American Express has introduced Priority Pass Select and Global Entry as new benefits for Platinum cardholders. Priority Pass Select members receive complimentary access to over 600 international and domestic lounges in 100 countries, regardless of the airline or class of service you are flying in. Guests of the member can enter the lounge for $27 per person.
After Sept. 30, 2011, Priority Pass Select members will not be able to access Continental Presidents Club and United Red Carpet Clubs. The Platinum Card already comes with access to participating American Airlines Admirals Club, Continental Airlines Presidents Club (until Sept. 30), Delta Sky Club and US Airways Club lounges and the new Priority Pass Select benefit allows members access to additional airport lounges, primarily in international locations but also to international airline lounges in the U.S. Domestically, members also receive access to Alaska Airlines Board Room lounges. Cardholders will need to register at http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?4413 to start receiving Priority Pass Select benefits.
Cardmembers will also receive a $100 refund for the fee to join the Global Entry program, which is a U.S. government program that allows verified travelers to go to the front of the line at immigration and customs. To receive the $100 statement credit, you must complete the Global Entry application and pay for the fee with a consumer or business Platinum or Centurion card. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will process the application and if approved, your Global Entry membership will be valid for five years.
Bottom line: The American Express Platinum card has a $450 annual fee and if you are already paying hundreds of dollars for a lounge membership with American, Delta or US Airways, you may want to consider signing up for the Platinum card instead. With the new Priority Pass Select membership, you’ll now be able to enter hundreds of additional airport lounges and the card comes with other benefits as well, including no foreign transaction fees; a $200 airline fee credit that can be used to cover incidental fees such as baggage fees, flight change fees, in-flight food and lounge day passes on the airline of your choice; a 20 percent point rebate when you use AMEX Pay with Points to purchase travel and complimentary SPG Gold elite status, among other perks.
For travelers who fly frequently overseas, the Global Entry program can save you from standing and waiting in long lines in order to move through immigration and customs.