What Is the Centurion Lounge Complimentary Guest Access Benefit?

Since the dawn of luxury air travel, getting access to an American Express Centurion Lounge is not only coveted, but it’s something people literally plan their trips around. For instance, folks would rather travel from an airport or have a layover at one where a Centurion Lounge is present.

Strictly speaking from the perspective of personal Amex Platinum Cards only, using the Centurion Lounge is complimentary for the primary account holder and their additional platinum members. Plus, as of writing this post, the direct and the additional members can bring up to two (2) guests for no fee or prerequisites.

In essence, that is the Centurion Lounge Complimentary Guest Access Benefit. As for the locations, the following are sanctioned:

  1. U.S. Locations.
  2. Hong Kong International Airport.
  3. London Heathrow Airport.

Unfortunately, although understandably, this no-charge guest access is only valid until January 31st, 2023.

Starting February 1st, 2023, things will change a little bit, and technically, complimentary would still be valid, but it’ll come with a steep cost.

Upcoming 2023 Changes to the Centurion Lounge Complimentary Guest Access Benefit

Given the rising inflation and the general principle of things getting pricier every year, the following changes will take effect beginning February 1st, 2023 — concerning the complimentary guess access to Amex’s Centurion Lounges:

  1. Guests would still be permitted; however, there will be a $50 charge.
  2. Children aged 2-17 would also qualify with a $30 fee.
  3. Technically, the complimentary access isn’t going away; except, you’d now have to spend $75,000 or more in eligible purchases on the applicable card in the time window of January 1st, 2022 – December 31st, 2022, and every subsequent year thereafter to retain the “free” aspect of guest access.
  4. Do note that guest access policies may be different internationally.

As we can see, a considerably sized price sticker is attached to continue to be eligible for the “complimentary part” of guest access as soon as the calendar hits February 1st, 2023.

To that end, if you belong to the category of people who can spend $75k or more on their personal Amex Platinum card, in theory, nothing changes for you. For the rest, you’d have to pay the $50 or the $30 charge depending on who your guest is. (Adult or children).

For reference, you can review some of the partial terms that are captured directly from Amex.

American Express Terms for Centurion Lounge Guest Access
American Express Terms for Centurion Lounge Guest Access. Please review the full and complete terms and conditions on their site by logging in or calling customer service.

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The $75,000 Spend Tracker for Centurion Lounge Complimentary Guest Access

To remove doubts about how much one has spent in eligible purchases that qualify for the minimum $75k amount to maintain the complimentary Centurion Lounge guest access, Amex has introduced a tracker under their benefits. To get to that page, follow the steps below:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Next, go to the “Rewards & Benefits” tab.
Rewards and Benefits tab inside an Amex account
The “Rewards & Benefits” tab inside an Amex account.
  1. Next, Click on the “Benefits” tab, the right-most option, as shown in the image below.
benefits tab inside an Amex Account
The primary “Benefits” tab inside an American Express account.
  1. Lastly, if not visible immediately, you may have to hit the “Show All” button to expand all benefits. Then, from the list of all the options, look for a card titled ‘Centurion Lounge Complimentary Guest Access.’ In this card/section, Amex will show you how much you’ve spent thus far and how much more there is left to reach the $75k threshold. (Check out the image underneath for reference).
$75k spend tracker for retaining the Centurion Lounge Complimentary Guest access benefit
The $75k spend tracker for retaining the Centurion Lounge Complimentary Guest access benefit at no other cost.

Clearly, the current spending pattern depicted in the screenshot above will not be enough to meet the $75k or more requirement. But be that as it may, I’d rather pay the extra lounge fee if I need to take a guest with me.

Expert Source: Amex’s terms and conditions. The one that appears after logging in.

And by the way, this post only considers the personal American Express Platinum cards.