Airport Frequent Flyer

Amex Cards Set to Lose Lounge Access Benefit

Beginning in March 2014, holders of American Express Platinum and Centurion cards will no longer enjoy complimentary access to the airport lounges of American and US Airways.

In coordinated announcements, American and American Express disclosed upcoming changes to their credit-card relationship, and to the relationship between American Express and US Airways.

American announced that, beginning on March 22, 2014, complimentary access to its Admirals Club airport lounges will be a perk bundled with just a single credit card, the pricey Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard. Annual fee: $450.

And American Express confirmed that access to American’s lounges will no longer be among the perks offered with its Platinum and Centurion cards. Also being discontinued: access to US Airways’ lounges.

The move will be a significant loss for American Express, whose Platinum and Centurion cards currently feature complimentary access to a number of lounge networks, including those of American and US Airways. Likely to preemptively take some of the sting out of the downgrade, American Express recently expanded access to its Centurion lounges to Platinum cardholders. But there are only two Centurion lounges in operation, with two more set to open in 2014.

In a brief phone conversation with the president of AAdvantage, Suzanne Rubin, the change was explained as “another step forward in our relationship with Citi… It’s a natural progression, insuring exclusivity for the Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard.” She also confirmed that American will continue its relationship with American Express with the co-branded AAdvantage Select cards. However, the American Express-issued cards are now nowhere to be seen on the airline’s credit-card webpage.

Reader Reality Check

Are you a Platinum or Centurion cardholder? How will the loss of American and US Airways lounge benefits affect your willingness to keep such expensive cards in your wallet?

This article originally appeared on

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By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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