FREE Entry into The AmEx Lounge @ Sydney International Airport (and Soon Melbourne), Various AmEx Cards Required

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Long-running deal, last post was more than 6 months ago, and prior to that, 2 years 7 months ago. Complies with deal posting guidelines.

Posting for the benefit of eligible Amex Card holders (hopefully most OzBargainers) looking to relax in a lounge, away from the crowded airport terminals.

I am in Melbourne and also don't have any of the eligible Cards, so have not taken advantage of this offer, but will be applying for an Explorer and if the rumours are true, will be visiting Melbourne airport's lounge later this year/early next year.

Copied and pasted from the terms and conditions on the Amex site, the Eligible Cards are:
* American Express® Centurion Card
* American Express® Platinum Card
* American Express® Business Centurion Card
* American Express® Business Platinum Card
* American Express® Corporate Platinum Card
* American Express® Qantas Corporate Platinum Card
* American Express® Explorer™ Credit Card
* American Express® Business Explorer Credit Card
* American Express® Platinum Reserve Credit Card
* David Jones American Express® Platinum Card
* Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
* American Express Velocity Platinum Card
* American Express Airpoints Platinum Card
* Westpac Altitude Black American Express Card
* Westpac Earth Black American Express Card
* Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards American Express Card

The first four offer unlimited entries, the rest offer 2 entries per calendar year.

Hey, free is free…

Referral Links

David Jones Card: random (95)

Referrer: 20,000 Reward Points
Referee: 30,000 Reward Points with 3 purchases outside DJ in 1 month

David Jones Platinum Card: random (22)

Referrer: 30,000 Reward Points
Referee: 50,000 Reward Points with 3 purchases outside DJ in 1 month

American Express

Related Store: American Express

Comments

  • +3 votes

    I miss the ANZ Amex cards, used to enjoy using this lounge :(

    • +2 votes

      There are other AMEX card options.

      I don't feel like the ANZ AMEX was anything special. ANZ Cards have been good over the last few years for bonus points, which are not related to the AMEX.

      edit: A card like AMEX Explorer is an example of a great AMEX card :)

  •  

    How many passes does American Express® Centurion Card get yearly? Is the lounge better than Qantas Club?

    •  

      Unlimited for the Centurion.
      Why do you ask? Do you have one?
      In terms of lounge comparisons, this might be worth a read…

    •  

      Unlimited access for centurion ($5k fee p.a) and platinum ($1.2k fee p.a.)
      No way it's better than qantas but it's free and children are free

    •  

      No match to the full service airline lounge. (Based on experience comparing to CX, SQ and QF lounges in the APAC region). Food and beverages are so so. Honestly, rather the food from outside eateries.

      Only good thing about this lounge being less crowded than the common area if someone doesnt have access to biz lounges.

  •  

    Do you need to be traveling anywhere to get access?

    • +1 vote

      Yes, as this is "airside" after you complete security check. For this you need to have checked in, which requires a passport and boarding pass.
      So yes, you need to be travelling somewhere.
      If you want to go just for the LOLs, then book a quick cheap flight to New Zealand, and you can relax, Amex style, in the lounge, all you want!

    •  

      it's airside

    • +1 vote

      You need to show boarding pass

  •  

    Can you use your free entry for family/friends?

    • +4 votes

      Yes if:

      • You are travelling with them
        or
      • They have a supplementary card under a card with eligible remaining entries
      •  

        So it's not just a +1 kind of case? You can have a +5 if you wanted assuming you are all travelling?
        Might use this when I go to America in December :)

        •  

          Depends on the card. Explorer card only get 2 passes a year. one person= one pass.

        •  

          @dsar: So the Westpac earth black will admit only 2 people?
          What if it is a joint account with 2 cards? 4 people then?

        •  

          @pennypincher98: Not too sure. If you pay 2 annnual fees, I guess so?

        •  

          @dsar: I'm quite sure its just the one annual fee; worth getting another amex just for lounge and more amex offers?

        •  

          @pennypincher98:

          Joint account with 2 cards doesn't make a difference because it's still one account, and therefore only the two entries per calendar year.

          @pennypincher98:

          If it's just a joint account, it should definitely only be one annual fee.

          worth getting another amex just for lounge and more amex offers?

          Yes, probably. Not so much for the lounge but for the AMEX offers, yes. I see the lounge as more of a bonus. It's the AMEX offers + great points earn where there's really great value.

          AMEX Explorer is probably the current go-to card for most people right now.

        •  

          @illumination: Thanks for that, I'll be sure to get on to it!

    • +1 vote

      With the AMEX platinum, members can bring 2 guests and children per trip, unlimited times.

      • +1 vote

        This is true!

        I interpreted this as in relation to the other, non-unlimited options though (hence the wording which suggested a finite number of entries).

  • +2 votes

    Thanks OP, great to know.

    Heading O/S from Melbourne with the family late October, hope the Melbourne one is open by then !

    *Edit: Apparently opens Nov 2017 in Melbourne :( https://www.finder.com.au/american-express-lounge-to-open-at...

    •  

      These things always seem to run behind schedule but I hope not as I've got a flight in late Nov.

    •  

      Yes, I'm waiting in anticipation of a decent Melbourne lounge offering! Sick and tired of the chaos at the airport everytime I'm flying :(

  •  

    if i had the DJ Platinum card in the past 6 months, can I still enjoy the bonus points when applied now ?

  •  

    In case there are any overseas AMEX cardholders visiting this (or those with relatives from overseas holding AMEX cards)

    There are some overseas AMEX cards that also give access to the lounge but I don't know where it shows which cards are eligible. However, I believe the types of overseas cards that are eligible are similar in name to the Australian ones that are eligible. (e.g. "AMEX Platinum Card").

    I don't think there are any overseas bank-isused AMEXs which are eligible though.

  •  

    Do any of the above cards give access to the AMEX Lounges in the US?

    • +1 vote

      I don't think any of the AMEX cards listed above give any overseas lounge access except for the Personal & Business versions of the AMEX Platinum Card and probably the two AMEX Centurion cards.

      The AMEX Platinum Card gives you lounge access via membership with PriorityPass which is a network of global lounges. Visit their website to see the list of lounges included (there are heaps).

      I am not sure if the Centurion includes PriorityPass membership, but I would not be surprised if it does. Information on the Centurion is somewhat scarce as it is a very exclusive card.

      •  

        The AMEX "lounge" is for Sydney only. Dont recall another AMEX lounge other than Sydney airport.

        This is not the same as PriorityPass.

        • +1 vote

          I wasn't saying it was the same.

          He asked whether it gave access to AMEX lounges in US, to which the answer in short is a no, but I decided to elaborate and talk about what other type of lounge access you may get access to from certain cards in the list above (e.g. AMEX Platinum Card) - which is the one with PriorityPass access.

          PriorityPass (I assume you may know) provides a form of lounge access to thousands of lounges overseas, including the US.

    •  

      The platinum charge and centurion give you access to the AMEX lounges in the US. Assuming you mean the Centurion lounges in places like Seattle and San Fran. There are also a few others around the world with more opening up soon from the sounds of it: https://www.thecenturionlounge.com/

  • -1 vote

    Does any one know if Qantas Lounge passes can be sold? What is the current market price?

  •  

    I have an Amex issued Platinum Edge card, it's not listed so I assume not valid for entry?

  •  

    My Amex Platinum Reserve always come with 2 complimentary lounge access.

  • -1 vote

    NOOOO!!!! Can I neg this one? I don't want all of the OZB riffraff in my lounge!!!
    BTW OP the Explorer is a pretty sweet card with the Travel Credit and 2 points on most usage. I can't use the lounge with it because I already have unlimited with the Platinum card.

    •  

      Hey Neggers! It was a joke! Sheesh!!!!
      Hey If you had looked closely you would have seen that I had already 'upvoted' the deal.

  •  

    Do they swipe the card to see if its an active card?

    •  

      Good question, I would assume so. Otherwise people with cards with 2 entries/year would be using it more than twice.

    • +1 vote

      They swiped mine from memory

    • +1 vote

      Yes and to make sure you haven't entered the lounge more than you are allowed. They even printed a receipt from the eftpos terminal (no payment though).

    • +1 vote

      R-Man sums it up well.

      FYI using an inactive or cancelled card doesn't work.

      Source: I have tried

  •  

    I am new to Amex i just received my card yesterday, Westpac Altitude Black American Express Card, if i am travelling with kids and family can i still use it for the complete family.
    And what benefits do we get for Amex.

    • +1 vote

      Your card only comes with 2 entries per calendar year. So you can use these for yourself in two separate visits, or for yourself and a companion in a single visit. Any more guests will require more cards (not including supplementary cards).
      In terms of what benefits you get with Amex, there's plenty but I'll make the few that you might find valuable:
      * Access to statement credits (straight up cash back on your purchases at a participating retailer)
      * Amass points that don't expire and are transferable to multiple airline partners
      * You feel like an absolute boss whipping out a slick looking card

      Just realised you're using a bank issued card so the second dot point may have slightly less relevance to you!

  • -1 vote

    Amex Essential is not on the list. :(

    • +1 vote

      For a no-annual-fee-for-life card, I'm not surprised that this is the case.
      A card like that suits the occasional points collector (and statement credit cashback deal addict), rather than any form of serious traveller.

      •  

        True that. I am not a frequent traveller and when I do, I am a budget traveller generally.

        •  

          Exactly. That's why it's nice to have a card like the Explorer where you can get entry to the lounge, even if you're flying on the cheapest airline in the cheapest fare bucket :)

        •  

          @MathNerd: But you pay annual fees on such cards then. The benefit doesn't come free.

        •  

          @virhlpool: true. If the card is used smartly (including taking advantage of the $400 travel credit as well as earn loads of points for premium class flights, the annual fee is lesser than the benefit :) it all comes down to the individual, what they value and how they use the card, at the end of the day.

        • +1 vote

          @MathNerd:

          it all comes down to the individual, what they value and how they use the card, at the end of the day.

          And "how much one uses his card" more than anything else. No enough usage, no benefit.

        •  

          @virhlpool: spot on mate!

  •  

    Does anyone know when will be the Melbourne Lounge due to open?

  • +1 vote

    Am planning a trip next year. Do any of those cards have no annual fee I can use for free access to this lounge ?

    • +2 votes

      Nope. Not sure you'd want to be in a lounge that you could get access to with a free credit card anyway. It would probably be just as busy as the terminal food court.

      •  

        You're spot-on. Lounges are normally most beneficial for people who just want to get away from the hustle and bustle, and are willing to pay (via entry fees, credit card annual fees or otherwise) for this privilege. Making a no-annual-fee card with lounge access included will have every man, woman, his and her dog sign up for the card and what you end up with is a lounge that has lost its "lounge" feeling and it just becomes a "terminal"/"gate" room which is just as bad as just hanging out outside.

    • +1 vote

      Amex explorer annual fee is $395 with $400 travel credit. 2 amex lounge access, can be used by principal or supplementary cardholder. Up to 2 accompanying children under 12 (Not sure about age) enters for free. Melbourne airport lounge is opening in Nov 2017. Amex is the most flexible about lounge access, some other banks only issue lounge passes to the principal cardholder, no mention about children.
      On top of that if you have never had credit card issued directly by amex, there is a welcome bonus of 100000. Get advantage of this, as you can always swith to platinum edge (no welcome bonus) after 1 year or after getting your explorer.

  •  

    They do limit the amount of time you are spending inside. I believe it is limited to 2 or 3 hours. And if you try to drink a few shots they will try to limit that as well saying it is against the rules to serve an intoxicated person. I protested to this limitation. Manager came down. I explained I was not intoxicated quite calmly and they had to give me more shots. But it is just ridiculous, they pretend they care about you being intoxicated when they only want to cut costs.
    Other than the drinks it is poor value, not much choice of food. And the drinks are fairly limited as well. Very few options.

    If you are actually paying 50ish bucks to get in which is the standard price it is terrible value.

    •  

      If you want more drinks you can do the Priority Pass food/drink crawl on your way to the lounge. $36 per place to spend at 3 (or 4?) different bars/restaurants at the international airport. Can grab an entree and drink at Mach2 before security, a burger and beer at Benny Burger and something from the Peroni bar.

      This is assuming you're getting in with the Platinum Card that has Priority Pass.

      •  

        Nah, I keep the priority pass two free entrees for overseas. And I am not interested in paying. In Singapore lounges are so much better. No limit whatsoever on the amount of drinks and food consumed. Showers, massage chairs, computer cubicles, much more spacious… And 24/7.

        • +1 vote

          Platinum Charge Card has free unlimited Priority Pass access (I meant you get $36 to spend at each restaurant) which is finally actually useful in Sydney airport. I definitely wouldn't pay extra to get into the AMEX Sydney lounge.

        •  

          @mthomas87:

          Unfortunately I don't have unlimited priority pass. I used to work at Westpac and thus kept my Westpac Black Altitude for free even after I left the bank. In general I don't think it is good value to keep a credit card with a fee. There are some few exceptions where the benefits of the card outweigh the annual fee, but I am unable to apply for those as I have been AMEX member for a while (direct AMEX cards).

      •  

        I don't believe you're supposed to be allowed to do this, because from memory it's supposed to be limited to once per calendar day.

        International airport has two restaurants you can access airside.

        In addition, as you pointed out this perk is only applicable to those who hold the AMEX Platinum Charge - I also wouldn't waste a PriorityPass entry on this.

        •  

          2 restaurants and a bar at international. Mach 2, Benny Burger and Peroni Bar.

          I haven't seen anything about only one lounge entry per calendar day in the Priority Pass terms and conditions.

        •  

          @mthomas87:

          I haven't seen anything about only one lounge entry per calendar day in the Priority Pass terms and conditions.

          Hmm I just tried searching and I can't find it. I recall seeing it somewhere but I also recall it was something specific to the $36 credits.

          Not sure anymore =/

          It'd be great if it isn't once per calendar day though!! Have you personally used the $36 credits more than once in a day?

        • +1 vote

          @illumination: Yep. Mach 2 and Benny Burger one after the other. Didn't have time to go to Peroni bar too though. If you go with your supplementary card holder and one guest each you could get a good chunk of your annual fee back in food with one trip to the international terminal.

        •  

          @mthomas87:
          Still, the annual fee is something like 1200? Would not bother paying that much honestly.

        •  

          @noskich: Depends if you use the perks or not. $1200 annual fee minus $700 in travel credits ($400 reserve + $300 plat charge) already brings it down to $500. If you were going to pay for virgin lounge access or priority pass membership that pretty much brings you to breaking even. Add in the 100,000 bonus sign up points and you're well ahead for the first year at least. All depends how much travel you do, how often you stay with certain hotels, whether you hire cars often etc. after that. Sucks they dropped the accor membership though (it gave a free hotel night at an accor hotel).

        •  

          @mthomas87:

          $700 in travel credits ($400 reserve + $300 plat charge) already brings it down to $500.

          You can't equate $700 Travel Credit to $700 equivalent in cash. It is not the same.

          100,000 bonus sign up points

          Only for those that have no other AMEX card

          All in all, it is indeed a great card but as even you yourself pointed out, it depends on the factors you mentioned.

          However, I objectively do think it is worth it, provided you are eligible for the bonus points.

  •  

    I used this to visit the lounge at Sydney on my way to Europe last month.

    To be honest, the lounge kind of sucked. At first I was a little confused because I mixed it up with the Virgin lounge at domestic, which I had also visited previously with my Amex card. On entry I immediately looked for the upstairs area, but soon realised it didn't have one and I was confusing it with the Virgin lounge, which is at least twice as big.

    •  

      yep, I agree. This lounge was small and quite crowded with limited seating and couches.

    • +1 vote

      For people (like me) whose alternative is to sit at the boarding gate and potentially pay for food in the terminal, it definitely doesn't suck :)

      • +1 vote

        I've never entered a Melbourne Airport lounge ever (due to not having flown Business/First, or having a card with included lounge access). On top of that, I've only ever been to one lounge in my life, the Ambassador Lounge. This was at Changi airport, a few years back. I got entry using one of those $20 CDVs they were giving out in a SIA promo.
        Entering the lounge was such a breath of fresh air compared to being outside, especially as the outside was just so crowded.
        Having a place to sit down and charge devices and munch on a few things was such a welcome opportunity.
        Obviously as you visit more and more lounges which get more premium as you go, you get accustomed to big ones and then the small ones don't cut it.
        I'm fortunately not at that stage yet, but hopefully will get the chance to try out more lounges!

      •  

        Agree, we are not frequent travellers as a family, but Amex lounge caters for that arrangement.

        I have multiple complementary Priority Pass memberships, but you can't extend that to spouse / kids. So when we travel together, it goes unused. (Did use it by myself once many years ago, in HK to just check-out the lounge, but the rest of the family was not too thrilled)

      •  

        Yeah, I meant it sucks when compared to other lounges of course.

    •  

      I've never entered a Melbourne Airport lounge ever (due to not having flown Business/First, or having a card with included lounge access). On top of that, I've only ever been to one lounge in my life, the Ambassador Lounge. This was at Changi airport, a few years back. I got entry using one of those $20 CDVs they were giving out in a SIA promo.
      Entering the lounge was such a breath of fresh air compared to being outside, especially as the outside was just so crowded.
      Having a place to sit down and charge devices and munch on a few things was such a welcome opportunity.
      Obviously as you visit more and more lounges which get more premium as you go, you get accustomed to big ones and then the small ones don't cut it.
      I'm fortunately not at that stage yet, but hopefully will get the chance to try out more lounges!

  • -1 vote

    Bank issued AMEX Platinum OK?

  •  

    This lounge in my experience is like a junior primary school lounge with nice lighting and top end (popular) spirits. It can accommodate 30 people uncomfortably and immediately you wonder "where is the rest?"

    It's tiny and messy/unclean with ONE toilet for men.

    However, they have Boags Draft on tap, Hendricks Gin, Grey Goose Vodka and some enjoyable curry and chicken wings at times.

  1. illumination on 31/08/2017 - 16:11
  2. illumination on 31/08/2017 - 16:11
  3. TheAviator1992 on 31/08/2017 - 15:40
  4. illumination on 01/09/2017 - 11:00
  5. mthomas87 on 01/09/2017 - 09:16
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