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There are three versions of the American Express Platinum Card that participate in the lounge access program:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Mercedes Benz Platinum Card from American Express
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
As the landscape of the airline industry has changed, unfortunately the lounge benefits that these cards offer have as well:
- As of March 22, 2014, American Express Platinum Cardmembers will no longer receive access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs or US Airways Clubs
- As of May 1, 2014, American Express Platinum Cardmembers will no longer be allowed to bring guests into the Delta SkyClub for free — instead a fee of $27 per guest will apply
One of the often overlooked benefits of the American Express Platinum Card is that it actually comes with a Priority Pass Select membership. However, you have to specifically request it.
The reason I mention this is because I fly Alaska Airlines out of Seattle a lot, and they have a Board Room here. The Board Room is not an American Express Platinum partner lounge, but it is a Priority Pass Select partner lounge (and again, you can opt to receive a Select membership if you have the American Express Platinum Card).
In the last two weeks I’ve literally seen three people turned away from Board Rooms because they tried to enter with the American Express Platinum Card and couldn’t get in. The agents didn’t explain (and might not know) that they could get access if they called American Express to set up a Priority Pass Select membership (which is complimentary, even for authorized users), so instead the people were just turned away confused.
So I figured I’d clarify some of the basics of the Priority Pass Select benefit that comes with the American Express Platinum Card:
Who qualifies for the Priority Pass Select membership?
All American Express Platinum Cardmembers qualify, including those with the American Express Platinum Card, American Express Mercedes Benz Platinum Card, and American Express Business Platinum Card. While the annual fees on these cards can be hefty, one thing to keep in mind is that you can add up to three Platinum authorized users for a total of $175, and all of them get full lounge access benefits. That’s under $60 per additional cardmember, so can be a great deal.
How do you request a Priority Pass Select membership?
As I mentioned above, even though all Platinum Cardmembers qualify for a Priority Pass Select membership, you specifically have to request it — presenting the Platinum Card at a Priority Pass lounge won’t work.
There are two options for requesting a Priority Pass Select membership (in either case the card will be mailed to you within a couple of weeks):
- You can call the number on the back of your American Express Card
- You can enroll online by logging into your American Express account
What benefits come with a Priority Pass Select membership?
A Priority Pass membership gets you access to over 600 lounges worldwide, from major airline lounges to contract to lounges. Check out the directory of lounges.
Your Priority Pass Select membership entitles you and two additional guests to complimentary lounge access.
Korean Air Lounge Los Angeles Airport, a Priority Pass Lounge
How does the Priority Pass Select membership differ from other Priority Pass membership types?
One thing worth noting is that if you have a Priority Pass Select membership you’re excluded from using United Clubs, even when they belong to the Priority Pass network. You’ll see the following disclaimer for lounges where this is the case:
Note: Members holding a Priority Pass Select membership card and Priority Pass cardholders in the U.S. that receive their membership through a U.S. financial institution will not be allowed access to this Lounge.
What happens if I use my Priority Pass Select Card before its expiration date but after I cancel my American Express Card?
Once you cancel your American Express Platinum Card the Priority Pass Select card also stops working. You’ll be denied when you show up at a lounge.
Anyway, hopefully this is helpful, and if anyone has any questions please let me know!