Best lounge access: Platinum Card® from American Express review

by on Wed March 12, 2014 • 65 Comments
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Where you can access lounges with your Platinum Card

  1. The Platinum CardYou can access all Delta SkyClub lounges when you’re on a Delta flight, though you have to pay $29 for each guest you bring.
  2. You can enter The Centurion Lounges, which have locations in Las Vegas (near Gate D1), Dallas (near gate D17), La Guardia (Terminal B – American, United), and soon Miami (North Concourse – American Airlines) and San Francisco (Terminal 3 – United) airports. 2 guests or your spouse and kids under 21 are free and you can be traveling any airline. Learn more about it.
  3. You can use over 600 Priority Pass Select affiliated lounges worldwide using a separate Priority Pass card you request free from American Express. Most are outside of the U.S. or in international terminals of U.S. airpots, but many Alaska Airlines lounges are included. There’s a lounge at most major airports outside the U.S. worldwide, though you have to pay extra for guests.

Here is a list of lounge locations you can access with your Platinum Card and here is a list of Priority Pass locations you can access. Check both to see if you can access a lounge in the airport you are traveling, or ask us below in the comments section.

If you’re a United flyer, the United MileagePlus® Club Card from Chase is the only credit card that will give you access to their lounges.

For American Airlines Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs, access via The Platinum Card ended in April 2014.

Now, the only card which offers full lounge access to Admirals and US Airways Clubs is the Citi® Executive AAdvantage® MasterCard. The Citi Prestige Card also offers access to Admirals Clubs, but not yet US Airways Clubs.

> Click here to learn more about the card and apply

Key features

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • With the Platinum Card, you can receive up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees like checked bags fees, flight-change fees, and snacks.
  • To receive the statement credit, you need to enroll and select a qualifying airline.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your Platinum Card.
  • Platinum Card Concierge is your personal resource to help secure a last minute restaurant reservation, or shop for a hard-to-find gift.
  • Terms & restrictions apply.

Other benefits

  • Premium travel benefits: access over 600 lounges worldwide when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Receive up to $200 annually in a statement credit with the airline of your choice to use towards baggage fees, flight-change fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases and more.
  • Complimentary access to all Delta airport lounges
  • Gold status with Starwood Preferred Guest® hotels (without the card requires 10 stays or 25 nights per year)
  • Free Wi-Fi access at all Boingo hotspots
  • Reimbursement of Global Entry application fee or TSA Pre-Check application fee
  • The Membership Rewards First® program – Enjoy exclusive access to rewards and experiences featuring luxury retail, lifestyle, and world-class travel
  • Receive a companion ticket for discounted travel when you purchase a qualifying First- or Business-Class international ticket. Additional taxes/charges apply.
  • National Car Rental Executive status — offering guaranteed car upgrades when you rent
  • 4 hour grace period on Hertz car rental returns
  • Medical evacuation coverage from Amex Global Assist. If you become ill while traveling and American Express’ medical team decides it is necessary, Amex will cover the cost of transporting you to a care facility closer to home.
  • Terms and limitations apply to all benefits.

Click here for a guide to Platinum Card® benefits

You can get Additional Cards for $175 for up to 3 additional Platinum Cards (your first additional card is $175, with cards 3 and 4 free) and $175 for each Platinum Additional Card after the first 3. Additional cards each enjoy the $100 Global Entry credit and standalone lounge access, but must share the $200 annual airline fee rebate.

Looking for a business version of the card? Click here for details.

How lounge access works

Simply present your Platinum Card® at the lounge check-in, along with your boarding pass for travel that day on the host airline. You will be granted complimentary access for yourself. Guests cost $29 each per visit at Delta Sky Clubs . At Centurion Lounges, 2 guests or your spouse and children under 21 are complimentary.

Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass network lounges don’t require a boarding pass for entry – so you can fly any airline and use their clubs, though Priority Pass lounges charge for guest entry.

More than lounge access

Unlike a standalone airport club membership, this is the time tested Platinum Card® from American Express, with exclusive annual benefits including:

  • Gold status with Starwood Hotels for preferred room choices and 4pm checkout (normally requires 25 nights of stays each year).
  • Executive status with National Car Rental — giving you a guaranteed upgrade every time you rent.
  • Dining Reservations Program. The finest restaurants in the U.S. set aside seats for reservations made through Amex Platinum’s concierge, giving you easier access for tough to get tables, even at the last minute.
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts Program. When staying at luxury properties, get access to upgrades and amenities like complimentary breakfast and spa credit with late check-out privileges.

> You can see how to enroll in Platinum Card benefits here

Transfer points 1:1 into many airline programs

amexpointtransferEvery dollar you spend on The Platinum Card® earns you one Membership Rewards point. Points can be used to transfer into several top airline programs, most at one to one with no dilution, and with instant or next business day point transfers in many cases.

This is invaluable in helping you get the best deal for your points and topping off accounts you might already have. In addition, you can redeem your points for thousands of items and amenities.

For United flyers while you can’t transfer miles into your United MileagePlus account, there are many ways to use Membership Rewards points on United flights.

What can I expect inside the airline club?

1. A place to work or relax

The primary benefit of airline lounges is a relatively quiet place to wait for your flight and recharge your laptop or mobile telephone. They are not spa-like luxury centers, but most clubs are practical and offer both comfortable social seating areas as well as more private workstations. There is also a place to comfortable store your luggage. Delta SkyClubs offer complimentary wifi access.

2. Extra help and peace of mind with reservations

Agents, or ‘angels’ as some members call them, will help you if your travel plans change or delays force you to alter flights. You can rest assured you will be able to get help without the exceptionally long lines you see in terminal counters.

3. Complimentary beverages

Lounges offer free soft drinks, complimentary beer, wine, and well drinks, along with paid premium drink options.

Should you get the card?

In summary, if you fly Delta frequently, or fly United out of San Francisco, American or United out of La Guardia, American out of Miami,  American via Dallas, or spend a lot of time in airports outside the U.S., you can get a lot of use out of the lounge access benefit of The Platinum Card.

 

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser’s affiliate programs.

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65 thoughts on Best lounge access: Platinum Card® from American Express review

    1. MileCards

      @Wayne – Unfortunately no, those lounges are only accessible if you are an elite status member with British Airways, traveling in Business Class, or are an elite status member with a OneWorld partner airline. And there is no way to pay for a single visit.

      Reply
  1. Rupert

    I have this card and use the $200 fee credit to buy gift certificates on United. Then I can use them to buy flights, which makes the $200 close to a cash benefit.

    Reply
  2. Steve

    Does anyone know if signing up to the platinum card is better from within the US or outside the US? I have the option to do either.

    Also, if my spouse is travelling by herself does she have access to the lounges?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Steve – Depends on the country, though only the US offers the $200 airline fee credit. If your spouse is traveling by herself she does not have lounge access, but for $175 you can buy a spouse card which will give her access to the American, Delta, and US Airways lounges.

      Reply
  3. walkfit platinum reviews

    That you make it look so simple with your business presentation having said that i to get this particular topic to generally be really something I do believe I’d never fully grasp. The item almost feels also difficult and extremely large personally. Now i’m waiting for the following create, Let me make an attempt to get used to the idea!

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Hana- For Delta it’s 18 years old, unless the lounge has a self-service bar, in which case you need to be 21 or older to enter unaccompanied.

      Reply
  4. Charles Meltzer

    When will American Express Platinum partner with Virgin America to allow us to use our $200 travel benefit on their airline?

    I have found it difficulty flying our of San Francisco to use the Airport Clubs such as American which is in Terminal 2 unless you have booked your flight on American. It is frustrating to have “benefits” which have become more restricted. The Platinum card used to get you into these Airport clubs more easily.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Charles- You should be able to choose Virgin America for the $200 benefit here.

      https://rewards.americanexpress.com/olet/splash?campaignId=airline1&offerType=airlinechoice

      Just note you can only designate one airline per year, and once you make your choice you can’t change it until the following year (kind of like health care open enrollment). No need to have lounge access to be able to use the credit for things like change fees, bag fees, and inflight purchases.

      Sorry about the Admirals Club issue…but if it’s any consolation Terminal 2 is pretty comfortable in its own right without a club. At some point (years) SFO will have airside access to the other terminals so it will be easier to use the Priority Pass for lounges like Alaska’s nearby.

      Reply
  5. frank

    can i use this card for access with my spouse and three children less than 21 years of age, or there is a limit on number of family members

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Frank – As long as your kids are less than 21 you can all access the Delta, American, and US Airways lounges together.

      Reply
  6. davidmarkowitz

    hello
    would like to know which lounge i can use in jfk in ewr in ord in mia in yvr in tlv in ord in lwo in opo and in agp
    which is jfk newark chicago vancouver tel aviv oporto portugal and malaga spain
    i shall be flying with united with jetair with air ukraine with sn brussels and with swiss air
    thank you

    Reply
  7. KB

    Hello, I am an AMEX Platinum card holder and I will be flying out of Boston’s Logan Airport on British Airways, is there a lounge that I will be able to use prior to my flight either with the Platinum Card or Priority Pass? It will depart out of Terminal E. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Mark – Unfortunately no, with this one you physically need the card in hand. They don’t have access to Amex systems to link it.

      Reply
  8. Bill

    Hi,

    thanks for the article. It is really helpful. I was going to apply for platinum card but I didn’t see the 25000 bonus points when I went to Amex website. I also called their customer service and they told me there’s no such promotion available.

    I was wondering if the promotion has ended?

    Also I noticed there’s Amex Platinum Mercedez version that offers 50k bonus points. But the fee is $25 higher. I was wondering if that has the same benefit as this card?
    I am very interested at the $200 reimbursement for checked baggage, gold membership for starwood and the global re-entry program. If the mercedez version doesn’t have that benefit then it’s kind of useless for me.

    One more question. You mentioned that United Lounge is not part of the lounge access benefit. But I see there’re some United lounge in 600 Priority Pass Select lounge list. So does that mean, it’s OK to access the united lounge listed in Priority Pass but not all United Lounge will honor the card benefit?

    Thanks
    -Bill

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Bill – The agent was mistaken, the 25,000 point bonus is still active. But the Mercedes Benz version has exactly the same benefits, plus a few if you plan to buy a Mercedes in the future. Same $200 reimbursement, Starwood Gold, Global Entry refund.

      Unfortunately with the Select membership those United lounges are not honored for access. The directory Priority Pass has on the web isn’t great at making that really obvious. But it says in each United lounge listing the following:

      “Note: Members holding a Priority Pass Select membership card and Priority Pass cardholders in the U.S. that receive their membership through a U.S. financial institution will not be allowed access to this Lounge.”

      Reply
      1. Bill

        Thanks for your reply. For the $200 airline reimbursement program. Is it possible for me to buy a ticket using other card and then when I need to pay the checked baggage fee, I’d use the amex platinum card and they’ll reimburse the fee?

        Reply
        1. MileCards

          @Bill – Yes you can buy the ticket with any card you want. You just need to designate with Amex one airline each year that you want to be eligible for reimbursement. Once you select an airline each year it can’t be changed until the following year (like health care plans).

          Reply
  9. robert hutchison

    I will be traveling to St. Croix USVI with my spouse, daugter, son in law and their three children. We are flying on American Aiirlines in August 2012. we have a layover in Miami. I purchased my own and all of their tickets with my american express platium card. In addition to myself. who else in my party can access the American Aurline lounge? Are children 7, 11, 12 admitted? What is procedure for gaining access?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Robert – Your spouse and all children under 21 will have access to the Admirals Club with your Platinum Card.

      FYI – you don’t need to purchase your ticket with the Card, just have your ticket on the airline that owns the lounge if it’s Delta, American, or US Airways.

      Reply
  10. P.H.J. Rose

    Having a platnium American Express Card, does this give me lounge access at Heathrow while in transit. My wife and I would like to use the shower facilities. We will be at Terminal 5.
    Regards,
    Peter.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @PHJ- Unfortunately there are no American Express facilities at T5 – all lounges there are owned by British Airways. If you have a very long connection, you can take the bus to T3 when arriving, clear immigration there, and use the Air Canada Arrivals lounge for a shower. It’s outside the terminal, so you’ll need several hours but does have full changing facilities. Two points though – 1) you’ll need to have the ‘Priority Pass’ card in hand, so make sure you request that from American Express, and 2) your wife will have to pay for entry – about $29.

      Reply
  11. P.H.J. Rose

    I have a American Express Platnium card, I will be in transit though Heathrow to New York, and I would like to know what facilities are available for myself and my wife to use the lounge and showers. We have a long wait, and would be good to be able to have a shower after a long flight.
    I would appreciate if you could get back to me on this.
    Regards,
    Peter.

    Reply
  12. Johan

    Travelling in Finland (Helsinki)/USA (JFK, terminal 8 + Orlando Intl.) soon with my family. What are our lounge options with Amex Platinum (don’t wish to pay any fees to Priority Pass)?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Johan- If you are flying on American Airlines you should have access to their lounge in JFK terminal 8. They don’t have a lounge in Orlando. If you’re flying Delta out of Orlando, you can use their lounge, but must be flying with them rather than another airline.

      Reply
  13. RK

    Traveling in Asia with family, via Hong Kong and Singapore, on Singapore Air. What are my lounge options with Amex Platinum at HKG and SIN?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @RK – If you have a U.S. based Platinum Card In Hong Kong Terminal 1 you can use ‘The Traveler’s Lounge’ with the separate Priority Pass card you can request as a Platinum Card member. Just note though that it only allows one person free — each additional person is usually $27, even family members. In Singapore Terminals 1, 2, and 3 have lounges available with the Priority Pass feature. Again, you will have to pay extra for guests.

      The free guest feature is only available in clubs operated by Delta, American, and US Airways.

      Reply
  14. Andrew

    A word of warning for those of you that are excited about the option to transfer point to Aeroplan/Air Canada. I have been a long time card user and just transfered the advertized 60,000 Amex Rewards point to Aeroplan. No where did it suggest that the taxes/fees that Aeroplan charges are any different than what Delta or other airlines charge. Unfortunately, the fee for the flight a $1200 flight to be paid with 60,000 miles was $643!! Normally fees with Delta through their miles programs are around $100 for this flight (a flight to Argentina from Boston). And now, I am stuck and can’t get the miles back. Working with American Express, but about to give up and stop using my Amex. Unfortunate, because I am a very active user and feel it is a good value.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Andrew – You raise a good point that deserves some more attention. The Aeroplan change is recent. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are known for doing this fuel surcharge as well. Delta does it on tickets that originate outside the U.S. So far the U.S. carriers like United have avoided this on itineraries that start in the U.S.

      Reply
  15. Health IT Consultant

    I have the platinum card and so far all of my flights are US Airways so it’s been great. US Airways don’t require a boarding pass anyways. I was in MN for a week and was early so I decided to go to the Delta lounge at MSP. They denied me because they required you be on a delta flight, even if you had a platinum card. :( This was really inconvienent.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Health IT – Yes…it is a trade off vs a regular membership…you need to have a ticket on Delta or American to use their respective lounges. It was that way when Continental was in the network as well. Interestingly, the official policy as you’ve experienced is that US Airways doesn’t require a ticket for entry.

      Reply
  16. Baldovino, Carolina

    i had an amex gold and sooner, i will be having my platinum. i fly frequently to asian countries thru etihad. i would like to know the airports who have american express’ lounges. do i have to pay the priority pass?
    thanks in advance for your response.

    Reply
  17. John G

    Is this the case with any Amex Platinum Card? I have a Costco Amex Platinum that doesn’t cost anywhere near $450 a year.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @John – Unfortunately, no. The lounge benefit only applies to the Platinum ‘charge’ card (the one pictured on this page) which requires you to pay the bill in full each month. It is confusing when American Express has so many cards labeled ‘Platinum’ but only one confers the lounge benefit. Basically most of the big annual fee covers the lounge costs.

      Reply
  18. Ian

    What if I fly standby on delta because my father is an employee? Would I be able to get into Delta’s lounge? And what about any other Lounges included in the membership?

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Ian- You should have no problem — as long as you have a Delta boarding document that gets you past security. For the other airlines — American requires you to be flying with them that day to get in, US Airways does not. For the ‘Priority Pass’ lounges it doesn’t matter which airline you are flying.

      Reply
  19. Ernest

    I think someone didn’t do their homework. American Express Platinum Cardmember can still use Continental Airlines Presidents Club lounge with the Priority Pass in most of the Airport Atlanta/ Dallas/Houston, because most of their lounge are Continental Airlines Presidents Club. Read your Priority Pass Booklet

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      @Ernest – We wish that were the case. There are two types of Priority Pass. One is the regular standalone you purchase directly through Priority Pass. That one still has access.

      The other is Priority Pass “Select” which is used for credit card benefits like with the Platinum Amex. It has a gold stripe on the left.

      That one is no longer valid at the Continental or United lounges. There have been signs at the lounges pointing this out recently.

      Reply
  20. scott

    I’m returning on Alitalia from Rome (Terminal 3) to Toronto.

    Is there a Lounge that my Amex Platinum Card will get me into?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Reply
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  22. NYBanker

    Time to update this page. Delta Crown Room is now Sky Club. Nwa is no more. Co is no longer a partner. Also might want to clarify the additional card fee. The fee is $175 for extra card #1, then $0 for card #2 and #3, and $175 for 4 and onward. All extra caress get lounge access and they also get the $100 global entry credit. The entire account family shares the $200 misc airline fee credit however.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      Ha- You’d be surprised how many people still call it the Crown Room (at least during a recent trip through Atlanta) — or in the case of Minneapolis the ‘World Perks Club’ (which was never the name). Thanks for the info on the additional card fees.

      Reply
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  32. Kevin

    I will drop Amex for sure, but I can’t help but feel this is part of the downgrading of Continental with United especially since United was never part of the program. Having American and Continental part of the Platinum benifits was the primary reason for me to have the card and the $200 is not good enough for me. I hope both Contiental and Amex feel the pain of lots of angry and unhappy memebers.

    Another step in the wrong direction.

    Kevin

    Reply
  33. Marina Handel

    I’m very unhappy about the fact that as of September 30 2011 I won’t be able to use my American Express Platinum Card to access the Presidents Club. I’m a Continental Airlines Frequent Flyer and it would not be possible for me to go over to other terminals to access other airport lounges.

    I’m considering dropping my American Express Platinum membership.

    I hope that some accomodation could be granted to Continental Airlines frequent flyers and American
    Express Platinum members before people start dropping their memberships.

    Reply
    1. MileCards

      We agree — if Continental is your primary airline and you want lounge access the Platinum Card is much less useful. We’ll see if Continental relents but it probably won’t until September since people won’t make their card decisions until then.

      However Amex has made a concession — you can get a $200 credit toward fees such as lounge access, change fees, or baggage fees on the airline of your choice each year. That includes Continental.

      Buying a club membership from Continentsl costs over $300 so you’re not fully made whole but it does help and you keep lounge access to Delta, American, and US Air.

      Otherwise if you only fly CO stick with the Chase card…

      Reply

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