Amex card for Airport Lounges

Does anyone use this facility at all please?  How does it work?  Which of the multitude of Amex cards do you need? 
Thanks.

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  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,961
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    edited 10 February at 1:22PM
    You need the fee attracting Platinum Card (£640 annually) or Gold Card (£195 fee for limited passes)

    You get registered with Priority Pass and can then access those lounges by checking in at the desk.

    Access isn't guaranteed though, I use lounges as a frequent flyer guest and sometimes it's the priority pass ones - and I've seen people with the Amex access being turned away when those with frequent flyer access are allowed in if it's really busy.

    https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/benefits/airport-lounge/

    Lounges aren't always that great TBH - I've been in one with the kind of  hard chairs last seen in a classroom and a row of vending machines! And I've seen mice several times.
  • The Platinum card also gives you access to their Centurion Lounges. There aren't many of them but they are a cut above the rest.
    Please note that any posts that I make on here are based on my personal opinion, experience and what I have read.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,661
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    Head for Points is a mine of useful information. It discusses the various AmEx cards and has reviews of most UK airport lounges.
    I've got the Gold card (the first year was free, but check that still applies).
    Mrs QrizB and me used the Club Aspire lounge at Terminal 5 when we went away last year. The criticisms in that review are fair; it's long and narrow and was quite crowded when we flew (there was a 10 min queue to enter). However the public areas of T5 were also busy and the lounge was definitely quieter and less stressful.
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  • flaneurs_lobster
    flaneurs_lobster Posts: 3,435
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    I've had an Amex Platinum card "since 97". The Priority Pass perk has always been an important part of the proffer and it was used a lot when I travelled frequently on business. Access to the First Class lounge on Eurostar when travelling Standard was used a lot too.

    In the last year I too have experienced being turned away from eligible airport lounges because they were full. Anecdotally been told that this is because lounge use use fell by 90% during the pandemic and in order to recoup revenue the operators sold access rights to a far wider market - it is increasingly being offered as an add-on by the package holiday companies and often appears as a perk with packaged bank accounts and elsewhere.

    This isn't a problem at the larger airports where there can still be "premium" lounges for frequent flyers/posh Amex card holders and "standard" lounges for the bucket'n'spade holiday goers. It's the smaller airports with only 1 or 2 lounges to service all passengers where there can be an issue.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,170
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    Does anyone use this facility at all please?  How does it work?  Which of the multitude of Amex cards do you need? 
    Depends on the Lounge you want to access. 

    Gold and Platinum both issue a card from the company behind Priority Pass, the former is limited visits the later is unlimited. For Centurion Lounge or Eurostar you need the later (or a Centurion card but thats invite only). Platinum/Centurion also gain access to some Delta and Lufthansa lounges but you may need to be flying using their network. 

    Given the fee the Platinum in particular doesn't make sense if all you want is Priority Pass access as you can just buy a Priority Pass for 2 people for less than the annual fee. If you'll use the £300 fine dining and £100 Harvey Nicholas credit etc too then it can start to stack up. 
  • flaneurs_lobster
    flaneurs_lobster Posts: 3,435
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    Given the fee the Platinum in particular doesn't make sense if all you want is Priority Pass access as you can just buy a Priority Pass for 2 people for less than the annual fee. If you'll use the £300 fine dining and £100 Harvey Nicholas credit etc too then it can start to stack up. 
    ...true, add the Worldwide Travel Insurance and the (occasionally very useful) concierge service and you can almost convince yourself that it offers value for money......  
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,170
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    Given the fee the Platinum in particular doesn't make sense if all you want is Priority Pass access as you can just buy a Priority Pass for 2 people for less than the annual fee. If you'll use the £300 fine dining and £100 Harvey Nicholas credit etc too then it can start to stack up. 
    ...true, add the Worldwide Travel Insurance and the (occasionally very useful) concierge service and you can almost convince yourself that it offers value for money......  
    The problem with their travel insurance is that you cannot declare pre-existing conditions, they are blanket excluded. The benefit of their travel insurance is that it includes hire car excess cover. 

    You need to also add on FHR, MR points, random discounts and "experiences"/Events etc and these things can add up. When buying some kitchen appliances not long ago managed to layer XExec corporate discount code with Quidco (surprised it worked with the discount code but it did) and an AmEx rebate... for almost 30% off in total across the three. 

    You can certainly get a lot more out than you pay in, if you are going to be eating in top tier restaurants etc anyway, but would struggle to call it "value" at £650 a year. 

    The Centurion card is even more complex, surely if you can afford the £2,200 a year fee (plus a sign up £3,000 fee in year 1) then you aren't likely using the Priority Pass. Don't know many UK personal card holders, have met many more US cardholders but most are business owners who use their card for business expenses and travel... helps in the US that distances require flights and hotels whereas there and back by train in a day often makes more sense here. 
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,150
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    Some? premier current accounts offer lounge access, well the Natwest Black account does .

    £370 pa 
    Access to over 1,100 international airport lounges with DragonPass Premier+.

    However

    To upgrade, you need to be an existing NatWest current account customer.

    You need to also meet one of the following criteria: have a minimum £100k sole income or £120k joint income paid into your NatWest account, or £500k minimum mortgage borrowing with us, or minimum £100k savings or investments held with us.

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