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Additional airport lounges that you never knew Amex Platinum got you into

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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.  Some other benefits are designed for global Amex Platinum customers but, for some reason, are not promoted in the UK.

This means that you can get additional airport lounge access benefits above those officially offered by Amex UK.

Amex Platinum already has excellent airport lounge access benefits:

You receive 2 Priority Pass cards, each of which admits two people to the 1,000 airport lounges in the Priority Pass network.  If you issue the 2nd card to your partner, this allows a family of four to access a lounge.  You can get unlimited lounge visits with your card.  The Priority Pass website here has a list of all of the lounges you can access – you are very likely to find one wherever you are travelling, including all four Heathrow terminals.

Lounge access with Delta.  If you are flying with US airline Delta, your UK-issued Amex Platinum card gets you (but no guests) access to Delta SkyClub lounge.  I don’t think this allows you to use the Virgin Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3, however – only Delta-branded lounges.

There are some other Platinum lounge access benefits which you can access.  It isn’t clear if these are meant to be accessible for UK cardholders or not, but readers regularly get access to them.

Virgin Australia

As you can see from the Australian website for the Platinum card (don’t get wound up by the 100,000 points sign-up bonus), you can flash your card to get in to Virgin Australia lounges in Australia if you are flying with them.  Here are the rules:

Access is complimentary for the 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. 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.

It isn’t clear why it says that your frequent flyer details must show on your boarding pass although I know people who have got access without this.

Airspace Lounge (US)

Airspace is a small network of independent US lounges.  As you can see from their website, you get free admission for yourself and TWO guests by showing your Platinum card.

A HFP reader recently got access with his UK Platinum card, which may or may have been an error but it did work!

Airspace lounges can be found in New York JFK Terminal 5 (JetBlue), Cleveland and San Diego.

Amex Centurion lounges

As I have mentioned before on HFP, American Express is currently rolling out its own network of airport lounges in the US.  Despite being call Centurion Lounges, they are accessible by anyone with a Platinum or Centurion Amex card.  You are allowed two free guests.

As per this website, you can find Amex Centurion lounges in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, New York (LGA), Miami, San Francisco and Seattle.  Philadelphia and, interestingly, Hong Kong are listed as ‘coming soon’.

American Express lounges

American Express also operates 10 other lounges globally.  Full details are here.

They are in Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City (I have been to this one), Buenos Aires, Monterrey (Mexico, not CA!), Sydney and Toluca.  These are accessible by Platinum cardholders from any country – guest policies vary by lounge.

Bradesco lounges in Brazil

As per the comments below, Amex – in conjunction with its local issuer Bradesco – has a network of lounges in Brazil.  These can be accessed with a Platinum card or, it appears (my Portuguese is a bit ropey) a Gold card.  Full details, in Portuguese, can be found here.

Sao Paulo Terminal 2 – Bradesco Lounge – airside – 1st floor
Sao Paulo Terminal 3 – Star Alliance Lounge – airside – mezzanine
Sao Paulo – Amex Centurion Lounge – airside – opposite gate 5
Rio De Janeiro – Amex Centurion Lounge – landside – 1st floor
Recife Terminal 2 – Sala VIP PontesTur – airside – ground floor

Plaza Premium lounges

Amex Platinum cards issued in Hong Kong – but which look very similar to the UK version – can be used to access a large number of Plaza Premium airport lounges.  You can learn more here.

Most Plaza Premium lounges are in Priority Pass, which means that you can enter anyway by using the Priority Pass card which comes with Amex Platinum, but this is a fall back option if you don’t have your Priority Pass with you.

Conclusion

As you can see, American Express Platinum cardholders get a wide range of airport lounge benefits – many of which are not actually mentioned in the literature sent out by the UK team.  My full review of Amex Platinum is here.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 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

60,000 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 60,000 points which is a special offer running to 2nd November 2021.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

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

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

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a special 30,000 points sign-up bonus until 9th November 2021.  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 (103)

  • krys_k says:

    I recently used the Amex Lounge in Mexico City Airport T1. Best avoided, it was a very small space, totally packed, looking tired, food was paid for. I didn’t think it was a good advert for the Amex brand. However, there are three PP lounges available. Two were just as small (the one around the corner from Amex just as packed, but the one by gate 34 totally empty – it’s at the very end of the airport so really only services about seven gates); the other, about two minutes walk from Amex, and just next to Iberia lounge (looks like a mid tier regional UK hotel chain) was pretty good, even had a pop up bar that served margaritas.

  • Prince Polo says:

    Rob – a quick question. The article says “Amex Platinum already has excellent airport lounge access benefits: You receive 2 Priority Pass cards […]”. How do you get the second PP card? Is it possible without getting a supplementary Amex card?

    • Polly says:

      PRince Polo. You have to have the 2nd full free supplementary card. The free PP card then arrives. We have just designated our daughter as my second card holder, the supp that grants the PP card. As she is going to HKT with her fiancé, on QR cheapo Y bargain ticket and can use it 4 x2 on the trip. We weren’t using it enough, as we have BA sliver anyway.

  • Gin and Tonic Please says:

    I’ve used the Centurion lounge in Seattle a few times now. There’s definitely no issue with uk cards as they scan it each time. It’s a very pleasant experience, though very small. I think it’s being expanded right now, if it hasn’t been already.

    • mark2 says:

      It was expanded into a Centurion Lounge rather than Studio a few months ago (I read). Hoping to use it in June.

  • HV says:

    We used the Centurion at New York LGA without issue. It was much better than the Maple Leaf/Priority Pass. Lady at counter said each card allows two guests.

  • LondonFoodie says:

    Does anyone know how long after cancelling an Amex Plat does PP stop working?

    • Rob says:

      Immediately. As soon as there is no longer a valid charge or credit card linked to the PP, which would be used to charge any supplementary guests, it is blocked. Your only chance would be at a lounge where the card is not swiped but they take a paper impression – not sure if there are many of those left though.

  • Ryan says:

    In March I accessed the Amex lounge in SYD, twice (both ways to / from NZ connecting from / to BA15 / 16, flying WT+) using the BA Premium Plus card. This isn’t listed as an eligible card on rate Amex website, and I may have just come across two friendly lounge agents, but well worth trying if no lounge acces elsewhere. The lounge was OK, and passed a few hours- good coffee, OK food and wine.

    However, if you enter the lounge and use the lift by the bathrooms to decend one floor, you arrive in the middle of the much plusher Air NZ / Star Alliance lounge, which is very nice!

    • Ryan says:

      My mistake, its the SkyTeam lounge and not Star Alliance below the SYD Amex lounge.

  • M says:

    Is there any way to register the card via app but not having a physical card yet? Waiting for the card to arrive in post but would like to use it on the next lounge visit.

    • Genghis says:

      The PP card? With the card you receive a letter with an access code on it to allow you to login.

    • Polly says:

      Hi M, just did this sat morning for my daughter, see earlier post. I called PP sat , and they us the pp mem no, plus the access code. They will ask you for your plat card no and lots of security questions. My daughter was then able to upload the PP app, and save it as a digital card. We then checked if the digital card was accepted in her airports, Skyteam T4, she’s on QR, this am, loved it! And al Maha in Doha, and finally HKT. So it can be done before the physical card arrives in your home.

  • Nate says:

    Hi

    I received my platinum Amex today. I also received one priority pass card which I can use with a guest. In the article it says I should receive two priority pass cards, but I can only see one. I do have my wife as a supplementary card holder.

    Should I be expecting another priority pass card in the post for my wife later?

    Thanks

    • JP says:

      Your wife needs to be an additional cardholder in order to get the additional lounge pass (if is free for the first additional cardholder).

    • Genghis says:

      Sounds like it

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      Yes, they come separately. One might be delayed by a day or two…

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