The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, loaded with luxury travel benefits and generous statement credits, are revered by many as perfect premium credit cards for the frequent traveler.
And while there are plenty of reasons to be a cardholder, there’s 1 outstanding benefit that warrants carrying the card in your wallet: the complimentary lounge membership opens the gates of airport lounge access to an unprecedented span of over 1,400 different lounge locations worldwide.
If you travel frequently, you already know the benefits of airport lounge membership. These quasi-sanctuaries have become places to anticipate a journey with friends, hold a meeting with co-workers, grab needed refreshments between flights, or serve as a convenient retreat during trip disruptions.
However, the normal cost of all this comfort and convenience doesn’t come cheap. It’s not unusual to spend $600 annually for a stand-alone airport lounge membership. If you’re a frequent traveler and lounge access is important to you, you will find extreme economic value in a travel rewards credit card that comes with complimentary lounge access.
And while the overall benefits of the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card are many, the lounge benefits that come with the card are second to none. In this article, we’ll cover which lounges you can access with the card, the value of complimentary lounge access for every traveler, and an overview of network lounges and what to expect.
If the Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card is not already in your wallet, here’s a quick overview of the cards to see if they might be a good addition for you.
The American Express Global Lounge Collection
You don’t have to fly a specific airline or purchase a premium class of service to have worldwide lounge access. Your Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card come with complimentary lounge access to over 1,400 different lounge properties worldwide, including the vast network of Priority Pass lounges.
You’ll have access to any of the lounge networks within the American Express Global Lounge Collection:
We’ll discuss the details of these lounge networks later in this article but first, let’s look at the potential value of the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card’s complimentary lounge access benefit.
Hot Tip: With over 1,400 lounges worldwide, the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card offer the most comprehensive lounge access benefit of any travel credit card.
The Value of Complimentary Lounge Access
The cost of purchasing an airport lounge membership is constantly increasing. It’s not unusual to see $600 annual membership fees for access to a single lounge network.
To understand the value of the complimentary lounge membership that comes with the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card, let’s look at what membership would cost for a typical airport lounge network.
||Single 1-Year Membership Cost
||Cost To Add a Spouse, Partner, or Guest to Membership
||Single-day Pass for 1 Person
||$500 to $650 depending on elite status
||$600 additional for household membership, depending on elite status
||$59 or 5,900 AAdvantage miles
|Delta Sky Club
||$545, 54,500 miles or $50 for 12 monthly installments
||$300 additional for Executive Membership, which includes access for up to 2 additional guests
||$550 or 75,000 miles for Premier 1K members,$600 or 80,000 miles for Premier Platinum members, $650 or 85,000 miles for Premier Silver, Gold, and General Members
||$650 (or 85,000 United miles) additional for spouse or partner
|Priority Pass Select
||N/A – Annual membership covers cardholder only; additional guests pay $32 per visit
||$32 per visit for cardholder with basic $99 annual standard membership
||$50 for third guest
||$25 to $50 per visit per person
||$198 (6 visits)
||Can bring 2 guests free, 30% discount on the fee for each additional guest
|Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner
||$30 to $45 per visit
Yes, annual lounge membership can be expensive. However, with a yearly fee, is the complimentary lounge access that comes with the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card worth it?
Let’s do the math.
Value for Family Lounge Access
Beginning February 1, 2023, complimentary guest access for Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum cardholders will be eliminated. The fee per guest will be $50 per adult or $30 per child between 2 to 17 years old. Complimentary guest access will be reinstated once you’ve spent $75,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year.
Until then, if you frequently travel with a large family, it can be frustrating when lounge access is denied to more than 2 guests. Sure, you and your partner could each be primary cardholders with your own individual cards, but fortunately, that’s not necessary.
For $175, you can add up to 3 authorized users to your Amex Platinum card. Each authorized user receives the same lounge benefits as the primary cardholder, which allows 2 additional guests into most American Express Global Lounge Network properties (see rates and fees). The math comes out to 4 unlimited annual airport lounge memberships for less than $182 per person (4 memberships/$725).
Remember that authorized users don’t have to be traveling with you to have lounge access. Plus, they can each bring 2 guests to most lounges.
You won’t find any premium annual lounge membership, especially one that allows guests, for $182.
Hot Tip: For $725 per year, you and 3 authorized users (each allowed to bring an additional 2 guests) can have unlimited lounge access worldwide with the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card.
Value for the Delta Air Lines Traveler
Without the Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card, a frequent Delta traveler without high-level elite status would need to purchase a Sky Club membership to have lounge access.
A Delta Sky Club membership that allows 2 guests would cost $845 annually. A single membership is $545.
For $725 annually, the Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card could secure access for an entire family to over 1,400 lounges worldwide, not just Delta-affiliated lounges.
Bottom Line: The Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card, with an annual fee near the same cost of a single Sky Club membership, deliver far more value for the Delta traveler. Plus, you’ll receive all the additional benefits of the card, including the initial sign-up bonus, statement credits, hotel/rental car elite status, and access to more than Delta-affiliated lounges.
Value for the Business Traveler
If you travel for business, chances are you greatly value lounge access. If you pay for an annual lounge membership or purchase day passes, the expense can add up quickly.
The Amex Business Platinum card can give you unlimited access to over 1,400 lounges worldwide for less than the cost of purchasing just 2 day passes per month or a single annual lounge membership.
The additional benefits of the Amex Business Platinum card can also serve the business traveler well. Airline fees, Global Entry, statement credits, elite status with car rental and hotel programs, and premium perks at Fine Hotels & Resorts all provide value for the business traveler.
Bottom Line: The business traveler who purchases just 2 lounge day passes per month would receive far greater economic value, more benefits, and spend less by having the Amex Business Platinum card.
Value for the Leisure Traveler
If you currently pay for lounge access, having the Amex Platinum card for complimentary lounge access as a leisure traveler makes sense. If you’d simply like to add the luxury of having airport lounge access to your travels, it also makes sense.
If you travel just once a quarter and pay for 2 travelers to access a lounge, you could be spending $400 a year on lounge access. Having the Amex Platinum card will add unlimited worldwide lounge access to your travels for yourself plus 2 guests. You can visit for 15 minutes or 3 hours without considering whether it’s worth the $50 day pass fee for each person.
And let’s not forget about all the other benefits of the Amex Platinum card!
The Global Lounge Benefit Details
Having complimentary access to a variety of airport lounges during your travels may sound very appealing. However, it’s always good to dig deeper and learn more about the actual benefits you’ll be receiving.
For a credit card benefit to have value for you, you’ll need to be able to utilize that benefit.
Let’s take a look at the impressive collection of lounges and lounge alternatives in the American Express Global Lounge Collection that you’ll have complimentary access to with your Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card.
The Centurion Lounge Network
Membership to this elite network of luxury airport lounges is not for sale. You’ll need to have either the Amex Platinum card, Amex Business Platinum card, or the Centurion® Card by American Express to gain access.
Centurion Lounges, both in the U.S. and abroad, are the coolest places to hang out if you’re a frequent traveler. Order from the menu, take a nap in the zen room, or relax with a premium cocktail during your visit.
You may even choose to get a manicure or massage if your schedule allows. Services and amenities vary by location, but it’s always an elevated experience.
Cardholders can bring in 2 additional guests at no charge until February 1, 2023.
Centurion Lounge Benefits
- Membership and itinerary assistance
- Seasonally-inspired food
- High-speed internet
- Premium alcoholic beverages
- Workspaces, computer charging stations, copiers, and fax machine
- TV, magazines, newspapers
Additional Amenities Available at Some Centurion Lounges
- Spa services
- Wine tasting
- Conference room
- Shower suites
- Family room
- Luggage lockers
Priority Pass Select
Priority Pass lounges seem to be available everywhere, and there’s a reason. There are more than 1,300 locations worldwide, so you’re likely to find one available during your travels.
You may also use your Priority Pass Select membership to take a nap at Minute Suites. You’ll receive the first hour free.
You must sign up for Priority Pass once you receive your Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card welcome package in the mail. Log in to your online account and sign up under the benefits tab or call the number on the back of your card.
We’ve put together an extensive guide to Priority Pass with a list of benefits, plus lounge, restaurant, and Minute Suite locations in the U.S.
Delta Sky Club
Cardholders who are traveling the same day on Delta have unlimited access to over 50 Delta Sky Clubs.
Just show your boarding pass, ID, and your Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum card for entry.
While guests are not included for complimentary access, the cardholder may purchase discounted access for up to 2 guests for $29 each.
Cardholders receive complimentary access to Lufthansa business class lounges when flying same-day on a Lufthansa Group flight (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines). If the cardholder is flying business class, they’ll also have access to the Lufthansa Senator Lounges.
Guests may be granted access for a fee.
Cardholders are eligible to visit Virgin Clubhouses in Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Washington, D.C. (IAD), and Johannesburg (JNB) in South Africa.
Plaza Premium Lounges
Based in Hong Kong, Plaza Premium Lounges has a vast network of airport lounges available to the Amex Platinum card or Amex Business Platinum cardholder.
You’ll find 120+ lounges worldwide in the Plaza Premium Lounges network.
Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner
With 10+ locations throughout the U.S., Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner offers a place to enjoy a premium beverage, have a bite to eat, catch up on work, or relax between flights.
Cardholders may bring 2 additional guests at no charge.
Airspace Lounge is located at San Diego (SAN) airport and offers complimentary access for cardholders. Enjoy a complimentary full bar and a $10 menu credit. A business area, Wi-Fi, conference room, and showers are on-site, and 2 guests are permitted at no additional charge.
If you currently pay for an annual airport lounge membership, you’ll be thrilled with the value you receive from the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card.
For less than the price of just a couple of day passes per month, you can enjoy unlimited worldwide lounge access with the card. You’ll also enjoy the long list of other premium travel benefits that come with the card.
If you’ve been without lounge membership and have considered adding lounge access to your travels, you won’t find a more cost-effective route to unlimited worldwide lounge access for you and your guests.
The information regarding the Centurion Card® by American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.