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Plaza Premium lounges now allowing direct access for Amex Platinum cardholders

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Tucked away in the new issue of ‘Departures’, the magazine for American Express Platinum charge card holders, is an intriguing new offer.

The ‘intriguing’ element comes from the fact that Amex has never announced this benefit and because I’m not sure it has any use whatsoever for UK cardholders!

You can now access Plaza Premium airport lounges anywhere in the world simply by showing your American Express Platinum card at the desk.  You can also take in a guest for free.

Plaza Premium operates in 50 airports across the world.  In the UK they run very impressive departure lounges in Terminal 2 (reviewed here, photo below) and Terminal 4 (reviewed here).  They also run an arrivals lounge in Terminal 2.

In the pipeline is an arrivals lounge for Terminal 4, a Heathrow hotel and a large Plaza Premium departure lounge in Terminal 5 (yay!).

Details of all the Heathrow lounges are on their website here.

Plaza Premium Heathrow 2

This should be a fantastic benefit.  However, all of the UK lounges are already members of Priority Pass.  As you already get a free Priority Pass with your Platinum card, nothing changes.

The coverage is identical.  You get two Platinum cards (main and supplementary), you get two Priority Pass cards.  You get a free guest when entering using your Platinum card, you get a free guest when entering using your Priority Pass card.

The UK Platinum charge card is more generous than in other countries in terms of how the Priority Pass works.  I get a feeling that this deal with Plaza Premium was made to benefit cardholders in other countries more than the UK.

That said, it is possible that if you trawl through the entire Plaza Premium global network there may be one or two lounges which are not part of Priority Pass.  Should this be the case, you will get some marginal benefit from this new partnership.

There is also a chance that the Terminal 5 lounge will not be part of Priority Pass as the company which owns Priority Pass is a shareholder in the Aspire lounge in T5.  I don’t consider this likely however as the Aspire lounge is already turning people away at peak times and Priority Pass knows it needs more T5 capacity.  Aspire will continue to be full with or without Plaza Premium.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2020)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club lounge – see the list here

The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list.  Additional visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (66)

  • harry says:

    O/T Europcar
    Just working out which rental co to use to get to the airport in summer – a 1-way as we’re driving back in my wife’s car in September – and came across this intriguing link https://www.europcar.co.uk/deals/one-way-uk.step?xtor=AL-3090-%5B47868%5D-%5BAW%5D-%5Btext_link%5D-%5Bwinteroffer%5D-%5B0%5D&awc=6795_1465992607_0606bcfb394117745ffb52cfd02c4865#fromHP=true&place=big-1
    What you get for £1
    1) One way car rental – You can drive from one city to another for just £1! Much cheaper than any bus or taxi!
    2) Generous time allowance – You get an ample time to complete your journey: Up to 24 hours. You also have a mileage allowance included in the price.
    3) Basic Protection -We have included Basic Protection, which reduces your excess amount in case of damage of the vehicle. You can add more protection at the rental location if you wish.
    WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
    You may be wondering why we are offering you car rental for 1 pound. You may think there is some kind of catch. But don’t worry, there is a logical reason behind our crazy offer!
    Often we need to re-locate a vehicle, to be ready for the next rental or to return it to the manufacturer at the end of its lease.
    Transporting the vehicle by truck is very expensive, so if you can bring the vehicle to where we need it, we charge you only 1 pound, and we both benefit!

    *** let’s see if I can get it to work 🙂

    • harry says:

      No good for me but there are plenty of £1 1-way hires dropping off @ Heathrow!

      Anyway, anybody else in the same boat as myself, go through http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-airport-parking#holidayextras car hire options, price it up and you’ll see a 20% discount to the best you’ll find via Europcar direct. £48 1-way car rental with airport drop-off is unbeatable, Octavia class but they’ll normally upgrade you to something a bit bigger such as Insignia.

  • formal hall says:

    Does anyone know if this benefit now applies to all Platinum cards worldwide, or is just for the UK and HK. Also, does the benefit apply to platinum business cards?