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AMEX Platinum Adds Priority Pass, Global Entry Benefits

April 11, 2011

Last year, American Express expanded its Platinum card benefits to include a $200 travel credit, which passengers can use to cover everything from baggage check fees to lounge day passes on the airline of their choice. This benefit did not come without some sacrifice, however — AMEX announced that Continental lounge access would be discontinued after September 2011, presumably related to the airline’s merger with United, which does not offer lounge access to AMEX cardholders.

Beginning today, Platinum cardholders who pay the card’s annual fee of $450 (laughable, unless you happen to travel a ton) can now apply for complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which includes access to over 600 airport lounges, with the notable exception of Continental and United lounges (hence the “Select” branding). With the addition of Priority Pass membership, Platinum cardholders now have access to select KAL, Swiss, Air France, and Air Canada lounges, in addition to the US Airways, Delta, and American lounges that already welcome Platinum cardholders. AMEX also announced that Platinum cardholders would be exempt from standard 3% foreign transaction fees, and can also apply for entry into the US Customs and Boarder Protection Global Entry program, with AMEX picking up the $100 application fee. For frequent international travelers, these additional benefits almost make the card a bargain, especially with employers often picking up the $450 tab.

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