Review of the Amex Lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League game!

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One advantage of being an American Express Platinum cardholder is the opportunity to access special offers and complimentary experiences. These are generally not bad, although I am so busy these days that I rarely get to one.  Details of what is available are sent out in the monthly ‘Vista’ email.

You probably know that American Express is a major employer in Brighton.  You may not know that it is also the headline sponsor of the new Brighton & Hove Albion football stadium, now known as the American Express Community Stadium (or, apparently, “the Amex” to locals).

American Express has a suite in the stadium.  Reader Tim managed to get free tickets from Amex for a recent Premier League game and offered to write up his experience.

American Express Community Stadium

Over to Tim:

“In July American Express Platinum card members received an offer of complimentary Amex Lounge tickets for Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League games. The offer was allocated on a waiting list basis, and the Platinum Concierge advised that factors such as annual spend and time of cardmembership were taken into account. I was allocated tickets for Brighton vs West Ham, my third choice. A quick check showed equivalent hospitality tickets for this game started at £185 per person.

 Amex lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League game

The American Express lounge is located at the South East corner of the stadium. It’s a nice space, with floor to ceiling windows looking out across the pitch. There is a bar at one end, and most food & drink, including beers and wines from the bar, is free. Tea/coffee, etc was self service.

 Amex lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League game

and

 Amex lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League game

and

 Amex lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League game

In the two hours before kick off we were served a three course ‘bowl food’ menu.  I opted for vegetable spring rolls, fish pie and lemon meringue. For each course guests were give the option to try multiple bowls and despite the small serving sizes the food was good and there was plenty available. A cheese selection was served at full time.

 Amex lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League game

We sat at a table for six, and as tickets are allocated at two per card member this encouraged us to talk to other guests. We had driven three hours from Bristol and were surprised to find that despite this being a neutral area, most people were local supporters of Brighton or West Ham.

 Amex lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League game

We had reserved balcony seating alongside the lounge for the match itself (FA rules meant that the lounge windows were covered during the action to prevent people drinking alcohol whilst in view of the pitch).  The view of the action was very good, although I doubt there are any bad views in this modern stadium. Unfortunately the match didn’t quite live up to the hospitality, with few exciting moments in the 1-0 home win!

 Amex lounge at a Brighton & Hove Albion FC Premier League game

The Amex lounge is a fairly new offer.  As I know Amex will read this, one area for improvement is communication about what is and isn’t complimentary.  A few times people were embarrassed to be called back to pay for certain spirits and snacks, and no one mentioned until full time that the lounge had free wifi.  This would have been useful given that the stadium had almost no mobile reception!

Overall, it was a fantastic card perk to be able to have a free night out watching a Premier League game from the Amex Lounge.”

Thanks Tim.  If you enjoy using your miles and points to watch Premier League football from VIP suites, you might also find our article on redeeming Emirates Skywards miles or American Express Membership Rewards points for Arsenal tickets of interest (especially now they are winning again!).

(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. I always check for wifi when I go into somewhere I’m going to be spending some time! Reduces battery usage at least

  2. Great review, but I’m puzzled why you were surprised most people at a Brighton Vs West Ham match were either Brighton or West Ham supporters! I’d be shocked if they weren’t…

    • As the offer was marketed at cardholders nationally, and it wasn’t necessarily that easy to get tickets for a specific game, I had assumed that there might be a few more people who’d accessed it like us – i.e. as neutrals who thought it was a good experience/perk worth traveling for.

    • Corporate hospitality suites don’t work that way! In general no-one there is bothered about the concert / sport / event going on ….

    • Neutral does not mean not supporting one of the clubs but that users of suites such as this aren’t supposed to wear team colours / replica shirts.

      For example in the pic in the article I don’t see anyone wearing a seagulls or hammers shirt.

      (Is the Amex still ‘new’ given it opened in 2011?)

  3. Asa rawson says:

    As an Amex holder I have now missed out two years in a row of receiving tickets. wonder if next year will be three. Would love to visit .

  4. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    If Amex do read this then some experiences outside of London would be great. The last Vista had a “taste of Scotland” option which briefly got me excited before the location was identified as London. Why not taste Scotland in Scotland? If memory serves there wasnt a single item outside the M25. Come on, throw us a bone.

    • Err, this one was in Brighton…

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        I would differentiate this as a continual long running offer derived from their sponsorship. It’s not a typical Vista ‘product’ which tend to be one off experiences.

    • Iain Miller says:

      Was going to post the same thing!
      Err and only someone from the south east could answer your point by saying Brighton isn’t London!

      • Well it’s not!

        I myself am going deep into the regions next week, travelling all the way to Gatwick, and that’s not even half-way to Brighton!

      • Why, do you lot up North not learn Geography in school?

    • There was a whisky one at Aberfeldy a month or so ago, that’s certainly in Scotland.

  5. Tim, care to divulge what your (approx) annual spend and membership years are?

    • I’m actually a relatively new Platinum cardmember, having upgraded from gold a few months ago. At the time they were allocated I think I’d just got the £2,000 in 3 mths spend bonus. I got the impression being a newer member, a big spender or a long term member would help. They didn’t divulge exactly how the allocations worked though – just the type of things they look at.

  6. We also got two tickets for the same game. Concierge called me the week before and also offered parking no more than 50 metres from the door to the Amex lounge. We had a good time as well. And all Tim’s points are exactly as we found it. And I even made it into one of your photos!

  7. Shoestring says:

    Wife was in charge of her company’s Cardiff city (minor but free hospitality tickets) sponsorship and in 2013 they got promoted to the Premiership. She neglected to tell me anything about it – I only learned about halfway through the season and all the freebies had long gone!

    Did enjoy a few seasons in our Aston Villa box ‘entertaining’ people back in the good old days when Villa were a force. I guess 1989-1994.

  8. Speedbird676 says:

    I’ve been a Platinum cardholder since January and have never received a Vista email. This is the first I’ve heard of it :-0

  9. I got the July email and responded immediately, having previously missed out. So far I have missed out again. I have had my PLAT for many years.

  10. Same, the person I spoke to on the phone said I was the first person they’d had call about it but still missed out. Next year..

  11. Is there any chance Amex will improve the Platinum offering to (e.g.) include an airline credit or bonus earning categories, like the US offering?

    It is simply pretty poor value as it stands.

  12. Minor correction: I believe it’s the law of the land rather than FA rules that prohibit alcohol consumption within sight of the pitch.

    The small print on the availability of the lounge says they are not available when playing Liverpool. I think Man U are excluded too.

  13. andrew young says:

    You are not allowed to drink alcohol while viewing the game, even if your in a corporate box?

  14. Thanks for this review. Amex have done a few of these for Centurion holders so I’m going to one in December for a match against Chelsea. Amex also doing this with England matches at Wembley.

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