Chinese billionaire buys a $170M painting and puts it on plastic, for the points

A member of staff at Christie's auction house looks at a painting by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani entitled 'Reclining Nude' as it goes on display in London on Oct. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian made headlines earlier this month after purchasing a 1918 painting by Amedeo Modigliani for more than $170 million at a Christie’s auction and is planning to charge it to his American Express Centurion card, according to Mashable.

Yiqian has already made some other big ticket purchases on plastic, including a $36 million Ming dynasty cup and a $45 million silk tapestry.

The former middle-school drop-out turned taxi driver turned billionaire is reported to be worth around $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.

“In theory, it’s possible to put a ($170 million purchase) on an American Express card,” American Express spokeswoman Elizabeth Crosta told KVAL. “It is based on our relationship with that individual card member and these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, based on our knowledge of their spending patterns.”

If you’re wondering how you get your hands on an AmEx Centurion (AKA ‘black card’), you’ll need an invitation from the company and be willing to shell out a $5,000 buy-in plus $2,500 yearly to keep the no-limit card.

It does earn you points though – Yiqian will be earning a point per dollar on his latest purchase. Valued at 1.9 cents each, he’ll earn the equivalent of around $3,230,000.

While Yiqian is coming out the winner in this purchase, KVAL points out the auction house could take a pretty big hit.

American Express charges a 2-3 per cent service fee for every swipe of their plastic meaning, at the baseline, Christie’s could get dinged just under $3.5 million for the sale.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting