Amex Platinum Airport Lounge Access Guide (2021)

Amex Platinum Airport Lounge Access Guide (2021)

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The Amex Platinum offers a variety of useful perks. I’d argue that the single best perk of the card is airport lounge access, so in this post I wanted to go over everything you need to know about accessing lounges with the Amex Platinum. There’s not another card that offers such comprehensive access to airport lounges, in my opinion.

Which lounges can you visit with the Amex Platinum?

The Amex Platinum Card offers access to lounges across the global, thanks to the American Express Global Lounge Collection. In this post I wanted to go over all the details of this, including which lounges are included, how many guests you can bring into lounges, and what you need in order to gain access to these lounges.

With the Amex Platinum you can access Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, Plaza Premium Lounges, Escape Lounges, Airspace Lounges, select Lufthansa Lounges, and more.

Note that lounge access perks are identical on The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (review). On top of that, authorized users on the Amex Platinum also get the same lounge access benefits.

I’ll recap all the lounge access opportunities with the Amex Platinum below. If you just want to see which lounges you have access to by airport, you can check out the Amex Platinum lounge directory here.

Amex Centurion Lounges

The Amex Platinum offers access to Amex’s exclusive network of Centurion Lounges:

  • You can access Centurion Lounges when flying with any airline, as long as you have a boarding pass for a flight departing within three hours (you can’t use the lounge on arrival)
  • You can bring up to two guests with you at no additional cost (as of 2023, rules around guesting will change)
  • You need to present your Amex Platinum to be admitted; there’s no further registration required

Amex’s network of Centurion Lounges is known for offering great hot food and cocktails. It’s a significant step up over your typical domestic airport lounges. Currently there are over a dozen Centurion Lounge locations, including in Charlotte (CLT), Dallas (DFW), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK & LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), Phoenix (PHX), San Francisco (SFO), and Seattle (SEA).

Access Amex Centurion Lounges with the Amex Platinum

International American Express Lounges

The Amex Platinum doesn’t just offer access to Amex’s exclusive Centurion Lounges, but also to the network of American Express Lounges:

  • You can access American Express Lounges when flying with any airline, as long as you have a same day boarding pass
  • Guesting privileges vary by lounge, but you can generally bring two guests with you at no additional cost
  • You need to present your Amex Platinum to be admitted; there’s no further registration required

American Express Lounges are essentially less premium versions of Centurion Lounges. There are American Express lounges in Argentina, Australia, India, and Mexico.

Access American Express Lounges with the Amex Platinum

Delta SkyClubs

The Amex Platinum offers access to Delta SkyClubs, with some restrictions:

  • You can access Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta the same day, either on arrival or departure (there’s no time limit on how long you can stay)
  • If you want to bring any guests with you, you’ll have to pay $39 per guest
  • You need to present your Amex Platinum to be admitted (alternatively you can save your Amex Platinum to your Delta SkyMiles profile, and then you don’t even need to present the card); there’s no further registration required

Generally speaking Delta SkyClubs are superior to American Admirals Clubs and United Clubs, and have helpful agents, solid complimentary food and drinks, and more. Currently there are over 50 Delta SkyClub locations, including at many major airports around the United States.

Access Delta SkyClubs with the Amex Platinum

Priority Pass Select Lounges

The Amex Platinum offers a Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required), which works a bit differently than the rest of the card’s lounge access perks:

  • You can access Priority Pass lounges when flying with any airline, as long as you have a same day boarding pass; however, individual lounges may restrict for how long you can access lounges, and also how long before departure you can access lounges
  • You need to register for a Priority Pass Select membership through your Amex Platinum account, and then you’ll be mailed a Priority Pass card; you’ll then use that card (rather than the Amex Platinum) to access Priority Pass lounges
  • You can bring up to two guests with you at no additional cost, though individual lounges may limit guesting privileges beyond that
  • Priority Pass Select memberships issued through the Amex Platinum aren’t eligible for complimentary access to some “experiences” lounges, including Priority Pass restaurants

As far as the registration process for Priority Pass goes, just log into your Amex Platinum account, and click on the “Benefits” tab.

Then scroll down until you see the enrollment link for Priority Pass Select. After you make the request, you should receive your Priority Pass card in the mail within 10-14 days.

Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,300 lounges around the world. You can find all Priority Pass locations here, or you can always search the Amex Global Lounge Collection directory. The quality of Priority Pass Lounges varies greatly — some are great, while others, well, not so much.

Access Aspire Lounges with the Amex Platinum

Plaza Premium Lounges

The Amex Platinum offers access to Plaza Premium Lounges, with some restrictions:

  • You can access Plaza Premium Lounges when flying with any airline, as long as you have a boarding pass for same day travel
  • You can bring up to one guest with you at no additional cost
  • You need to present your Amex Platinum to be admitted; there’s no further registration required

Plaza Premium Lounges are among the best contract lounges you’ll find out there. Currently, there are over 50 Plaza Premium Lounge locations, with the group being particularly popular in Asia and Europe. This benefit is much more valuable than in the past — almost all Plaza Premium Lounges used to belong to Priority Pass, but that’s no longer the case. Fortunately, the Amex Platinum still gets you into the lounges.

Access Plaza Premium Lounges with the Amex Platinum

Escape Lounges

The Amex Platinum offers access to Escape Lounges in the United States, with some restrictions:

  • You can access Escape Lounges when flying with any airline, as long as you have a boarding pass for same day travel
  • You can bring up to two guests with you at no additional cost
  • You need to present your Amex Platinum to be admitted; there’s no further registration required

Escape Lounges are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with nearly a dozen locations, including in Cincinnati (CVG), Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP), Hartford (BDL), Minneapolis (MSP), Oakland (OAK), Palm Beach (PBI), Phoenix (PHX), Providence (PVD), Reno (RNO), and Sacramento (SMF).

While not quite as good as Centurion Lounges, I’ve found the food and service at Escape Lounges to be above average.

Access Escape Lounges with the Amex Platinum

Airspace Lounges

The Amex Platinum offers access to Airspace Lounges, with some restrictions:

  • You can access Airspace Lounges when flying with any airline, as long as you have a boarding pass for same day travel
  • You can bring up to two guests with you at no additional cost; each person being admitted receives a $10 credit towards food and premium drinks
  • You need to present your Amex Platinum to be admitted; there’s no further registration required

Unfortunately, this is of fairly limited use nowadays. There used to be three Airspace Lounges in the United States, while now there’s just a single lounge, in San Diego (SAN).

Access the Airspace Lounges with the Amex Platinum

Select Lufthansa Lounges

The Amex Platinum offers access to select Lufthansa Lounges, with some restrictions:

  • You can access Lufthansa Lounges when flying same day on Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian
  • You can’t bring any complimentary guests into the lounge
  • You need to present your Amex Platinum to be admitted; there’s no further registration required

The type of Lufthansa Lounge you can access depends on what cabin you’re traveling in:

  • You can access Lufthansa Business Lounges with the Amex Platinum when flying economy class
  • You can access Lufthansa Senator Lounges with the Amex Platinum when flying business class

You’ll want to check the Amex Global Lounge Collection directory to see which Lufthansa Lounges are participating at a given point. Well over a dozen Lufthansa Lounges are eligible right now — United States locations include Boston (BOS), Detroit (DTW), Newark (EWR), New York (JFK), and Washington (IAD).

Access Lufthansa Lounges with the Amex Platinum

Does the Amex Platinum have the best lounge access benefit?

There are several premium credit cards nowadays that offer airport lounge access, though I’d say no other card can compete with the Amex Platinum when it comes to this. Obviously there’s no “one size fits all” card for lounge access, but at a minimum no other card is as well rounded as the Amex Platinum.

Like many cards, the Amex Platinum offers a Priority Pass membership, but what sets this card apart is everything beyond that. Unlike other cards, the Amex Platinum offers:

  • Access to Amex Centurion Lounge access
  • Access to Plaza Premium Lounges
  • Access to Escape Lounges

There are no Chase or Citi cards that get you access to those lounges. There’s only one downside when it comes to Amex Platinum’s lounge benefits compared to those of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), for example. The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Priority Pass membership gets you access to Priority Pass restaurants, while the Amex Platinum’s Priority Pass membership doesn’t.

You can’t beat how well rounded Amex’s lounge network is

Tip: Add Amex Platinum authorized users

At the beginning of the post, I mentioned how Amex Platinum authorized users receive the same lounge access perks as the primary cardmember. I think it’s specifically worth calling out what a great value it can be to add authorized users to the personal version of the card.

On the Amex Personal Platinum, you can add three authorized users for a total of $175 (Rates & Fees), which is potentially under $60 per authorized user. This is an amazing value when you consider that each authorized user gets the full suite of lounge access perks.

This could also be useful if you frequently travel together as a family, but exceed the typical lounge access guesting limits. For example, say you and your family frequently fly Delta. The Amex Platinum offers SkyClub access, but you can’t take any guests with you for free. However, if you make everyone in your family an authorized user, they can each admit themselves into SkyClubs.

Adding Amex Platinum authorized users can be a great deal

Bottom line

In my opinion, Amex Platinum Card offers the most comprehensive airport lounge access perks of any premium credit card. In addition to a Priority Pass membership (which is pretty standard among premium cards), you also get access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, Escape Lounges, select Lufthansa Lounges, and more.

You can’t beat just how well-rounded the lounge access offered by the card is.

If you have the Amex Platinum, do you value the airport lounge access benefit? Do you think there’s a better card for airport lounge access?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

Conversations (22)
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  1. Adrian Marshall

    Would be good to see more Plaza Premium lounges in the US

  2. ckaught78

    saw some roomers online that the sfo centurion lounge is closed as of yesterday for some mechanical issues. Any truth to this and for how long?

  3. David M.

    Our "home" airport Savannah, GA (SAV) allows us access into their small lounge with our AMEX PLatinum card as well.

  4. Joe Saffold

    I am not sure, could be mistaken or I interpreted it wrong. But access to Delta lounges is granted to the card member for $39.00, right? In your article is implies that access is complimentary. Great article BTW!

  5. James Kelly

    Centurion lounge at SFO had a long waitlist on Sept 2

  6. Raffles

    You missed Stockholm from the international 'Centurion but not really' collection!

    https://thecenturionlounge.com/international/#MEL

  7. Andrew

    It's a little dishonest to say LAX has an Amex Centurion lounge. Just like it's been dishonest to say LAX has an Alaska Airlines lounge that is a member of priority pass.

    1. Brandon

      Couldn't agree more. Waste of my money.

    2. Eskimo

      I can't see how is that dishonest. You're just ignorant to current and quick changing facts.

      LAX does have an Amex Centurion lounge.
      PP does not have LAX Alaska Airlines lounge in their network anymore.

  8. James

    What’s missing from this article is how horribly overcrowded AmEx Centurion lounges are even without all the business travelers. Imagine how jammed they’ll be once Biz travel recovers. If you’re getting the card for lounge access you might want to reconsider…

    1. Never In Doubt

      James, just for another ~18 months!

      After the current price increases (soon) + the new paid guest policy (early 2023), I’m forecasting lots more Centurion lounge space!

    2. travel4b

      If Amex would stop giving away free platinum cards to active duty military that would go a long way toward the overcrowding that's endemic in Centurion lounges. I'm not sure how well known that Amex policy is.

    3. Never In Doubt

      I see people on OMAAT complaining about the active duty military policy, and that must hit some lounges more than others. SFO doesn’t seem to have that many.

    4. SEM

      The MUCH larger issue is the family policy which will be rectified as soon as the policy change takes effect…And as always, I’m pointing the finger at the worst lounge of all when it comes to customer service and overcrowding, S F O …!!!

    5. Eskimo

      Give those active duty people military a break and leave them out.

      They choose to be fighting someone else's war for 20 years just to see their work fall apart in 2 weeks.

      Without active duty military your livelihood would be just fine (but according to propaganda, our world would fall into terrorism, Iraq will have WMDs, and Iran would have a formidable nuclear arsenal).

      So yes, they deserve to have free Amex cards or...

      Give those active duty people military a break and leave them out.

      They choose to be fighting someone else's war for 20 years just to see their work fall apart in 2 weeks.

      Without active duty military your livelihood would be just fine (but according to propaganda, our world would fall into terrorism, Iraq will have WMDs, and Iran would have a formidable nuclear arsenal).

      So yes, they deserve to have free Amex cards or other freebies.
      So many politicians are taking away guns from veterans with PTSD, please don't take away their free alcohol to keep them calm.

      @Never In Doubt
      I assume you got the policy wrong. Active duty military in uniform doesn't grant access to the lounges.
      That only works for AA and UA. What active duty military gets is free Amex Platinum card with full annual fee waived. Which would get access to the lounges in plain cloth on a R&R trip. So you couldn't tell who is military just from observation.

  9. Brandon

    Fyi lax has basically no lounge that amex members can get into. Unless you are flying delta. I got the card so I can use the amex lounge or priority pass at lax but centurion lounge is closed to construction (doubt it since it opened last year in March.). And their priority pass lounges are gone. Alaska is not working with PP. And the Korean air lounge is not accepting priority pass anymore. Don't get...

    Fyi lax has basically no lounge that amex members can get into. Unless you are flying delta. I got the card so I can use the amex lounge or priority pass at lax but centurion lounge is closed to construction (doubt it since it opened last year in March.). And their priority pass lounges are gone. Alaska is not working with PP. And the Korean air lounge is not accepting priority pass anymore. Don't get the amex platinum card if you live in LA and are hoping to use it for lounge access.

  10. Endre

    Rather than going to Amex lounges I prefer to fly in full paid first class.

    1. Eskimo

      Uhh fake Endre, you need to step up.

      The real Endre doesn't compare lounge to plane ticket.
      The real Endre doesn't "prefer" to fly in full first class, he "only" pays for first class.

      The real Endre would sound say something like
      I never been to Amex lounges because the First class (paid ticket, no miles) lounge is very good.

  11. Russ

    The Escape lounges are now branded as the Centurion Studio Lounges. They may be the second best lounges to the actual centurion. I would stack them above any US3 lounge and general priority pass lounges. I finally got to re-visit the BDL lounge, just reopened from the pandemic and it remains good. The Centurion studio also allows arrival access which is handy. At BDL, I think their coffee is actually better than the real centurion lounge.

  12. Noah Silverman

    Lucky,

    Surprisingly I was denied from Plaza Premium Lounges in Turkey with my Platinum Card. I called Amex and multiple agents seemed confused about this benefit. May want to check if it is still offered.

    1. Never In Doubt

      Interestingly, I entered the Plaza Premium lounge in Rome 2 days ago and when I went to give them my AMEX card they waved it off but took my Priority Pass card instead.

      I’m guessing the memo on who to admit with what card hasn’t been well circulated.

    2. Eskimo

      I always suspected how this would work especially the non US/Canada Plaza Premium lounges.

      Before Priority Pass severed ties with Plaza Premium, even with the Amex Plat, they would ask for PP card.

      I do think with more travelers being denied, they would eventually recognize this benefit properly. I would suggest that in the future you just go ahead and pay the fee to enter and call Amex to get it reimbursed.

Featured Comments Load all 22 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Adrian Marshall

Would be good to see more Plaza Premium lounges in the US

ckaught78

saw some roomers online that the sfo centurion lounge is closed as of yesterday for some mechanical issues. Any truth to this and for how long?

Eskimo

I can't see how is that dishonest. You're just ignorant to current and quick changing facts. LAX does have an Amex Centurion lounge. PP does not have LAX Alaska Airlines lounge in their network anymore.

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