Here are the credit card guest policies for airport lounges

Apr 20, 2021

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There’s no denying that airport lounges can be the best part of the on-ground experience when flying. You’ll find desirable amenities such as complimentary food and drink, shower facilities and seating areas to kick back and relax before your flight takes off.

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But with more ways than ever to gain lounge access, the lounges can get pretty crowded. As air travel starts to pick up, lounges have reopened — but may permanently change their amenities or access rules for good.

For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are two popular luxury travel cards that grant you complimentary access to the Centurion Lounges (enrollment required). While you can currently bring two guests with you for no charge, Amex just announced changes that will go into effect on  Feb. 1, 2023. Unless you spend $75,000 or more in purchases per calendar year on your card, you’ll be charged $50 per guest moving forward.

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

While solo travelers may be thrilled at the prospect of less-crowded lounges down the road, those who often travel with friends or family will face a different dilemma. With this recent news from Amex, we decided to break down all of the guest policies by lounge access so you can know what to expect during your upcoming travels.

In This Post

Amex Centurion lounges

The American Express Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport (DEN). (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Four cards grant you access to the Amex Centurion lounges, and the guest policies depend on the card you have.

Related: Your complete guide to Amex Centurion Lounges

Cardholder Current guest policy Changes effective Feb. 1, 2023
The Platinum Card from American Express Two guests; additional guests $50 each All guests will cost $50 each; cardholders who spend more than $75,000 on purchases annually can continue to bring two free guests
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Two guests; additional guests $50 each All guests will cost $50 each; cardholders who spend more than $75,000 on purchases annually can continue to bring two free guests
Corporate Amex Platinum Two guests; additional guests $50 each No change
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card $50 each for two guests No change
The Centurion Card from American Express Two guests; additional guests $50 each No change

The information for the Centurion Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders

Currently, Platinum cardholders can bring up to two guests at no cost. Additional guests are charged $50 each.

As mentioned earlier, TPG confirmed rumors that the guest policy will change for Platinum cardholders in February 2023. Cardholders who spend $75,000 or more on purchases per calendar year can continue to bring two guests. Otherwise, each guest you bring will cost $50 per person. This change won’t impact corporate Platinum cardholders.

Related: Dear Amex, please don’t charge little kids $50 for lounge access

Delta Reserve cardholders

When flying on Delta, Reserve cardholders can access both Delta Sky Clubs and the Centurion lounges. If you choose to visit the Centurion lounge instead, you can pay to bring up to two guests at the per-visit rate of $50 per person.

Centurion cardholders

If you’re a Centurion cardholder, you can bring up to two guests or immediate family members (spouse or children under 18) for no charge. Additional guests will cost $50 per person. The upcoming guest changes outlined for Platinum cardholders will not affect Centurion cardholders.

Alaska lounge

Alaska Lounge SFO
The Alaska Lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). (Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines)
Access Guest policy
Alaska Airlines lounge member Immediate family or two guests; additional guests $25 each
Priority Pass holder (select Alaska lounges only) Depends on the card; typically grants access for the cardholder and two guests at no cost

If you hold an Alaska Airlines lounge membership, you’re allowed to bring immediate family members (considered partners and children under 21 years old) or up to two guests with you when entering an Alaska lounge. Note that your guests must stay with you at all times.

For all other guests, members may purchase guest passes at a reduced rate of $25 per person. Note that members do not need to be traveling with your guest to purchase a guest pass, so you can snag this discounted rate fairly easily for any of your friends and family traveling soon.

Related: Six things you need to know about Alaska’s new lounge access rules

If you don’t fly Alaska enough to justify purchasing a lounge membership, you can also access five out of Alaska’s eight locations if you’re a Priority Pass lounge member. The guest policy depends on the card you own, which we’ll go over in the Priority Pass section of this guide.

American Airlines Admirals Club

American Airlines Admirals Club BOS (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

The Admirals Club can be accessed in many different ways, but perhaps the easiest way to gain membership is by opening a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®. Although it has a $450 annual fee, the membership price itself costs $650 a year — a considerable deal for loyal AA flyers. With an Admirals Club membership, your immediate family (spouse, domestic partner and children up to 18) or up to two guests may access the lounge with you.

Related: Three reasons why this is the best card for Admirals Club lounge access as travel returns 

Access type Guest policy
Admirals Club members Immediate family or up to two guests
Authorized users of the Citi/AAdvantage Executive Card Immediate family or up to two guests
Active U.S. military Immediate family or up to two guests
First-class passengers on qualifying international flights One guest (children over 2 count as a guest)
AAdvantage Platinum members and higher flying on qualifying international flights (regardless of class) One guest (children over 2 count as a guest)
Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members on all American and Oneworld flights One guest (children over 2 count as a guest)
Admirals Club day pass holders Up to three children under 18

Note that you can add up to 10 authorized users to the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Mastercard, granting them the unique ability to bring immediate family or up to two guests on their own.

Related: Credit card review: The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Otherwise, first-class passengers or AAdvantage Platinum members (or higher) on qualifying international flights and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members can bring one guest each. If you pay $59 for a day pass, you can bring up to three children under 18 with you to the Admirals Club as well.

Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Club in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (PRNewsFoto/Delta Air Lines)

There are multiple ways to gain entrance into a Delta SkyClub, whether you hold a Delta SkyClub executive membership or are an eligible Delta Medallion member. Like other airline lounges, the guest policies depend on your access type.

Access type Guest policy
Delta Sky Club Executive and Lifetime membership Two guests or immediate family; additional guests cost $39 per visit
Delta Sky Club Individual member $39 per guest for two guests or immediate family
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express card $39 per guest for two guests or immediate family; receive two one-time guest passes per year
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card $39 per guest for two guests or immediate family
Delta SkyMiles Diners Club, TRUST Club Platinum and TRUST Club Gold cardholders Two guests (children over 2 counts as a guest)
Delta Gold Medallion status or higher (SkyTeam Elite Plus status) One guest
Delta One or Delta SkyTeam Premium passenger No guests allowed
Single-visit pass No guests allowed

The information for the Delta Diners Club, Delta TRUST Club Platinum and the Delta TRUST Club Gold Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Generally, the only way to gain complimentary guest access is to purchase a Delta Sky Club Executive membership or be a Delta Gold Medallion member (or higher). If you’re a cardholder of either the Delta Platinum or the Reserve, you’re limited to two guests or immediate family and must pay $39 per guest.

Related: Delta’s latest promo helps you earn elite status faster, includes award tickets

Priority Pass lounges

Image courtesy of Priority Pass.

Premium travel cards like the Amex Platinum and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer cardholders complimentary Priority Pass Select memberships (enrollment required) — giving you access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide. The guest policy depends on the type of card you have, so we’ve outlined the differences for our top card picks for Priority Pass lounge access below:

Card Guest policy
The Platinum Card from American Express Two guests; Additional guests cost $32 each
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Two guests; Additional guests cost $32 each
Chase Sapphire Reserve Two guests; Additional guests cost $27 each
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Two guests; Additional guests cost $32 each
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Two guests; Additional guests cost $32 each
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card 10 visits per year that can be used by you and any guests; Additional visits cost $32 each
Citi Prestige® Card Two guests or immediate family; Additional guests cost $27 each

Enrollment required for select benefits.

The information for the Hilton Aspire card and Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: The best credit cards for Priority Pass lounge access

Most cards that grant you Priority Pass Select membership allow lounge access for you and up to two guests. There’s an additional guest fee that ranges between $27 to $32, depending on the card you have. Employees can limit the number of guests for capacity controls, so you may not be guaranteed to bring multiple guests if a certain lounge is especially crowded.

The notable exception here is for the Citi Prestige, which offers a quite generous guest policy. If you have a large family, you can bring your entire immediate family as guests to the lounge, including your spouse, domestic partner, or any children under the age of 18.

Related: Reader question: Can I use multiple Priority Pass memberships to bring in extra guests?

United Club

United Club (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

United has relatively straightforward guest policies: United Club members may bring one adult and dependent children under 21, or up to two guests. Any additional guests will be charged an extra fee. If you want complimentary access, the United Club Infinite Card offers a complimentary United Club membership — up to a $650 value.

Related: Best for loyal flyers: United Club Infinite Card review

Access type Guest policy
United Club membership Up to two adults or one adult and dependents under 21 years of age
United Premier Gold status or higher (or Star Alliance Gold member) One guest; Starting May 3, 2021, the guest must be on the same flight
Star Alliance first class passenger One guest
Active U.S. military personnel Family members traveling on the same flight as the military member
United or Star Alliance business class passenger Not allowed
United Club one-time pass Not allowed

United Premier Gold status members or higher can bring one guest, but note that your guest must be on the same flight starting May 3, 2021. Star Alliance first class passengers may also bring one guest into United Clubs.

If you’re a one-time United Club pass holder or a business class passenger on a United or Star Alliance flight, you’re not allowed to bring any guests with you — unless you have a child that’s under two years old.

Related: The best credit cards for United Airlines flyers

Bottom line

Whether you have lounge access through your credit card or airline elite status, the guest guidelines will vary greatly. Some lounges allow you to bring free guests, while others charge a fee that can be as high as $50 per person. As a general rule of thumb, you can bring children age two or younger at no additional charge.

Featured photo of the American Express Centurion Lounge at JFK Airport by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.