Many teens aspire to one day have an American Express black card. Loads of high net worth individuals use these cards, and in today’s society, they represent power, wealth and success. But, while I’m all in for having success, wealth and power, I don’t think I will ever get an Amex Black Card or any of its equivalents.
First, what is an American Express black card? The card is an invitation-only charge card (you buy on credit, and pay everything off at the end of the month) issued by American Express to platinum card holders after they meet certain criteria. While the exact requirements are not known, you need to spend over $250,000 on the card a year and have stellar credit. And, being invitation only, not many ‘average’ people hold these cards – usually only celebrities and the super-rich. According to The Motley Fool, they are available to just 0.1 percent of the population.
One can see why any teen or young adult would aspire to hold one of these cards. Only a very rich, very successful sliver of the population holds these cards. They attract attention, and are a physical object that says ‘hey, I’m doing alright’. It’s not just teens. It seems that most people who are looking at black cards are dreaming of one day getting one. Just search ‘Amex Black Card’ on Google, and you will find that the results are all ‘what are the requirements for the black card’ and ‘how do I get an Amex Black Card?’. They truly are very highly sought after. (And we haven’t even mentioned the benefits of the card. You get elite access and special membership rewards. However, they aren’t much better than the platinum card.)
By this point, you must be thinking, “wow, this sounds great! I can flaunt my wealth to others, and get member-only benefits, and buy cool cars, and fly private jets!” Sure, you could do that … but this is why I don’t want to.
I want to be successful, but I do not want to live that type of lifestyle.
To even become eligible for an Amex Black card, you need to spend a quarter of a million dollars per year. Just having this card encourages you to waste money, because to hold it, you need to. And, think about what you will be spending that $250,000 on. You don’t buy a house or car with a cash card, you use a check. You buy food and clothing with a credit card – not assets.
So, by owning that card, I am encouraged to spend a whole lot of money on things that are ‘money wasters’. Sure, you need food to survive, but you do not need two hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of food to survive. You will just end up wasting that money.
When I am successful and have wealth, I do not want to live the type of lifestyle where I try to spend my money and flaunt to others. I want to be frugal and work hard. Sure, I want a nice house and a cool car, but I don’t want a titanium card that is a money wasting status symbol. I’m fine with my good old plastic debit card to buy my groceries and gas.
Basically, a personal Amex Black Card is just an excuse to spend money (and try to impress others), and I don’t want to do that.
Now it is time to take a look at someone who we should all strive to be like – the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. If you have ever studied Buffett, or listened to him speak, ask yourself this question. Do you think that he has a black card?
The answer is absolutely not. One of the richest men in the world, someone who could spend millions of dollars a day for the rest of his life, and still have some left over, does not use an Amex Black card. Why? Because even he doesn’t need it. In fact, he has the ‘beginning teir’ Amex Card, the American Express Green Card because (in his own words) – “It goes with my cell phone.” Flaunting and spending does not matter to him – and they shouldn’t to you.
By idolizing that card as something that you want ‘just to be cool’, you subconsciously put yourself in the mindset that you must impress others, and spend your money. That’s just what the card is – something to impress others and waste your money.
This post wasn’t written to discourage you from setting goals. It is in response to the multitude of people who aspire to have a black card. When I ask “why?”, they respond, “because its cool”. If you delve deeper, most really want the card because it is exclusive, and ‘only the rich have it’. This yearning puts you in the mindset that you need to impress others by having an object that shows that you spend a lot of money. This mindset is not very good, mainly because it encourages you to do things for others -not yourself, and also teaches you that you must spend a lot to be noticed by society. You do not. Just work hard, build your wealth (by being frugal), and you will receive recognition for your actions. People notice hard work and success much more than a metal card.
Also, take note of the title – “Why I Will Never Get A Personal AMEX Black Card”. These cards do have their benefits, and for entities who spend a lot, they may be a good fit. I don’t want a card like this because I never want to be an ‘entity that spends a lot’. However, if the card (or a similar type) is a good fit for my businuess (which, hopefully, will be spending a lot to make a lot), then I am all in.
I would like to hear your responses to this post. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments, I am happy to respond.