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Travelers who own the American Express card now have a new suite of lounges to look forward to visiting. Whether they make up for the annual fee on the AmEx platinum is another question.

American Express is goosing the perks that come with its Platinum card as the market heats up and competition for premium cards increases.

Starting this month, those who hold an American Express Platinum card will now have access to Escape Airport Lounges found in Oakland, California, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hartford, Connecticut in the United States.

News of the partnership was released earlier this month through Manchester Air Group, which owns the UK airports.

Like most independent airport lounges, Escape Lounges offer free light snacks, drinks, alcohol and WiFi as well as a quiet place to work or rest away from the noisy terminal. The blog Points, Miles and Martinis describes the Minneapolis lounge as “a very spacious lounge with plenty of seating” with “a full service bar with a nice selection of alcohol.”

AmEx Platinum cardholders already have access to several Centurion lounges around the country as well as over 1,000 Priority Pass lounges throughout the world. Inclusion of the Escape Lounges broadens the card’s airport lounge reach just a bit further.

Moreover, reach into the Escape Lounge network adds a further benefit to the Platinum card and helps make it distinct from the rest of the industry. Last year, Chase launched the Reserve card, which aimed to compete with AmEx on the Platinum level and deliver a wide range of benefits to high-spend customers (along with a hefty annual fee, like American Express). Airlines have also gotten into the game by offering their own fancy high-end cards offering free lounge access specific to the carrier.

With multiple incumbents, American Express seemed to yield territory earlier this year with news in March, that the company was raising annual fees, admitting that it had let to many points-hungry bargain hunters into the program.

Since then, Chase and American Express have competed heavily to offer the best range of perks while focusing on the highest spend customers. Access to Escape Lounges is the latest move from American Express. Without a doubt, Chase will return and up the ante.

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Tags: american express, loyalty

Photo credit: The Escape Lounge at London Stanstead Airport. Starting this month, those who hold an American Express Platinum card will now have access to Escape Airport Lounges. 155910

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