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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.

  • Ken says:

    I have found Priority Pass a waste of time at Manchester Airport, (and has been so for several years), with what they say is a lack of lounge capacity. I have spoken to PP on a number of occasions and they acknowledge this is an issue, but nothing seems to change with lounges still (last week) displaying signs advising full capacity/no access to PP holders.

    • QwertyKnowsBest says:

      Exactly! Reported this to Amex several times, priority pass is less of a benefit in the UK than it once was, and almost useless at MAN.

      • Freddy says:

        Currently got the amex plat business due to the sign up bonus. What are the chances to get into any lounge in MAN? None?

    • PIL says:

      I do not agree with this. Travelled last week via Man and got into Aspire (2 PP+2 guests) via Amex Plat hassle free. And that happens every time we fly (most times our flights are between 0600-0800 in the morning). But that been smooth also for less frequent flights later in the day

  • Morris says:

    Do they honor the card at Centurion “Studio” lounges in the U.S. as well? And would Lufthansa lounges outside of Europe grant access (obviously only if flying on a relevant carrier…)?

  • SM says:

    Amex plat is loosing its value, have had the card since 2006 and thinking of downgrading to the gold this year. Other than HH gold and rental car insurance don’t value the other benefits much. During the pandemic, made sense to hold on to the card due the retention bonuses and JL spend credits.

    • Andrew J says:

      Agree, lounge access is not one of the reasons I keep the card now.

  • A says:

    ‘Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen’ at LHR T2 also gives credit… as well as about 30 of them in the US (which gives $28 credit per person), and in other countries too… it’s a useful perk, although, irritatingly the list is ever changing (shrinking) without warning…

    • Rob says:

      No it doesn’t. ‘Big Smoke’ is not accessible to Priority Pass cardholders who get one from Amex. Grain Store at Gatwick is the only restaurant globally which is outside this policy.

  • Ian says:

    You can also get access (not sure if legitimately!) to the American express box at the staples centre in LA. I’ve done it twice just flashing the card once with a guest.

  • AndyS says:

    The article mentions “Three eurostar lounges” I know of St Pancras and Paris – where’s the third ?

  • Steve says:

    I’m off to Gatwick north tomorrow which lounges can I flash the amex platinum card I can’t find my priority pass card right now.

    • Rob says:

      Plaza Premium, the old Virgin Clubhouse.

      You can also download the Priority Pass app and use the virtual card in it. Not sure if there is a way of logging in via your email address without your card number.

  • M.A. says:

    Any clue why Amex Platinum cardholders in Spain, despite paying 672 euros per year (557GBP which is more or less the same that Uk cardholders pay), aren’t allowed to take one guest for free inside Priority Pass Lounges? We feel discriminated 🙁

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

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