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Best Airport Lounge Access: The Platinum Card from American Express

Best Airport Lounge Access: The Platinum Card from American Express

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Apr 02, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

A great perk that comes with The Platinum Card® from American Express is entry into one of the most comprehensive networks of airport lounges in the world. These lounges not only give you respite from the crowds, they allow you to decompress, enjoy a meal or a cocktail and get help in case there are issues with your flight.

We look at why The Platinum Card® from American Express more than pays for its $695 annual fee with its lounge network alone. We’ll also look at the card’s other travel perks that make it even more valuable for road warriors.

Cardmember lounge networks

Carrying The Platinum Card® from American Express gives cardmembers access to five lounge networks. The first is American Express’s own Centurion® Lounges, with locations in Dallas/Fort Worth, Hong Kong, Houston, Las Vegas, New York-La Guardia, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle, with new lounges slated to open in Denver, New York-JFK, Los Angeles, London-Heathrow and Charlotte, N.C. There are also 10 International American Express lounges, including Stockholm and Delhi. Cardmembers can bring two guests into the lounges for free.

However, on March 22, 2019, American Express tightened up Centurion Lounge access as demand has grown. Since the Centurion Lounge is a day-of-departure lounge, cardmembers arriving after a flight has landed will no longer be admitted. But, the lounge will, however, admit cardmembers with connecting flights or layovers, but passengers’ whose flights are more than three hours before their departure time will be denied entry.

Next are Delta Air Lines’ Sky Club® lounges. The Platinum Card® from American Express members have free access to more than 50 lounges when flying on a same-day Delta ticket and can bring in two guests for $29 each.

Then there is Priority Pass Select, which gives cardmembers entry into more than 1,200 lounges around the world (enrollment required). Additional guests cost $27 each. There’s also the six North American and five U.K.-based Escape Lounges for cardmembers and up to two guests. And finally, there is the Airspace Lounges in Cleveland and San Diego, for cardmembers and up to two guests.

Tip: Use this searchable directory of clubs accessible to The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers before every trip. Also find lounges at the membership section of the American Express® App or Text FINDALOUNGE to 86509 for a link to download the app.

How Centurion Lounge access works

You must present The Platinum Card® from American Express at the lounge check-in desk, along with your boarding pass for travel that day. The lounge doesn’t require you to be flying on a specific airline to qualify for entry. A spouse or family member can’t get in if they’re not traveling with the cardmember.

Tip: Cardmembers can add a spouse or family member as an additional cardholder so they have lounge access even when they travel separately. It costs $175 a year for up to three cards and $175 for each card after that. But if your companion travels solo regularly, it may be a good investment.

What to expect inside the Centurion Lounge

After passing a bespoke check-in desk, you have your choice of seating, including high-top tables with outlets, traditional dining tables, semi-private banquets, couches, stools at the bar or the comfortable couch-like seats with small tables.  Services available in the lounge include:

  • Help with travel itineraries, future travel, card inquiries, restaurant reservations and other requests.
  • Food developed in partnership with renowned local chefs.
  • Signature cocktails, premium spirits and curated wines.
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Semi-private workspaces
  • A computer bar with printer/fax/copiers
  • Televisions, magazines and newspapers
  • Spa services*
  • A wine-tasting area*
  • A conference room*
  • Shower suites: For lounges with shower suites, note the shower is offered one hour prior to closing and is subject to availability.*
  • Family room*
  • Luggage lockers*

*Available in select locations

Tip: If your chosen lounge is full, use the card’s Priority Pass Select lounge benefit and get $28 toward the cost of a meal, drink or stay at participating airport partners.

What else does The Platinum Card® from American Express offer?

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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on American Express's secure site

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

Highlights
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small® in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express

More Info

While lounge access is one of the biggest attractions of The Platinum Card® from American Express, other perks that ease the hassle of traveling also makes it worth the $695 annual fee.

Some of our favorites include:

  • A yearly $200 airline credit to cover fees, including checked bags and in-flight refreshments (enrollment required).
  • Up to $200 yearly in Uber credit.
  • Gold status with the Marriott Bonvoy™ and Hilton Honors loyalty programs (enrollment required).
  • Special benefits after enrolling in Avis® Preferred Club, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Emerald Club Executive loyalty programs.
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program.
  • Extra perks when booking rooms at The Hotel Collection.
  • Reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck enrollment fees.
  • The ability to transfer Membership Rewards points to 18 airline and three hotel loyalty programs.
  • Help from the Platinum Concierge.
  • Terms apply.

To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

The bottom line

If you spend a lot of time in airports around the world, especially those with Centurion Lounges, then the lounge benefit makes it well worth having The Platinum Card® from American Express. With U.S. airports seeing passenger volumes rise nearly 45% to 1.8 billion since 2002, it helps to have space where you can relax or do work without being overcrowded.

An individual Delta Sky Club lounge membership alone costs $545 a year, which practically covers The Platinum Card® from American Express’s $695 annual fee. There’s also access to Priority Pass Select (valued at $429 a year), along with Escape Lounges ($40 per visit) and Airspace Lounge (starting at $20 per visit).

The Platinum Card® from American Express also comes with plenty of other travel-related perks that make it worth your consideration.


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