Throughout the effort to win public support and regulatory approval for their planned merger, American Airlines and US Airways have argued that the combined airline will be good for "competition, consumers and choice." But just days before the merger's anticipated Dec. 9 closing, changes the airlines have made to a popular credit card reward may end up having the opposite effect.

American Express notified customers this week that beginning in March, its "Airport Club Access Program" for Platinum and Centurion cardholders will no longer include access to American's Admirals Club or US Airways Club lounges.

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