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What you need to know about the Amex Centurion airport lounge network in the US

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If you are heading to the USA or Hong Kong soon and hold an American Express Platinum charge card, you may be able to visit one of the new airport lounges commissioned by American Express.

Five or so years ago, Amex started to lose its contracts with the major US airlines which allowed Platinum cardholders to use their lounges.  The only arrangement that is still in place is with Delta and is now restricted to the cardholder only and no guests.

American Express Centurion lounge Miami

American Express decided to launch its own proprietary lounge network.  They have been seen as a welcome breath of fresh air in the US, where airport lounges are substantially lower in quality than those in Europe and Asia.

US airport lounges also tend to operate on a ‘club’ system with paid memberships – having status is not enough to get you access. You have the odd situation where a BA top-tier member can use their card to access an American Airlines lounge but an AA top-tier flyer cannot.  You are also expected to pay for food and some drinks in US lounges.

American Express Centurion lounge Miami 2

Amex has branded its lounge network as ‘Centurion Lounge’.  This causes some confusion because many believe that you need an American Express Centurion card to enter, which is not true.  Access is gained via a Platinum charge card, issued in any country.

American Express Centurion lounge Miami 3

At present, there are lounges at:

Las Vegas

Dallas / Fort Worth

San Francisco

LaGuardia, New York

Miami

Houston

Philadelphia

Seattle

The first overseas lounge has also just opened in Hong Kong as we covered here.

Coming soon – 2019 – is a 15,000 square feet lounge at Terminal 4 at New York JFK.  Forbes has more details here.  33% of JFK’s passengers use Terminal 4 and airlines include Virgin Atlantic and Delta.

American Express Centurion lounge Miami 4

Depending on the airport, you will find a cocktail bar, premium wines, hot and cold food, a family room, a computer bar, a spa suite offering free 15-minute treatments and shower suites.

Just because you are using a particular airport does not mean that you can get to the lounge.  I was hoping to try out the Las Vegas one a few years ago, only to discover that it was not in the part of the airport used by British Airways and I would be stuck in a terrible third party lounge.

American Express Centurion lounge Miami 4

Unfortunately, the Centurion Lounges have been a victim of their own success and now suffer from overcrowding at peak times.  The entry requirements have been tightened up recently and you can no longer bring in unlimited children.   Platinum Card members are restricted to two guests, although additional day passes can be purchased.

American Express Centurion lounge Miami 6

Under US law, you must be 21 years old to enter – unsupervised – a lounge with a self-service bar.  Lounges with a staffed bar accept unaccompanied guests from age 18.

The photographs in the this article were sent in by a reader and are of the Miami lounge.  He said that he was impressed by what he found.

You can find out more at the dedicated Centurion Lounge website here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. There’s an American Express lounge at ARN T5, it’s small but private and has good food served from the restaurant next door.

    Worth a mention for those taking advantage of the QR sale fares out of ARN.

  2. Stephen says:

    OT – do we have any update as to when AmEx will be changing their signup policy for points?

    • Shhh! No news is good news lol.

    • They were running a survey the other day, I got an email from them that led me to a survey asking whether I think my Platinum card is good value for money etc.

      They might be still data mining.

      • Same here, and yes it’s gone quiet so hopefully no changes in the immediate future…

      • I got a survey on my Plat too although it seemed fairly generic Amex acceptance more than much about Plat benefits.

  3. There is a small Centurion Lounge at New Delhi’s domestic terminal as well.

  4. “Just because you are using a particular airport does not mean that you can get to the lounge. I was hoping to try out the Las Vegas one a few years ago, only to discover that it was not in the part of the airport used by British Airways and I would be stuck in a terrible third party lounge.”

    In the US you can access any terminal with a same day boarding pass from that airport… not ideal having to clear security, use the lounge, leave, head to a different terminal, then back through security and then head to the gate, but it is allowed.

    • Is this before the new terminal in Las Vegas opened? Ie: that far back? Because I’ve visited it when on Virgin Atlantic, which I believe uses the same lounge as BA. You just go to the transit to the other terminal and its at the top of the escalators.

    • No this isn’t allowed. I was travelling on AA from T1 D gates at LAS, I got the scuttle over to T3 to see if I could access the Club at LAS with my Platinum status and was told that I can only access the lounge in the terminal I was travelling from.
      BTW the Club at LAS is not a “terrible third party lounge”. I think it’s one of the better ones in the U.S.

  5. ROB OR ANYONE –

    Have you/anyone received their Curve card yet? I’d expected to see some comments by now.

    • One thing I do know is it that American Express cards are NOT compatible.

      • Phil, Curve isn’t new. The business prepaid card – what many people have on here – has been around for a few years now. It’s only the personal (and business) debit card which is the new addition.

    • New Card says:

      PHIL

      yes

  6. NO, got not.

  7. Carlbob says:

    We used the Centurion Lounge at LAS last year before flying BA home. Allow a bit more time for the inter-terminal transiting but it is definitely worth it. Great food and drink, was busy but not heaving.
    The Club when we got there later was like a zoo!

  8. OT1) How long does it roughly take following an Amex PRG or Platinum application to receive the two lounge passes or Priority Pass card respectively?

    OT2) Does anyone know if Lloyds Avios Rewards Amex cards are working for US transactions again yet?

  9. Anyone have the link for Amex gold to platinum – 20000 bonus if spend £1000. Thanks

  10. I didn’t realize the international lounges aren’t part of the Centurion brand. I’ve been to the one in Mexico City and it’s pretty much on par with other Centurion Lounges I’ve been to.

    Access to the Centurion Lounge network is probably 90% of the reason I still have the US Amex Platinum card. It’s hella expensive and the other benefits are so annoyingly difficult to trigger, but no other lounges compsre to the Amex ones IMO.

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