Wow! American Express Ending Centurion Lounge Guest Access for Platinum Cardholders

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enturion Lounge Guest Access for Platinum Cardholders

American Express Ending Centurion Lounge Guest Access for Platinum Cardholders

One of the most valuable benefits for American Express Platinum cards is lounge access. If you hold the card, you can access any any of the 1,300 locations in the American Express Global Lounge Collection, located across 140 countries. That includes the The Centurion Lounge collection where Platinum and Centurion cardmembers have unlimited complimentary access.

Besides being able to visit these lounges every time they fly, Platinum Card members can also bring guests. Each cardmember receive may enter with up to two guests at no additional charge. But that will change in the future.

No Guest Access Starting in 2023

Starting in February 1, 2023, you will no longer be able to bring in guests for free. Platinum Card Members, Business Platinum Card Members and Additional Platinum Card Members on the account will be charged a $50 fee for each guest. You will have the option to bring in free guests, but only if spend $75,000 annually. Here’s the relevant text in the announcement:

Effective February 1, 2023, Platinum Card Members, Business Platinum Card Members and Additional Platinum Card Members on the account will be charged a $50 fee for each guest. To receive Complimentary Guest Access at these locations after January 31, 2023, the total eligible purchases on the Platinum Account must equal or exceed $75,000 between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 and in each calendar year thereafter.

Beginning February 1, 2023, eligibility for Complimentary Guest Access will be processed within a week of the Platinum Account’s meeting the purchase requirement in most cases, but may take up to 12 weeks to become effective. Complimentary Guest Access status will be reflected in the Benefits tab of your online account and in the American Express App. Once effective, Complimentary Guest Access will be available for the remainder of the calendar year in which it became effective, the following calendar year, and until January 31 of the calendar year (for example, if Complimentary Guest Access becomes effective on May 1, 2023, it will remain effective through January 31, 2025). Eligible purchases made by any Additional Card Members on the Platinum Account will contribute to the purchase requirement.

Conclusion

Before the pandemic, Centurion Lounges did have overcrowding issues. But this is a surprising and shocking solution to those issues. That’s even more so now, considering we are still far from reaching the travel demand of two years ago.

This devaluation of the lounge access benefit will affect most people who travel in couples, or families. Now every family member needs to have it’s own Amex Platinum card in order to access Centurion Lounges. Or the other option is to spend $75,000 in a year earn the right to bring guests for free. Considering the card earns just 1X point on most purchases, you are better off paying $50 per guest.

If you really need access for additional guests, then your best option in 2023 will be to just add them as authorized users to you Amex Platinum card account. You can add up to three Platinum authorized users for $175 annually. But considering that the Platinum cards have a fee or $550 or $595, and there are rumors of those increasing, you could soon be looking at close to $1K per year. Keep in mind that Gold Card and Green Card Additional Cards on your Platinum Card account are not eligible for complimentary access.

If you want to look for any positives in this, I guess you can point at the fact that it will help with overcrowding, you have two years to think about it, and it doesn’t affect solo travelers.

HT: Doctor of Credit

DDG
Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last two years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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12 COMMENTS

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Funny how many people here are complaining about kids running around in pooply diapers? PLEASE, spare me the exaggeration. Centurion Lounges have been crowded with loud, noisy adults forever. A lot of the kids I saw in the lounges were mostly glued to their tablets and their parents were keeping a close watch on them. It’s not the kids that’s the problem, it’s just too many (mostly) adults with guests crowding these lounges. I dropped my Platinum cards years ago. Definitely not cost effective for my lifestyle, but the whole “kids ruin everything” argument is stale, old, and untrue.

    • You say: “I dropped my Platinum cards years ago. Definitely not cost effective for my lifestyle, but the whole “kids ruin everything” argument is stale, old, and untrue.”

      So, assuming having given up the Platinum cards, this means you have not been in one of the Centurion lounges for an equal amount of years, so how would you know the truth of what people say about what has been going on IN the lounges?

  2. I want to think not. A large portion of the issue with the parlors is them being overwhelmed by gatherings of children whose guardians don’t control them. Not saying you don’t, however too many don’t and that causes a great deal of despondency.

  3. too many snot nosed kids running around with poopy diapers ,this change will be a positive for those looking for some peace and quiet before their flight

  4. Have checked the terms linked in this article multiple times today and haven’t found the quoted text. No mention of any change starting February 2023. I guess the website checks from where in the world the page is requested.

  5. @Pat – in there past even infants counted against the 2 allowed guests so I doubt there will be an exception for a 3 year old

  6. This is freaking fantastic news. And put me down as one who will happily pay $1,000 annual fee if we get more value. Dropped Centurion card after 5 years of downgrades.

  7. It is all supply and demand. Bloggers continue to complain award AF increases, restrictions and points devaluations. However the companies use analytics to determine the right price point and they aren’t making changes they don’t believe make business sense. If they over reach there will be specials, sales or other promotions.

    Too many people on here and other blogs seem to feel they have a God given right to specific awards or benefits at a given price ($ or points). You don’t- you can complain but it won’t change anything so change your behavior or just be quiet.

  8. Is there any exception for children? My daughter will be three years old when this takes effect, and no, she’s not getting a platinum card.

    • I hope not. Half the problem with the lounges is them being overrun by groups of kids whose parents do not control them. Not saying you don’t, but too many do not and that causes a lot of grief.

  9. BEST news from AMEX in ages! I travel solo always and dropped my Plat partly due to the horrible crowding and messes and screaming kids, rude cellphoners and such. I’ll be thinking about re-upping as Lounge Access is one of my main reasons for the card.

    Some folks are unhappy I am sure, but *I* sure am not!

    • I’m not either- they’re often more like a day care than a place to charge and work. Looking forward to the changes!

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