Posted by William Charles on May 12, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on May 12th, 2016 | by William Charles


Hidden Benefits Of The American Express Platinum Card

A lot of you will have recently gotten an American Express Platinum card (either through the 75,000 point offer on the Mercedes-Benz card or 100,000 bonus [now dead] on the original card). These cards come with a lot of published benefits that make the annual fee of $450 worth paying (at least for the first year) for some, but there are also a host of other hidden benefits that many people don’t know about. Let’s take a look at them.

Increased Lounge Access

Access To Eurostar Business Premier Lounges

Direct link

You can access the Eurostar business premier lounges in the following places with your Platinum card:

  • St Pancras International [review here]
    • Free food and drink, but limited selection. Great selection of free magazines
  • Paris Gare du Nord [review here]
    • Limited food offering, nice bar and more free magazines.
  • Brussels Midi/Zuid
  • Ebbsfleet International

Unfortunately only the cardholder gets access to these lounges, no guests are allowed. It seems as if all of the lounges offer comfortable chairs (with seatside power outlets), free wifi, free magazines and newspapers and a selection of pastries/small snacks and drinks. They aren’t really that special (especially compared to the Centurion lounges), but if you’re taking a train then it’s a nice place to spend 30 minutes (keeping in mind you need to clear security 30 minutes before the train departs and these lounges are train side).

Centurion Lounge Access In Foreign Countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico)

Everybody knows that you get access to the centurion lounges in the US, but you also get access to their centurion lounges internationally as well. They currently have lounges in the following countries:

The Mexico Centurion lounge isn’t even mentioned on the Centurion Lounge website. You’ll get the same sort of amenities as those found in the US, although from the reviews I’ve seen the food options don’t look quite as good.

Entry To All Virgin Australia Lounges, But Must Be Flying Virgin

You can access all of the Virgin Australia lounges with your Platinum card, unfortunately you must also be flying Virgin to be able to access these lounges. They have lounges in the following locations: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Mackay, Cairns, Gold Coast, Darwin and Alice Springs. You should also be able to bring one guest with you.

Centurion Suite At Staples Center

Direct link

The suite is on a first come first served basis and it’s closed for access once it reaches capacity (capacity of 150), so better to get there earlier for popular events. You’re also allowed to bring up to three guests with you into the suite. The suite opens 90 minutes before a game starts and closes immediately after the end of an event. Entry is located  across from aisle M22 (next to the Team LA Store).

They have a charging station for your mobile devices and also a photo booth. The Centurion suite is only opened for sporting events (Lakers, Clippers and Kings) as the stages for concerts often block the view from the suite. All food and beverage items are on a purchase basis, so no freebies unfortunately.

Pretty good option if you purchase extremely cheap tickets and then upgrade to this suite.

Centurion Suite At Barclays Center + Dedicated Entrance

Direct link

Similar to the Centurion suite at the Staples Center.  It’s located on Suite Level A across from the Cocoran Lounge, to check in you need to go to Barclays Center’s main concourse next to the Emblem Health Atlantic Entrance and across from Sections 9 – 10. You’re allowed a maximum of one guest.

Unlike the suite at the Staples Center, this suite is open for other events including concerts as well as Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders games. There is also a dedicated entrance to the Barclays Center for Platinum cardholders that will allow you to skip the line, it’s on the northern side of the center.

As with the other suite, there is free WiFi and access to charging ports.

“Access” VIP Lounge at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA

This lounge gives you access to free drinks (juices and other stuff) as well as free snacks. They also have private rooms which are ideal for families, with TVs that can play cartoons and the like. There is also a business meeting room and business lounge with computers. The lounge is located on Level 2, near Saks Avenue. You can bring up to four guests inside the lounge with you.

This review on Yelp provides a lot more information regarding this lounge (including drinks and snack offerings). Seems to be a nice lounge to take a break in during a big day of shopping.

Universal Studios Lounge

Direct link for Orlando | Direct link for Hollywood

Website states you need to purchase:

  • Multi Park Pass or Annual Pass for Orlando
  • Front Of the Line pass or VIP Experience for Hollywood

According to this comment this is not enforced. Entry is good for up to 6 people subject to space constraints. This is a basic lounge (no bar and only chips/granola bars for food).



Cloud 10 Benefits At Toronto, Canada (YYZ)

Direct link

Gives you a bunch of different benefits at YYZ, including discounts on parking, free WiFi, priority security lane, priority taxi lane, lounge access and more.

4 Hour Grace Period With Hertz

More information on the Miles to Memories post

Very useful if you need a car slightly longer than 24 hours.

Final Thoughts

I’m sure there are benefits I’m missing in the post (or details about benefits are incomplete) or please share your knowledge in the comments so we can improve this resource.

36 Responses to Hidden Benefits Of The American Express Platinum Card

  1. gary says:

    for the 3,000 spend requirement, if you get reimbursed for part of it (ie airline fee credit or amex offer) does the amount credited reduce the amount coutned toward the 3,000 spend

    • Chuck says:

      Good question. Amex Offers credits do NOT earn points IME, so it’s possible that they won’t count toward minimum spend (it’s pegged as a refund).

      Not sure about airline reimbursements – I’d hazard a guess that they do count.

      • Ben says:

        I earned 100 MR pts with my Amex Plat Ameriprise when I took advantage of the Global Entry benefit. So did my SO. I think I got MR points for the airline credit as well, but not 100% sure.

        Not sure about Amex offers on the Plat. But on my SPG card, I only got SPG points on the part that I paid for …i.e. The staples offer of $25 off of $100, I got only 75 SPG points…was a little disapointed about this.

    • sikachu says:

      No, it does not. I got MB Plat and I saw 75k MR in pending when my balance showed $2,999.02 after I received the airline credit. It definitely included those reimbursed in the spend.

  2. emmanuel says:

    You can also access the Passport Club Lounge at Savannah’s airport. Probably nothing to rave about a nice option is your travels take you to SAV.

  3. Daniel says:

    Jeez – Who can keep track of all this stuff or has time to look up these “minor” perks when flying through varying airports. That’s what makes cards like these so tough to justify keeping, in my opinion. I’m not complaining about benefits, just that so many are grouped into minor offerings that you can’t keep track.

    Now can I go to a Delta lounge (oh, wait, I have to be flying Delta). Is there a Priority Pass lounge (let me check the app). Is this one of those airports with a Centurion lounge or one of these miscellaneous lounged mentioned in this post?

    It’s just a lot to “check on” to make sure you’re getting the most from your card.

    • Chucks says:

      I mean, it’s actually not that hard to check lounge access. I have Admiral’s Club access, OWE, Priority Pass and a Plat card. I probably have access to A lounge everywhere. It’s worth spending about 3 minutes when I land checking out the options if I’ve got a long layover.

    • Dan says:

      I read a post somewhere recently where the person was denied access into an Air France lounge because the lounge was in a different terminal from where the person was flying out of. Just another thing to keep track of…

    • benjinito says:

      I would suggest using loungebuddy app. It syncs to your travel plans on tripit (i suggest it as well if you’re not already using it) and it tells you exactly which lounge you can use based on your actual itinerary.

      • Daniel says:

        Hmm, I’ll look into that. Thanks.

        I’m not saying it’s not worth checking, just a lot to remember instead of their being one place/thing that gets you into the right place.

  4. Charly Chang says:

    Shouldn’t cloud 10 benefits apply to any Amex cardmember? I don’t see Plat is required.

  5. Jenny says:

    Thanks for sharing the hidden benefit. I totally could use South coast Plaza VIP lounge almost every weekend. Yap, that’s how often I’m at the mall. I hope I will have chance to use The Staples center Centurion Suite as well.

  6. PHIL says:

    barclays center brooklyn ny,
    centurion suite like in staples center

  7. Gary says:

    You have to pay for the food at the Centurion club in Mexico City 🙁

  8. robertw says:

    Thanks for this article. I have an upcoming trip to Australia and will try and use the Priority security on my return flight. I am puting these notes into Evernote. I do agree that it is not easy keeping track of various card perks. I am trying to put notes together on my various cards based on my trips etc

  9. WG says:

    You forgot to mention the Centurion lounge in Toluca Mexico.

    FYI This is the airport 30 miles outside Mexico City. Has flights from FLL on Spirit(YUK!)

    You can come in the front door, before security, have a good time, leave out the back door, directly into the terminal with a separate special security set up at the back exit of the club. Nice set up.

  10. PointsYak says:

    A couple of things. There’s a Centurion Suite at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY where the NBA’s Nets and NHL’s Islanders play. I haven’t been, but would like to try it out soon.

    Also, I’m not sure how widely known the Global Entry reimbursement benefit for additional cardholders is. It might qualify as “hidden” for your purposes. Add 3 AU’s for $175 and get 3x$100 GE credits is a pretty good deal. Might even be a bit “churnable” if you rotate through different cardholders.

  11. Brett321 says:

    The priority lane at yyz was a pleasant and valuable surprise when catching a flight at T3. It’s not super obvious though.

  12. enginerd808 says:

    Another lesser known benefit is free roadside assistance up to four times a year. Useful if you don’t have AAA. Customer service was really great and I had a lockout service come within half an hour if my calling.

  13. Airportmikey says:

    There are also (basic) American Express Lounges at both Universal Studios locations. The AMEX website says that in Orlando that you will need to buy either a Multi Park pass or Annual pass for Orlando; a Front of the Line pass or a VIP Experience pass for Hollywood with your AMEX Platinum. However, online comments indicate that the lounge representative only swipes your card (and maybe checks your ID). Entry is good for up to 6 people, and is subject to space constraints. Please note that these are very basic lounges, with no bar, and not much in the way of food (just chips and granola bars, etc). Also, they are a bit hard to find, and have limited hours (approximately 12 noon to 5 pm). They are useful for a place to get a soft drink; to sit down in the air conditioning; use a clean and quiet restroom; and charge your phone.

  14. banananon says:

    The lounge hyperlinks are backwards

  15. JD says:

    Concerning the Priority Security In Sydney, Australia (SYD), this benefit is supposed to only be for AMEX Platinum cards issued in Australia; American issued cards are not eligible. When I tried to use this benefit in May, with my metal Platinum card, the gent that checked it noticed that it was not from Australia, and said I’d have to go in the regular security queue, after I argued about it, he waved me through, but he was pissed. As I walked past, he said “Don’t call me a liar.” When I looked into it later, I discovered that he was correct.

    • Yeah, that is the case for some of the other ‘hidden’ benefits as well, although I’ve never heard of anybody actually checking. I’ll update the post to make this clearer.

      • JD says:

        He had a laminated card, with pictures of the eligible AMEX cards on it. I think if my card had been plastic, it would not have stood out so much. I was able to enter the AMEX lounge at SYD with no problems.

  16. JD says:

    This Aussie travel blog reports that “It is a shame that the partnership started in January 2015 between American Express and Sydney Airport to grant access to Express Path expedited immigration and security to primary and supplementary cardholders of Platinum Charge cards is ending on 31 July (2017).

    However, Platinum Charge cardholders will continue to have access to the American Express Lounge.”

    I wonder if my near punch-up with the checker had anything to do with it. 🙂

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