Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional details.
There’s some great news for Amex cardmembers passing through the New York City area: The issuer will soon have a Centurion Lounge in all three of the region’s big airports.
Fortunately, that’ll be changing at some point in 2026. On Tuesday, the issuer formally unveiled plans to open a lounge in the airport’s brand-new Terminal A. The new lounge will span 17,000 square feet and feature a slew of amenities, including some firsts for the Centurion Lounge network.
These Newark-exclusive amenities will include a 1,400-square-foot indoor terrace overlooking the airfield with views of the Manhattan skyline, as well as a cocktail bar and piano lounge celebrating New Jersey’s jazz history with live music.
There’ll even be a so-called archival collection, which Amex describes as a quiet reprieve featuring artifacts and antiques celebrating New Jersey’s culture and history.
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.
As you’d expect, the new Centurion Lounge will also be outfitted with the standard Amex amenities, including a locally-inspired menu, a variety of comfortable seating options, private workstations, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, shower suites and spacious restrooms.
Long-time readers shouldn’t necessarily be surprised by Amex’s latest announcement.
That’s because nearly two years ago, the issuer was awarded a 15-year lease for this new space by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the region’s airports.
Amex will lease the entire expansion area for a 15-year term, with one five-year extension option, at a total cost of $121.5 million, equating to over $8 million a year. The issuer will also invest roughly $100 million to construct the expansion area.
The Port Authority and the Newark terminal operator received two proposals for the new lounge, and both parties decided to move forward with Amex’s offer. (The other interested party was not disclosed in the resolution nor during the board meeting.)
The Centurion Lounge will be located in the airport’s brand-new Terminal A, which opened earlier this year. Amex’s location will be on the top floor of a 50,000-square-foot, three-story expansion building adjacent to the new terminal. The Port Authority proposed the expansion either on the north or south end of the new terminal.
As part of the agreement, Amex will sublease the first and second floors of the new building expansion back to the Port Authority for potential subleasing to concessionaires and other interested parties. Notably, the Port Authority will not make any capital investments in connection with the proposed lease.
When the lease was approved in 2021, the Port Authority said that the Amex lounge should open in 2023. Maybe the Port Authority was overly optimistic because Amex’s opening timeline of 2026 is three years after the year originally shared.
The Amex Centurion Lounge will become Newark’s only lounge branded by a credit card company — a key differentiator for the issuer compared to Capital One and Chase.