Amex Centurion Lounge Access, Locations and Amenities

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When it comes to airport lounges, Amex’s Centurion network of lounges is probably considered one of the best. In this article, I wanted to cover everything you need to know about these rooms, from the basics of what they are, who can access them, to where they are.

What are Amex Centurion Lounges?

Lounge access has become an extremely popular perk for premium credit cards. Not only does this come in the form of Priority Pass membership, but credit card companies have also started creating lounge networks as an exclusive benefit for cardholders.

Amex’s Centurion Lounge Network is the largest network of lounges run by a credit card company, and the lounges are also of very good quality. Generally speaking, Amex Centurion Lounges offer hot food, free beer, wine, and cocktails, along with plenty of other awesome amenities. This is one of the benefits of Amex Platinum that people appreciate the most.

Other credit card issuers are trying to catch up in this regard as we see the introduction of Capital One lounges and Chase Sapphire lounges.

Amex Centurion New York Lounge (LGA)

Amex Centurion Lounge Access

Let’s start by talking about everything you need to know about Amex Centurion Lounge Access. What credit card do you need to access the Amex Centurion Lounges, what are the lounge access restrictions and how many guests can you bring with you?

Amex Centurion Lounge Access Credit Cards

Amex Centurion lounges are available to those with one of the following cards, with restrictions listed next to each card:

Those with Amex Platinum or Amex Centurion cards can purchase day passes for additional guests beyond their allowance for $50 each. Also note that Amex Platinum authorized users have the same lounge access benefits as primary cardholders, so they can access lounges and even bring guests.

Amex Centurion Lounge Access Restrictions

When it comes to accessing Amex Centurion lounges, there are certain requirements to be aware of:

  • You need a same-day boarding pass to access Centurion lounges, and in the case of Delta Reserve cardholders, the boarding pass must be for travel on Delta
  • You can access the Centurion lounges up to three hours before departure, unless you are connecting, in which case you can access earlier
  • You cannot access Centurion lounges upon arrival, or with a back-up or non-paying ticket
  • If you invite people into Centurion lounges, you must stay with them the entire time they are in the lounge

Changes to Amex Centurion Lounge Guest Privileges

Starting next year, Amex will change the guest policy for access to the Centurion Lounge:

  • These changes will take effect on February 1, 2023
  • Primary and additional cardholders on the Amex Platinum will continue to receive lounge access
  • Those who own the Amex Platinum will be charged a $50 fee for each guest they bring into Centurion Lounges
  • Amex Platinum cardholders who spend at least $75,000 annually on the card will continue to receive complimentary lounge access for two
  • The Centurion Lounge guest policy will remain unchanged for those who own the Centurion Card
Amex Centurion Denver Lounge (DEN)

Amex Centurion Lounge Locations

The Amex Centurion network of lounges is quite large and growing. Let’s take a look at the current and future Amex Centurion Lounge locations.

Current Amex Centurion Lounge Locations

There are currently 15 Amex Centurion lounges, at the following airports (along with locations and sizes):

  • Charlotte (CLT) — 13,000 square feet, located between Concourses D and E
  • Dallas (DFW) – 12,000 square feet, located in Terminal D
  • Denver (DEN) – 14,500 square feet, located in Concourse C
  • Hong Kong (HKG) — 8,000 square feet, located in Terminal 1 (temporarily closed)
  • Houston (IAH) – 8,500 square feet, located in Terminal D
  • Las Vegas (LAS) – 13,000 square feet, located in Concourse D
  • London (LHR) — 7,000 square feet, located in Terminal 3
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – 14,000 square feet, located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (temporarily closed)
  • Miami (MIA) – 12,000 square feet, located in Concourse D
  • New York (JFK) — 15,000 square feet, located in Terminal 4
  • New York (LGA) — 10,000 square feet, located in Terminal B
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – 6,000 square feet, located in Terminal A
  • Phoenix (PHX) – 5,000 square feet, located in Terminal 4
  • San Francisco (SFO) – 8,500 square feet, located in Terminal 3
  • Seattle (SEA) – 4,500 square feet, located in Concourse B

Future Amex Centurion Lounge Locations

In addition to the current 15 Amex Centurion lounges, additional lounges are planned for the following airports:

In addition to the above, two Amex Centurion lounges in the United States have much-needed extensions:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Amex Centurion Lounge San Francisco is set to expand to 16,000 square feet by the end of 2022
  • Seattle (SEA) – The Amex Centurion Lounge Seattle will have a new location and will be much larger, at nearly 14,000 square feet

Note that while American Express has other international lounges (such as in Mexico City), these are not branded Centurion Lounges, so they don’t have quite the same standards.

Amex Centurion Charlotte Lounge (CLT)

Amex Centurion Lounge food, drink and amenities

Amex Centurion Lounges have a fairly consistent food and drink offering. Although they each have their own style with a famous local chef, the general offerings are similar. The good news is that food and drink is free at Centurion Lounges.

As for drinks, the Centurion Lounges offer:

  • There is a selection of complimentary alcoholic beverages including signature cocktails, beer and wine
  • There are also soft drinks, coffee and water; for those who are coffee snobs, unfortunately there are no cold brew or barista-made espresso drinks (unlike Capital One Lounge DFW)
Amex Centurion Lounges offer free cocktails

When it comes to food, Centurion Lounges offer the following:

  • The first breakfast is served; often around opening time, there is a continental breakfast first, then a hot breakfast is usually served around 30-60 minutes after opening, more or less
  • For the rest of the day there is a lunch and dinner menu, including several hot dishes
  • Food is generally served buffet style, so there are no a la carte meals
  • Centurion Lounge menus are different at each location, although menus for a particular lounge don’t tend to rotate much

In addition to the food and beverage selection, some Centurion Lounges offer unique amenities. For example:

  • The Centurion Lounge in Dallas (DFW) has an Exhale Spa, although it has been closed for much of the pandemic
  • Centurion Lounge Houston (IAH) features a wellness area in partnership with Calm, offering Calm content, neck warmers, and a health and wellness cart with healthy beverage choices
  • The Centurion Lounge in New York (JFK) has a speakeasy, where you can enjoy your favorite cocktail
Amex Centurion Lounge New York (JFK)

The crowded Amex Centurion Lounge

Amex Centurion lounges are above what you would typically find in a US airline lounge on the surface and as a result they are very popular, especially with many travelers with Amex Platinum. If you ask me, Centurion lounges are largely victims of their own success, in the sense that they are always very busy.

Personally, I avoid Amex Centurion lounges, even though I am eligible for entry. It’s just because I value a quiet environment to work from rather than a superior selection of food and drink (I don’t really drink alcohol when flying domestically, and for that matter I usually bring snacks with me when I travel as well).

Hopefully overcrowding becomes less of an issue when the new guest policy is in place. Amex recently introduced a new Centurion Lounge crowd tracker. With this, you can see live how busy a room is, with one of the following descriptions displayed:

  • Not occupied
  • A little busy
  • Very busy
  • Almost full

This tracker is accessible through the Amex app, and you can find out how to check congestion here.

Amex Centurion lounges can get crowded

At the end of the line

The Amex Centurion Lounges are hugely popular with travelers as they offer great food and drink along with impressive amenities. These lounges are currently located at 15 airports and are primarily accessible to Amex Platinum cardholders. Hopefully the above is a useful overview of the access requirements, locations and amenities of these lounges. If I missed something, please let me know.

What do you think of the Amex Centurion lounges? Do you like them or avoid them because of the crowds?

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