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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 (January 2021)

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)

  • Genghis says:

    Will the Amex Plat just need to be shown on entry or will it be swiped?

    • Alex W says:

      I was thinking exactly the same thing. No harm in trying…

      • Luke S says:

        They swipe it. I’ve used in Toronto Transborder area and Calgary.

  • Ben says:

    They swipe it at the Plaza Premium Edmonton. The lady told me the access was more generous than with my UK PP card. They said I could bring the whole family in with platinum, but just one guest with priority pass.

    • harry says:

      Sounds a bit generous. Have you been charged for no 3?

      • harry says:

        Judging by the T&Cs, you can bring in as many as you like/ lounge rules allow – but you will be charged for no 3 onwards

  • harry says:

    Does the Plat supp also give entry +1?

    Ie Priority Pass +1 guest, Plat supp +1 guest, family of 4 get in?

    • pauldb says:

      If you had a supp card, i.e. 2 Priority Passes, you could already get in 2+2. The question is whether 1 card holder can now enter by Plat and by PP and therefore have 2 guests. Or you and your supp cardholder can take a total group of 6.

      • harry says:

        lol just waking up

        yes – 6 sounds intriguing as we need 5

        assuming you are doing it above board (ie presenting 6 of you at the reception desk), I guess the question is whether a ‘principal’ cardholder can flash both cards for guests #1 & #2, each

        • harry says:

          Right – the lounge might actually be helpful here, you never know. They get a fee for each entry. If the rules allow cardholder to use both Plat & PP to get in 1 guest on each card FOC, ie total of 3 getting in, then the lounge could presumably charge Amex for 4 entries & be happy as only 3 go in.

          Worth a test, it might finally be a good reason for me to get Plat.

  • Andrew* says:

    I’m fairly new to Platinum… What magazine? Do I need to sign up to receive it or …?

  • harry says:

    From relaxing getways to important business trips, eligible American Express Cardmembers can enjoy privileged access to Plaza Premium Lounge all year around whenever you travel. At over 70 locations worldwide, you can relax and unwind before your next journey and enjoy a complimentary visit to Plaza Premium Lounge. In the lounge they offer a wide range of facilities, from comfortable seating, a delicious buffet spread with non-alcoholic drinks, hot shower suites, evening tapas, to local / international newspapers and magazines.

    Alternatively, for those of you who are always on the road, unwind in a complimentary 15-minute seated massage service or freshen up with a complimentary shampoo and blow-dry at Wellness Spa & Salon in Hong Kong.

    Simply present your eligible American Express Card with a boarding pass for the same day or the following day travel at the lounge reception. We make sure your airport experience is seamless whether you’re arriving, departing or transiting at the airport.
    TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

    1
    Basic and Supplementary Centurion members, Basic and Supplementary Cardmembers of The Platinum Card®, American Express Peninsula Platinum Card, American Express Cathay Pacific Elite Credit Card and American Express Gold Business Card issued in Hong Kong by American Express International, Inc. are eligible to enjoy either a complimentary lounge access or 15 minute seated massage or shampoo and blow-dry services (“Offer”) once per day .

    2
    Basic and Supplementary Cardmembers of American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card and American Express Charter Card issued in Hong Kong by American Express International, Inc. are eligible to two complimentary visits per year by presenting a valid lounge coupon for each entry. The coupon is required to be presented at lounge reception. Photocopy of the coupon is not accepted. Each coupon entitles the Cardmember to one complimentary visit to the lounge or one time complimentary service as stated on the coupon.

    3
    Cardmember is also required to present the eligible Card in his or her name along with boarding pass for the same day or the following day travel at lounge reception for accessing Plaza Premium Lounge or receiving the mentioned services.

    4
    Basic and Supplementary Centurion member, Basic and Supplementary Cardmember of the Platinum Card may bring up to one travel companion into the lounge at no cost and enjoy 30% discount on the fee for each additional guest (except Shanghai and Beijing).

    5
    Relevant applicable fee such as entrance fee for a guest will be charged to Cardmember’s Card Account.

    • harry says:

      Or was that just HK? oops

      • pauldb says:

        UK wording:

        Simply present your American Express® Platinum Card at Plaza Premium Lounge to gain complimentary access for yourself and your guest(s)*. You may also purchase additional guest access.
        *Guest entitlements vary by location

        TERMS AND CONDITIONS
        Platinum Cardmembers (and supplementary Platinum Cardmembers) are entitled to complimentary access to the Plaza Premium lounges. The Platinum Cardmember may bring upto x guest(s) into the lounge at no additional cost. All lounge access fees for additional guest visits will be charged directly to the Platinum Cardmember’s Card, and at the prevailing retail rate, per person, per visit. Lounge access to infants under two years of age is complimentary. To access the Plaza Premium lounges, the Platinum Cardmember must present the agent with the following upon each visit: his or her valid Card and upon request, same-day or following day boarding pass on any carrier and a government-issued I.D. Failure to present this documentation may result in access being denied.Platinum Cardmember must be at least 18 years of age to enter without a parent or guardian where there is a self-service bar. Plaza Premium Lounge reserves the right to remove any person from a lounge for inappropriate behaviour or failure to adhere to lounge rules, including, but not limited to, conduct that is disruptive, abusive or violent. Access is subject to space availability and is not guaranteed. The full Plaza Premium Lounge Facilities Terms and Conditions are available at plaza-network.com/terms. Facilities, amenities, services and hours of operation may vary among locations and are subject to change. Terms and Conditions are subject to change without prior notice.cc

        • pauldb says:

          So vague about guest numbers, and not clear if they are deliberately saying only he Cardmember (not supp) is allowed guests.

          • harry says:

            I guess the x will simply change to ‘1’

          • Gin and Tonic Please says:

            The page in the Departures magazine clearly says “one guest”. Not clear on whether the supplementary cardholder also gets a guest though.

  • evelyn thomas says:

    O/T but lounge linked
    VIenna airport|| which lounge do people recommend?
    We have choice of JET lounge or AIR lounge
    Thanks

    • Brian says:

      Much of a muchness – I’d probably go for JET, but I don’t think there’s much in it. Maybe try both??

    • YL says:

      Just wanted to mention ( in case you have not noticed) that Jet is before Passport control and Air is located just after the Passport control. Personally I prefer going to lounge after passport control or security( not possible at VIE), but that is just me.

  • Boi says:

    OT but platinum related…..
    How do I check if I am targeted for PRG to platinum on my online account?

    And if I am not, how do I increase the chances?

    • Genghis says:

      I thought officially the targeted persons were emailed…

      • Scallder says:

        I managed to apply using the website link with the offer on and didn’t get an email. I have just hit the £1k for the upgrade bonus and MR points for that last bit of spend should hit tomorrow, so will see if the 20k bonus hit tomorrow as well. If not, will certainly be on the phone to Amex sharpish as even if it was emailed to specific people the fact that the website allows you to upgrade shouldn’t prevent those not emailed to get it surely?

        • harry says:

          Your online a/c tells you which bonus you are targeting, so you can log in & check it right now if you wish. If there’s no 20K showing, that’s going to be tough convincing them so good luck

          • Scallder says:

            Morning all, I am very happy to report that having not been targeted for the upgrade and also not having the normal spend tracker when I logged into my account, the 20k bonus hit this morning just as promptly and like clockwork like any normal sign up bonus 🙂

            So excluding the extra 1k points for the extra £1k spend that route has netted me an extra 7k MR points over going straight to Platinum (being referred)

          • Boi says:

            Thanks for feedback. Do you mind sharing the link you used?

            Also, after upgrading I presume the gold stops working and I will have to wait for the new platinum card?

          • Rob says:

            Yes, a reader tried it and was refused the bonus on the grounds of not being targetted.

          • Scallder says:

            Was this one: https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/upgrade-to-platinum/index.html

            And the gold still works and some spend I put on that whilst waiting for the new platinum card counted towards the £1k target

  • Genghis says:

    I believe Anika reviewed the BOD BA lounge on HfP earlier this year. The lounge is closed. As an alternative for breakfast I got a pain au chocolat, latte and Tropicana from the Cafe. By the sounds of it, this is an improvement.

    • Aeronaut says:

      Standing outside inhaling others smoke seems like it’d have been more life affirming than a visit to the Bordeaux lounge!