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.
I’m sure that plenty of holders of non-UK and non-French Amex Platinum cards have used the Eurostar lounges, for example, even though it is not meant to happen.
This works both ways though.
Reader Liz dropped me a note to say that she was able to access Virgin Australia lounges on a recent holiday in Oz, despite flying on a £12.50 economy ticket!
As you can see from the Australian website for the Platinum card (don’t get wound up by the 80,000 points sign-up bonus!), you can flash your card to get in. Here are the rules:
Access is complimentary for 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. One guest per Basic Platinum Card member permitted. 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.
Lounges are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Mackay, Cairns and Gold Coast airports.
It doesn’t even say that non-Australian Platinum cards are not allowed, although that is almost certainly the case. It would surely be mentioned in the marketing material for the UK card if it was.
It isn’t clear why it says that your frequent flyer details must show on your boarding pass – this was not an issue for Liz.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 2024 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.