Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum
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Many of the best travel rewards 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.
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.
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What lounges can I access with the Amex Platinum Card?
- American Express Centurion lounges.
- Delta Sky Club lounges.
- Priority Pass Select lounges.
- Escape Lounges — The Centurion Studio Partner.
- Airspace lounges.
- Plaza Premium lounges.
- Lufthansa lounges.
- Other Global Lounge Collection partner 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.
American Express Centurion Lounges
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:
- Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE).
- Charlotte (CLT).
- Dallas (DFW).
- New Delhi (DEL).
- Denver (DEN).
- Hong Kong (HKG).
- Houston (IAH).
- Las Vegas (LAS).
- London Heathrow (LHR).
- Los Angeles (LAX).
- Melbourne, Australia (MEL).
- Mexico City (MEX).
- Miami (MIA).
- Monterrey, Mexico (MTY).
- Mumbai, India (BOM).
- New York (JFK).
- New York (LGA).
- Philadelphia (PHL).
- Phoenix (PHX).
- San Francisco (SFO).
- Sao Paulo (GRU).
- Seattle (SEA).
- Stockholm (ARN).
- Sydney (SYD).
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.
Access policy for Centurion Lounges
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.
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.
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
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.
Priority Pass Select lounges
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.
Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner
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:
- Hartford County, Connecticut (BDL).
- Cincinnati (CVG).
- Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina (GSP).
- Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).
- Oakland, California (OAK).
- Palm Beach, Florida (PBI).
- Phoenix (PHX) terminals 3 and 4.
- Providence (PVD).
- Reno (RNO).
- Sacramento (SMF) terminals A and B.
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.
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).
Plaza Premium lounges
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.
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions
Can I access Delta Sky Club lounges with the Amex Platinum?
Does the Amex Platinum get you into United Clubs?
The Amex Platinum doesn’t provide access to United Clubs.
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.
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.
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.
Featured photo of the Centurion Lounge at New York-JFK by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
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