Will Amex Platinum Cut Delta Sky Club Access?


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Will Amex Platinum Cut Delta Sky Club Access? I don’t think is a question of if, but rather a question of when this will happen. You used to get guesting privileges to the Sky Clubs with your Platinum card into the lounge, but that has been discontinued due to overcrowding, and now it’s only access for the cardholder with a valid Delta ticket for same-day travel.

American Express has been launching their own expansive network of their airport Centurion Lounges the past few years, with the newest announcement a 15,000 square foot club at Terminal 4 at New York’s John F. Kennedy, Delta’s home.

Current Centurion lounge locations include: Dallas (DFW), Hong Kong (HKG), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS)New York (LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), Miami (MIA), Seattle (SEA)San Francisco (SFO) and they’re just getting started with many more on the way.

Amex is trying to build their own superior network of airport lounges for their cardholders. Let’s say they have a network of 25 lounges in the next several years with locations in many of Delta’s hubs, it would make a compelling argument in their favor to remove Sky Club access.

Perhaps, they could offer Amex Platinum cardholders even a few guest passes (4-8 annually) to the Sky Club initially, but I think offering Sky Club access as a benefit is something that will be a thing of the past.

Delta Sky Clubs have become more over crowded each year, and Delta is even restricting their own elite members and Sky Club members by imposing new rules such as having to have a Delta ticket to enter the lounge.

Additionally, Amex Platinum recently added the following benefits to their personal card:

  • $200 Uber Credit: Cardholders will receive an annual $200 fee credit for Uber. If you are a Uber user, as long as you link your Platinum Card to your Uber account, you’ll actually get a $15 ride credit each month culminating with a $35 credit each December. This is in addition to being granted Uber VIP status, which can score you the highest Uber drivers.
  • 5X Points on Hotels: Similar to the current benefit of earning 5X Points on airfare, you’ll now earn 5X points on hotels, however this is only valid for hotels booked through the amextravel site. In addition, Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings do not earn the added points.
  • New Metal Card and Complimentary Gold Authorized Users: Taking after the Chase Sapphire Preferred, cardholders will now be issued metal cards with a new design. Additionally, authorized users will receive complimentary Gold cards before requiring a $45 fee.

Here’s a look at the current access to the Sky Clubs with Amex Credit Cards:

There are many credit cards which provide access to the Delta Sky Clubs. Both The Platinum Card® from American Express as well as the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN provide complimentary Sky Club access.

When it comes to Delta co-branded credit cards, Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express provides complimentary Sky Club access, where The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card and The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card offer Sky Club access at a reduced $29 per person charge.

I still think this change of Amex eliminating Delta Sky Club access is several years away, but it’s just a matter of time for Amex to open enough Centurion Lounges most major cities, including Delta hub locations, before this will happen. You’ll recall this card used to allow access to both American Airlines Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs, both which have been eliminated.

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

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Comments

  1. Having the Sky Club removed as an Amex Platinum perk would be a big negative in my opinion. The Centurion Lounge at LGA is a waste of time if flying Delta, as you need to exit security, take a bus (or walk) to the next terminal to get to the club. Not sure where the new one at JFK is located compared to the existing Delta clubs. The Centurion one at LAS is very nice and there is no SkyClub at that airport. As a matter of fact when I was there last September, some of the local Delta agents were getting a tour of the Centurion lounge so that they could tell their passengers about it.

  2. Amex Centurion Lounge LGA doesn’t require “exiting security” since its not airside but curbside. I agree otherwise. 🙂

  3. Also, pretty certain only Amex Plat Personal card gets $200 UBER annual credit. I read that Uber credit was to offset Amex Plat Personal card $100 fee increase. (Business Plat annual fee stayed the same). Calling Amex Card services to verify now. Will repost if I learn otherwise.

  4. This would be horrible.

    I have the platinum card, but rarely use the AMEX lounge in Seattle for example, as the Delta lounge is so much better. Showers, better food and a larger less crowded space.

    Amex does not have lounges in many places so it would take them a while just to build the reach that the Delta lounges offer.

  5. That would be a dumb move on Delta’s part. I’ve purchased similarly priced tickets on Delta vs United or American before merely because I knew I’d have access to the SkyClub when flying with them.

  6. The other issue is that it seems that Amex has specifically been avoiding targeting Delta hub cities for Centurion lounges because of the relatively large volume of DL hub captives that have an Amex Platinum, largely due to the Sky Club access (SEA is a small exception, but it’s one of the few places I actually prefer the SkyClub for the most part). They’d need to put some Centurion lounges in those places if they don’t want to lose a large volume of cardholders.

  7. I don’t see this happening any time soon if at all. The agreement that AmEx has with Delta is a strong one. Delta has many sky clubs in smaller airports which are highly valuable. In fact, I’ll choose to fly Delta simply because of having club access. If this were not the case, i’d be less likely to fly Delta. I’ve used the SkyClub in FLL many times and have specifically chosen Delta over many other airlines. Not only for comfort, but when things go wrong, having agents in the club take care of rebooking is a significant benefit. I’ve used that more than once.

    I do hope that AmEx will never discontinue this benefit — it’s not like we pay a small amount for having a Platinum card. We do expect a high level of benefits so this one is a necessity in my view. For certain it would harm Delta I believe if they revoke access.

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