Roughly a week ago, American Express published new access conditions on the website of the Centurion Lounges. While Amex Platinum cardholders could currently bring two guests for free into a lounge, this benefit was to be discontinued in 2023 (for customers with an annual spend under 75,000 USD). The guest would then have to pay US$50 (~€41).
The new access rule is the following:
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.
This news item was discussed in many blogs. While the rules were removed from the website, a company representative confirmed the planned changes for January 2023 to One Mile at a Time.
Guest Access Change Only Applies to American Cardholders
The website of the Centurion Lounges is aimed at a worldwide audience. Therefore, it seemed probable, that European customers would be affected as well. We contacted Amex, and they’ve told us that the change only applies to American cardholders.
Accordingly, only American customers will have to pay for their guests. Everything will apparently stay the same for Amex Platinum holders from Europe and other continents.
Location & Access Rules of the Centurion Lounges
Amex has extended its lounge network by a lot in the last years and now operates 14 Centurion lounges worldwide (although Hong Kong is the only Centurion Lounge outside the USA). They all offer a free selection of food and drinks.
Platinum and Centurion cardholders are permitted to enter the lounge if they have a flight on the same day. Furthermore, they can bring two guests into the lounge for free. This applies both to the main cardholder, as well as the holder of the free partner card, i.e. up to 6 people can enter the Centurion Lounge at once.
Additionally to the Centurion Lounges, there are also 9 Centurion Club or similar concepts, which have a more limited offer for their guests.
In the USA, the feedback was very divided. Many criticized the fact that an important benefit was being taken away, others seemed happy that the lounges wouldn’t be as full from 2023 onward.
At the same time, the few non-American customers will usually not be the cause for the Centurion Lounges to be overfilled with people – so it’s nice that, for now, nothing will change for them.