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Why American Express Platinum gets you into more lounges than you think

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Today I want to look at one of the key benefits of The Platinum Card from American Expressthe wide range of airport lounges (and three Eurostar lounges) that you can access.

Our full review of The Platinum Card is here. It currently comes with a generous bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 40,000 Avios amongst other things.

The Platinum Card application page is here.

American Express Platinum airport lounges

The representative APR is 704.6% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases is 31.0% variable.

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.

Note that No1 Lounges – which operates at Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham – has rejoined Priority Pass, as has Plaza Premium, 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 £24 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. 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.

I should note that, during Summer 2023, it proved difficult to get access to UK Priority Pass lounges at peak times. People were arriving earlier for flights – and so spending more time in the lounge, reducing capacity for others – and many lounges were still shut or on reduced hours, cutting capacity further. Some lounges now allow you to pre-book a space for £6 to avoid this problem. At airports outside the UK you are unlikely to be refused entry.

American Express Platinum Delta lounge access

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.

Lufthansa Lounge entrance

Lounge access with Lufthansa

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, image above.

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.

Eurostar lounge St Pancras

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 of the Eurostar Paris lounge here. A cocktail bar has also been added to the lounge at London St Pancras (see above, it’s closed in the morning!) – our most recent review of the Eurostar lounge at London St Pancras is here.

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, 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.

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.

You can apply for The Platinum Card here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Bonus: 40,000 points

Read our full review

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,400 airport lounges
  • Elite status in four major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • £300 per year of restaurant credit
  • £100 per year to spend at Harvey Nichols
  • Annual fee: £650

Representative 704.6% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £650 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 31.0% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 40,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you spend £6,000 within three months of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

This is the ONLY personal American Express card where you still qualify for the bonus if you already hold a British Airways American Express card.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes The Platinum Card and Preferred Rewards Gold.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card, including the British Airways, Marriott and Nectar cards.

For clarity, you can still apply for The Platinum Card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the long list of other benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of your supplementary cardholder, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,400 airport lounges

Elite status in four major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Premium), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of travel class

£150 per year to spend in over 160 UK restaurants

£150 per year to spend in over 1,200 international restaurants

£100 per year to spend at Harvey Nichols, instore or online (no minimum spend required)

£300 per year of dining credit – £150 to be spent at 150+ UK restaurants and £150 to be spent at 1,200+ restaurants outside the UK

You need a minimum personal income of £35,000 to apply for the card.

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