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File this under “What the hell are they thinking?”
Doctor of Credit notes some changes today which are, in my opinion, poorly thought out.
U.S. Basic Platinum Card Members and Additional Platinum Card Members on the account and U.S. Basic Business Platinum Card Members and Additional Platinum Card Members on the account may bring up to two (2) guests per visit into locations of The Centurion Lounge in the U.S., at Hong Kong International Airport and at London Heathrow Airport for no per-visit guest fee (“Complimentary Guest Access”) through January 31, 2023.
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.
Beginning February 1, 2023, eligibility for Complimentary Guest Access will be processed within a week of the Platinum Account’s meeting the purchase requirement in most cases, but may take up to 12 weeks to become effective. Complimentary Guest Access status will be reflected in the Benefits tab of your online account and in the American Express App. Once effective, Complimentary Guest Access will be available for the remainder of the calendar year in which it became effective, the following calendar year, and until January 31 of the calendar year (for example, if Complimentary Guest Access becomes effective on May 1, 2023, it will remain effective through January 31, 2025). Eligible purchases made by any Additional Card Members on the Platinum Account will contribute to the purchase requirement.
In short (because, yes, I’m trying to blog this quickly and head back to the beach), Amex is limiting the cardmember to themselves for access to Centurion lounges, unless you want to pay $50 for your spouse / friend etc. Spending $75k in a year on your card will alleviate this restriction, but given the poor earn rate of the Platinum cards for most spend, this is the equivalent of paying more than $50 – in lost points or cashback opportunity cost.
While the Centurion Lounges are great, this just adds fuel to the fire for me to stick with my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Priority Pass lounge access for me and two guests, including Priority Pass airport restaurant locations, which Amex cards don’t allow. There’s also just no way I’m going to spend $550 – $595 on a credit card annual fee and then have to shell out $50 each time I travel with my wife…
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