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Airport lounges are easy to access for free these days, because lots of credit cards come with lounge memberships or day passes.
But the American Express Platinum cards (both of which make our list of the top Amex cards) offer admission to the widest range of lounges through their Global Lounge Collection. If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ve got a ton of options for spots to unwind, enjoy free food and drink, and escape from the busy terminal.
I’ll show you which lounges you can access with the Amex Platinum cards, and how to find eligible lounges along your way.
Amex Platinum cards offer access to more lounges than any other card
The Platinum Card from American Express and American Express Business Platinum Card are both terrific cards for frequent flyers, and come with great travel perks, like comprehensive lounge memberships. Here’s our full review of the Amex Platinum card and its benefits and perks, and our review of the Amex Business Platinum card.
(Also, don’t forget the American Express® Green Card. With it, you’ll get up to $100 per year in LoungeBuddy statement credits (Annual fee $150, see rates and fees), perfect for those who need occasional lounge access. Without a membership that grants access to a particular lounge, visits can cost anywhere from $20-$50. LoungeBuddy is available in a mobile app version that shows you the closest airport lounges and lets you pay for access to those lounges through the app.)
Now let’s look at how to find nearby lounges you can access with the Amex Platinum cards so you can take full advantage of this benefit.
How to easily locate lounges accessible with the Amex Platinum cards
American Express makes it simple to find a lounge on its website. Just follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Visit the Amex Global Lounge Collection web page
Navigate to the Amex Global Lounge Collection web page. You’ll see a search box where you can enter your airport/city, as well as a list of lounge networks you can enter with the Amex Platinum cards.
The Amex Platinum cards give you access to a number of different lounge brands, including the high-quality Amex Centurion Lounges. So the Amex Platinum cards give you more lounge choices than any other card in certain airports.
Step 2: Choose the lounge you want to visit
Click the “Find Out More” button associated with an individual lounge to learn more.
Step 3: View lounge details
Once you’ve clicked through to a specific lounge, you’ll get detailed information to help you plan a visit. Under the “Overview” tab, you’ll see the lounge’s description, location in the airport, hours, and amenities.
For example, you can see what types of food and drink are on offer, or if there are showers available.
Under the “Access & Guests” tab, you’ll find out what’s required to enter the lounge, like a same-day boarding pass or Priority Pass Select card. You’ll also see if guests are allowed and whether you can pay for additional guests over any limit.
Keep in mind, the requirements to enter each type of lounge are different.
- If the lounge partner is Priority Pass, you’ll need to show your Priority Pass Select card at the front desk and typically a same-day boarding pass (you’ll receive a separate complimentary Priority Pass Select card after enrolling with your Amex Platinum card) (Annual fee $550, see rates and fees)
- If the lounge partner is Delta, you’ll need to present a same-day boarding pass with Delta at the front desk (you must be flying Delta that day to access Delta lounges)
- If it’s a Centurion Lounge, you’ll just need to show your Amex Platinum card, identification and a boarding pass with a confirmed reservation for same-day travel
Step 4: Read the terms and conditions
Be sure to click “Terms & Conditions” to learn about any restrictions and limits specific to that lounge.
For example, most lounges have policies about the minimum age for entry, drinking age and space availability.
Step 5: Enjoy your visit
One of the best things about the Amex Platinum lounge program is that you’re not limited to just visiting one lounge at a particular airport. Some airports have 10+ lounges to choose from.
It’s worth checking out the airport map to see where each lounge is located and if they’re convenient to access from the terminal you’re departing from. Some lounges are worth walking to, even if it’s in a different concourse. Many folks will get to the airport early or go out of their way to enjoy time in the lounge, particularly Centurion Lounges.
Some airports let you enter any terminal as long as you have a boarding pass departing that day. This lets you access any lounge you want, no matter where your departure gate is. Other airports may restrict access to certain terminals or concourses depending on your airline or whether you’re traveling on an international or domestic flight. You can often find details on these restrictions on the “Overview” page for a lounge.
Don’t forget to enroll in Priority Pass
You won’t be able to enter any Priority Pass lounges until you’ve used your Amex Platinum card to activate your membership. You can’t enter their lounges with just your Amex Platinum Card. To activate your Priority Pass Select membership, you can either call the number on the back of your card or do it online through your account. Here’s how to do it online in just a few easy steps:
Step 1: Sign into your Amex account
Log into your American Express account then find the “Membership Benefits” link.
Step 2: Find the enrollment button
You’ll want to find the box for “The American Express Global Lounge Collection,” then click the “Enroll” button as pictured below:
Step 3: Complete your registration
The last step is to double-check you are enrolling the correct card, click the box to indicate you agree to the terms and then hit “Enroll.”
Authorized users on Amex Platinum cards also get lounge access, including a Priority Pass Select membership, but will have to call the number for the appropriate card and talk to an Amex representative to activate the benefit.
Finding lounges to visit for free with your Amex Platinum cards is easy when you use the Amex Global Lounge Collection website. Just type in your location to pinpoint a lounge near you.
Folks who have Amex cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card from American Express can access Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass Select lounges, Delta lounges (when flying Delta the same day), and many more. It’s an amazing perk that can save you from spending money on food and drink in a pricey airport terminal, and it’s a great way to relax in a more private spot before your flight.
Do you have a favorite lounge in the Amex Global Lounge Collection network? Share in the comments!