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

June 30, 2021
3 min read
Help yourself: Amex Centurion lounges bring back self-serve food options
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American Express' Centurion Lounges will be eliminating employee-served and prepackaged food and bringing back self-serve options at some of America's largest airports.

Amex's Centurion Lounges haven't had a self-serve option for months, but it will soon be returning. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Since last year, due to the pandemic, most of the lounges -- located at airports in more than a dozen major cities -- have offered food served by lounge employees, while those at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) provided prepackaged meal selections (also primarily handed out by employees).

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"As state and local governments and health authorities continue to reevaluate local guidelines, The Centurion Lounge locations will transition from served food to self-service," said a spokesperson from Amex. "Card Members will continue to see enhanced cleaning protocols and procedures in place across the Centurion Network, as part of the Centurion Lounge Commitment."

Related: Complete guide to Amex Centurion lounges

A timeline for the change hasn't yet been revealed, but it will take effect across all lounge locations eventually.

Amex's Centurion Lounges will be bringing back self-serve options across all locations. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Despite the 2020 travel slowdown, Amex expanded its Centurion Lounge presence at four additional gateways, adding the lounges in Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Los Angeles and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

It also managed to open one in Denver International Airport (DEN) earlier this year, with an additional one planned for London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) in 2021. Expanded lounges are scheduled to debut at New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport (LAS) later this year, as well.

Related: New lounges from Centurion

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So how do you get into the Centurion lounges?

If you have an American Express branded Centurion card or a Platinum-branded card such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express you can get into Centurion lounges for free.

Authorized users with the Platinum or Centurion cards are also eligible for access. You may add up to three authorized users to the personal Platinum Card for a total of $175 per year (see rates & fees).

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card cardmembers also get access, but you must be flying a Delta flight on the same day for access.

Additional reporting by Zach Griff and Katie Genter.

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

Featured image by (Photo by Clint Henderson/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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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.

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It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
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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

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.