Savvy travellers know that an American Express Platinum charge card grants unlimited access to Virgin Australia, Delta and Priority Pass airport lounges, plus AMEX’s own-brand facilities such as at Sydney Airport.
But here's something else: the AMEX Platinum charge card also opens the door to a broader network of lounges around the world, including some gems you'd otherwise have little chance of entering.
1. Relax in 1,000+ Star Alliance lounges worldwide after just three flights
Star Alliance Gold is your ticket to lounge access whenever you fly with Star Alliance airlines like Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and United: and that shiny Gold card can be yours after taking just three flights with Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines.
Funnily enough, it works like this: first, you need to register for complimentary Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade hotel status – another perk that comes courtesy of AMEX Platinum – and once that’s been granted, to link your Shangri-La membership to a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account.
That gets you instant Star Alliance Silver status, and you’ll be bumped up to Star Alliance Gold after taking just three Singapore Airlines flights within four months of linking those accounts: that’s as easy as one return flight from Australia to Europe on any fare type that normally earns points, even in economy!
Your Star Alliance Gold (KrisFlyer Gold) card will be valid for one year, during which, you’ll enjoy lounge access across the entire Star Alliance network whenever you fly with a Star Alliance airline, with one complimentary guest.
2. Lufthansa Business Lounges, Senator Lounges in Munich
Not able to grab Star Alliance Gold status based on your travel plans? Then remember to pack your AMEX Platinum charge card on trips to Germany, where it unlocks access to either the Lufthansa Business Lounges or the higher-tier Lufthansa Senator Lounges prior to eligible flights.
If stuck in economy and departing Munich on a Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines or Swiss flight, flashing your AMEX card grants access to the Lufthansa Business Lounges in the airport’s satellite pier at Terminal 2, both in the Schengen and non-Schengen zones of the airport.
Or, when booked in business class from Munich on those same airlines, your lounge access will be upgraded from the Business Lounges normally used by business class passengers, to the Senator Lounges which are a cut above, and traditionally reserved for top-tier frequent flyers.
Additional guests aren’t permitted, but if travelling as a couple, for instance, and each of you has your own AMEX Platinum charge card (including those issued as supplementary cards on the same account), you could each present your own AMEX card to be admitted together.
This AMEX trick doesn’t work at Lufthansa’s other lounges in the same airport, or in cities like Frankfurt: only at the satellite pier lounges at Munich Airport.
3. Eurostar Business Premier lounges
Taking the train across Europe instead of flying? An AMEX Platinum charge card also gets you into the Eurostar Business Premier lounges at several busy railway stations when travelling with Eurostar in any class of service: these lounges normally being reserved for Business Premier passengers.
You’ll find them at St Pancras International (Kings Cross, London), Paris Gare du Nord, Brussels Midi/Zuid railway station and Ebbsfleet International (in Dartford, just outside Greater London).
Again, AMEX cardholders aren’t able to bring any extra guests into these lounges, but if each guest has their own AMEX Platinum card to present, you’re all clear.
4. Airspace Lounges in the United States
While AMEX has you covered across much of the United States through its Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass offerings, a separate partnership with Airspace Lounges also provides lounge access in three key locations where you might otherwise be stuck out in the terminal.
Firstly, to the Airspace Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 5: home to JetBlue, but also used by Virgin Australia partner Hawaiian Airlines for flights to Honolulu (plus TAP Portugal for its Lisbon flights), as this terminal has no Priority Pass lounges available.
In San Diego, the Airspace Lounge is also handy when flying to Los Angeles with Qantas partner American Airlines, as AA doesn’t operate an Admirals Club here. Of course, when flying Delta from San Diego, AMEX Platinum members can access Delta’s neat San Diego Sky Club too.
Finally, in Cleveland, an Airspace Lounge is accessible to all passengers departing the airport on any airline: and while there’s a United Club here – which you could access as a Star Alliance Gold member, as above – the only other lounge is the Airspace Lounge, which your AMEX card gets you into.
Guesting policies are generous here, as presenting one AMEX Platinum charge card allows free entry with up to two additional guests when travelling together: that’s three passengers in total, including the AMEX cardholder.
5. Escape Lounges in the United States
Also providing complimentary access with two guests in tow are the USA-based Escape Lounges in Hartford (Connecticut), Minneapolis (Minnesota), Oakland (California) and Reno (Nevada), when flying with any airline.
Even if you have frequent flyer status that grants lounge access in North America, this partnership is again useful in these places where the major airlines don’t always have their own lounges.
For example, Delta and United don’t operate lounges in Hartford and AA doesn’t have an Admirals Club in Minneapolis, while none of these airlines offer their own lounges in Oakland and Reno.
The Escape Lounges in the United Kingdom – including at London Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands – aren’t part of the ‘flash your AMEX and enter’ arrangement, but they can still be accessed by AMEX Platinum members through Priority Pass, with one complimentary guest for Australian cardholders.
Don't already have an American Express Platinum charge card? You can apply for one here.