[Update] American Express Will No Longer Offer Free Guest Access To Centurion Lounges (Starting Feb 2023), Fee Reduced

Update 2/24/22: Once you hit the $75,000 spend, you receive an e-mail stating you can now bring in two complimentary guests until 01/31/2024. It also states that any platinum authorized user or employee cards on the same account can also bring in two guests. Hat tip to Parts_Unknown-

Update 1/15/22: There is now a spend tracker showing your progress toward the $75,000 spend threshold for guest access. Hat tip to Parts_Unknown-

Update 7/1/21: Cardholders will be able to bring two guests aged 2 through 17 for $30 per person, rather than the previously announced $50.

Update 4/9/21: American Express has officially confirmed this, not sure it was needed considering the terms were updated on their own site (now removed) but good to know for sure.

Original post: American Express has updated the terms for Centurion lounges and beginning February 1, 2023 you’ll no longer get to guests access for free (terms have now been updated again and don’t show these terms, but you can view a screenshot below). Instead a fee of $50 will be charged per guest. If cardholders spend $75,000 within the prior calendar year (or current calendar year) the $50 fee will be waived.

This is an interesting change as for some people it’ll actually be a positive as it should help to reduce overcrowding. For others this will be a huge negative as Centurion Lounge access with guest access is the main perk of the card. This seems to favor business travelers rather than leisure travelers. This was also one of the rumors surrounding the annual fee increase on the personal Platinum card.

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Chad Dankbutt
Chad Dankbutt

“Once you hit the $75,000 spend, you receive an e-mail stating you can now bring in two complimentary guests until 01/31/2024”
Wherein Amex discovers not everyone can be real elites and have them break even from the AF alone, and so now there’s a second tier of pleb Platinums who don’t get their original benefits unless they decide to spend their way back to regular tier Platinums.

JJ
JJ

Is it $75k just on the Platinum or all Amex card purchases combined?

ed
ed

What if I have 2 platinum cards (biz/plat, but both in my name)

Daily Harvest is the worst
Daily Harvest is the worst

Won’t help

iahphx
iahphx

Do people really think this card is worth $695? Unless you travel frequently from an airport with a Centurion Lounge, it’s hard to see how. I think the lounge experience is worth $25 a person per visit. Maybe the other benefits of the card are worth $250. So it will take 18 personal lounge visits to break even. You have to be a big drinker or a super elitist to think this card is a good deal.

iahphx
iahphx

Also, there will now be “tension” is using the benefits. Let’s say you’re with your spouse and you’ve got 30 minutes to kill at the airport. Is it worth $50 to get them in to the lounge? Are you going to feel good about that? Or are you going to skip the lounge or go yourself?

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Considering I’ll net ~$2400 off the card, yeah it was worth the $695. Lounge access is actually best for travelers who don’t have a lounge at their home airport and have to consistently connect though one that does. Showing up to the 3 hours early to hang out at the airport is certainly a thing for some I suppose…

The lounge access is superfluous, I’ll probably just cancel it when the next AF comes due in 2023 unless they keep handing out AF waiver retention offers. Yes those are my data points above that DoC took from reddit.

Courtney
Courtney

Why would you cancel if net $2400 off the card. This makes zero sense. Why would you need an annual fee waiver if you’re making money off the card as you claim.

Cannot stomach the “down payment?”

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Because a large portion of the value comes from the SUB. After the first year I don’t have much use for the card. I’ve already paid the first year AF ‘down payment’. Retention offers lately have been for $695 with no spend requirements. If that’s still being offered next year when the AF comes due I’ll consider it, but we already have 13 other personal/biz plat cards between players.

YoniPDX

I think we will look back on the two years of COVID as Amex halcyon days for benefits an rewards.

Since May 2020 Amex has been a cash cow –

In April 2020 we had zero Plats (had churned Ameriprise Plats until summer 2019).

In 2021 we had 6 Plats – but totally agree unless we get another lucrative retention offer we will downgrade remainder to gold, we may keep the CS Plat – unless our great FHR redemptions were based on COVID vacancies.

The FHR early/late check-out and amenities/amex credits. Make 3-4 day weekend trips more enjoyable and cheaper.

We both got the new Venture X – we checked out the C1 lounge at DFW 2.23.2022 – really nice, quiet and 20% full, grab and go meals were a nice bonus ( we had a layover in LAX).

DFW Centurion was slammed and under staffed. We flew DL so also we checked out DL Sky club at DFW/LAX – it was just meh, but at least we could sit unmasked during our layovers.

None of the lounge offerings via to Amex were worthy of the Plat AF even moreso vs Venture X. We ditched CSR July 2020 (still have a CSP). As well as hold USB AR.

Our home hub is PDX – so we have three great PP amenities: Capers cafe & Capers market, both were amazing Pre-covid, but like so many COVID cost cutting, far less valuable. Lounges aren’t what they were.

Jason
Jason

Pro tip: If you’re worried about whether the card is “worth” the annual fee or not, then you can’t afford the card. Go get yourself a nice little no annual fee card and leave the $700 annual fee cards to those who have more important things to think about than whether the card is a “good deal” or not.

Seth
Seth

Lol, what? It’s not really a matter of if someone can afford it in most instances, it’s a matter of if it’s worth it for them. If I’m netting only $500 of value out of the card, then it should be a no-brainer that the card isn’t worthwhile for me to keep long term. Doesn’t matter if I’m a multi millionaire or average middle class, I’d still be flushing money down the drain

Ap
Ap

Many people are under the guise they this card is a *premium card* and that rich folk don’t look at the price of anything. “If you’re worried about the AF then you can’t afford it” is something only a fool would say, it’s what salesmen say to people when they’re trying to fleece you.

I know many people that go out of their way to try to pay the food bill with these cards so everyone knows the card they have, earning 1x MR points LUL

yvrite
yvrite

It’s all about that sweet prestige, right, Jason? Can’t put a price on that!

Chad Dankbutt
Chad Dankbutt

No, it’s probably not worth it for most people to keep absent retention offers. If you’re a consultant flying nearly weekly it could be worth it.

SBR
SBR

I find it interesting that people who complain about unruly kids in lounges don’t really pause to think through the implications of AmEx charging a fee to enter a lounge. Yes I’m certain that this move will cut down on the number of families with kids in the lounge. But it won’t eliminate them. It’s more of a filter.

Now imagine what this filter does. Only those willing to pay $30 per kid is going to get in. So right away that imposes some kind of cost of entry which filters out those on a budget or aren’t willing to shell out. Now a kid below 17 probably isn’t going to drink alcohol which is likely one of the higher expense items one can take advantage of in the lounge. So now that there’s an enumerated cost of $30/head, I would imagine there are probably 2 concurrent thoughts going through the parents’ heads: 1) I paid for it so my kid can do whatever they want (within reason*) and 2) they had better get $30 of tangible value (that isn’t alcohol) out of that lounge entry per kid. I will let our astute audience connect the dots on how they think kids from a well off family who thinks they deserve to be there because they paid $30 per kid will act, let the stereotypes flow.

tolikfox
tolikfox

can they at least give 2 free guest passes each year? kinda sucks but oh well..

Rahul
Rahul

The Centurion lounges are over-hyped. Recently visited couple of them at Miami and CLT and food/drinks were nothing to rave about.

John
John

If you didn’t know, American things suck. Hotels, lounges, etc.

The lounges outside the US are much better. 3 course meals, none of the buffet crap. Much bigger and nicer.

H
H

American hotels are the worst in the world. As soon as you get through the door, you can smell corporate america

Frogger
Frogger

I don’t know where you have been but in my experience lounges outside US are much worse.

honestToy
honestToy

totally true. I’ve been to PEK and PVG, and enjoyed dim sum, hot noodle soup, BBQ pork, and fresh juice. In American lounges I only get juice and cold snacks.

Joe
Joe

Agree

Budget Jetsetter

What are you comparing them to though? For me, they’re much better than AA’s lounges which I visit when there isn’t a Centurion lounge.

H
H

Yup, especially the food. Nowadays, I just go there for drinks.

COBOLCODERUSEALLCAPS
COBOLCODERUSEALLCAPS

This is my experience, probably because I travel to East Asia most often. I was surprised at the quality of lounges in Changi Airport in Singapore because the food selection was much greater with reasonable quality. Of course, the Centurion Lounges beat them in alcohol selection and quality.

Tom
Tom

I have 2 amex cards, one plat and one gold. base on this new rule. the plat i can only spend 35k per year, gold i can spend 135k-150k per year, i wish they can change the rule to 35k for plat or all your amex cards altogether over 100k-150k. since i travel with my co-workers 3-5 trips per year. I really prefer they can add new rule for people with multiple amex cards. 75k for plat alone is very hard to reach.

Dr.Plantain
Dr.Plantain

Assuming you have the personal gold? Because putting 135k on it would still net 1x on all other purchases. If it’s the business then your point stands valid.

SF
SF

Does this only affect Centurion or also the affiliated ones you can get into like Escape at OAK?

Bill
Bill

First guest should be free, but if it really is an issue where clubs are over capacity I guess this makes sense. There should never be a scenario where someone who paid the AF for a plat card can’t get access to a lounge because guests of other people are taking up the capacity.

John
John

Holding multiple platinums should allow you to apply them towards guests

RAM
RAM

I didn’t even let me use my second plat to go from Centurion Lounge to Escape Lounge (PHX) after centurion closed at 8

VL
VL

What? You can not use the same Amex Plat to visit multiple lounges in the same airport on the same day? (not even talking about 2 diff Platinums)? Really?
Priority Pass permits visiting them all one after another (if you can find them open now a days)…

Jason
Jason

As someone who holds 7 plats, I still disagree. You really want me to be able to bring in 6 random additional people just because I have multiple plats?