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? – June 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge 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.
Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus 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:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.