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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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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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 fault cards produced in February in the UK (The Centurion Card in the UK runs a £1,800, maybe this will someday become a bargain 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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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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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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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 ispulling a “Switch and Bait” and ripping off American Express Platinum Card (which the Visa Black Card more accurately compares to).

adammcewenswitchandbait1 amex platinum graphite Graphite Platinum AMEX Implies Switch and Bait  by VisaIf 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

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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 9 per year for Private Banking clients, 9 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 annual fee version)
* Complimentary TabletPlus membership (usual fee 5)
* 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 ,000 credit limit”

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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

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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.

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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 ,000 Rolex gift card that is redeemable at an authorized Rolex dealer. Primary account holders in good standing are eligible for the drawing.

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