Which is Better For Lounge Access? Amex Platinum or Citi Prestige?

American Express or Citi Prestige


When it comes to a credit card with an annual fee, many people are happy to look the other direction. No one wants to pay more money than they have to, and that’s a pity. Both the American Express Platinum and the Citi Prestige card are marked as high annual fee cards – both carry a $450 annual fee, after all. That’s enough to turn many frugal shoppers off, but is it a wise decision simply based on that one factor? It turns out, both cards are well worth the price of the annual fee if you do enough traveling, since both have amazing lounge access that more than pays for itself – as well as the other benefits that both cards offer. However, which one is the best for lounge access for frequent travelers?

Let’s look at the many benefits that both cards offer first.

  1. Bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening your account
    1. 40,000 with Amex
    2. 50,000 with Citi
  2. Annual airline credits
    1. $200 with Amex ($400 the first year)
    2. $250 with Citi ($500 the first year)
  3. Access to airline lounges and clubs
    1. Delta SkyClub with Amex
    2. American Airlines Admirals Club with Citi
  4. Priority pass membership
    1. Select with Amex
    2. Most comprehensive with Citi
  5. Global entry fee credit

However, there are some startling differences between each card. For instance, Amex cardholders have access to American Express Centurion Lounges in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas as well as many others. This is not an offer that comes with the Citi card. Amex members also have access – free – to all Boingo hotspots. American Express also offers access to all American Express hotels and resorts, whereas Citi cardholders are given the choice to receive a fourth night free with any three night stay at any hotel.

All in all, it seems as if the American Express card is the one to beat when it comes to airport lounge access, but the Citi card is not a bad one to have.

Photo by Getty Images

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