Additional airport lounges that you never knew Amex Platinum got you into

The American Express Platinum charge card offering differs from country to country.  Whilst the cards look the same wherever you go (unless you turn them over) you receive different benefits depending on where it is issued.

These benefits do not always apply to holders of American Express Platinum cards issued in other countries.  Of course, when the cards look the same, it is easy to pass them off.  Some other benefits are designed for global Amex Platinum customers but, for some reason, are not promoted in the UK.

This means that you can get additional airport lounge access benefits above those officially offered by Amex UK.

Amex Platinum airport lounge benefits

Amex Platinum already has excellent airport lounge access benefits:

You receive 2 Priority Pass cards, each of which admits two people to the 1,000 airport lounges in the Priority Pass network.  If you issue the 2nd card to your partner, this allows a family of four to access a lounge.  You can get unlimited lounge visits with your card.  The Priority Pass website here has a list of all of the lounges you can access – you are very likely to find one wherever you are travelling, including all four Heathrow terminals.

Lounge access with Delta.  If you are flying with US airline Delta, your UK-issued Amex Platinum card gets you (but no guests) access to Delta SkyClub lounge.  I don’t think this allows you to use the Virgin Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3, however – only Delta-branded lounges.

Virgin Australia

There are some other Platinum lounge access benefits which you can access.  It isn’t clear if these are meant to be accessible for UK cardholders or not, but readers regularly get access to them.

Virgin Australia

As you can see from the Australian website for the Platinum card (don’t get wound up by the 100,000 points sign-up bonus!), you can flash your card to get in to Virgin Australia lounges in Australia if you are flying with them.  Here are the rules:

Access is complimentary for the Basic Platinum Card Member and one guest only. The Basic Platinum Card Member and guest must be travelling with Virgin Australia domestically. Access is to Virgin Australia-branded lounges in Australia only. Name on boarding pass must match the name on Platinum Card. The Platinum Card Member and guest must present his or her valid Card and same-day boarding pass (containing your Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer number and status) to Virgin Australia lounge agents. Guest must be travelling on same Virgin Australia flight and present boarding pass. All access is subject to space availability. This benefit is subject to change.

It isn’t clear why it says that your frequent flyer details must show on your boarding pass although I know people who have got access without this.

Airspace Lounge (US)

Airspace is a small network of independent US lounges.  As you can see from their website, you get free admission for yourself and TWO guests by showing your Platinum card.

A HFP reader recently got access with his UK Platinum card, which may or may have been an error but it did work!

Airspace lounges can be found in New York JFK Terminal 5 (JetBlue), Cleveland and San Diego.

Amex Centurion lounges

As I have mentioned before on HFP, American Express is currently rolling out its own network of airport lounges in the US.  Despite being call Centurion Lounges, they are accessible by anyone with a Platinum or Centurion Amex card.  You are allowed two free guests.

As per this website, you can find Amex Centurion lounges in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, New York (LGA), Miami, San Francisco and Seattle.  Philadelphia and, interestingly, Hong Kong are listed as ‘coming soon’.

American Express lounges

American Express also operates 10 other lounges globally.  Full details are here.

They are in Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City (I have been to this one), Buenos Aires, Monterrey (Mexico, not CA!), Sydney and Toluca.  These are accessible by Platinum cardholders from any country – guest policies vary by lounge.

Bradesco lounges in Brazil

As per the comments below, Amex – in conjunction with its local issuer Bradesco – has a network of lounges in Brazil.  These can be accessed with a Platinum card or, it appears (my Portuguese is a bit ropey) a Gold card.  Full details, in Portuguese, can be found here.

Sao Paulo Terminal 2 – Bradesco Lounge – airside – 1st floor
Sao Paulo Terminal 3 – Star Alliance Lounge – airside – mezzanine
Sao Paulo – Amex Centurion Lounge – airside – opposite gate 5
Rio De Janeiro – Amex Centurion Lounge – landside – 1st floor
Recife Terminal 2 – Sala VIP PontesTur – airside – ground floor

Plaza Premium lounges

Amex Platinum cards issued in Hong Kong – but which look very similar to the UK version – can be used to access a large number of Plaza Premium airport lounges.  You can learn more here.

Most Plaza Premium lounges are in Priority Pass, which means that you can enter anyway by using the Priority Pass card which comes with Amex Platinum, but this is a fall back option if you don’t have your Priority Pass with you.

Conclusion

As you can see, American Express Platinum cardholders get a wide range of airport lounge benefits – many of which are not actually mentioned in the literature sent out by the UK team.  My full review of Amex Platinum is here.

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Comments

  1. In March I accessed the Amex lounge in SYD, twice (both ways to / from NZ connecting from / to BA15 / 16, flying WT+) using the BA Premium Plus card. This isn’t listed as an eligible card on rate Amex website, and I may have just come across two friendly lounge agents, but well worth trying if no lounge acces elsewhere. The lounge was OK, and passed a few hours- good coffee, OK food and wine.

    However, if you enter the lounge and use the lift by the bathrooms to decend one floor, you arrive in the middle of the much plusher Air NZ / Star Alliance lounge, which is very nice!

  2. Is there any way to register the card via app but not having a physical card yet? Waiting for the card to arrive in post but would like to use it on the next lounge visit.

    • Genghis says:

      The PP card? With the card you receive a letter with an access code on it to allow you to login.

    • Hi M, just did this sat morning for my daughter, see earlier post. I called PP sat , and they us the pp mem no, plus the access code. They will ask you for your plat card no and lots of security questions. My daughter was then able to upload the PP app, and save it as a digital card. We then checked if the digital card was accepted in her airports, Skyteam T4, she’s on QR, this am, loved it! And al Maha in Doha, and finally HKT. So it can be done before the physical card arrives in your home.

  3. Hi

    I received my platinum Amex today. I also received one priority pass card which I can use with a guest. In the article it says I should receive two priority pass cards, but I can only see one. I do have my wife as a supplementary card holder.

    Should I be expecting another priority pass card in the post for my wife later?

    Thanks

  4. dgsupersonic says:

    You missed the lounges in Brazil.
    AMEX cards in Brazil are issued by Bradesco and they have they own lounges plus a partnership with other companies. The below do accept Amex Platinum Charge cards and 2 guests (this could vary).

    Sao Paulo (GRU) Terminal 2 – Bradesco Lounge – airside – 1st floor
    Sao Paulo (GRU) Terminal 3 – Star Alliance Lounge – airside – mezzanine
    Sao Paulo (CGH) – Amex Centurion Lounge – airside – opposite gate 5
    Rio De Janeiro (SDU) – Amex Centurion Lounge – landside – 1st floor
    Recife (REC) Terminal 2 – Sala VIP PontesTur – airside – ground floor

  5. Alex W says:

    When I use the Gold to Play upgrade link, i fill out the form then it comes up with an error saying that I haven’t filled out a field to do with Membership Rewards. But there is no field to complete. Anyone know how to get round this issue?

    I emailed Amex, they said I can do it over the phone and I’ll still get the 20,000 point bonus, but it’ll incur a credit check, which i don’t want. Thanks.

  6. @mkcol says:

    3 weeks ago I was denied entry to the Centurion lounge in Las Vegas, the reason being cited as it’s only open to US cardholders.
    The agent would not relent when I showed him his own employer’s website with the relevant info that it is otherwise.

    • HIDeHi says:

      Unless policy has changed in the last 3 months, this is categorically incorrect. I have been to the centurion lounges in the US about 10 times over the last 2 years using my UK Platinum Card. Never even a question as to whether I was permitted access.

      Did he/she swipe the card(they do that to check it is active)?

    • Eurorrocket says:

      That’s very poor. I have used the centurion lounge at SFO and was very impressed. I assume you will have called Amex to express your displeasure. Please let us know what response you got.

      • HIDeHi says:

        Nothing is more irritating that a lounge dragon who doesn’t know their own access policies but then insists on the wrong policy. Assuming nothing has changed policy wise I would have asked to speak to her manager and insisted on entry, I pay £450 a year for certain benefits and it is unfair to deny them because of ignorance.

  7. They speak Portuguese in Brazil, not Spanish… (re: comment about Bradesco lounges in Brazil)

  8. the real harry1 says:

    O/T

    say I upgrade from Gold to Plat, both myself & my wife as supp…

    …does she get the various hotel status cards in her own name as well or is it just the main cardholder?

    • rams1981 says:

      You both get it

      • the real harry1 says:

        thanks

        how long before they deliver the Priority Pass cards after the upgrade please?

        • rams1981 says:

          Come pretty quickly. Usually within days of approval of card

          • Harry, our PP cards arrived before we even knew we had been approved for the plat. So it’s pretty quick. Ready for the next half term break then! You do need to laboriously tick each box for every hotel, car hire co etc etc to register for the status.

          • the real harry1 says:

            yep I was thinking to upgrade, pay off council tax, get the points, use the 2 PP lounge entries myself + guest (my wife’s will go unused unless a business trip materialises), come home after half term & ‘decide what to do’. Plat membership IS still refunded prorata I hope!? Wife to keep the hotel status cards etc.

            All within under a month start to finish being the plan

          • Genghis says:

            Still refundable Harry. In, out and shake it all about

          • the real harry1 says:

            to maximise lounge visits, shame my wife’s not playing ball on my cunning plan: I could (1) do half term out/ back, then (2) use 1-off opp – my eldest son is in GCSE year (by age) so gets half a term off like the other kids – we 2 could escape to our place in the sun for a couple of weeks extra in early July – another airport out/ back, then (3) summer hols out with the other 2 kids

            so 5×2 lounge visits in 8 weeks before cancel

            unfortunately wife not keen on me having extra fun in what’s left of my miserable lifespan when she has to work lol :( – when I could cheaply arrange a neighbour driver to get my other 2 kids to station/ school & back etc, plus my 23YO niece would be happy to come over to UK & be responsible adult in the house, cook some pizzas etc (good for her English)

            there’s hope yet, not sure what my best argument is, whatever it is, wife doesn’t buy it just yet

  9. Has anyone tried the Oryx lounge in Doha using a UK Amex Platinum? It’s open to UAE/other ME cardholders – I’m curious as the PP Al Maha lounge can get very busy during peak hours.

  10. Rob, maybe a permanent article on lounges and where you can get access with UK cards and what “works” elsewhere. And then keep the comments open of success/failure etc. Useful article this.

  11. Dear all,
    some advice is needed for the pickle i have gotten myself into. In a blind panic i booked 4 business class seats LHR-MIA in August returning JFK-LGW when i saw the miami availability using two companion vouchers. I was hoping for a last minute change for the JFK flight to another florida airport to avoid the connection flights to JFK.
    To avoid this hassle i was prepared to fly home from Tampa economy but this is where all the trouble has started.
    I was told as the tampa flight is in a different zone to the jfk flight the whole ticket would have to cancelled including the Miami leg. I was then told that there is no guarantee that the Miami tickets would drop into the system again thus possibly leaving me with no flight out.
    I asked whether I could change the return leg when i was out in Florida and was told i couldn’t as it is a different zone. They said if I attempted to do this the flight would be cancelled with a tax refund but not the avios.
    Thinking of my options (flying with the wife and 2 small children) i can only think of the following unless anyone else has any ideas:
    1. wait for last minute availability a few days before the miami flight to see if another 4 business tickets appear for florida and if so there is my back up in case the miami tickets don’t drop into the system.
    2. Just book the connections now for JFK.
    Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • I didn’t know you could book 2 different zones on the same booking? Or did you do it by phone?

      I’d book the connecting flight and have a couple of days in New York on the way back.

    • i can only comment on my experience when BA gave the same advice when i cancelled a redemption ticket which was in 2 different zones and i wanted to change the date on one part. So, when i cancelled it on the phone the availability immediately came back on the system, so did my 241 voucher and the avios.

    • Hi there
      Just got back from doing something similar – we flew Heathrow to Atlanta on 2 X 241, paid cash for AA flights Atlanta to Miami. We then drove Miami to Florida and the potentially interesting bit was that we used avios for 4 flights from Orlando to JFK with AA, back into Gatwick. I cannot remember the avios cost of the Orlando to JFK flights but I fondly remember paying only a very small tax amount and it was a lovely flight. Might be worth exploring the flights to JFK?

      • Just to be clear – you drove from Miami to Orlando, then you flew on a redemption to JFK where you picked up the return leg of your 241 on BA?

        • Yes, correct. We took in Cape Canaveral and dipped into the Keys. 4 hour drive to Cape Canaveral and a further 1.5 hours across to Disney.

      • thats very interesting. Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated

    • These zones can catch you out. Seattle and Vancouver BC are in different zones although only c120 miles apart, although those routes are less popular and we are retired so it was not a big problem.
      In your case I would book the NYC flights as they may go up nearer the time (this advice is worth what you paid for it).

      • Same here re zones. Was trying to change from KUL to HKG for our 241 return leg, to be told only SIN is in the same zone. Which is impossible to change to. Also if they rebooked it, they couldn’t even hold the original o/b seats either. Annoying that zone rule, needs more flexibility.

  12. HIDeHi says:

    The Amex lounges in Mexico City are not good. The centurion lounges in the US are pretty great though.

  13. I am expecting a refund to my PRGC but it is taking some time in processing.
    If I upgrade from PRGC to platinum do I retain the same card number or is it different?
    Does my card balance gets carried over while I am still in between billing cycles or do I still keep PRGC until next statement is produced?

    • Different number but balance gets carried over immediately. Not sure what happens to refunds though.

  14. Rob – I just wanted to say thanks a million for running this article! This has been one of the most helpful articles I have read in a long time. I had no idea about the fast track in Sydney or the Velocity lounges in Australia – I fly to Aus every 6 weeks for work

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