurion Card

Old Dec 5, 13, 7:21 am
  #1  
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The Death Spiral of the Centurion Card

Frankly, I am getting sick of how Amex is handling the Centurion program.

1. They increase the free on the second card from $1,500 to $2,500. Yikes...

Then you have the unending slide in benefits

1. Some years back SPG Platinum became Gold.
2. Mandarin Oriental hotels rarely still offer the buy 1 night, get 1 night deal once per year at any of their properties.
3. Virgin Gold is going away
4. US Air Platinum is going away
5. AA lounge access is gone (yes they add a credit but why not reduce my membership fee?)

With this downward spiral the question is: How Many Centurion Cardholders are going away?

I for one am very pissed with a card that is more like a slow bait and switch.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 8:41 am
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You left off

6. Continental went away
7. Priority Pass was downgraded to worthless in the US
8. Upgrade to best room in house at arrival has been replaced with one catagory upgrade at time of booking.

I changed my supplemental card from Centurion to Platinum yesterday. I'll wait a bit before I make a decision on dropping the Centurion card altogether.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by jm0754 View Post
Frankly, I am getting sick of how Amex is handling the Centurion program.

1. They increase the free on the second card from $1,500 to $2,500. Yikes...

Then you have the unending slide in benefits

1. Some years back SPG Platinum became Gold.
2. Mandarin Oriental hotels rarely still offer the buy 1 night, get 1 night deal once per year at any of their properties.
3. Virgin Gold is going away
4. US Air Platinum is going away
5. AA lounge access is gone (yes they add a credit but why not reduce my membership fee?)

With this downward spiral the question is: How Many Centurion Cardholders are going away?

I for one am very pissed with a card that is more like a slow bait and switch.
I'll mention something else that is devaluing the 'perception' of the card, is all the copy cat cards out there that are black.

Why i admit that it isn't the reason i got the card i did get a small kick out of the reaction it got sometimes. What i see now is people with Visa black and winking like 'hey you too huh....lol'.

I wonder if Amex has addressed this. Those with a cent know the difference but those with the copy cats mostly do not.

I guess it really shouldn't matter, should it.......

Last edited by bizorbetter; Dec 5, 13 at 8:44 pm
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Old Dec 5, 13, 10:37 am
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This message board is monitored by AMEX. It would be refreshing for them to respond with what AMEX perceives as the remaining value of the Centurion card. What does a new Centurion Card member get for $5,000 initiation AND $2,500 a year????
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Old Dec 5, 13, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by MrWizard View Post
This message board is monitored by AMEX. It would be refreshing for them to respond with what AMEX perceives as the remaining value of the Centurion card. What does a new Centurion Card member get for $5,000 initiation AND $2,500 a year????
Answer: Some nominal hotel status benefits that are easy to attain thru other means, some near token rental car status that are freely handed out thru dozens of outlets, a concierge service replicated by other companies and that rarely pulls off miracles, FH&R program bits and pieces $200 here/$50 there and Delta Platinum Status.

IMHO not worth $7500 and the recurring $2500. They should waive the fee on a second card otherwise I will downgrade it, just not worth it anymore, scandalously overpriced.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by jm0754 View Post
..just not worth it anymore, scandalously overpriced.
The decimal point in the fee is in the wrong place? lol
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Old Dec 5, 13, 11:31 am
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LOL, I guess you can say $2500 is an exceptional deal for DL Plat status alone when you consider that Delta is actually trying to sell frequent flyers 10,000 medallion qualifying miles toward status for $1,995! At that computation, it would value 75K Platinum status as being worth about $14,962.50 ! On a serious note though, it is interesting that AMEX has not allowed foreign Cents to enter the US market for a number of years through the Global Transfer Program. As the crown jewel airline status benefits disappear in the US market, I suppose foreign Cents can be grateful to have retained their respective overseas cards as some of the foreign AMEX Cent markets have tried to make up for the lack of airline status with more hotel relationships, rental car rates that include CDW, travel insurance irrespective of charging travel to the card, and other fringe benefits that the US card does not have.

Last edited by LAXRuss; Dec 5, 13 at 11:36 am
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Old Dec 5, 13, 12:38 pm
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Can someone do a quick side by side comparison between Plat and Cent benefits?

It boggles my mind that benefits go away with no hint of any additions. My card expires in Feb at which time I'll make the decision to keep or not.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 12:50 pm
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Not defending the erosion of benefits, but just wanted to point out that the fast-track to HH Diamond with 2 stays (which can be one night each), is potentially valuable as well. I would say the value of that alone has been >$1,000 for me this year.

Delta Platinum status should hopefully be worth slightly more next year than this year with MQD decreasing the ranks of top-tier elites.

That said, if AX does not replace the USAir benefit with something else, it will be harder to justify the cost.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by some dude View Post
Not defending the erosion of benefits, but just wanted to point out that the fast-track to HH Diamond with 2 stays (which can be one night each), is potentially valuable as well. I would say the value of that alone has been >$1,000 for me this year.
A lot of people would disagree. Hilton Gold can be obtained for $50 or free on a few credit cards now and offers many of the same benefits of Diamond.

The only real benefit of Hilton Diamond is guaranteed lounge access and in my opinion I only care about that when I am traveling outside of the USA.

Even Diamond is obtainable for spending $40k on their credit card which is pretty easy to accomplish for most people.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 1:37 pm
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I'm personally justifying my centurion through the extended warranty program...(double the mfg warranty up to 5 years, vs double up to 1 additional year on the platinum).

card pays for itself from my perspective on that benefit.

I am upset about the erosion of benefits, but short of cancelling there is nothing we can do. AMEX wants the centurion to be exclusive...or more exclusive...so erosion of benefits means people with common sense canceling vs the celebrity & ultra high net worth holders not caring at all. I see amex doing very little to stem the bloodbath.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by jm0754 View Post
Then you have the unending slide in benefits

1. Some years back SPG Platinum became Gold.
2. Mandarin Oriental hotels rarely still offer the buy 1 night, get 1 night deal once per year at any of their properties.
3. Virgin Gold is going away
4. US Air Platinum is going away
5. AA lounge access is gone (yes they add a credit but why not reduce my membership fee?)
6. Continental went away
7. Priority Pass was downgraded to worthless in the US
8. Upgrade to best room in house at arrival has been replaced with one catagory upgrade at time of booking.
9. Also some years back, Hyatt Diamond was a Centurion benefit.

I really miss that one!
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Old Dec 5, 13, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by bubu-SNA View Post
I'm personally justifying my centurion through the extended warranty program...(double the mfg warranty up to 5 years, vs double up to 1 additional year on the platinum).

card pays for itself from my perspective on that benefit.

I am upset about the erosion of benefits, but short of cancelling there is nothing we can do. AMEX wants the centurion to be exclusive...or more exclusive...so erosion of benefits means people with common sense canceling vs the celebrity & ultra high net worth holders not caring at all. I see amex doing very little to stem the bloodbath.
I believe Canadian cents get HH Diamond and as well they get CX diamond which = OW emerald....thus AC access?

Interesting
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Old Dec 5, 13, 7:35 pm
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It all depends on each country i guess.. or mostly. In Argentina, I'm getting more of what i spend on the anual fee. (From Free Stays at Top-End Hotels (with no minimum night required, so free), to discounts on air travel (saved 10% on Emirates Business class, which was 5k USD), to my birthday present (a $300-400 Dollar Nespresso, or restaurant invites/discounts/free champagne bottles when we leave, and some other stuff..).. but on the other hand we don't get such exclusive benefits, and most of the people i know who have it here, are complaining all the time about the lack of perks.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 9:33 pm
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Definitely, the US market and International Euro/Dollar cards aren't even the worst.

In Hong Kong the annual fee is now ~5000.00 USD and we get very, very little for it.
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