Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum
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When you think of The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express — two of Amex’s top cards — you probably think of the benefits that come from being a cardholder. They range from access to the Fine Hotels and Resorts program to the Cruise Privileges Program to exclusive Centurion Lounges. But Centurion Lounges are just one type of lounge you can enter as a cardholder.
What lounges can I use?
- American Express Centurion Lounges
- Delta Sky Club Lounges
- Priority Pass Select Lounges
- Escape Lounges
- Airspace Lounges
- Plaza Premium Lounges
- International American Express Lounges
- Lufthansa Lounges
During your travels, you can find participating airport lounges by using the search function on the Global Lounge Collection website. American Express states that you’ll have access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, but Priority Pass alone claims to have over 1,300 lounges in more than 600 cities across 148 countries. So even if American Express’ numbers are slightly outdated, that still means most of the lounges you can use are Priority Pass lounges.
As a Platinum cardholder, you’ll get access to most of the eligible lounge networks just 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. (Platinum Card authorized users get the same lounge access as the primary cardholder, but this only applies to authorized users with Platinum Cards.)
American Express Centurion Lounges
Amex’s Centurion Lounges — which can only be accessed by Platinum and Centurion cardholders and their guests — offer a wide variety of drinks, high-quality dining, high-speed Wi-Fi and a mixture of seating for relaxation and work. Some Centurion Lounges provide additional amenities that truly set them apart, such as well-stocked family rooms, spa services and wine tasting — all of which are complimentary.
Related: A guide to Amex Centurion Lounges
Centurion Lounge locations
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
- Hong Kong (HKG)
- Houston (IAH)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Miami (MIA)
- New York LaGuardia (LGA)
- Philadelphia (PHL)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)
Six new Centurion Lounges will open by the end of 2020. The new lounges — in Denver (DEN), New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), London Heathrow (LHR), Charlotte (CLT) and Phoenix (PHX) — are expected to collectively serve more than 400 million passengers per year. With many card issuers cutting benefits, it’s encouraging to see Amex adding additional Centurion Lounges.
Access policy for Centurion Lounges
Platinum Card members may only access the lounge within three hours of a scheduled departure with a same-day, confirmed boarding pass — access upon arrival is no longer allowed. The one exception is if you’re in transit, 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.
Although some Centurion lounges are starting to allow access via the Amex app in place of showing your card, you’ll still want to have your Platinum Card on hand for the locations that don’t accept entry via the app.
Guest policy for Centurion Lounges
Platinum Card members may enter with up to two guests at no additional charge. Centurion Card members may enter with up to two guests or immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and children under 18) at no additional charge. Children under two are 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. Platinum and Centurion members may purchase day passes for additional guests at the time of entry for $50 per guest.
Access to other lounge networks
Centurion Lounges are wonderful to visit — but there are only currently nine of them. Even when six more Centurion Lounges open by the end of 2020, there will only be 15. So most of the lounges you can use with an Amex Platinum or Business Platinum card are in other lounge networks.
Delta Sky Clubs
You’ll get access to Delta-operated Sky Club lounges in 35 airports with your Platinum Card. Here’s a map of these airports, but you can also search for eligible lounges on Delta’s website by selecting “Platinum Card Members from American Express” as your membership type.
You may 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.
Unfortunately, no guests are included, but you may purchase guest access for up to two traveling companions at the discounted price of $29 per person.
Priority Pass Select Lounges
Platinum Card members are entitled to complimentary membership in Priority Pass. This membership provides access to more than 1,300 lounges around the world, but doesn’t include Priority Pass restaurant lounges. The quality of each Priority Pass lounge varies, but here are our favorite domestic and international Priority Pass lounges.
In order to gain access, you’ll need to enroll in Priority Pass Select on Amex’s website or by calling Platinum Travel Services. I recommend enrolling as soon as you get your Platinum Card, since your Priority Pass card will then need to be mailed to you. Once you get your card, you simply hand it and your 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 you may also be turned away if a lounge is at capacity.
You may bring two guests with you for free per visit, as long as the individual lounge accepts guests. If you have additional guests, you’ll be charged $32 per guest.
U.S. Escape Lounges
Platinum Card members may use Escape Lounges in the U.S. free of charge. Escape Lounges provide hot and cold food, non-alcoholic drinks as well as some beer, wine and rail drinks. Escape Lounges currently operate at the following U.S. airports:
- Bradley International Airport (BDL)
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG)
- Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP)
- Minneapolis Saint Paul (MSP)
- Oakland International (OAK)
- Ontario (ONT) Terminals 2 and 4
- Providence (PVD)
- Reno-Tahoe (RNO)
- Sacramento (SMF) Terminals A and B
You may 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 with you for no additional cost, but any additional guests will need to purchase a day pass. Day passes cost $40 per guest if you purchase online before reaching the airport and $45 per guest at the lounge entrance.
There are currently two Airspace Lounge locations: San Diego (SAN) and Cleveland (CLE). When you use either lounge with your Platinum Card, you gain access to all of the benefits that would come with purchasing a lounge pass. This includes a $10 credit toward premium menu items at the SAN lounge and a $7 menu credit at the CLE lounge.
You may enter Airspace lounges by showing your Platinum Card, a government-issued ID and confirmed same-day boarding pass. You may bring two guests, or your spouse and children under 21, at no additional cost. Any additional guests will need to pay $20 per person at the CLE location and $35 per person at the SAN location.
Plaza Premium lounges
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. Any additional guests after the first two will need to purchase a day pass, but the cost to do so varies.
International American Express Lounges
International American Express Lounges are a small collection of American Express Lounges, Centurion Clubs and a Centurion Lounge that are located outside the U.S. Currently, there are 13 of these:
- Stockholm, Sweden (ARN) — American Express Lounge by Pontus
- Mumbai, India (BOM) — American Express Lounge
- Delhi, India (DEL) — American Express Lounge
- Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) — The Centurion Lounge
- São Paulo, Brazil (GRU) — American Express Lounge
- Melbourne, Australia (MEL) — American Express Lounge
- Mexico City, Mexico (MEX) — three Centurion Clubs
- Monterrey, Mexico (MTY) — two Centurion Clubs
- Sydney, Australia (SYD) — American Express Lounge
- Toluca, Mexico (TLC) — Centurion Club
As a Platinum card member, you’ll receive complimentary access to International American Express Lounges with your Platinum Card, government-issued identification and a same-day boarding pass. Guest access and cost for additional guests varies across these lounges, but at least one complimentary guest is allowed at each location.
In a partnership that began in 2017 and has been extended multiple times, Platinum Card members can use Lufthansa lounges when flying Lufthansa Group airlines (Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines) from Munich or Frankfurt. The current iteration of this partnership is scheduled to end on Oct. 31, 2019, but hopefully it will be extended again.
You may use Lufthansa Business Lounges (regardless of ticket class) and Lufthansa Senator Lounges (when flying business class) in the Satellite area of T2 in Munich Airport and in T1 Concourse B in Frankfurt Airport. You’ll need to show your Platinum card, a government-issued photo ID and a confirmed seat on a same-day Lufthansa Group boarding pass. No guests are included, but certain locations may allow guests for a fee.
You’ll have access to more lounges with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express than with any other card. This is a major reason that these cards routinely sit at the top of TPG’s list for best cards for airport lounge access.
But it’s not all about quantity. The quality of the lounges accessible with the Platinum Card and Business Platinum Card is also excellent with locally influenced dining at Centurion Lounges and 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.
Featured photo of the Centurion Lounge in Miami (MIA) by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.
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