Jerry Seinfeld Claimed He Is Responsible for the Invention of the American Express Black Card: Is It True?

Jerry Seinfeld has had an illustrious career. Between his success on the standup circuit, his groundbreaking sitcom, and his deal with Netflix, he is a household name. Seinfeld’s biggest claim to fame might be a little-known rumor. The famed comedian once claimed that he is the reason that the American Express Centurion card, previously known as the Black Card, exists today. So, is Seinfeld’s claim true, or is it just a fun story he likes to tell? 

Jerry Seinfeld claims that he got the Black Card made after calling the CEO about a rumor 

American Express introduced an exclusive credit card with no credit limit in the 1990s. The card has become a symbol of wealth and influence, and the world’s biggest celebrities utilize the card as a status symbol. In 2018, Seinfeld revealed that he was the reason that the card exists. 

Jerry Seinfeld is seen sipping a cup of coffee during an episode of 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee'
Jerry Seinfeld | Netflix

During an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the Seinfeld star said that he was the owner of the first Black Card after he approached the then-president of American Express about the rumored card. According to Seinfeld, a commercial crew member asked him if he owned a rumored credit card with no limit. The crew member told him only three in the world existed. Reportedly, the crew member assumed Seinfeld was the owner of the mysterious third card. Seinfeld later called the president of American Express about the card but was told it was just a story. He claimed it was a good idea, though, and later developed it. Seinfeld claims he was the first person ever to receive the exclusive credit card. 

Did Jerry Seinfeld really get the American Express Black Card made? 

Seinfeld’s story is certainly an interesting anecdote, but is his claim true? CNBC attempted to determine if Seinfeld’s influence in the 1990s led to the exclusive credit opportunity. Unfortunately, they ran into a bit of a dead-end. American Express’s spokesman would not confirm Seinfeld’s story, but they didn’t exactly deny it either. 

Jerry Seinfeld is seen running down the streets of Lower Manhattan while filming a Webisode for American Express
Jerry Seinfeld | Theo Wargo/WireImage

American Express did issue a statement, though. They told the publication, “We cannot attribute the existence of the American Express Centurion Card to just one Card Member.” In short, Seinfeld might have had a pivotal role in the development of the card. Still, he likely wasn’t the only celebrity the company had in mind when creating the elite credit opportunity. 

Which celebrities claim to have access to the American Express Centurion Card?

Seinfeld is far from the only celebrity to mention their status as an elite cardholder. According to several reports, roughly 17,000 Centurion accounts exist right now. They belong to the wealthiest people in the world, and several celebrities fall into that category. 

An unidentified guest looks at a wall of American Express cards at the 'Annie Leibovitz: Rewarding Lives exhibition' in West Hollywood in 2004
A wall of American Express cards | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Mark Cuban, the savvy Shark Tank investor, isn’t big on using credit cards. He has made an exception for American Express, though. Cuban once revealed that he owns an American Express Black Card. In an interview, Cuban admitted that American Express declined his card when he tried to buy champagne. Cuban said he had forgotten to register the account. Experts believe Kim Kardashian West, Oprah Winfrey, and Tiger Woods have access to the Centurion Card’s exclusive benefits. Woods, just like Seinfeld, has worked with Amex.