Amex Aims to ‘Enhance Lounge Access’ With LoungeBuddy Acquisition

Mar 11, 2019

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Monday, American Express announced plans to acquire one of its recent partners, airport lounge booking and reviews platform LoungeBuddy. While the issuer has yet to detail its plans, Amex has clearly been focused on building out its airport lounge footprint in recent years, through the the expansion of its Centurion Lounge network to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which gives certain members access to over 1,200 locations around the world.

Currently, customers with the Centurion Card, the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express can access Amex’s own lounges, in addition to 1,000+ Priority Pass lounges and restaurants, and Delta Sky Club locations (with a same-day Delta ticket). In theory, LoungeBuddy could help the issuer grow its network even further. Enrollment required for select benefits.

LoungeBuddy offers one one-time access at locations around the world, such as the Swiss Business Lounge at New York-JFK. Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy.

We reached out to American Express for more details regarding its plans for LoungeBuddy. While the issuer isn’t sharing much at this point, Chris Cracchiolo, Amex’s Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty and Benefits said in a press release, “With the acquisition of LoungeBuddy, we will be able to leverage its cutting-edge platform to develop additional ways to become an essential part of our Card Members’ digital lives.”

In theory, LoungeBuddy could help Amex expand its footprint beyond Priority Pass, given the platform’s partnerships with lounges that aren’t currently available there, such as the Lufthansa and Swiss business-class lounges at New York-JFK:

While unlimited access may overwhelm some of LoungeBuddy’s already quite crowded locations, it wouldn’t be too unreasonable to expect free or discounted access during off-peak times, or perhaps a discount off the pricing LoungeBuddy offers today.

Featured photo of the Swiss Business Lounge at New York-JFK by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy.

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