I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but a huge and fun part of my job is running errands for my rich employers. Whenever the Missus sends me out on one of these assignments (especially if it's to Neiman's) she usually hands me her American Express card - the Black Card.
The first thing you notice about this peculiar card is that it's really, really heavy, compared to all the light-weight cards we carry around in our wallets. The second thing is it's really, really thick - to the point I worry if it will actually slide through anyone's credit card reader.
Even though I might be unshaven and dressed in old jeans and t-shirt, I can't help but notice the lifted eyebrows and attitude adjustment when I take out the Black Card and hand it to a clerk at Bergdorf's or Saks Fifth Avenue.
I'd heard whispering and rumors about the Am Ex Black Card for years of course, but wasn't sure if it truly existed or not. You see, it's not advertised and in the past it's not something you could apply for - it was by invitation only from American Express to big spenders on their traditional Green Card.
Nowadays the rules may have changed, but it's fairly out in the open this prestigious card really does exist - although the membership, both domestic and international, is reportedly quiet small.
While information about the members and the requirements to carry the card is still rather secretive, from what I can gather you must spend at least a quarter-of-a-million dollars a year on the card ($250,000) to remain a member - and there's an annual fee of $2,500.
But what's that to a billionaire?
As we all know, prestige in the world of the rich seems to be highly important. While dignity, honor and respect are harder to come by, prestige is still one of those commodities that money can easily and always buy.
Thanks for dropping in this evening.