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Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum

Nov. 16, 2021
16 min read
2021
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new information.

Many of the best travel credit cards confer valuable benefits. For example, some cards provide hotel elite status while other cards offer travel statement credits. Both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express come with some of the most comprehensive sets of benefits of any premium travel rewards card.

Chief among them is access to Amex's Centurion Lounges. What many travelers don't realize, however, is that Centurion Lounges are just one type of lounge you can visit as an Amex Platinum cardholder. Carrying one of these cards will also get you access to the broader American Express Global Lounge Collection.

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For frequent travelers, this is a benefit so valuable that it won best credit card perk in the 2021 TPG Awards. Today I'll go through all the types of airport lounges you can access when you have the Amex Platinum Card or Amex Business Platinum Card, and what makes them so special.

With the free TPG app, you can track your progress toward your next trip, and get spending recommendations to help you reach your travel goals.

What lounges can I access with the Amex Platinum Card?

Amex Centurion Lounge at New York-JFK. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

With the Amex Platinum Card or Amex Business Platinum Card, you have access to the following types of lounges:

You can find participating airport lounges during your travels by using the Global Lounge Collection website's search function. American Express states that you'll have access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries.

As a Platinum cardholder — including authorized users issued a Platinum Card but not authorized users issued a Gold Card — you'll get access to most of the eligible lounge networks by showing your card and a valid boarding pass. But each lounge network has different access requirements and guest policies, so let's take a look at each.

Related: The best credit cards for airport lounge access

American Express Centurion Lounges

The Centurion Lounge in Miami. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Amex's Centurion Lounges offer a wide variety of drinks, high-quality dining, high-speed Wi-Fi and a variety of seating areas for relaxation and work. Some Centurion Lounges provide additional complimentary amenities that truly set them apart, such as well-stocked family rooms and spa services.

Centurion Lounge locations

Centurion Lounges are the most talked-about and exclusive lounges available to Platinum cardholders. Amex rebranded most of its international lounges as Centurion Lounges earlier this year. And, when I visited the Buenos Aires location a few weeks ago, I was impressed by how Amex had updated the lounge to reflect the premium Centurion Lounge experience.

Some Centurion Lounges are still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, while others are open with reduced hours. So, check Amex's lounge finder page for the most up-to-date hours and opening status. Here's a list of all the Centurion Lounges:

Additionally, Amex still plans to open several more Centurion Lounges. We expect to see a new lounge open at Washington's Reagan National (DCA) in late 2022. And Amex has announced plans for Centurion Lounges at Atlanta (ATL) and Newark (EWR), although we don't have a timeline for these lounges.

Related: The Amex Platinum Card keeps getting harder to ignore: Here's why

Access policy for Centurion Lounges

Amex Centurion Lounge at New York's LaGuardia Airport. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Platinum cardmembers may only access the Centurion Lounge within three hours of a scheduled departure with a same-day, confirmed boarding pass. Access upon arrival isn't allowed unless you have a layover or connecting flight, in which case the three-hour rule doesn't apply. If you have the invite-only Centurion Card, you aren't held to these rules.

Some Centurion lounges may allow access via the Amex app in place of showing your card. But you'll still want to have your Platinum Card on hand for the locations that don't accept entry via the app. Plus, I find it easier to hand over my physical card along with my boarding pass and ID.

However, note that access policies may vary from country to country in international locations.

Related: One TPG staffer's experience using Amex's Centurion Lounge app check-in

Guest policy for Centurion Lounges

Currently, Platinum cardmembers may enter with up to two guests at no additional charge. And Centurion cardmembers may enter with up to two guests or immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) at no additional charge. Platinum and Centurion cardmembers may purchase day passes for extra guests at the time of entry for $50 per guest.

Effective Feb. 1, 2023, U.S. Platinum cardmembers will need to pay $50 per guest age 18 or older (or $30 per guest age 2 through 17 with proof of age). However, U.S. Platinum cardmembers can qualify for complimentary guest access for up to two guests per visit after spending $75,000 in eligible purchases on their card between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022 (and in each calendar year thereafter).

Even after the new guest policies begin, children under 2 will still be allowed into the lounge free of charge when accompanied by a parent or guardian who can show either proof of age for the child or a lap-infant boarding pass.

However, note that guest policies may vary from country to country in international locations.

Related: Solo travelers rejoice: Why I'm in favor of new Amex Centurion Lounge guest rules

Access to other lounge networks

Centurion Lounges are wonderful to visit. But many airports don't have a Centurion Lounge. So most of the lounges you can visit with an Amex Platinum or Amex Business Platinum card are in other lounge networks.

As with Centurion Lounges, some lounges in these networks may be temporarily closed or offer reduced services. Luckily, the lounge search function on Amex's website notes which lounges are closed as well as current operating hours for lounges that are open.

Delta Sky Club lounges

Delta Sky Club in Salt Lake City. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Amex Platinum cardholders get access to Delta-operated Sky Club lounges. To find eligible lounges, search on Delta's website and select "Platinum Card® Members From American Express" as your membership type.

You can access Delta Sky Clubs when you're flying on a Delta-operated flight — or a Delta-marketed, WestJet-operated flight (your ticket will start with 006) — by showing your Platinum Card and same-day boarding pass.

Platinum cardmembers don't get any complimentary guests but may purchase guest access for up to two traveling companions.

Related: The best Delta Sky Club lounges in the US

Priority Pass Select lounges

Enjoy complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges like the SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Platinum Card members are entitled to complimentary membership in Priority Pass Select. This membership provides access to more than 1,400 lounges worldwide but doesn't include Priority Pass restaurant lounges. The quality of each Priority Pass lounge varies, but there are some excellent Priority Pass lounges. Here are some of our favorite Priority Pass lounges in the U.S.

To gain access, you'll need to enroll in Priority Pass Select on Amex's website or by calling Platinum Travel Services. I recommend registering as soon as you get your Platinum Card. Then, once your Priority Pass card arrives in the mail, simply hand it and your same-day boarding pass to the front desk attendant at Priority Pass lounges to gain access. Note that some Priority Pass lounges have limited hours for Priority Pass guests. And lounges can turn you away if they're at capacity.

You can bring up to two guests with you on each visit, as long as the individual lounge accepts guests. If you have additional guests, the lounge will charge you $32 per guest.

Related: The best credit cards for Priority Pass lounge access

Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner

The bar area at the Escape Lounge at Minneapolis-St. Paul. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

As part of an expansion announcement in July, Amex revealed that it would be partnering with Escape Lounges to rebrand them as “Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner.” While this move should include some stylish sprucing up of the spaces, the amenities are not expected to change much.

There will be a wider selection of complimentary cocktails, spirits, wine and premium snacks (in addition to the full menu and bar available). Day passes will continue to be sold to those ineligible for entry based on their Amex card.

The following U.S. airports have Escape Lounges:

You can access U.S. Escape Lounges by showing your Platinum Card, government-issued identification and a confirmed same-day boarding pass. You may bring two guests -- or immediate family members (spouse or domestic partner and all children under the age of 18) -- with you for no additional cost, but any other guests will need to purchase a day pass.

Related: The Amex Platinum's new hotel credit makes the card a better deal than it's been in 4 years

Airspace lounges

Airspace Lounge in San Diego. (Photo by Carissa Rawson/The Points Guy)

There's currently only one Airspace lounge location: San Diego (SAN). When you visit the lounge with your Platinum Card, you gain access to all of the benefits that would come with purchasing a lounge pass.

You can access the Airspace lounge by showing your Platinum Card, a government-issued ID and a confirmed same-day boarding pass. You may bring up to two guests at no additional cost, but any other guests will need to pay the standard entry fee (which starts at $35.99 per person).

Related: What one TPG writer loved about visiting the San Diego airport

Plaza Premium lounges

The bar at the Plaza Premium lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 2. (Photo by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy)

Some, but not all, Plaza Premium lounges participate in Priority Pass. However, you can access over 50 Plaza Premium lounge locations worldwide with your Platinum Card.

You'll need to show your Platinum Card, government-issued identification and a confirmed same-day boarding pass to enter. You may enter with up to two guests for no additional cost. After the first two guests, other guests will need to purchase a day pass. However, the cost to buy a day pass varies.

Related: Here's why one TPG staffer skips the airport lounge and heads straight to the gate

Lufthansa lounges

Check-in desk at a Lufthansa Business Lounge in Frankfurt. (Photo by Paul Thompson/The Points Guy)

In a partnership that began in 2017 and was extended multiple times before finally becoming permanent in May 2021, Platinum cardmembers can use select Lufthansa lounges when flying Lufthansa Group airlines (Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines). You may visit select Lufthansa Business Lounges regardless of your ticket class, but you can also visit participating Lufthansa Senator Lounges when flying business class.

However, not all Lufthansa lounges participate, so check Amex's lounge finder page. At participating locations, you'll need to show your Platinum Card, a government-issued photo ID and a boarding pass for a same-day Lufthansa Group flight. No guests are included, but some locations may allow guests for a fee.

Related: 3 Lufthansa lounges in the US join Priority Pass

Additional Global Lounge Collection partner lounges

Additionally, Platinum cardholders get access to other Global Lounge Collection partner lounges as indicated by the lounge search function on Amex's website. To gain access to participating lounges, you'll need to show your Platinum Card, a government-issued ID and a boarding pass showing a confirmed reservation for same-day travel on any carrier. However, guest access and guest fees will vary.

Related: The 7 do's and don'ts in an airport lounge

Frequently asked questions

Can I access Delta Sky Club lounges with the Amex Platinum?

When flying on a Delta-operated flight (or a Delta-marketed, WestJet-operated flight), you can access Delta Sky Club lounges by showing your Platinum Card and same-day boarding pass.

Related: You can redeem Delta SkyMiles for top-shelf Champagne — is it worth it?

Does the Amex Platinum get you into United Clubs?

The Amex Platinum doesn't provide access to United Clubs.

Related: If you're hungry, United Clubs are actually better than before the pandemic — here's why

Is Priority Pass free with the Amex Platinum?

Cardholders of the Platinum Card from American Express and Business Platinum Card from American Express get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership as a cardmember benefit. However, enrollment is required.

Related: Priority Pass continues to single-handedly offset my credit card annual fee with this overlooked benefit

How do I get an Amex Platinum Priority Pass?

After being approved for an Amex Platinum Card, you'll need to enroll in Priority Pass Select. You can sign up on Amex's website or by calling the number on the back of your card. After registering, you'll get a Priority Pass card in the mail.

Related: Why you should add authorized users on your Amex Platinum

Bottom line

The Platinum Card from American Express and The Business Platinum Card from American Express provide access to more lounges than any other cards. This is why Amex's Global Lounge Collection was named the best credit card perk for the 2021 TPG Awards. And it's also why the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum routinely sit at the top of The Points Guy's list of best cards for airport lounge access.

But it's not all about quantity.

The quality of the lounges accessible with the Amex Platinum Card and Amex Business Platinum Card is also excellent. For example, I love the locally influenced dishes served at Centurion Lounges and the relaxing spaces at Escape Lounges. Plus, as Amex adds more Centurion Lounges to its network and other partner lounge networks continue to expand, lounge access with the Platinum Card and Business Platinum Card should only continue to improve.

Want complimentary access to all these lounges? Here are the official application links for The Platinum Card from American Express and The Business Platinum Card from American Express.

Featured image by Amex Centurion Lounge (Photo 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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    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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    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
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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
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