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Remember American Express Lounge Access is Now More Limited

Last updated: February 14,2023
Originally Published: February 08,2023
by Pradeep Chandravanshi

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American Express Lounge access is the major benefit of the Amex Platinum credit card. American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cards are touted as premium travel rewards cards and are seen by many as the perfect premium credit cards for frequent travelers. While there are many reasons to be a cardholder, one outstanding benefit justifies carrying the card in your wallet. However, Amex lounge access rules can confuse people trying to make decisions. Benefits of having access to airport lounges for card users. However, what are the most recentchnages that Amex has made?

food 4689792 1920 American Express Lounge
Centurion Lounge access is one of the most exciting features of The Platinum Card® from American Express. Image Courtesy of

If you travel frequently, you are probably already aware of the advantages of an airport lounge membership. These have evolved into locations where travelers can gather before a trip with friends, conduct business meetings, get refreshments between flights, or use them as a convenient retreat when traveling is disrupted.

However, the typical cost of all this comfort and convenience is pricey; it’s not unusual to pay $695 per year for a standalone airport lounge membership. If lounge access is important to you and you travel frequently, you will find a travel rewards credit card with free lounge access quite cost-effective.

Since the eligibility requirements, access costs, and guest privileges are more complicated than necessary; it would be beneficial to review them now. You can use this article as your go-to resource for making the most of your Amex lounge access benefits on the American Express Platinum card.

Changes To American Express Lounge Access

Beginning February 1, 2023, complimentary guest access to the Amex Centurion lounges will be eliminated. The fee per guest will be $50 per adult or $30 per child between the ages of 2 and 17; complimentary guest access will be reinstated once you spend $75,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year. If you frequently travel with a large family, it can be frustrating when lounge access is denied to more than two guests.

Here are the important things to know about the policy changes:

  • $50 will be charged to the platinum authorized users for bringing each guest into centurion lounges and $30 for the children aged 2 to 17.
  • These restrictions do not apply who spend more than $75k per calendar year on their Platinum card.
  • Authorized users will continue to have access to the lounge as usual.
  • Also, these changes don’t apply to the centurion cardholders and corporate platinum cardmembers.

Also, if you have multiple Platinum cards and multiple American Express cards, it has to be 75k on one card, so splitting it up, say 40K on one and 40K on another Platinum, isn’t going to work. Also, if you have a corporate Platinum, you’re unaffected by this. 

The complicating element is that the benefit is more than just access to a single airport lounge. In truth, the Platinum cards provide numerous different forms of lounge access.

Why Is This Happening?

One of the primary reasons is that many airports are experiencing overcrowding, which has a negative impact on the Centurion Lounge experience. Also, the widespread acceptance of American Express’s Platinum Card, which was once a well-regarded travel rewards card, is now on its way to becoming a “lifestyle” card, appealing to a much broader audience.

Centurion lounges come with high-quality food and drink, stylish interiors, and other benefits. Centurion Lounges are typically very relaxing places to spend time before your flight. Some guests have used the relaxed entrance rules to the benefit of single travelers who frequently couldn’t find a room or even enter the lounge because of crowding.

American Express reinvented the platinum card to appeal to younger urbanites rather than the middle-aged cardholders who had previously made up the majority of its customer base, and it was a great success. And the issue is that many individuals applying for the card are not necessarily spread equally.

Guest Access Denied; What Can You Do?

The complimentary lounge membership with American Express cards provides access to an unprecedented global network of over 1,400 distinct American Express global lounge collections. However, you must be disappointed with the new Amex airport lounge rules if you are a family man or woman. With the new policies, you can take in guests for $50 per adult and $30 per child (ages 2–17).

American Express Lounge
Image Courtsey

When lounge access is denied to more than two guests, you and your partner could be primary cardholders with separate cards, but for $175, you can add up to three authorized users to your Amex Platinum card. Each authorized user receives the same lounge benefits as the primary cardholder. Also, Business Platinum cardholders have to pay a hefty $350 for lounge access. Children under the age of 13 cannot be added as authorized users, which is a significant devaluation for families who must pay $30 per child to enter the lounges, some of which have designated family areas.

Authorized users can access Centurion lounges, Delta Sky clubs, and other lounge partners like Plaza. You can also earn Hilton and Bonfoy gold status, which is excellent, as well as membership to the Fine Hotels and Resorts program and vehicle rental. The one exception is the 100 Global Entry or TSA pre-check credits every four or four and a half years.

Also, getting them their Platinum Card rather than adding them as an authorized user might be preferable if you don’t want to spend $75,000 on that card. This is especially true if they are about to break even or make money from that card.

Why does Centurion Lounge guest access matter?

In terms of food, beverages, and other facilities, Centurion Lounges undoubtedly outperform most US airline lounges. There are also well-designed work and relaxation areas and salons and spas where complimentary services are provided. If luxury comfort is important to you and you do not travel alone, this policy may disappoint you.

Centurion Lounge access is one of the most exciting features of the Platinum Card from American Express. These lounges can provide a welcome respite from the airport’s chaos. But spending $695 annually and paying an additional $30 for your children and $50 for adult family or friends may not be worth it for you; if you are a family who travels with an Amex platinum card and wants to access American Express’ global lounge collection, these charges can add up to a significant amount.

Also, you can access the Centurion Lounge worldwide; there are 16 Centurion Lounges currently operating in the US:

  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston
  • Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Newark International Airport (EWR)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

And there are 11 centurion lounges abroad:

  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • London (LHR)
  • Stockholm (ARN)
  • Mumbai (BOM)
  • Delhi (DEL)
  • Buenos Aires (EZE)
  • São Paulo (GRU)
  • Melbourne (MEL)
  • Mexico City(MEX)
  • Monterrey (MTY)
  • Sydney (SYD)

Washington National (DCA), Newark Liberty (EWR), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) airports all have new locations planned.

However, On the day of your flight, it’s possible that a Centurion Lounge will be completely booked. Entry is contingent on available space, and lounge capacities are regulated based on regional and state health regulations. You won’t be able to enter a lounge if it is already filled.

Centurion Lounge Benefits

With more than 40 sites across the globe, The Centurion Network includes Centurion Lounges and Escape Lounges, The Centurion Studio Partner. Eligible Card Members can unwind in luxurious settings before their flights, eat and drink from award-winning chefs and renowned mixologists, and get away from it all in carefully selected places for business or relaxation; benefits differ depending on location.

Here is a list of the benefits of centurion lounges:

  • Fresh, seasonally-inspired fare developed in partnership with renowned local chefs
  • Signature cocktails, premium spirits, and curated wines
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Semi-private workspaces
  • TVs and a Digital Library of magazines and newspapers
  • Spa services
  • Wine tasting area
  • Conference room
  • Family room
  • Luggage lockers

Members who have access to Centurion Lounges can also access Escape Lounges, which have an exclusively curated menu (including a complimentary premium bar snack and a selection of complimentary cocktails, spirits, and wines), and also have access to The Centurion Lounge Digital Library.

Is It Worth Paying a $695 Annual Fee Just For Amex lounge?

Solo travelers and people with friend groups where everyone already has the Platinum card will benefit the most. The people who will lose and arguably get screwed will be couples in particular and families who will have to pay to get into the lounge. 

Alaska and AA lounges reopen
Using all the benefits the Platinum Card provides can be worth the $695 annual fee. Image Courtesy of Pixabay

If you are a regular traveler who values lounge access, a travel rewards credit card with complimentary lounge access will provide exceptional value. This year, there are substantial changes to the Centurion Lounge benefit. Before this, Platinum Card holders and up to two guests had free entry to Centurion Lounges. However, that will change on February 1, 2023, and it threatens to significantly reduce the value of the Platinum Card’s $695 annual premium from American Express.

The Platinum Card is a high-end card with numerous features and a sizable welcome bonus. Annual statement credits, leisure privileges, broad airport lounge access, elite status advantages, and more are available to cardholders. But it all depends on your needs. As said earlier, if you’re a solo traveler who needs comfort, it can add immense value for you, but with the fee, taking your kids with you in Centurion lounges every time you fly can pile up a big amount.

With more than 40 sites across the globe, The Centurion Network includes Centurion Lounges and Escape Lounges, Centurion Studio Partner. Eligible Card Members can unwind in luxurious settings before their flights, eat and drink from award-winning chefs and renowned mixologists, and get away from it all in carefully selected places for business or relaxation.

Don’t put yourself in a bad financial situation only to get a high-end credit card; if the annual cost is too high, don’t worry; there are various other credit cards to choose from that do not have such a high annual fee.

Bottom Line

According to the new changes from February 1, 2023, you cannot take guests to the Centurion lounges without an extra fee. The new policy of American Express can be a burden for someone who usually travels with family and enjoys Centurion lounges. Still, it won’t affect you if you are a solo traveler or your group has a platinum card.

However, there are options, like if you spend $75,000 in a calendar year, this restriction will not apply to you. Also, you can add three authorized users for a fee of $175 who will have access to the benefits of the Platinum Card. If you use all the benefits of the Amex Credit Card and extract more than the $695 annual fee from the card, it is still good for you.

You can sign up for our free consultation, and we will help you with any travel credit card questions, and if you qualify, you can get a free 30-minute consultation!

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