Amex Cutting Centurion Lounge Guest Access

Amex Cutting Centurion Lounge Guest Access February 2023
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congestion in the airport lounge has become an increasingly large problem in recent years. In April 2021, Amex announced that it would be making major changes to its access policies its famous Centurion Lounges. It’s already 2023, so I wanted to go over all the details of this since there are only a few weeks left until this new policy goes into effect.

Amex Platinum Centurion Lounge guests change

Beginning February 1, 2023, Amex Centurion Lounge access is undergoing major changes that will affect those with a special year. Platinum Card® from American Express (overview) and Business Platinum Card® from American Express (overview). In particular, many cardmembers will no longer be able to bring two guests into the lounges for free, this is the current policy:

  • Both prime card members and Amex Platinum authorized users will continue to have access to the lounge
  • Amex Platinum holders will be charged USD 50 for each guest they bring to the Centurion Lounge; Guests under the age of 18 will receive a $30 discount, although infants under the age of two can still be brought at no extra charge.
  • Amex Platinum cardmembers who spend at least $75,000 on the card in a calendar year will continue to receive complimentary lounge access for two guests.
  • The Centurion Lounge guest policy will remain unchanged Centurion Cardas well as those with a Corporate Platinum Card (this is different from a Business Platinum Card)
  • There are no changes to the guest policy for the Amex Platinum Card when it comes to partner salonsincluding Priority Pass membership, Escape Lounges and more.

Here’s how American Express describes the change in Centurion Lounge access policy in its statement:

“Centurion Lounge is one of the most popular benefits of the Platinum Card. We want to make sure we continue to support our Cardmembers as they travel by providing a comfortable place to recharge and relax, so we’re making some changes to our Centurion Lounge guest access policy.”

Amex Platinum Centurion Lounge guest policy varies

Is this Amex policy change good or bad news?

On the surface, this change to the Amex Centurion Lounge guest policy sounds like a devaluation, since the benefit is taken objectively here. Centurion saloons are certainly more impressive Most US airline lounges in terms of food, drink and other amenities.

However, this has been one of the major downsides of Centurion Lounges how consistently crowded they were, given how popular they are. Although the lounge chain continues to expand and individual lounges often expand as well, it seems that lounges are not getting any less busy.

We’ve seen Amex try to add new restrictions in the past that would reduce crowding, but nothing has made a material difference. Unlike other solutions we’ve seen, I think this change should significantly reduce crowding in these lounges.

Chances are, if you frequent the Centurion Lounge, you won’t be happy with this policy change. Meanwhile, if you often walk into Centurion Lounges alone and find them very crowded, you may find this to be a positive development.

For example, Miami is my home airport, but I always skip the Centurion Lounge and just go to the American Admirals Club – the former is much better and the latter is much quieter, and that’s what matters most to me.

Centurion lounges are great but get crowded

The best Amex Platinum strategy is moving forward

If you’re thinking, “No, I usually travel with a few other people,” remember this adding additional users The personal version of Amex Platinum is a particularly good deal (unfortunately, it’s not nearly as good a value in the business version).

You can add up to three additional card members for just $175 (Rates and Fees), is less than $60 per cardmember. These additional cardmembers receive many benefits, including access to the Centurion Lounge. Assuming you value Centurion Lounge access and consistently travel with the same people, this is a fairly cost-effective way to handle the change.

There’s plenty of room to spend $75,000 a year on the Amex Platinum, as long as you don’t spend a lot on airfare (a category card earns 5x points). There are a lot of better cards for everyday spending.

Adding additional card members to Amex Platinum can be a lot

Will there be significantly fewer children in the Centurion Lounge?

I have to say, I feel bad for the parents here:

  • You can only add those 13 years of age or older as additional card members to Amex cards
  • In other words, if you have a child 12 or younger, your only option to get them access to the Centurion Lounge is to spend $75,000 per year on Amex Platinum or spend $30 per visit.

It definitely looks sharp and I could see a lot of parents canceling their Amex Platinum cards. Then again, maybe the purpose of having fewer kids in these salons is to focus these salons around more road warriors.

This will likely result in a significant reduction in the number of children in the Centurion Lounge

How do you see your Amex Platinum spending?

As mentioned above, if you want to continue bringing guests to the Centurion Lounge, you will need to spend $75,000 per calendar year on the Amex Platinum Card. With these new limits coming into effect in a few weeks, where can you see your current spending on the card?

Simply log into your Amex account and go to your Amex Platinum card profile. Once there, click on the “Benefits” tab.

Amex Platinum Card “Benefits” tab

Once there, you should see a spending tracker showing your eligible expenses on the card. I’m guessing most people know they’ve spent more or less $75,000 on the card in a year, though if you’re close it might be helpful.

Amex Platinum Card spending tracker

Bottom line

Effective February 1, 2023, Amex Platinum holders will not be allowed to bring guests into the Amex Centurion Lounge. The exception is for those who spend at least $75,000 a year on the card.

It’s an interesting change, and your thoughts on it may vary depending on whether or not you usually host guests in these salons, as well as whether or not you have children.

What do you think of these changes to Amex Centurion Lounge access?

The links below will direct you to the rates and fees of the American Express Cards listed. These include: Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates and Fees).

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