American Express Updates Centurion Lounge Access Policy American Express Updates Centurion Lounge Access Policy

American Express Updates Centurion Lounge Access Policy

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American Express is bringing in changes to the Access Policy to its Centurion Lounges. The policy is in line with the recent changes for holders of personal and business platinum cards. The new changes restrict the number of guests you can now take into the Centurion Lounge.

American Express Centurion Bar - Featured Image

The New Policy (As of March 30, 2017)

Previously, cardholders could access the Centurion Lounge with two guests or immediate family. Guests under 18 could gain access and did not count as part of the quota. This meant that those traveling with a large family could grant several people access with their card. The new policy places a limit on two guests only per cardmember, whether they are family or not. Now, any guests in addition to two will have to be paid for even if they are family members and under 18.

The new policy takes effect March 30, 2017, which now streamlines the Centurion lounge access policy with Priority Pass lounges.

Why the New Access Policy?

Fundamentally, the Centurion Lounges are a victim of their success; they are some of the best domestic lounges in the US, and as such attracted heavy traffic. As a result, cardmembers have complained about overcrowding at many lounges. The new policy is designed to alleviate some of the congestion inside the Amex Centurion Lounges.

According to a source at Amex, “As our Centurion Lounges have quickly become one of our Card Members’ favorite Card benefits and continue to increase in popularity, we have increasingly heard from our Card Members that our lounges are becoming overcrowded at times.”

One thing in Amex’s favor is that the policy is not unduly harsh, in fact, the new policy brings Centurion lounges in line with other lounges in the industry.


This policy change is good news and bad news for holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express, and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, as well as Centurion cardholders. For those who regularly travel solo or with one other person, they should enjoy lounges that are less crowded. For those who travel with a large family on a regular basis, they will have to make a decision whether to forgo lounge access entirely or pay for the additional members, which can get quite expensive. Are you happy or disappointed with the new Centurion Lounge policy?

Source: Julian Mark Kheel/The Points Guy

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  • Overcrowding has become a more serious issue at many Centurion Lounges. I’m not convinced, however, that this move will make much of a difference in reducing the crowds. On the other hand, it is certain to alienate cardmembers who travel with family.

  • This is fair and a more reasonable policy.

  • Most of the time I travel by myself or +1, but when I want to travel with the family this really hurts. I get that it can become really busy, but maybe they should offer some vouchers or something instead for extra guests you can use whenever you’d like, but limit to a certain number each year.

  • If I’m traveling with a supplementary card holder who has a priority pass card then adult 1 could show platinum card and gain access for two extra people, and adult 2 could show the priority pass and gain access for 1 extra – which would mean a family of 2Ad+3Ch could use the lounge. Or am I misinterpreting?

    • David, Priority Pass memberships do not grant access to Centurion lounges. Adult 1 could show the Platinum card for personal access + 2 guests. Adult 2 would need to show a different Platinum card for access or be required to pay the entrance fee for him/herself along with any additional guests.

  • These Lounges are to be accessed only with the black card? Or is the Platinum enough?

  • Fair, and might make the lounges a little less crowded which will be nice.

  • Frankly, I’m kind of surprised the policy wasn’t changed long ago.

  • This is probably reasonable but I’m surprised AmEx is doing this in light of the muted response to the Platinum card benefit upgrades they announced last week.

  • Great news! It was almost impossible to find a seat at MIA.

  • I only travel with one to two people at a time, but this is still sad as it is a devaluation of a sort.

  • It is really a bad news. I always travel with many people together either with my family or my friends. It is really not reasonable.

  • Agree with Marc. This was inevitable. In fact, they should probably restrict guests even more.

  • Can we have less articles about things that only affect the 1% of the 1%? Most of us normal humans will never even see a centurion card in our lives, much less own one.

    • Robert, you don’t need a Centurion card to use the Centurion lounges. In fact, the Platinum card(s) from Amex are the most popular cards used to access these lounges. I certainly don’t have a Centurion card and regularly uses the lounges.

  • This is certainly bad news, but I wonder how many people actually travel with a large party of people that this change actually affects them…
    I don’t think there are that many.

  • Binita Patel says:

    Was at the Miami lounge recently and it was complete chaos – they do need to do something!

  • This is great news. The lounges are way too crowded since they started letting in platinum card holders.

  • ADAM PARSONS says:

    Agree, good and bad for some. I can see the benefits for families travelling or large groups together but then if this is one of the cases for overcrowded paid for lounges then it was going to have to change at some point.

  • Honestly, I think it’s reasonable – how far should one card membership be able to stretch?

  • They should actually limit one person to seat not lying down on a couch that could fit three people

  • It sucks. But I think it is fair. It was very generous before.