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Reminder: Amex charging for most Centurion Lounge guests starting today

Feb. 01, 2023
4 min read
the entrance to an American Express Centurion Lounge
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Editor's Note

This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. 

If you enjoy visiting American Express Centurion Lounges, this is your reminder that there's now a cost for bringing guests into the lounge with you from today. Most cardmembers no longer have free guest privileges.

These changes affect cardmembers with The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. To bring guests into the lounge with you, you’ll need to pay a per-visit fee or spend heavily on your card to earn guest privileges.

However, these changes do not apply to Corporate Platinum and Centurion cardmembers.

Here’s what you should know about the change in guest policies at Centurion Lounges effective today. We also have a handy workaround to get your guests into the lounge for free.

Related: The ultimate guide to American Express Centurion Lounges

A crowded Centurion Lounge at the San Francisco airport. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Centurion Lounge guest policy

The price for bringing a guest into an American Express Centurion Lounge is now $50 for adults and $30 for children aged 2-17. Children under two, however, can enter for free when accompanying an adult.

The new policy in effect at the lounge at LaGuardia Airport (LGA). SCOTT MAYORWITZ/THE POINTS GUY

To qualify for complimentary guest privileges, you must spend $75,000 on your Amex Platinum or Amex Business Platinum Card each calendar year. For 2023 guest privileges, your 2022 spending is the deciding factor. If you didn’t spend at least $75,000 on your card last year, you cannot bring complimentary guests into the lounge from now on.

These spending requirements reset each calendar year. Complimentary guest access is usually processed within seven days of meeting the spending requirement, although it may take up to 12 weeks to become effective. American Express has a spending tracker so cardmembers can follow their progress toward guest privileges.

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For many, this is unfortunate news to go along with shelling out $695 each year for the Platinum card (see rates and fees). However, some deep-pocketed or solo travelers may be thrilled by a reduction in lounge guests. By cutting free guests, Amex is seemingly working to reduce overcrowding.

Related: Amex adds live capacity indicators for Centurion Lounges

The Amex Centurion Lounge at JFK. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

A handy workaround

For those who can’t or won’t spend $75,000 per year on their Platinum card, a potential solution is adding authorized users to your Platinum card.

Authorized users aren't subject to the $50-per-visit guest fee. You can add up to three Platinum authorized user cards to your primary personal Platinum account for a total fee of $175 per year (see rates and fees). Authorized users on the Business Platinum cost a whopping $350 per year each (see rates and fees).

Children younger than 13 can’t be added as authorized users, so this is a noticeable devaluation for families who must shell out $30 to bring each kid into the lounges — some of which have dedicated family rooms.

Related: Is the Amex Platinum worth the annual fee?

Bottom line

Amex now charges $50 for adult guests and $30 for children aged 2-17 to access its Centurion lounges. You can avoid this charge by spending $75,000 on your Amex Platinum or Amex Business Platinum Card each calendar year or adding authorized users to your card.

The new Centurion Lounge guesting policy comes as Amex is working hard to expand and renovate its existing network of outposts. New locations are planned for Washington National (DCA), Newark Liberty (EWR), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) airports. Plus, expansions are also underway in Seattle (SEA).

Additional reporting by Joseph Hostetler and Ryan Smith.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees