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.
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