Amex to scale to over 40 Centurion-branded lounges worldwide, reduces upcoming guest fee for children

Jul 1, 2021

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Lounge lovers, listen up.

Amex has long been a pioneer in creating airport lounge experiences for its cardholders. Since its inception in 2013, The Amex Centurion Lounges have become a valuable perk for those with premium cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express.

But in recent months, both Chase and Capital One announced plans to open airport lounges of their own. With competition heating up, Amex is doubling down on a full-fledged lounge ecosystem.

Today, Amex is announcing a significant expansion to its network of Centurion Lounges and Centurion Studios, with more than 40 locations planned worldwide. In addition, its Lufthansa lounge partnership is growing. On top of that, there are tweaks to the upcoming new fee to bring guests into Centurion Lounges that kick in on Feb. 1, 2023. In short, Amex is lessening the previously announced fee if the guest you bring is a child.

Here’s how that’s all happening — and which new cardholders now get access.

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In This Post

U.S. Escape Lounges get a rebrand

Escape Lounges are already part of the Amex Global Lounge Collection, a network of 1,300 airport lounges in 500 airports and 140 countries. Currently, that means Platinum cardholders can access these spaces, over a dozen of which are in the U.S.

Escape Lounge PHX (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Related: Help yourself: Amex Centurion lounges bring back self-serve food options

Generally, Escape Lounges are located in smaller, secondary airports (but there are exceptions, such as Phoenix). Food and beverage are a cut above many other lounges, and some would argue they’re on par with Amex’s own Centurion Lounge.

But now, Amex is partnering even closer with Escape by fully incorporating the lounges into the Centurion network.

All U.S. lounges will now be called “Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner.” In practice, from an amenity standpoint, not a whole lot will change.

However, there will be a wider selection of complimentary cocktails, spirits, wine and premium snacks (in addition to the full menu and bar available). Day passes will continue to be sold to those ineligible for entry based on their Amex card.

Related: These are the best credit cards for lounge access

International lounges get the Centurion treatment

Amex has a host of proprietary international lounges accessible for Platinum cardmembers, but the available services and amenities vary widely between them.

Amex Sydney Lounge (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

Related: Amex revamps Platinum Card with new ‘lifestyle-focused’ benefits, higher annual fee

In the coming months, Amex says it will be updating 11 international lounges with “elevated design elements and food and beverage offerings to reflect the premium Centurion Lounge experience.” This will bring a more standardized experience across all Amex lounges around the world.

The locations that will be revamped into full-fledged Centurion Lounges include:

  • One Centurion Lounge in Argentina (Buenos Aires)
  • Two Centurion Lounges in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne)
  • Two Centurion Lounges in India (Mumbai and Delhi)
  • One Centurion Lounge in Brazil (São Paulo)
  • Five Centurion Lounges in Mexico (Mexico City and Monterrey)

Notably, this does not affect the locations in Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) or the soon-to-open London Heathrow (LHR) lounge, both of which are already considered “true” Centurion Lounges.

Select Delta cardholders get access to more lounges

One effect of Amex’s expanded Centurion Lounge and Centurion Studio initiative is that cardholders of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card will now gain access to more lounges. Enrollment required for select benefits.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Related: Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card review

Not only will Reserve cardholders now be able to have complimentary access to the international Amex lounges that are being fully converted to Centurion Lounges, but also they can enter Centurion Studios (Escape Lounges) free of charge.

For Delta Reserve cardholders, access applies when flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. Amex says that the eligible flight must be booked on a U.S.-issued American Express charge or credit card.

Unlike the current rules for Platinum cardholders, though, Delta Reserve cardholders do not get to bring in complimentary guests. At the Centurion Studios (Escape Lounges), the per-visit rate is equal to the guest fee of that specific location.

Platinum and Centurion cardholders get more Lufthansa lounges

Previously, only Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders who flew on a same-day Austrian, Lufthansa or Swiss flight could access Lufthansa lounges located at two airports: Either the satellite area of T2 at Munich Airport (MUC) or the T1 Concourse B in Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

However, Amex is now expanding access to Lufthansa lounges worldwide to include various European and U.S. airports. Remember, most Lufthansa lounges in the U.S. are already part of the Priority Pass program.

Priority Pass membership is included with the Amex Platinum and Centurion cards (enrollment required).

Lufthansa Lounge London Heathrow (Photo by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy)

Related: Amex Platinum makes Lufthansa lounge access benefit permanent

Other Lufthansa lounge locations accessible directly with the Amex Platinum or Centurion card include:

  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  • Hamburg Airport (HAM)
  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
  • Munich International Airport (MUC)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

For these new locations, cardholders can access select Lufthansa business class lounges when flying on an economy ticket or the Senator lounge when flying on a business class ticket by showing a same-day boarding pass on an Austrian, Lufthansa or Swiss flight.

An Amex representative said this was not an exhaustive list of airports. Cardholders can see all available and open lounges in the LoungeFinder tool within the Amex mobile app or this link here.

Amex changes (ever-so-slightly) its future guest policy

In April 2021, Amex confirmed to TPG that, beginning on Feb. 1, 2023, all Centurion Lounge guests (in the U.S. and both in London and Hong Kong) entering with a cardholder would be charged a rate of $50 each.

However, Amex has changed that upcoming policy ever-so-slightly. Platinum card members with children aged two through 17 (with proof of age) will be charged $30 per child instead of the full $50.

Once a child turns 13 years old, they can be added as an authorized user to the Platinum card at the cost of $175 per year for up to three authorized users and would then be eligible for their own Centurion Lounge entry without the per-visit fee.

Two complimentary guests, regardless of age, will be unlocked by making $75,000 or more in purchases during a calendar year on a Platinum account, including on charges made by authorized users.

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

Bottom line

While Amex already had a robust network of global lounges for Platinum cardholders, the issuer is now specifically expanding its successful Centurion brand.

That not only includes opening new lounges in London, Atlanta and Washington-Reagan but also revamping existing spaces to meet its Centurion standards around the world.

All of this is great news for travelers as the lounge wars amongst credit card issuers look to heat up in the coming months.

Featured photo of Escape Lounge Phoenix by Zach Griff/The Points Guy. 

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