What credit cards offer access to the American Express lounge?


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Amid the chaos of airport travel, finding an American Express airport lounge can offer peace and quiet. Some American Express cardholders can access these lounges with the American Express Global Lounge collection.

Here’s what you need to know to access an AmEx lounge and their locations around the world.

Which AmEx cards give you access to the lounge?

The exclusivity of American Express lounge access is one of the reasons they are so attractive. AmEx has two flagship lounge networks, The Centurion Lounge and The International American Express Lounges. They are accessible to American Express cardholders at Platinum Card level or higher, which also gives access to partner lounges.

Cards giving access to the AmEx lounge and partner networks include:

The American Express Platinum Card is a top choice for access to American Express airport lounges, according to Erin Miller, content contributor and social media manager for the points travel website UpgradedPoints.com. “As a cardholder you can access over 1,200 lounges around the world, which is very impressive, and that includes the posh AmEx Centurion lounges, which in my opinion are only dominated by lounges. business and first-class. “

Although access to the American Express airport lounge is free through these cards, the barrier to entry is high because of their annual fees. The Platinum Card from American Express has an annual fee of $ 550, the Business Platinum Card from American Express has an annual fee of $ 595, and the American Express Corporate Platinum Card has an annual fee of $ 395. And aside from the fact that American Express’s elusive Centurion Card, also known as AmEx Black Card, is only available by invitation, it requires a steep initiation fee of $ 7,500, in fact. plus an annual fee of $ 2,500.

Holding an AmEx Platinum card can also open the doors of the lounges of the partner lounge networks. For example, Platinum cardholders can access Delta Sky Club lounges for free if they have a departing flight marketed by Delta or operated by Delta on the same day.

“While not strictly AmEx lounges, they can be pretty cool,” says Kyle Potter, editor of Thrifty Traveler, a travel and flight deals website. One of her favorite perks of visiting Sky Club lounges in major cities is the ability to purchase a bottle of champagne using SkyMiles.

“While it may seem frivolous, it can be a great way to use your SkyMiles to start a trip or vacation – especially when you can get a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for just 4,000 SkyMiles,” Potter explains.

The American Express Global Lounge collection covers a lot of ground in the United States and around the world. Below is a list of airports and lounge network partners you can expect with your eligible AmEx card.

The Centurion lounge

The Centurion Lounge is the crème de la crème of AmEx lounges, with high-speed Wi-Fi access, workstations and printers, plus free food and drink. Some places have even more amenities and services, such as shower rooms and spa services.

Simply present your eligible AmEx card, government issued ID, and confirmed boarding pass to access. There are nine Centurion Lounge locations available for Platinum and Centurion cardholders.

Centurion lounge locations

  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York (LGA)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • San Francisco (OFS)
  • Seattle (SEA)

Soon new locations:

  • Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • London (LHR)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Phoenix (PHX)

“My favorite AmEx lounge experience was at the Centurion Lounge in San Francisco, as they have a wine tasting area,” says Miller. “I had a great time tasting wines from the Napa Valley region before enjoying a three-course dinner, free of course.”

Access the Centurion lounge

The Centurion lounge does not offer paid subscriptions, so you must be a Platinum or Centurion cardholder, or a guest of a cardholder to access it.

Platinum card holders can bring two guests free of charge. You can purchase additional day passes for guests for $ 50 as long as you are present when they visit. Children under the age of 2 can enter the Centurion Lounge for free, provided they prove the child’s age.

Access to the lounge is limited to three hours before your departure time, unless you have a confirmed connecting flight.

Centurion cardholders enjoy unlimited access to the Centurion lounge for two guests or their immediate family at no additional cost. Other customers beyond these parameters require the purchase of a $ 50 day pass. Children under 2 are also admitted free of charge, upon presentation of proof of age.

American Express international lounges

There are 13 lounges in this collection, with free access for Platinum and Centurion cardholders (including Business and Corporate cardholders).

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE)
  • Melbourne, Australia (MEL)
  • Mexico City (MEX, three lounges)
  • Monterrey, Mexico (MTY, two lounges)
  • Bombay, India (BOM)
  • New Delhi (DEL)
  • São Paulo (Guarulhos) (GRU)
  • Stockholm (ARN)
  • Sydney (SYD)
  • Toluca, Mexico (TLC)

Access to an international American Express lounge

Access and guest policies for The International American Express lounges are the same as the Centurion lounge policies.

Partner lounges

American Express partners with six other lounge networks, giving cardholders greater access to the comfort of an airport lounge. Some lounge programs, like Priority Pass Select, require you to register for them prior to travel.

These lounges are open to Platinum and Centurion cardholders, and guest access and day pass rates vary by program.

  • Priority pass
  • Delta Sky Club
  • Lufthansa lounges
  • Plaza Premium Lounge
  • Escape lounges
  • Airspace show

Potter considers Escape Lounges one of his best-kept secrets.

“This is my meeting at the airport in my hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul, because it is absolutely never too crowded,” says Potter. “Although the Delta Sky Club across the hall is always packed, it feels like there are never more than 10 to 15 people inside the Escape Lounge.”

How to get the most out of an AmEx trade fair

As AmEx airport lounges are a much sought after retreat from terminal noise, you’ll want to make the most of your visit. Here are some tips to help you and your group have the best experience at an AmEx salon.

Maximize free guest passes. Miller highly recommends using the free guest passes whenever you can. This benefit alone is valued at $ 100, which is an immediate payoff as soon as you and your fellow travelers arrive at the front desk.

Plan your visit in advance. The limited number of Centurion Lounge locations, coupled with premium perks, made the lounges popular – and packed. Potter says this congestion can sometimes make it difficult to find seating, especially for large groups.

“I would recommend travelers who want an exceptional relaxing experience to think about their schedule. If you can, avoid rush hour (Sunday and Monday mornings, Friday mornings and afternoons) when the crowds are at their peak, ”Potter says.

In order to manage the crowds, AmEx does not offer access to Platinum cardholders with flights that have just landed, and access is only granted up to three hours before departure, except for flights. correspondence.

Get help with the Priority Pass app. With the number of airport lounges only via Priority Pass, planning your visit can seem daunting.

Miller uses his smartphone to navigate the many Priority Pass locations and their offers.

“To make things a lot easier and faster, I use the Priority Pass app to find lounges that I can visit as well as to find out the location, hours of operation, available facilities, etc. Miller explains. “In addition, you can also use the app to enter the lounge, as it provides a unique barcode ready to be scanned.”

This barcode acts like your Priority Pass digital card, which can save your life if you leave your physical card at home. Before you leave home, use the app to find out if your Priority Pass lounge supports this feature, as not all locations do.

Let the children play in the family room. Elizabeth Colegrove, owner of Reluctant Landlord, a real estate blog, can’t get enough of the family room in some Centurion lounges.

“It’s not so much about the money as it is pure happiness like a mom. Nothing better than being able to have dinner in spurts or a drink in hand while your 11 month old happily pushes the little one. cart up and down in the long hallways, “she says.

The enclosed room allows your kids to roam freely with enough entertainment, like toys for toddlers and video game consoles for older kids, to keep them entertained until it’s time to board.

If you are lucky enough to have access to over 1,200 airport lounges in 130 countries via the AmEx lounge network, use the travel time to take advantage of the the benefits for which your annual membership fee pays.

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