On May 31, American Express announced their new partnership with Boingo Wireless to provide free unlimited WiFi at over 1 million Boingo wireless hotspots around the world to all American Express Platinum cardholders (personal, business, and Mercedes Benz versions). To sign up, click this link.
Enter your 15 digit American Express Platinum Credit Card number (will not work for Canadian, Australia, or other international credit cards) and click the Verify Eligibility button.
Assuming you have the right credit card, fill in your personal information and click the Submit button.
To make is even easier to join Boingo wireless hotspots, download and install the app for your smart phone, tablet, or laptop:
The app/software will alert you to the nearest Boingo wireless hotspot and help you connect to the wireless network.
In the welcome email, it says you can use your Boingo account on up to 4 devices, perfect for the whole family.
Currently, I am traveling through Spain and France, and have had a few chances to try out Boingo’s wireless hotspots. For those unfamiliar to Boingo, they do not own any wireless hotspots, they just have access to 3rd party wireless hotspot providers. The relationship is very similar to the way Priority Pass Select has access to lounges from 3rd party lounge providers.
I highly recommend downloading the Boingo app to your device (see links above). You will need to log into the service with your Boingo username and password. I have only had a chance to use Boingo on my iPhone, but the steps below should be very similar on other devices as well.
After I installed the Boingo app on my iPhone, I was able to see which networks Boingo had access to. Without installing the app, you will not be able to see the text “Use Boingo Wi-Fi Here!” under the network’s name. If you are within range of the WiFi hotspot, you can connect to the wireless hotspot from your device.
When you join a Boingo wireless hotspot, you should see a notification from the Boingo app appear at the top of your screen. Clicking on the notification will open the Boingo app. Clicking the Connect Now button will send your Boingo account information to the 3rd party wireless hotspot provider and authenticate your wireless connection.
After joining a Boingo wireless hotspot, there will be another button that says Secure Me.
Clicking that button will take you to a web page where you can install a secured VPN to your device. I tried to install the secured VPN profile several times from the app and different web browsers on my iPhone but none of those techniques worked. I’m not sure if this problem is related to my iPhone, the wireless hotspots I connected to, or if it is a Boingo software issue. Please share your results of trying to install the secured VPN profile to your device.
If you do not have the Boingo app installed or if the Boingo notification does not appear, you can still join the wireless hotspot. After loading the authentication page (each authentication page will look different depending on the wireless hotspot provider). There should be an option to log in as a 3rd party customer. From the list of operators, make sure to select Boingo.
Type your Boingo username and password into the boxes and you should be able to join the wireless hotspot.
For most people, there are so many free WiFi locations around the US, you may never need to use Boingo. However, when you travel internationally, there are far fewer WiFi networks to choose from. You also probably don’t have internet access on your smartphone or mobile device when travelling internationally, so Boingo comes in handy in those situations.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.