Airport Lounges

Review: American Express Centurion Lounge Houston IAH

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I recently flew through Houston on United, and finally had enough time to go and check out the American Express Centurion Lounge at IAH in Terminal D. If you’re arriving into B or C, it’s quite a trek, and while it’s a nice lounge, unless you have several hours, I don’t know that I’d recommend going out of my way to enjoy it.  It was very crowded when I arrived, and I try and avoid putting random people in my reviews/pics as much as I can, and hence the limited number of photos. I’ll try and update if/when I visit the lounge again, but just a little warning in advance.

The Deets:

  • When: September 2018
  • Where: Houston, Terminal D
  • Hours: 5:30am – 9pm
  • Access:
    • Platinum + 2 guests
    • Centurion + 3 guests


It’s in terminal D, adjacent to the Duty Free Shop near D6. It’s airside, but not on the same level as check-in or gates, but rather on a Mezzanine level. The elevator is just past the duty free shops and near an escalator, it’s hidden so keep your eye opens or you’ll miss it. I ended up walking over from C, but you can access it via the Skyway as well.

First Impression.

The image below is a reverse shot, but the lounge is fitted with a variety of seating styles from couches to work stations. The lounge opened in 2016 and still feels very new and fresh, and while it’s crowded, there’s a reason people flock to these lounges vs most any other domestic lounge…they’re just so much better.

The Bar/Food:

At the back of the lounge is where you’ll find the food and beverage options. Everything looked fresh, stylish and modern.  The food was developed by James Beard award winning chef Justin Yu, and the drinks were curated by top mixologist Jim Meehan.  Wines were selected by Anthony Giglio, and the lounge evokes a Southwest style with smokey notes throughout the food and drink.

A quick look at the drink menu and bar. I tried one of the mezcal concoctions and it was a little strong for my liking.


Personally, the lounge in Dallas is still my favorite, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s been updated, but the feeling of using a credit card perk to get a free massage, good food, and eclectic drinks was really cool.  The lounges are a great benefit of the Platinum/Centurion card, but they are increasingly more and more crowded. I was by myself, and lucked into a table right as I walked up, but I saw people just standing around waiting for a place to sit in the bar.  The Wifi was unusually slow for Amex lounges, but I had trouble uploading pictures and blogging while I was there – that’s not par for the course in my experience.

If I was flying out of Terminal D, I’d be tempted to come in and hang out for a while – it’s got a cool vibe.  If I were flying out of the other terminals and had less than 2 hours layover, I’d probably just pony up for a snack rather than lug myself over to this lounge.

Affiliate link via CardRatings


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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