The Platinum Card from American Express just became more valuable for your future travels

If you didn’t see the news from earlier this week about Plaza Premium lounges leaving the Priority Pass and LoungeKey lounge access networks. I recommend that you read that first (read it here) and then continue on with this post to see how this move just boosted the value of the Platinum Card from American Express.

Plaza Premium is a Hong Kong based provider that has a significant presence in Canada with 13 lounges and should all of those lounges here leave the above noted programs, it will be a major loss. If this does end up being the case it only leaves eight lounges that Priority Pass and LoungeKey members can access for free or at a discounted rate. We should know over the next few months which lounges will stay and which will leave those programs as the date set for them to leave is July 1.

For most Canadians their Priority Pass membership and access comes from credit cards that offer it as a benefit and for LoungeKey that access is strictly a World and World Elite Mastercard benefit so all those cardholders are affected. This news is a major blow to Canadians relying on that access from the cards. That being said there is another option for accessing those lounges without having to pay the full entrance fee and that is to have the Platinum Card from American Express.

The Platinum Card from American Express provides Priority Pass membership (the highest out of any cards in Canada) but they also have their own agreements in place with many lounges in Canada including Plaza Premium lounges.  The agreement is part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection for Platinum cardholders from various countries around the world including Canada. And since the card’s access to Plaza Premium lounges is separate from the Priority Pass membership it provides, cardmembers still get access to Plaza Premium lounges:

Platinum Cardmembers have complimentary access to Plaza Premium
Lounges… Platinum Cardmembers may bring in one (1)
travel companion as a complimentary guest.

So once Plaza Premium leaves the Priority Pass and LoungeKey programs the only card that will get you in these lounges without having to pay the full entrance fee is the Platinum Card from American Express. And it’s access to the lounges is great – you and a guest get complimentary access. That means if you frequent Plaza Premium lounges enough, in particular those who fly out of Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg it may be totally worth it to get this $699 per year card.

For example, if two of you want to visit Toronto’s Terminal 1 Domestic Plaza Premium Lounge for 2 hours in July it could cost you as much as US$86.

Right there the Platinum Card saves you over C$100 in just one visit. Do this multiple times and the savings really add up. And this doesn’t even include all the other benefits the card provides like hotel elite status, a $200 annual travel credit and more. 

Wrapping it up

Ultimately we do have to wait to see which of the Canadian Plaza Premium lounges will be leaving Priority Pass and LoungeKey on July 1st. If all 13 of them leave then Priority Pass and LoungeKey lose huge value in two of Canada’s biggest markets, Toronto and Vancouver, as those airports will only have one lounge each. And the mid-size markets of Edmonton and Winnipeg, they will have none. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that here in Canada at least few of those lounges remain in the programs! If not, then your best course of action is to get the Platinum Card from American Express.

Recommended reading: Rewards Canada’s Guide to Business Class Lounge Access