Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Airport Lounge Access

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Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Adding Authorized Users
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: $200 Annual Uber Credit
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Free Hotel Status
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Airport Lounge Access
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: 5x Points On Airfare & Hotels
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Global Entry Or TSA Pre-Check Credit
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Free Rental Car Status
Amex Platinum Card Benefits: Fine Hotels & Resorts


Recently we saw The Platinum Card® from American Express relaunched with new benefits, a bigger sign-up bonus, and a higher annual fee. The card now has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months. On top of that, the card’s annual fee increased by $100, though I think for most people the new benefits will more than make up for the increased annual fee.

New-Amex-Platinum-Card

I get a lot of questions about the details of the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, so I’m writing a series about the various benefits of the card.

In this post I wanted to talk about the airport lounge access perks you get with the Amex Platinum Card. For many people lounge access is the most valuable perk of the Amex Platinum Card, so here’s a post explaining how that works in a bit more detail.

What lounges do you get access to with the Amex Platinum Card?

Let’s start with a very basic intro to lounge access with the Amex Platinum Card. The card comes with access to:

  • Amex Centurion Lounges when you’re on a same day confirmed ticket on any airline, and you can bring in up to two guests at no additional cost
  • Delta SkyClubs when you’re on a same day Delta ticket; however, you have to pay $29 for each additional guest to access the lounge
  • Priority Pass lounges, and you can bring in up to two guests at no additional cost
  • Airspace Lounges (CLE, JFK, and SAN), and you can bring in up to two guests at no additional cost

All of these perks apply to both the primary cardmember as well as all authorized users. You can add up to three authorized users for a total cost of $175, which is a great value, since it’s like picking up lounge access for less than $60 per person per year. That’s a steal, and doesn’t even account for the other perks that authorized users get.

Accessing Centurion Lounges with the Amex Platinum Card

Of the lounges you get access to with the Amex Platinum Card, the Centurion Lounges are the nicest, but there are also the fewest of them.

To access a Centurion Lounge, present your Platinum Card, boarding pass for a same day flight, and ID, and you’ll be admitted to the lounge. You can bring up to two guests with you at no additional cost, and any guest beyond that will cost $50. You can use the Centurion Lounge either on arrival or departure, so there’s no need to have a departing flight.

In terms of US locations, there are Centurion Lounges in Dallas, HoustonLas Vegas, MiamiNew York, San Francisco, and Seattle, and one will be opening later this summer in Philadelphia.

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-Houston - 14

These lounges are significantly better than most lounges operated by US airlines, as they have hot food, signature cocktails, etc. Everything in the lounges is free too.

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-SFO - 20

The Centurion Lounges in Dallas and Miami even have spas where you can get a complimentary 15 minute massage or manicure. They’re available on a first come, first serve basis, so make sure you make these appointments as soon as you get to the lounge, because often there’s a wait of a couple of hours to get a treatment (while these treatments are free, it’s generally appropriate to tip).

Centurion-Lounge-Spa

If you plan to consistently bring in more than two guests, I recommend adding authorized users to the card, so you can greatly increase your guesting limit at a reasonable cost.

Accessing Delta SkyClubs with the Amex Platinum Card

Those with the Amex Platinum Card also get access to all Delta SkyClub locations worldwide. There are over 50 SkyClub locations around the world, though a vast majority of them are in the US. You can only access SkyClubs using the Platinum Card in conjunction with a same day, confirmed ticket on Delta. However, you can use it either on arrival or departure.

Delta-SkyClub-San-Francisco - 9

If you want to bring any guests into the lounge, you’ll have to pay $29 per guest. Some might find this worthwhile for a long layover, though for a quick visit it’s probably not worth paying for guests. As I mentioned above, the best way to consistently get multiple people into the lounge is to add authorized users, since they get SkyClub access as well.

Delta-SkyClub-San-Francisco - 13

Delta SkyClubs are probably the best basic lounges offered by any US airline. You can expect an extensive selection of snacks, as well as house drinks for free. Then there are also premium drinks you can pay extra for.

Delta-SkyClub-San-Francisco - 15

Accessing Priority Pass lounges with the Amex Platinum Card

While you can access Centurion Lounges and SkyClubs just by presenting your Amex Platinum Card, you actually have to activate your Priority Pass membership. To do so, visit this page, and log-in with your American Express username and password.

Once you’ve activated that, you should get the card in the mail within a couple of weeks. If you want to access a Priority Pass lounge, just present your card, it’ll be swiped, and then you’ll be asked to sign (which is just to confirm your visit — you won’t be charged). Alternatively, you can get the Priority Pass app and access lounges through that, though do be aware that not all lounges accept the app.

The above website still indicates that each guest will cost you $27, though this has recently changed — you can now bring up to two guests into Priority Pass lounges for free when the membership is issued through the Platinum Card.

Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent network of airport lounges. Priority Pass members receive access to over 1,000 lounges around the world, so it’s the single most widely useful airline lounge membership you can have.

Priority-Pass

Generally speaking the quality of these lounges won’t be as good as those of Centurion Lounges or Delta SkyClubs, since these are mostly contract lounges. However, there are also a lot more locations. So this is a very useful option to have.

Plaza-Premium-Lounge-London-Heathrow - 9

There are even some pretty innovative “lounges” that are part of the network, like hotel club lounges, airport restaurants, and hourly airport room rentals.

Accessing Airspace Lounges with the Amex Platinum Card

Airspace just has three lounge locations, at Cleveland Airport, New York JFK Airport (Terminal 5), and San Diego Airport. To access the Airspace Lounges with up to two guests, just show your Amex Platinum Card, which should get you in. These lounges are very basic, and you can expect free soft drinks and very basic snacks.

Airspace-Lounge-JFK - 19

However, each person entering with the Amex Platinum Card (including up to two free guests) gets a $10 credit, which can be used to purchase alcoholic drinks or more substantial food.

Airspace-Lounge-JFK - 34

Again, these lounges won’t be very luxurious, though they’re better than nothing.

Bottom line

For many, airport lounge access is one of the most valuable perks of the Amex Platinum Card. The card gets you access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, Priority Pass Lounges (assuming you register), and Airspace Lounges. For many, the lounge access benefit alone more than justifies the annual fee.

To maximize the value you get out of lounge access, also consider adding authorized users to your Platinum Card, since they get the same lounge access benefits.

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Comments

  1. You forgot about the three AIRSPACE LOUNGES at JFK-T5, SAN and CLE. These lounges are totally free, provide up to three additional guests and give each user a smart card for ordering food and beverages off the menu.

  2. If you’ve already got the Priority Pass through this card will the guesting rules automatically change or would you have to be issued a new one?

  3. @ Bill McNaughton — Whoops, you’re absolutely right. Updating post to reflect that now. Thanks.

  4. There’s also access to the international Amex lounges which includes at least 1 free guest.

  5. If you are arriving in San Fran, you are unable to access the lounge unless you arrive at the same terminal. The lounge is behind security, and so you can’t access it if you fly in on Southwest.

  6. “I get a lot of questions about the details of the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, so I’m writing a series about the various benefits of the card.”

    I guess you have to make money somehow.

  7. Airspace Lounge SAN and CLE are both gems in their own way. Much better than basic. Good food is included too.

  8. Centurion lounges are a great place to pick up chicks. Have good success at home airport lounge in Dallas.

  9. “… I think for most people the new benefits will more than make up for the increased annual fee.”

    That’s probably true for persons who fly at least once a month (12X or more per year) and hence are more likely to use all the ($15) monthly Uber credits, hotel Gold status(es), and lounge privileges. I travel maybe once or twice per year, so the Amex Platinum’s benefits don’t total up to $450 a year for me, let alone $550. Was totally worth the 100,000-point signup bonus, though.

    In contrast, the CSR is worth keeping long-term, as its $300 annual travel credit and 3X restaurant bonus justify the $450 annual fee by my calculations.

  10. Think of lounge benefits, insurance, and Uber credit as icing on the cake. The cake is the sign up bonus.

  11. @jana-You are not correct. You may access any terminal at SFO with a same day boarding pass on any airline and with appropriate ID. I fly Alaska all the time and walk over to the United terminal and go back through security and visit the Amex lounge.

  12. Delta lounges look as exciting as a corporate cafeteria and as sterile as an OR. I’ve seen more exciting airport Marriott lobby bars.

  13. what benefits what lounges will I be able to use United kingdom Australia turkey and majorca

  14. Does this card have trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance? That is one of the biggest benefit of my United Explorer card, add that and it would be well worth the cost.

  15. I thought I remember reading somewhere that Centurion lounges also existed in some form at hotels in certain locations, possibly mainly International. However I cannot find this information again no matter where I search. Does anyone know about American Express lounge access other than at an airport?

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