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

July 26, 2021
4 min read
Amex lounge
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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:

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  • $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 Card® from American Express

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 offers 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

Featured image by The American Express Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia Airport (LGA). (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • $95 annual fee
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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases