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American Express

American Express Makes Guest Changes to Centurion Lounges

American Express Makes Guest Changes to Centurion Lounges
Joe Cortez

Flyers carrying The Platinum Card from American Express will no longer be allowed to bring a guest with them for free, unless they spend $75,000 in a calendar year. The financial services company is making the changes for both the personal and business versions of the card effective Feb. 1, 2023.

One of the better benefits of The Platinum Card from American Express could be coming to an end by 2023. In an update to the Centurion Lounge terms and conditions, flyers who do not spend more than $75,000 in the calendar year 2022 won’t be able to bring in free guests in with them in 2023.

Spending Requirement Takes Effect in 2023

For the remainder of 2021 and throughout 2022, The Centurion Lounge policies will not change. Flyers who hold the Amex Platinum can bring up to two guests to any location in the United States, at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), or at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

However, in a change first noted by the blog Doctor of Credit, the policy will make a major shift in 2023. In order to keep complimentary guest access, cardholders must spend $75,000 per year on their card during the 2022 calendar year.

Much like qualifying for frequent flyer program or hotel program elite status, those who make the spend will be able to retain their benefits for the year they qualify, and the year afterwards. As an example, those who make the qualifying spend by May 2023 will be able to keep their complimentary guest benefit through January 2025.

The move comes as Amex attempts to figure out how to manage guests as they choose to visit the airport locations. In 2019, the company announced they would start enforcing strict time limits, requiring travelers to limit their visits to three hours.

Changes Announced Ahead of Post-Pandemic Travel Boom

The policy changes are aligned with projections towards a full recovery of the aviation industry. Projections by a number of analysts and airlines suggests bookings won’t come back to pre-pandemic levels until between 2023 and 2025.

View Comments (9)

9 Comments

  1. edgewood49

    April 8, 2021 at 5:46 am

    Joe this spend minimum should not be an issue for people that actually use the AMEX PLT card for those that are hacks then they have a problem frankly I like it too many times I have walked into a lounge tired and in need of a snack and drink only to see families kids noise parents that don’t pay attention to proper decorum etc in the lounges.

    Yep good for AMEX.

  2. 50ae

    April 9, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Then I just give my kids a PLT card, problem solved.

  3. edfisher

    April 9, 2021 at 10:58 am

    This was an extreme knee-jerk and poorly thought out plan for the future service to cardholders. They could have limited the gratis guest policy to 1guest. That would have allowed a cardholder to bring a spouse/partner or a business associate. You have now just cut out 50% for f your cardholders

  4. Superjeff

    April 9, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Although I usually am traveling alone when using the Amex Centurion Lounges, the ability to bring my wife and/or a guest in with me is a vaiuable benefit. I am not happy about this.

  5. edfisher

    April 9, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Just cut out a large percentage of your cardholders (couples who enjoy traveling) and punished them for traveling together. This card was designed to be a travelers card not just a business travelers card. Not t mention Amex is raising the annual fee for the card. Talk about a double whammy. You know what people do when they get jerked around?! They drop the card.

  6. scfw0x0f

    April 9, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Well it’s a dealbreaker for me. I don’t want to put that much spend on Amex, which has generally poor benefits per dollar spent.

    If they left it as cardholder+1 it would be a very different story. Having to buy in your spouse for holiday travel is onerous.

  7. alangore

    alangore

    April 9, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Ah, the American Express salami game continues! They start with a wonderful new feature, like Centurion Lounges, and then keep shaving little slices from that feature until it’s no longer worth using. That’s why two years ago I quit Amex. Visa Infinite is a better deal today.

  8. Danwriter

    April 10, 2021 at 9:29 am

    $37,500 = 1 guest?

  9. dane1

    April 14, 2021 at 10:40 am

    I typically don’t spend much on this card as I try to push as much as I can through my DL Plat AmX so that I get the MQM status miles. I have this card for, among other things, the Centurion lounge benefit. This policy is a significant downgrade, and with the increased annual fee is likely the tipping point for me to drop it.

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