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60,000 POINTS BONUS: Why American Express Platinum gets you into more lounges than you think

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American Express is currently running a ‘never seen before’ bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you take out The Platinum Card.

This would convert into 60,000 Avios or lots of other great travel rewards.

Our main article on the Platinum 60,000 points offer is here. Yesterday we looked at ‘Are the four free American Express Platinum hotel status cards worth having?‘.

Today I want to look at one of the other key benefits – the wide range of airport lounges (and three Eurostar lounges) that you can access.

You can apply for The Platinum Card here.

American Express has recently created a website featuring all of the airport lounge which you can access with The Platinum Card. You can find it here.

Let’s start with Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a network of 1,300 independent airport lounges across the world. 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, although Heathrow Terminal 2 is currently a blind spot.

Note that No1 Lounges – which operates at Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham – has now rejoined Priority Pass after the business was taken over, following a period away.

Your American Express Platinum charge card comes with 2 free Priority Pass cards. You, as main cardholder, receive one and your first supplementary cardholder receives one. They arrive in the post at roughly the same time as your Platinum card.

Each Priority Pass card lets you take a guest into a lounge for free. Some people don’t join the dots here – what this means is that you can get a full family of four into an airport lounge with your Priority Pass. All you need to do is make sure that your partner is your first supplementary cardholder on your Platinum account and so gets their own Priority Pass. Both adults can then guest in one child each.

Additional guest are charged at £20 each. This is automatically charged by Priority Pass to your Platinum card.

Interestingly, this package is better than any which Priority Pass sells directly.  If you look at their website, you’ll see that it is impossible to buy a version which comes with unlimited free entry for both yourself and a guest. The only way to get a Priority Pass which does this is via American Express Platinum.

Priority Pass also has a deal with The Grain Store at London Gatwick’s South Terminal (currently closed), the terminal used by British Airways in normal times. You can go to The Grain Store, show your Priority Pass and get £30 of credit (£15 x 2 people) to spend on food and drink, either to eat in or take away.

Note that, whilst other restaurants offer a £15 credit for Priority Pass cardholders, you do not qualify for these if your card is issued by American Express. The Grain Store at Gatwick is the only restaurant which you can visit.

Plaza Premium lounges are also a benefit – great at Heathrow Terminal 5

American Express Platinum also has a deal with the Hong-Kong based Plaza Premium chain of lounges. You can see the Plaza Premium lounge network here.

Plaza Premium has some EXCELLENT lounges at London Heathrow, including – in normal times – departure lounges in Terminals 2, 4 and 5 and arrival lounges in Terminals 2, 3 and 4. As of today, the Terminal 2 departure lounge is open with Terminal 5 due to reopen very soon.

Most Plaza Premium lounges are no longer in Priority Pass, which means that this benefit is now more important than it used to be.

You cannot get into Plaza Premium Terminal 5 by showing your Priority Pass card. You CAN get in, with a guest, by flashing your American Express Platinum card at the door.

Lounge access with Delta

If you are flying with US airline Delta, your Amex Platinum card gets you (but no guests) access to Delta SkyClub lounges.

This can be more valuable than you think because – as I found myself when flying with Delta from Atlanta to Washington DC a couple of years ago – even having a domestic First Class flight ticket with Delta does not automatically get you into their lounges. Luckily I had my American Express Platinum card with me.

This does NOT allow you to use the Virgin Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3, which is Delta’s London facilty – you can only use Delta-branded lounges.

Lounge access with Lufthansa

Lufthansa and American Express have now formalised a trial arrangement that has been running for a year or so.

If you are flying on Lufthansa, SWISS or Austrian in Economy, you can access selected Lufthansa lounges in Europe. This includes the lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2 which is now open.

If you are flying in Business Class, you can access the Senator Lounge (in Heathrow this is a separate room at the back of the main lounge) which is usually reserved for Miles & More Senator members, the equivalent of British Airways Gold.

You can find out more about the Lufthansa / American Express lounge access partnership in this HfP article. No guests are allowed, although if your partner has a supplementary Platinum card on your account then clearly they can come in with you.

Lounge access with Eurostar

Away from the airport, American Express Platinum also gets you access to all Eurostar Business Premier Lounges.

The Paris lounge is particularly pleasant following its relocation – see our review here and photo above. A cocktail bar has also been added to the lounge at London St Pancras.

This benefit can be a money saver. With lounge access provided by your Platinum card, there is arguably little benefit in splashing out for a Business Premier ticket. Standard Premier offers exactly the same seat – albeit with a lower quality meal – and American Express handles lounge access for you.

Lounge access is for the cardmember only and no guests are permitted. Your partner could join you if they have a supplementary Platinum card on your account

American Express Centurion lounges (US, Hong Kong)

American Express is rolling out its own network of airport lounges. Despite being called Centurion Lounges, they are accessible by anyone with a Platinum or Centurion American Express card. You are allowed two free guests.

A Centurion Lounge is opening at Heathrow Terminal 3 later in 2021.

You can find out where other Centurion Lounge are (mainly the US and Hong Kong) in this HfP article.

Other American Express-branded lounges

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

They are, confusingly, also branded as ‘Centurion’ but are not done to the same quality. You can find these in Stockholm, Mumbai, Delhi, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Mexico City, Monterrey and Sydney.

Lounge access with Virgin Australia

You can access Virgin Australia lounges in Australia if you are flying with them on a domestic service. You can bring one guest for free.

Conclusion

As you can see, American Express Platinum cardholders get a wide range of airport and rail lounge benefits. There is a lot more too it than just a Priority Pass.

You can see the full ‘American Express Global Lounge Collection ‘ on this special website.

Full details of the 60,000 Membership Rewards points (=60,000 Avios) sign-up bonus are in this HfP article.

You can apply for The Platinum Card here.

Comments (29)

  • Tim says:

    I’m waiting for tomorrow’s installment: 60,000 POINTS BONUS: why American Express Platinum helps you scrape your windscreen more effectively than other non-sponsoring credit cards 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Two more, might find a third somewhere.

      The best bit is that, as the end date is 2/11, I can repeat them all in late October when I’m away in Barbados 🙂

      • Michael C says:

        Whoa! You’re going to Barbados!
        Whoa! Back to the palm trees….

        (btw as someone lingering on the fence over Plat, I find the maximum info to be of great interest. As there are 3 of us, the lounge entry/hotel pluses take on greater meaning, so thanks!)

      • Tim says:

        I’ll look forward to that. Of course, some books you only need to read once. Hopefully October will be a Booker month for HfP 🙂 🙂

  • n_g says:

    I hadn’t realised Grain Store access was still available to Amex Platinum holders. I ate there when it first opened so would happily go again when it opens.

    • Rob says:

      Now Collinson has bought No1 they might withdraw it when South Terminal reopens, arguably.

  • James says:

    Downgraded at the start of the pandemic to gold for obvious reasons – has anyone been offered any points to go back? I assume the points mentioned here are only for those with a current MR card?

  • MD says:

    Rob, it’s my understanding that the ICC cards also give the same level of lounge access, is that correct?

    And, given the recent hugely increased sign up bonuses for business and then personal platinums, are there any rumblings about an increased offer for the ICCs? Many thanks.

    • Rob says:

      We don’t get told anything about the ICC cards – they are run by a part of Amex which we don’t have any contact with.

      I believe it is the same level of lounge access. Eurostar is potentially the only issue – this is UK and French Platinum cards only in theory.

      • Julian says:

        Hmmm, I seem to remember you at one stage telling me you didn’t in fact have any direct contacts at Amex and were in effect merely trumpeting their current advantageous new card or other promotions for the benefit of readers on your own website.

        60,000 MR points is clearly a lot but so is the annual membership fee for the card. Does seem amazing they don’t make the annual card fee non refundable in the first year in order to prevent churners misusing the promotion.

        • Rob says:

          All the info we get on upcoming promos is sent to us by their marketing agency.

          We rarely speak to anyone at Amex who is not on the PR team.

          • Julian says:

            I think my previous issue was with a small garage merchant listed each time in the Shop Small promotion who then refused to accept Amex after they had already carried out work on my car and who then refused to put my Amex card in their payment machine to see if it would be accepted. Amex complaint escalation department tried contacting them several times whereupon they were told each time the boss man of Forge Motor Company, Old Forge Garage or Newdigate Garage (they use all three brands) wasn’t there each time even though the said Mr Spooner is actually there round the clock whenever the garage is open.

            Eventually Amex gave up and just offered me 3,000 MR Points as compensation.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            The Shop Small promotion is run by Amex, not that business. The business cannot be held responsible for or bound by information on websites that are not owned or controlled by the business. It’s quite surprising that you think it should.

            The key issue is whether the business advertised Amex payment availability. If they did not advertise it as a payment method and did not display Amex logos in reception or advertise it as a payment method on their own website then they were quite within their rights to decline it. What a terminal is capable of is irrelevant; it’s their choice.

            If you’ve ever owned a fixed-location fixed-phone small business you’ll know you get endless salesmen from all sorts of companies phoning up claiming to need to speak to the owner on a matter of great importance, that they’ve phoned before, that of course the owner knows them, etc etc (all lies of course). If You, Amex or anyone else phoned us up (or indeed most small businesses) with a similar query, the receptionist would bat you away in exactly the same way; as that’s their standing instruction. It’s the only way you can function!

          • Tim says:

            Julian: ‘Eventually Amex gave up and just offered me 3,000 MR Points as compensation.’. Can you not see why?!?!?

      • MW says:

        UK Platinum cards sure, just Personal and not Business. Has anyone from Amex ever explained why Eurostar is not provided with the Business Platinum card?

        Seems like an oversight and quite an annoying one.

  • Peter says:

    Rob, when will the Plaza Premium lounge at Heathrow 5 open? Wondering if I can use it at the end of Sep…

  • Tim Schofield says:

    As Rob has mentioned in this article that the Grain Store is currently closed, along with all other lounges that I have found recently. Though I haven’t travelled abroad yet (itching to use my BA and Virgin rewards) I’ve used Bristol and Edinburgh airports and all have been closed. It certainly devalues the Platinum card some what!

  • High Grade says:

    Can you access eurostar lounge with Amex Business Platinum? Did I read somewhere this benefit was only fo4 personal card holders?

    • Rob says:

      No AFAIK

    • Lady London says:

      Not Bus only Pers Plat
      Yes it’s completely bonkers and I don’t believe Rob or any of us have ever been able to explain it

    • MW says:

      Annoyingly no. They have a screenshot of all cards that are accepted and Business is not on that list. As LL says for some unknown and illogical reason.

      • Rob says:

        My best guess is that Eurostar thinks that ‘business’ cardholders might be booking Business Premier and may downgrade to Standard Premier if offered lounge access for free. This would represent a misunderstanding of the Amex Business customer base, however, which is mainly SMEs who are not booking Business Premier anyway.

  • John says:

    I got two kids into the Eurostar Lounge (London). Boldy flashed both cards and in we went. Maybe got lucky but worth a try.

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