Who wants to hang out in an airport terminal? Whether you fly once a year or every other week, the crowds, overpriced nachos and general hurriedness of the airport are easy to hate.
In response, airlines and card issuers have begun to offer airport lounge access, helping ease the path for loyal customers. But not all flights — and not all credit cards — offer airport lounge access.
Let’s take a look at how lounge access works with the American Express® Gold Card, the benefits that the card does offer and AmEx cards that’ll actually get you into a lounge.
What to know about AmEx Gold lounge access
1. The American Express® Gold Card doesn’t offer lounge access
In the past, the American Express® Gold Card featured a $100 airline fee credit, which could be used to help pay for a lounge pass. As of January 2022, however, the AmEx Gold card dropped this fee credit in favor of other perks, thus leaving cardholders no easy way into the lounge.
Happily, however, the card does provide a variety of other perks.
American Express® Gold Card holders in the United Kingdom get two complimentary lounge visits per year at over 1,200 airport lounges globally. Meanwhile, Canadian-based American Express® Gold Card holders receive complimentary membership in Priority Pass.
2. The American Express® Gold Card still features strong benefits
While the American Express® Gold Card can’t grant you lounge entry, it does provide a lot of material benefits in exchange for its $250 annual fee. This includes monthly statement credits, strong earnings on food purchases and complimentary travel insurance. Terms apply.
The AmEx Gold card has you covered if you’re big into food. This is thanks to the pair of monthly statement credits it offers:
$10 monthly at Uber or UberEats.
$10 monthly at Grubhub, Cheesecake Factory, Seamless, select Shake Shack locations, Goldbelly, Milk Bar and Wine.com.
In addition to monthly credits, cardholders can expect robust earnings for food-related purchases:
Earn 4x points at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery within the U.S.
Earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on the first $25,000 in spend.
Earn 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or via amextravel.com.
Earn 1x point everywhere else.
American Express has some fairly generous travel insurance on its credit cards, and the American Express® Gold Card is no exception. The card offers several different types of insurance to protect you when you’re traveling:
Baggage insurance: Up to $1,250 for carry-on luggage and $500 for checked bags.
Rental car insurance: Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance and does not include liability.
Trip delay insurance: Starting after a 12-hour delay, up to $300 per trip.
3. Other AmEx cards do provide lounge access
Just because the American Express® Gold Card doesn’t come with lounge access doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. If you’re looking to stick with the American Express ecosystem, there are a few different cards from which to choose that’ll provide access, including:
The least expensive card on this list is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, which charges a mid-tier $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee. If you plan on traveling fewer than 10 times a year and specifically looking for airport lounge access, this card is worth a second look.
American Express® Gold Card airport lounge access, recapped
We don’t blame you for wanting to slip into an airport lounge. Although the American Express® Gold Card doesn’t come with the ability to enter the lounge, it does provide a variety of other benefits. While most of these are food-focused, the card does offer some decent travel insurance, including trip delay insurance. Terms apply.
Otherwise, consider the handful of other AmEx cards that provide lounge access.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for: