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EvenBob
EvenBob
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September 22nd, 2021 at 1:11:16 PM permalink
Quote: billryan

Well, since he said it on the internet, it must be true, right?



Here's what Seinfeld said on his show.

“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.’ Next morning I call the president of American Express. I go, ‘Is there a Black Card?’ He says, ‘It’s just a rumor. It doesn’t exist.’ He said, ‘But you know what? It’s not a bad idea.’ And so they developed it, and they gave me the first one.”

At the time in the late nineties Seinfeld had been the spokesman for AMEX since 1995. Seinfeld did not come up with the idea but according to him he did get them to start issuing it. As far as him having the first one AMEX will not comment. It makes sense because Seinfeld was their main spokesman in the late nineties and he had a direct link to the president of the company. This is not something Seinfeld would BS about. I'm sure he's correct and he got the first one.

"As essentially the face of Amex at the time, Jerry Seinfeld was likely one of many high-earning Amex clients interested in getting an exclusive, brag-worthy card, all of whom influenced American Express’ decision to bring the card to life. We may never know how great of a bearing he personally held over Amex to make it happen, but one more vital piece of information is still unconfirmed: Was Seinfeld in fact the very first Centurion cardholder?"
https://thepointsguy.com/news/jerry-seinfeld-amex-black-card/


There were a ton of these commercials in the 90s.

"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
billryan
billryan
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September 22nd, 2021 at 1:26:18 PM permalink
From wikipedia:

In 1988, an article in The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported that an exclusive black American Express membership card that was never advertised had been discontinued a year earlier. The article claimed that during a trial run that lasted almost four years, the card "was held by an ultra-select group of consumers who numbered fewer than 1,000 around the world."[3] Lee Middleton, a spokesman for American Express, confirmed the card's existence to the Journal and said that it was given to clients who had a "substantial banking relationship" with American Express Bank Ltd., the New York parent of American Express's bank subsidiaries in Switzerland. Services included "dispatching limousines or helicopters for clients, booking their vacations and finding medical care in exotic places." Middleton said American Express abandoned the black card in 1987 because the newly introduced Platinum Card offered "95% of the black card's services."

It looks like the card was first issued in 1984, a decade before Mr. S worked for AMEX.

By the way- AMEX claims it is by invitation only, but you can apply for an invitation on their site, same as any other card they offer.
They are great to have. One of the best perks is being able to access the first class lounge of almost every airline in every airport, even when you aren't flying.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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September 22nd, 2021 at 1:41:04 PM permalink
Quote: billryan

From wikipedia:

.

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    This is the card Seinfeld is talking about, introduced in 1999 when he was making millions of dollars a year as the spokesman for AMEX. Who else would they give the first card to besides Seinfeld.

    " In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card, a black charge card aimed at the company's wealthiest cardholders. In a 2018 episode of the Netflix show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld, who appeared in American Express commercials in the 1990s, claimed to have received the first Centurion card after contacting the company's president about the rumored existence of an exclusive black card" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centurion_Card#History
    "It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
    AZDuffman
    AZDuffman
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    September 22nd, 2021 at 1:55:59 PM permalink
    Quote: EvenBob

    Quote: billryan

    From wikipedia:

    .

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    This is the card Seinfeld is talking about, introduced in 1999 when he was making millions of dollars a year as the spokesman for AMEX. Who else would they give the first card to besides Seinfeld.

    " In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card, a black charge card aimed at the company's wealthiest cardholders. In a 2018 episode of the Netflix show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld, who appeared in American Express commercials in the 1990s, claimed to have received the first Centurion card after contacting the company's president about the rumored existence of an exclusive black card" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centurion_Card#History
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    If you research it at best it appears they were considering it to planning it and Jerry just mentioned it so they are riding that to publicity.
    All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
    billryan
    billryan
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    September 22nd, 2021 at 2:08:18 PM permalink
    In 1986, Jim Shooter was the President and Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics. He attended a birthday dinner I was at for Tom DeFalco, the future EIC of Marvel. As the dinner was winding down, Shooter attempted to pay for the dinner, and gave the waiter a card. A few minutes later, the owner came in and wanted to know what the card was as he'd never seen it before. As Gold and Platinum cards were fairly common on Long Island, I have always assumed it was a black card, although a year or so later I saw a plum colored Amex that the owner said was a step above platinum.
    In the 80s, Amex was a great card to have, with customer service that couldn't be beat. Then they switched to automated phone services and soon were just another card.
    When they stopped waiving their annual fees I left them. Years later, they tried to sue me personally for what they claimed was systematic fraud in one of my clubs.
    EvenBob
    EvenBob
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    September 22nd, 2021 at 3:06:21 PM permalink
    Quote: AZDuffman

    [

    If you research it at best it appears they were considering it to planning it and Jerry just mentioned it so they are riding that to publicity.

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    Which takes nothing away from Seinfeld's story. That he was the first black card holder in 1999 I have no doubt. He was their spokesperson and had the number one TV show and Seinfeld himself was immensely popular. Who better to get the first card than him. When he tells the story on his show it's not a bit he's doing, it has the absolute ring of credibility to it. At the time he was what Cosby was to Jello or what Wilford Brimley was to Quaker Oats oatmeal. Seinfeld was the face of AMEX.

    Seinfeld was doing commercials for AMEX from 1992 to 2002 but he was the spokesperson from 95 to 2002. His TV commercials for them were classics even in the 90s. They repeatedly were featured in advertising company magazines and one of them, the gas station commercial, even won a Cannes Film Festival award. The commercial he did with Superman was the highlight of the Super Bowl the year it appeared. Of course it would be Seinfeld who would get the first black card. As far as them being By Invitation only, most credit cards are given out that way by giving people offers in the mail. Every credit card I've ever had I got because I got an invitation in the mail.



    "It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
    gordonm888
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    gordonm888
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    September 22nd, 2021 at 10:48:00 PM permalink
    Quote: gamerfreak

    Quote:

    At one time, there were 40 Horn & Hardart automats in New York City alone. The last one closed in 1991. Horn and Hardart converted most of its New York City locations to Burger King.



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    My Dad took me to a Horn and Hardart automat in Manhattan once, probably in the 1960s. What I remember is that the meal we bought sucked. I didn't remember food tasting that bad hardly ever.
    So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.
    billryan
    billryan
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    September 23rd, 2021 at 12:35:21 AM permalink
    I don't remember the food at all, just the experience of the machines. I remember reading their wiki page and complaints about the food towards the end.
    AZDuffman
    AZDuffman
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    September 23rd, 2021 at 2:54:18 AM permalink
    Quote: billryan

    I don't remember the food at all, just the experience of the machines. I remember reading their wiki page and complaints about the food towards the end.

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    Pre-prepped food that has been sitting tasting bad? Not a surprise.

    Automat was about the ability to get your food NOW. And the fun of using a vending machine.
    All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
    Dieter
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    Joeman
    September 23rd, 2021 at 6:04:21 AM permalink
    Quote: AZDuffman

    Quote: billryan

    I don't remember the food at all, just the experience of the machines. I remember reading their wiki page and complaints about the food towards the end.

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    Pre-prepped food that has been sitting tasting bad? Not a surprise.

    Automat was about the ability to get your food NOW. And the fun of using a vending machine.
  • link to original post



    I was recently surprised to learn that FEBO offers delivery, further removing the consumer from the vending machine cuisine experience.

    Honestly, if a drone brought me a soggy chicken salad sandwich wedge from a wheel-of-death style vending machine, it would still be a soggy chicken salad sandwich from the wheel-of-death, just without the magic of spinning the wheel and fumbling with the sliding door.
    May the cards fall in your favor.

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