Amex will add a spend tracker for Centurion lounge guest access in 2022

Jul 26, 2021

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Earlier this month, we received confirmation from American Express that they were about to make a very consequential change to their Amex Platinum cards. Namely, a major cut was coming to the guest policy of its widely popular Centurion Lounges for most cardmembers. This meant The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders would no longer be allowed to bring in two friends or family members for free, instead having to pay for all guests beginning Feb. 1, 2023.

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That stings. At present, you can bring two guests for free into the lounge with you. But the rates will soon become:

  • $50 per adult
  • $30 per child (between 2 and 17 years old)

The only way to beat these guest fees is by spending a whopping $75,000 on your card between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022. While this high spending threshold was added to reduce overcrowding at Centurion Lounges, I can’t imagine most people will actually put $75,000 spend on one card to unlock guest privileges.

Related: Dear Amex, please don’t charge little kids $30 for lounge access

If you’re someone trying to meet this threshold, Amex has added a feature to their website that’ll simplify the process for you.

Entrance to the American Express Denver Centurion Lounge. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/The Points Guy)

New Amex Platinum spending tracker

American Express is turning its Centurion Lounges upside down and shaking them for anyone who isn’t an Amex Platinum cardholder. You’ve got 1.5 years left to enjoy bringing friends or family into the lounge before you’ll be charged a fee for them. If you spend $75,000 between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022, you will to continue to receive two free guests.

For those who can meet the $75,000 yearly spend — or want to give it a shot — American Express is adding a “spend tracker” to its app. This way, you’ll be able to see how close you are to your goal. Per the Amex Centurion Lounge FAQ page:

“Starting in 2022, you will be able to check your Platinum Card’s spend tracker in the Membership tab within the Amex App, or the Benefits Dashboard in your American Express online account. Eligible purchases may take up to 12 weeks to be reflected.”

Amex may tell you this guest policy change is to prevent their lounges from becoming crowded, offering a more enjoyable experience for their Platinum cardmembers. Indeed, solo travelers will surely appreciate fewer bodies. But there’s no philanthropy going on with Amex here — they’re angling at one of two things:

  • More of your money (between $30 and $50 per guest)
  • All of your credit card spending ($75,000 per year)

Fortunately, if you travel with friends or family with regularity, you’ve still got the option to add up to three authorized users to The Platinum Card® from American Express for $175 total (see rates and fees). Authorized users will receive free Centurion Lounge access, as well — meaning you could offset your authorized user fee in as little as two visits.

Related: Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum

Bottom line

American Express understands that a $75,000 spending threshold is a difficult requirement. As a consolation, it plans to add a spending tracker to help you keep track of your progress.

Thanks anyway, Amex. Most of us will go the route of adding authorized users — and utilize our annual spend in more productive ways — like earning giant welcome bonuses on other cards.

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

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

Featured Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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