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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 ‘you won’t see better’ 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.

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

You can apply for The Platinum Card here.

American Express Platinum Card 60,000 points

American Express has 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 although this has yet to reopen. This is the terminal used by British Airways. 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 Heathrow T5 entrance

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 and Terminal 5 departure lounges are open.

Plaza Premium has also opened a lounge in London Gatwick’s North Terminal recently, taking over the old Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

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.

Enter Delta lounges with American Express Platinum

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.

Centurion Lounge Heathrow T3

American Express Centurion lounges, inc Heathrow

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.

The first Centurion Lounge in Europe opened at Heathrow Terminal 3 last Autumn. It is impressive – click here for our Heathrow Centurion Lounge review. A photo is above.

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. There are plans to upgrade some of these and merge them into the main ‘Centurion’ brand.

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 (34)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Lounge entry used to be a great Amex benefit.

    But now Covid is passing, the pre-Covid rejections have returned.

    Turned away two weeks ago in Edinburgh, so had to use BA lounge. Hardly any food.

    Then in T5 the Aspire was “fully booked” – fortunately I recalled that the Terminal 5B BA lounge was usually empty, which it was.

    But again, food was a joke: the steak pie was literally about two inches in diameter!

  • Tarmohamed says:

    So the £15 credit per person at Grain, I assume you can get £60 if you put 2 people on each card?

    • John says:

      If you have 4 people, yes

      • Barry cutters says:

        No you don’t need 4 people . They will happily scan more than once . – they get paid for each credit issued so doesn’t matter to them

  • Kshitij says:

    Last Monday in T5 both the plaza premium and centurion lounge were full so we’re turned away, so was not able use the benefit.

    • G says:

      Amex “Centurion” lounge at Heathrow T3 is very poor. Low quality food and drinks. Plus I found the layout very dark. I think it is underground and not worth the trek to find this Centurion lounge at all!!

  • Olly says:

    Do you get a plus one for the plaza premium lounges too or is it just for the cardholders?

  • Yuff says:

    Is the business platinum still 13 months, between applications, to get the sign up bonus?

  • Andrew J says:

    I was disappointed to find that flying BA from CDG in Club and having Amex Plat, there are no lounges available to use – the CX lounge is closed and there are no Priority or Plaza lounges in the BA terminal. The first time in decades I think that I’ll be in the general terminal waiting for boarding!

    • The Streets says:

      Just in comparison… I’ve got a trip to the Air France lounge coming up and from what I have read contains a sauna! Must remember to pack my swimming trunks

      • Andrew J says:

        Or not – in many places in Europe swimming trunks aren’t allowed in saunas. But yes, I’m regretting flying BA (not an unusual feeling) for this trip as the AF lounges would be nice to visit.

  • Mark says:

    Take the point on Std vs Business Premier in normal times, but given the huge queues at St Pancras at the moment vs a completely empty business premier line at the moment this quick check in is more valuable

  • JS says:

    Plaza Premium at T5 is OK once in, but getting in is a whole different story.

    Twice now I’ve had to wait 40 minutes for entry, to find out it’s only half full due to “lack of staff”. Once I was trurned away as I wasn’t a “paying customer” who they were giving priority to.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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