I rarely fly Air Canada but I recently found myself wandering around their beautiful Terminal 1 in Toronto. My interest was piqued when I saw a sign for an airline club I hadn’t heard of before … the Plaza Premium Lounge. I decided to put my American Express Platinum Card to the test (If you’re interested in signing up for American Express Platinum card, check out more details about the card and its benefits here.) I’ve been very happy with this credit card, even though it comes with a hefty annual fee, because it gets me into all of American Airlines’ and Delta Air Lines’ clubs (two airlines I fly often). The card also comes with a Priority Pass, which gets members into an additional 600+ airport lounges worldwide. Sure enough, when I arrived at the entrance my eyes opened wide with glee when I saw a big sign saying ‘By Invitation’, featuring enlarged logos of a variety of America Express Cards and Priority Pass. Yes! I had found another place to kill time in.
I went to the desk and showed the agent my ticket and my American Express Platinum Card. She was super friendly so I decided to ask her a few questions. The most important was whether or not I could bring a guest into the lounge with me. She said, ‘of course.’ This cards allows you to bring your spouse and either a third person or two children. ‘Sweet!’ I thought. Then I made a mental note not to have more than two kids.
The lounge was quite plush on the inside and it had a much stronger free wireless signal than the free Toronto Pearson Wi-Fi, computers to use, all kinds of free hot and cold food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There was even a shower, which is perfect for freshening up before a long flight. The food looked good and I was bummed that I had just eaten a big dinner but I grabbed a cookie, sat in the corner and made some Skype calls.
What’s also important to know is that the American Express Platinum Card (as of November 1, 2013) also gives you a $200 airline fee credit towards incidental fees such as checked bags, in-flight drinks, upgrades and change fees. In addition, I love the fact that there are no international transaction fees and when staying at some luxury hotels, the card can also get me a room upgrade, free breakfast and a guaranteed 4 pm late check-out. As an added bonus, for those who don’t yet have Global Entry (I’m not sure what you’re waiting for since it’s the best thing to happen to international travel in a while—see my post), the Platinum Card will reimburse you for your Global Entry enrollment fee, which is $100.
If you don’t travel often, this card is not worth it but if you do, then I seriously don’t know what you’re waiting for. Being able to go into an airline club lounge before your trip or on a layover keeps most frequent travelers sane – especially when there are delays. If you think the $450 annual fee is too high, then keep in mind that a membership alone to Delta’s Sky Club is $450 and American’s Admiral Club is $500! And a membership for the Priority Pass’ unlimited lounge access is $399. Add it all up and throw in all the other American Express Platinum extras and you realize this is the best deal out there for frequent travelers. No wonder all my savvy road warrior friends have one.
I guess I shouldn’t be touting it so much because they just may raise the price!
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links but I would recommend this card regardless of whether they paid me a referral fee or not because it’s just that good. As always, thanks for your support!
Apply now: The Platinum Card® from American Express