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Amex adds live capacity indicators for Centurion Lounges

Oct. 19, 2021
4 min read
Amex Centurion Lounge JFK
Amex adds live capacity indicators for Centurion Lounges
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If you want to avoid overcrowded airport lounges, Amex's latest Centurion Lounge enhancement is for you.

The issuer has started rolling out a new feature that'll give you a live preview of Centurion Lounge crowding. These capacity indicators are built right into the "Find an Airport Lounge" section in the membership tab of the Amex mobile app.

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When you're at the airport, you can open the app and search for your preferred Centurion Lounge for a real-time status update on crowding, ranging from "not busy" to "a little busy" to "very busy" to "almost full." If you see the "almost full," you'll likely be placed on a waitlist to return at a later time once you arrive at the lounge reception.

(Screenshot courtesy of American Express)

This new feature is already operational at all 15 Centurion Lounges in the U.S., London and Hong Kong, and the issuer hopes to expand it to Centurion Studio partner locations, such as Escape Lounges, in the coming months.

In an interview with TPG, Pablo Rivero, vice president and general manager, global lounge experience, said that the goal of this enhancement is to enable card members to "plan your journey accordingly before you visit the lounge."

Personally, I'm a big fan of this initiative. With the live capacity indicator, I'll no longer need to trek across a concourse and even transfer terminals to visit the Centurion Lounge — only to find out that it's at or nearing capacity.

Amex Centurion Lounge in New York LaGuardia (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Since opening the first outpost in Las Vegas in February of 2013, American Express has steadily expanded its lounge footprint. While the locations keep getting bigger and better, they still suffer from overcrowding during peak times.

Plenty of travelers can access the lounge. All you need is The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or the Centurion Card. (People with other Platinum Cards, such as international versions, should also have access.)

Platinum cardmembers can bring up to two guests into the lounge, though the guest policy is changing in 2023.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card cardmembers also receive complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on any American Express card issued in the U.S. You’ll be able to bring up to two guests for a fee of $50 each.

Related: Your complete guide to Amex Centurion Lounges

When a lounge reaches capacity, it's often hard to find a table or a quiet area to relax.

Sometimes, you might even need to join a waitlist to enter the lounge, especially in airports with smaller Centurion Lounges, like San Francisco and Seattle. (Fortunately, both of these locations are scheduled for expansions in the coming months.)

When Amex's Centurion Lounges are nearing capacity, I almost always opt to find a private nook somewhere in the terminal or research other lounge options, whether it's an airline-branded location or one that partners with Priority Pass.

Finding an alternative space to relax is especially easy as a Platinum cardholder thanks to the card's bundled access to the Global Lounge Collection, the largest credit card lounge network on the market.

Of course, it'd be great if Amex could expand all of its Centurion Lounge to accommodate every premium card member, but that's not necessarily realistic in space-constrained airports. Fortunately, we now have live capacity indicators to inform our lounge-hopping decisions.

Featured image by The new Amex Centurion Lounge at JFK (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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  • 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
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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
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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