Can Virgin Australia tell the difference between Amex Supplementary and Basic Card member for lounge access?

I recently signed up to an Amex Platinum Charge Card through a link via this website. I also received a supplementary card for my partner. It says in the terms and conditions that only the Basic Card Member can receive access to the Virgin Australia Lounge. Is there anyway that Virgin Australia can tell the difference between Supplementary &  Basic if she was to use the card for lounge entry?


Hi matthew. I haven’t tested it yet and im also a charge cardholder. You Might need to try it out.

I’m pretty sure they can but I’ll test it out this Fri and repost to let you guys know.

Different card numbers.

Would be interested to know too. All the other benefits except the AccorPlus are afforded to the supplementary card holder including full Priority Pass membership. Whilst they have different numbers, I can’t see Amex supplying Virgin with everyone’s card number.

IMO, no. If you read Amex’s site carefully under benefits for lounge access, for virgin lounge it clearly states that it’s “available for primary card holder and guest traveling together”. Whereas other lounge access such as priority pass, Amex lounges and Delta lounges it states “available for primary card holder and one supplementary card holder with guest”.

I guess VA lounge staff can’t tell the difference in number, but I’m not sure if they’ll swipe the card (so charge the admission to Amex) just like priority pass with other lounges. If they need to swipe the card, then it’s easy for Amex to encode something in the supplementary card as not valid for entry to VA lounge. But if all they need is take a quick glimpse at the card like QC (which you can argue that my wife can use my card as I’ve never seen any QC staff actually checked the name on the card and ID me before entering QC) then supplementary card might be able to enter, but that doesn’t mean the official position of Amex is “yes”.

I don’t have a platinum charge card so the above analysis is purely speculative based on what I can read. I’m happy to be proven wrong if anyone else has different experience.

They actually take about a minute to process your entry including keying in your card details so I am inclined to think that they charge Amex for each entry.  VA may not be able to tell and so will let any cardholder in but Amex will probably receive a list of card numbers each month and they’ll know if a supplementary card has been used to gain access.  Not sure what they’ll do from there - they might tell you not to do it again or maybe charge you?

Hi guys,

Yes I can confirm that using the supplementary card to gain access into the lounge was a success. Used it today to gain access into the Virgin Lounge in Melb prior to flying and also in Perth after departing.



Love to know the answer to this question also - just got the card and a sup for my wife and was wondering if she could get in just by flashing the card. Has anyone else had more experience if this works or not?