Billionaire buys famous painting with AmEx card, gets tens of millions of reward points

Amedo Modigliani, Reclining Nude, Christie's Auction

Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian, who purchased Amedeo Modigliani’s “Reclining Nude” at a Christie’s auction this month for $170.4-millionm, says he’ll be putting it on his American Express card. 

Liu has used his AmEx card in the past to pay for other high-end items, such as a $36-million tea cup from the Ming Dynasty last year. A high-profile collector, he and his wife plan on using the card again. 

American Express won't confirm the purchase due to privacy reasons, but state that it would be possible. 

“In theory, it’s possible to put a ($170-million purchase) on an American Express card,” said American Express spokeswoman Elizabeth Crosta. “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.”

Liu carries an American Express Centurion Card, also known as the AmEx “black card,” an invitation-only card that is given only to AmEx’s biggest spending clients. The card has no official credit limit – and it earns points, just like yours.


The Art of the Dealing: Inside Paddle8's Bid To Become The Internet's Auction House

Paddle8 Founders

Founded in 2011, Paddle8 has become one of the Internet's premier art destinations. Recently, in Series C they were able to raise $34 million from investors including New York gallery owner, David Zwirner. They've secured $44 million in total funding to day. 

Featuring everything from high-end fine art masterpieces to movie memorabilia and fashion they have continued to evolve and expand. 

Feeling like the brick-and-mortar system was failing young collectors, they aim to reach those seeking to start and grow new collections. The ideal client is 25-34. 

Last year Paddle8 sold $35.8 million worth of art - a 146% increase over 2013s sales. They take a 20% premium from the buyers and 8% from the sellers, the average hammer price is $4,800 USD. Not physically holding the works also allows them to keep costs down.