Not a billionaire art collector or a Sultan, but it was comedian Jerry Seinfeld and a rumor that gave birth to the ultra-exclusive American Express ‘Centurion’ Black Card

Via Youtube / @90's RetroTV


The American Express ‘Centurion’ aka Black Card, like most things, was a myth till it became a rich man’s mania. Who owns it? Where did it come from? What’s unique about it? These questions have lingered for as long as the card existed, perhaps even when it wasn’t created. No one in their wildest dreams would’ve traced the answer back to a billionaire comedian who, in all probability, could be why the world got its hands on the highly-coveted Black Card.


In a recent episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with guest John Mulaney, Seinfeld shared, “I was waiting for [the crew] to move some cameras, and the crew guy comes up me, he says, ‘You got the Black Card?’ And I go, ‘No, what’s the Black Card?’ He says, ‘There’s only three in the world. The Sultan of Brunei has one, the president of American Express has one, and I thought you would have the third one.’ The next morning I called the president of American Express. I go, ‘Is there a Black Card?’ He says, ‘It’s just a rumor. It doesn’t exist.’

In the 90’s, Jerry Sienfeld did a host of commercials for American Express. ‘Lost at Sea’ (above) was a very popular one.
He said, ‘But you know what? It’s not a bad idea.’ And so they developed it, and they gave me the first one.” per our research, the invite-only slice of anodized titanium meant for the ultra-rich was introduced in 1999. Seinfeld was a spokesperson for American Express in the 1990s. Though he isn’t the only reason the American Express Centurion card exists, his opinion was one of several imperative customer feedback.

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Via Youtube / @90’s RetroTV

In a statement to The Points Guy, American Express did not confirm or deny the anecdote: “We cannot attribute the existence of the American Express Centurion Card to just one Card Member, as we take a great deal of customer insights and feedback into account when we develop our Card products, benefits and services.” The sought-after card has no official credit limit, with plenty of benefits like uninterrupted shopping sprees, impressive deals, and complimentary companion airline tickets on international flights, a dedicated concierge, and more!

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Offered selectively to UHNIs only, as per estimates, only 100,000 Amex Black Cards are issued in the world.

When they say the sky is the limit with an Amex, they aren’t joking. Chief Executive Officer Steve Squeri shared, “From a credit perspective, that’s a really reassuring thing. It’s also why stories sometimes circulate in which someone charges a painting for $75 million. There’s nobody that has a $75 million line. Those are very difficult underwriting decisions and not for the faint of heart.”

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.