Essential Guide to the American Express Centurion Lounge
Essential Guide to the American Express Centurion Lounge

From long security lines to weather-related delays to staff-related cancellations, airports can be chaotic. A crowded restaurant or just standing space at an airport bar definitely leaves something to be desired when trying to get into “vacation mode” or get last-minute work done.

The American Express Centurion lounge is a welcome change from the typical airport hustle and bustle. Exclusive areas are reserved for authorized cardholders only, and each area has been carefully designed to provide a space to eat, drink, relax or work before boarding. Here’s what you need to know about the premium Centurion lounge network.

What is the American Express Centurion Lounge?

American Express Centurion Lounges is a global network of high-end airport lounges with 12 U.S. and 11 international locations. The Centurion Lounge is the departure lounge, ie. H. Authorized cardholders will only be permitted to enter if the flight departs three hours or less before departure or if there is a connecting flight during any layover.

Since opening its first Centurion lounge at Las Vegas’ Halli Reed Airport in 2013, American Express has continued to expand the presence of these premium lounges in the U.S. and around the world. These lounges are consistently highly rated by travelers and offer a pleasant alternative to spending time in the main terminal.

All Centurion lounges offer fine dining and specialty beverages, often locally inspired and sourced in consultation with award-winning local chefs and bartenders. While the services offered may vary by location, the quality and variety of food and beverage choices in American Express Centurion lounges generally exceeds that of a typical airline lounge. This is not a takeaway buffet. Think of Centurion lounges as first class lounges and most other airport lounges as premium economy or business class, depending on the airline and location.

In addition to fine dining, Centurion Lounges offer free Wi-Fi and a variety of seating options for work, dining or relaxation. The lounge also has toilets and showers where you can freshen up before or between flights. Depending on the location, Centurion Lounges may also have a dedicated area, such as a craft beer bar at Denver International Airport or an Exhale-branded spa treatment at DFW International Airport.


Where is the American Express Centurion Lounge?

Most Centurion lounges are located in the terminal building near the gate, so lounge users must go through security before entering the lounge. Many airports have terminals connected to the airside, allowing lounge access from any terminal.

Specifically, at Miami International Airport and San Francisco International Airport, the terminals do not have airside connections. Users can enter the lounge through security at the Centurion Lounge terminal, but they must exit security, go to the departure terminal, and go through security again to reach their flight terminal. The inconvenience of changing terminals and going through security twice to experience the Centurion Lounge is worth a try for those who have a long layover or prefer to get to the airport early.

American Express Centurion lounges are located at the following airports in the United States. Please note that business hours are subject to change.

City/Airport Location
Charlotte (CLT) Intersection of Concourses D & E, mezzanine level
Dallas (DFW) Terminal D, across from Gate D12
Denver (DEN) Located post-security in Concourse C, just past Gate C46 on the mezzanine level
Houston (IAH) Terminal D near gate D6
Las Vegas (LAS) Concourse D, opposite Gate D1
Los Angeles (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) near the Great Hall
Miami (MIA) Concourse D, near Gate D12 (4th floor)
New York (JFK) Terminal 4 past security
New York (LGA) Terminal B on 4th floor before the Eastern Concourse pedestrian bridge
Philadelphia (PHL) Terminal A West, near Gate A14
Phoenix (PHX) Terminal 4, across from Gate B22 on the upper level
San Francisco (SFO) Terminal 3, near gate 74
Seattle (SEA) Concourse B, opposite Gate B3

American Express Centurion lounges are located in the following international airports:

City/Airport Location
Buenos Aires (EZE) Terminal B, near gate 15
Delhi (DEL) Terminal 3, adjacent to Gates 27 and 28
Hong Kong (HKG) Terminal 1 up the escalator before gate 60
London (LHR) Terminal 3 on level 2
Melbourne (MEL) Terminal 2 on the lower level
Mexico City (MEX) • Terminal 1 International, between Gate 8 and F1
• Terminal 1 Domestic, Departure near Gate 17 and 18
• Terminal 2 on Mezzanine level
Monterrey (MTY) • Terminal A, near Gate 4
• Terminal B, near food court
Mumbai (BOM) Terminal 2 Domestic, on Level 3
São Paulo (GRU) Terminal 3
Stockholm (ARN) Terminal 5, on Mezzanine Level
Sydney (SYD) Terminal 1 International Departures, near Gates 50-63

Who can use the American Express Centurion Lounge?

Eligible Platinum and Centurion consumer and business card holders have access to American Express Centurion lounges, including the following cards:

  • American Express Centurion® Card* (by invitation only)
  • American Express Platinum® (conditions apply)
  • American Express Business Platinum® (conditions apply)
  • American Express Platinum

To enter, cardholders must present their valid card, government-issued photo ID, and a boarding pass with confirmed travel on the same day booked. The term “Confirmed Boarding Pass” means that you have to reserve a seat, so spare or discounted ticket holders without income/staff cannot access the lounge while waiting for their flight to depart.

Cardholders of the following American Express cards also have access to the Centurion Lounge:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (terms apply)
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (Terms and Conditions apply)

The entry requirements for these cardholders are slightly different than for American Express Platinum or Centurion cardholders. To access Centurion lounges with a Delta SkyMiles co-branded card, the cardholder must have purchased the ticket with an eligible U.S.-issued card, and the flight must be marketed or operated by Delta Air Lines.

Additionally, Delta Reserve individuals or business card holders are denied access to the entire Centurion Lounge network. Eligible lounges include locations in the United States, Hong Kong and London. Delta Reserve cardholders will not be able to visit other international locations.


Delta Reserve personal and business card holders do not receive free guests, but can purchase day passes for $50 per guest. Guests must be on a Delta-marketed or operated flight on the same day, but do not have to be on the same flight as the primary cardholder.

The Centurion lounge network is very popular with travelers and lounges can get crowded. This can sometimes lead to long waits during busy times due to capacity constraints in the lounge. Cardholders can generate an access code through the American Express app, but having a registration code doesn’t guarantee access if the lounge is nearly full or fully booked.

It is not uncommon for travelers to report wait times of 30 to 45 minutes to enter the Centurion lounge. This makes the Centurion Lounge inappropriate for use during peak hours when the hours are less than 90 minutes in many markets.

Until January 31, 2023, cardholders can use it for free for themselves and up to two guests. Additional guests may purchase an all-day pass for a fee of USD 50 or foreign currency equivalent, up to a maximum of USD 50. Children ages 2 to 17 can purchase a visitor pass for $30.

As of February 1, 2023, free guest access will no longer be a standard benefit for Platinum cardholders. After this date, free guest access is a benefit for those who spent $75,000 on eligible purchases in the previous calendar year. For example, a user who spends $100,000 on an American Express card between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 will have their free guest access extended until January 31, 2024. This user needs to spend more than $75,000 in calendar year 2023. spend dollars.


The $75,000 free guest usage requirement is said to be designed to reduce the total number of lounge users. Only time will tell if the change will have a significant impact on capacity and latency.

Do you need access to the American Express Centurion Lounge?

Since access to the American Express Centurion Lounge is only available to cardholders with a certain number of credit cards, what if you don’t have one of those cards? The answer is not easy, but individual travelers should consider several factors based on their personal travel style.

Travelers should consider the cost of holding a credit card that allows access to Centurion lounges. The American Express card that grants access has a higher annual fee, so it’s important to weigh the cost of the annual fee against the benefits of lounge access. Many premium credit cards offer lounge access via airline or Priority Pass; if a traveler has already entered with another credit card, the card providing access to the Centurion Lounge can be duplicated.

For those looking for a comfortable place to sit and grab a bite to eat, most airline lounges or those offered by Priority Pass will do. For those looking for unique dining and specialty cocktails, the Centurion Lounge is worth it.

Every traveler should also assess their travel behavior. Centurion lounges are located at selected domestic and international airports and may not be at the airports on their usual itinerary. A benefit is only a benefit if it’s available, so passengers who don’t regularly pass through airports that have Centurion lounges shouldn’t feel forced into it.

The most intangible factor to consider is whether a Centurion lounge offers a better overall lounge experience than other airport lounges. This is absolutely at the discretion of each traveler and can only be done through a personal assessment. The problem of overcrowding complicates the calculations, especially if you’re someone who likes guest visits, which will go away in the next year.

bottom line
American Express Centurion Lounges take you away from busy airport terminals, offering upscale dining and seating experiences that make air travel a real pleasure. If you have an eligible credit card, you have free and unlimited access as long as you follow the terms and conditions. Using a Centurion lounge can greatly enhance your airport experience, but only if the airport you use most has a Centurion lounge.

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Jake Smith

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Jake Smith

He is the editor of Eragoncred. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Eragoncred and a financial industry reporter. Jake has spent most of his career as a Digital Media journalist and has over 10 years of experience as a writer and editor.