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Over the last five years, American Express set the standard for US domestic airport lounges after launching its own brand of Centurion Lounges. These lounges far outpace the competition in several areas including locally-inspired food designed by celebrity chefs, premium wines curated by expert sommeliers, custom cocktail menus created by mixologist Jim Meehan and Exhale spa services — all of which are complimentary.

Now over a dozen Centurion brand lounges span the globe and all showcase the unique style of the respective host city. Thankfully American Express appears to have no intention of slowing expansion. You can expect to find additional Centurion lounges opening in early 2019 in Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), and New York John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).

Locations

US domestic Centurion Lounges are located in the following airports:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York LaGuardia (LGA)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma  (SEA)

International airport lounges classified as either Centurion or American Express Lounges:

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) – Centurion Lounge
  • Mexico City, Mexico (MEX) – Centurion Lounge and Clubs (Three lounges)
  • Monterrey, Mexico (MTY) – Centurion Clubs (Two lounges)
  • Toluca, Mexico (TLC) – Centurion Club
  • Hong Kong (HKG) – Centurion Lounge
  • New Delhi, India (DEL) – American Express Lounge
  • Sydney, Australia (SYD) – American Express Lounge
  • Melbourne, Australia (MEL) – American Express Lounge

Sports Arenas:

In addition to airport lounges, American Express offers Centurion Suites in sporting venues. These allow ticketed guests to enjoy concerts and sports games from the comfort of an exclusive suite with complimentary food, beverages, Wi-Fi and phone charging stations. Venues include:

  • Barclays Center Centurion Suite – Brooklyn, New York
  • STAPLES Center Centurion Suite – Los Angeles, California

Amex even notoriously opens pop-up lounges for major events like the US Open, Coachella and London Fashion Week.

Concept photo of the new Denver (DEN) Centurion Lounge opening early 2019
Concept photo of the new Denver (DEN) Centurion Lounge opening in early 2019

 

How to Gain Access

Only The Platinum Card® from American Express (including all varieties like Schwab, Ameriprise, etc.) or Centurion Cardholders may access the network of lounges. In order to enter you must present your physical American Express card, ID and same day boarding pass. Unfortunately, electronic cards located on mobile devices like the Wallet app for iOS are not accepted. Although there have been exceptions made for newly opened accounts by using an instant temporary card. Nor is it possible to purchase a day pass.

Additionally, these lounges are classified as both departure and arrival lounges. This means that you may access a Centurion lounge after landing at an airport barring any capacity constraints. Just be cognizant to hang onto your previous boarding pass and to claim any checked luggage in a timely manner.

Also keep in mind that American Express reserves the right to deny access based on capacity restrictions. As the Centurion Lounges grow in popularity and subsequently more cardmembers take advantage of this benefit, occasionally overcrowding occurs. This is why American Express takes measures like limiting lounge access to within 3 hours of boarding pass departure time when necessary. The goal is to ensure an enjoyable experience for all guests. Of course, Amex also monitors these trends and plans accordingly for renovations and expansions.

Extra Benefits For Centurion Cardholders

Wondering if the American Express Centurion Card is worth the price of admission?  Centurion cardholders receive some extra benefits at Centurion lounges.  These aren’t widely publicized.  The benefits we’re aware of are:

  • Centurion Lounge Access is virtually guaranteed except in extreme circumstances, even when Platinum cardholders might be denied access for capacity restrictions.
  • Reserved seating for Centurion cardholders.
  • Complimentary upgraded champagne (currently Veuve Clicquot in most clubs).

Guest Policies

For Centurion Lounges located in airports, each cardholder is entitled to bring two accompanied guests — family or not. This isn’t limited to only the main account holder. Authorized users may also bring two guests into the lounge and additional guests are $50 per person. Those who hold a Centurion card (affectionately known as the “Amex Black Card”) are permitted to bring their entire immediate family at no charge.

However, the Barclays Center Centurion Suite only permits one guest per Platinum or Centurion card while the STAPLES Center Centurion Suite allows three guests.

Details on US Domestic Centurion Lounges

New York LaGuardia (LGA)

The good news about LGA, is that they already have an Amex Centurion lounge in place.

  • The only domestic Centurion Lounge located outside security
  • Wide, comfortable lounge seats each featuring multiple outlets and USB ports
  • Menu designed by one of Zagat’s top 30 under 30 chefs, Cédric Vongerichten

Location: Terminal B pre-security between Concourse B and C on the 3rd floor
Hours: 5:30am – 8:00pm Sunday through Friday, 5:30am – 6:30pm on Saturday

Philadelphia (PHL)

The Amex Centurion Lounge in Philadelphia (PHL). (Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)
The Amex Centurion Lounge in Philadelphia (PHL). (Image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)
  • Features a private shower suite to refresh during a long layover
  • Cuisine designed by four-time James Beard Award-winning chef, Michael Solomonov
  • Accessible from all terminals

Location: Terminal A West near Gate A14
Hours: 5:00am – 9:00pm

Miami (MIA)

The elevator bank leading to the MIA Centurion Lounge.
The elevator bank leading to the MIA Centurion Lounge.
  • Relaxing massages and manicures available from 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows with expansive views of the runway
  • Premium food buffet designed by James Beard Award-winning chef, Michelle Bernstein

Location: Concourse D near Gate D12 on the 4th floor
Hours: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Dallas-Forth Worth (DFW)

Image by Katherine Fan / The Points Guy

Location: Terminal D near Gate D18
Hours: 5:30am – 10:00pm

Houston (IAH)

The Amex Platinum card will pay itself off after a few trips to the open bar and buffet like this one at IAH. Image courtesy of Centurion Lounge website.
Image courtesy of Centurion Lounge website
  • Features a private work area and phone room to complete pressing tasks away from any noise
  • Locally-inspired cuisine designed by James Beard Award-winning chef, Justin Yu — chef and owner of the acclaimed Houston restaurant Oxheart
  • Plenty of comfortable sofas, day beds, and cube pillow seats

Location: Terminal D near Gate D6 on the Mezzanine level
Hours: 5:30am – 9:00pm

Las Vegas (LAS)

  • Private shower suite available
  • Menu designed by one of Zagat’s top 30 under 30 chefs, Cédric Vongerichten
  • Sound-proof family room for children to let off steam before boarding

Location: Concourse D across from Gate D1. Accessible via Terminal 1 or Terminal 3 via transit system
Hours: 5:00am – 11:00pm

San Francisco (SFO)

SFO Centurion Lounge wine tasting
Image by Lan Paje / The Points Guy
  • Take part in a complimentary wine tasting of Napa Valley’s finest
  • Ask the bartender for a tasting card and try five different wines from the self-serve wine machine
  • Pair your wines with food designed by James Beard Award-winning chef, Daniel Patterson

Location: Terminal 3 near Gate 74
Hours: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)

Seattle Amex Centurion entrance

  • Originally classified as a “Centurion Studio” in 2015, it eventually expanded by ~50% to a full Centurion Lounge
  • Enjoy a variety of light snacks and baked goods
  • Convenient shower suite available upon request

Location: Concourse B opposite Gate B3
Hours: 5:00am – 10:00pm

Details on International Centurion Lounges

Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE)

EZE Centurion Lounge
Image by American Express
  • Business center equipped with multiple Mac computers and high-speed Wi-Fi
  • Wide variety of snacks provided versus meal options at other Centurion lounges
  • Movies and video games provided in a separate children’s play area

Location: Terminal C near Gate 15 on Level 2
Hours: 5:00am – 12:00am

Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)

MEX Centurion Club Image by Loungebuddy
Mexico City (MEX) Terminal 1 (International) Centurion Club. Image courtesy of Loungebuddy
  • The Terminal 2 location stretches over two stories. The first level is mainly a restaurant and bar whereas the second floor consists of a lounge.
  • All three lounges offer food for sale, but the Terminal 2 lounge offers a complimentary menu for specific cardholders.
  • Both lounges located inside security offer various spa services such as: complimentary 15 minute massages along with paid haircuts, shoe shine, manicures and pedicures.

Three locations:

  • The Centurion Lounge is located in Terminal 2 opposite Gate 7 while the Centurion Clubs are located in Terminal 1.
  • The Terminal 1 International lounge is pre-security between Gate 8 and F1 near Flap’s restaurant.
  • The Terminal 1 Domestic lounge, which is currently closed for renovations until November 2018, is located inside security between Gate 17 and 18.

Hours: Terminal 1 (International) is 5:00am – 11:00pm. Terminal 1 (Domestic)  is 5:00am – 11:00pm. Terminal 2 is 5:00am – 12:00am.

Monterrey, Mexico (MTY)

  • The two Centurion Clubs at MTY offer complimentary snacks and sell premium food
  • Features plenty of entertainment with flat-screen TVs, Xbox One and Wi-Fi
  • Both Clubs reopen after renovation in November 2018

Two locations: Terminal A inside security near Gate 4. Terminal B pre-security in front of Door 4.
Hours: Vary

Toluca, Mexico (TLC)

Image by Loungebuddy
Image courtesy of Loungebuddy
  • A spacious and welcomed retreat from the main terminal
  • Offers complimentary snacks and premium food and alcohol for purchase
  • Travelers enter through the front door pre-security and complete an exclusive security screening at the back of the Club upon exiting

Location: Terminal 1 pre-security in front Gates 3 and 4
Hours: 5:00am – 7:30pm. Closes at 3:00pm on Saturday.

Hong Kong (HKG)

Enjoy complimentary access to Centurion Lounges like this one that opened last year at Hong Kong International Airport (Image by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images For American Express)
(Image by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images For American Express)
  • Extensive buffet featuring both Asian and Western meal options
  • Rain head shower suites available with L’Occitane amenities
  • Separate area of the lounge for Centurion cardmembers featuring cuisine designed by Michelin-star chef Lau Yiu Fai of Yan Toh Heen at the InterContinental Hong Kong

Location: Terminal 1 just before Gate 60 on the 7th floor
Hours: 5:30am – 12:30am

Bottom Line

The $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) for the Platinum American Express definitely invokes a moment of pause. However, the expansive Centurion Lounge network provides fabulous value for both frequent domestic and international travelers. With a growing footprint of lounges across the world, American Express continually delivers on its promise for exclusive and luxurious cardmember benefits.

Which is your favorite Centurion Lounge? 

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

Featured image of the Hong Kong Centurion Lounge entrance.

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