6 Things to Know About Priority Pass Lounges

The Priority Pass network offers members more than just lounge access, but specifics vary by membership terms.
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Some people love to travel and have no problem spending their day in transit. However, others see air travel as a means to an end and find the whole airport experience a hassle.

There are ways to improve the experience for these travelers, including heading to an airport lounge before your flight.

A membership with Priority Pass — a global network of airport lounges, experiences and restaurants — can be a good option to gain lounge access.

Let’s look at Priority Pass lounges, how they work and some key things about the program.

1. Multiple types of airport experiences are available

Priority Pass is most known as a worldwide airport lounge program, featuring more than 1,300 locations from which to choose. However, Priority Pass isn’t just limited to lounges — it also includes experiences and discounts for its members.

The types of experiences available will depend on the airport. At some, you can get up to $28 for you and your guests to eat at eligible airport restaurants. At others, this can mean complimentary spa treatments before your flight.

And if you’re on an exceptionally long trip, you may appreciate the private bedroom suites available to Priority Pass members.

Finally, even if there aren’t lounges, restaurants or sleeping suites available, Priority Pass options may be available as discounts at select stores.

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2. Not all memberships are the same

Now that we’ve discussed all the options available to Priority Pass members, there is one crucial caveat: Priority Pass has several different membership levels, and they’re not all equal.

The cheapest Priority Pass tier that will grant you lounge access costs $99 per year, but you’ll need to pay $35 for each lounge visit.

The most expensive is $469 per year but includes unlimited, complimentary visits for yourself — though you’ll still be required to pay for your guests.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Some travel credit cards offer a Priority Pass Select membership as a benefit — including Chase, Capital One and American Express.

3. Chase cards have the best memberships

The most well-known Chase card to offer Priority Pass Select membership is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which allows unlimited entry to cardholders and up to two guests. Note that Priority Pass restaurant benefits are no longer included, which used to set Chase apart from other issuers offering Priority Pass lounge access benefits only.

4. Capital One cards allow access to all authorized users

While Capital One cards don’t offer non-lounge Priority Pass access, they may be the best option if you’re trying to get a Priority Pass Select membership for more than just yourself.

Why? The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card provides a Priority Pass Select membership for its cardholders, which allows the member and up to two guests to enter for free.

This comes in handy because Capital One allows cardholders to add authorized users to their card for no fee — and authorized users are entitled to their own Priority Pass Select memberships, which include access for themselves and two free guests.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card holders also get access to Plaza Premium lounges.

5. Other cards offer more lounge access

If you don’t have a Capital One or Chase card, don’t worry. There are other choices when it comes to airport lounges.

Eligible credit cards from American Express include access to the Global Lounge Collection and a Priority Pass Select membership.

How much of a difference does this make? Here are the additional lounges to which holders of The Platinum Card® from American Express can gain entry:

  • The International American Express Lounges.

  • Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta).

  • Plaza Premium lounges.

  • Airspace lounges.

  • Lufthansa Business and Senator lounges.

  • Select Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Chase and Capital One have also been growing their networks of private lounges. However, they’re much more limited than the American Express Centurion Lounge network.

Terms apply.

6. Limited passes are an option, too

What if you don’t travel enough to justify the cost of a full Priority Pass membership? You could pay for the mid-tier membership, which costs $329 per year and includes 10 complimentary visits annually.

Or, you could get a less-expensive credit card offering similar benefits at a much lower price. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, for example, charges a $150 annual fee but provides 10 free Priority Pass visits per year. Note: existing cardholders who enrolled in Priority Pass on or before Jan. 31, 2023 will no longer have a membership as of Feb. 1, 2024. Cardholders who enroll between Feb. 1, 2023 and Jan. 31, 2024, will continue to have membership through Oct. 31, 2024. Terms apply.

Priority Pass lounges recapped

Priority Pass membership can be a valuable perk if you’re a frequent traveler, especially if you can access lounges through your credit card. However, you’ll want to remember that not all memberships are equal and that each card issuer has its own pros and cons regarding airport lounge access.

Even if you’re only on a plane a few times per year, gaining access to a lounge via Priority Pass may be worth it, especially with memberships available for less than $100 per year.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Airport Lounge Cards from our Partners
Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card

on Citibank's application

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
4.6
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x

Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.

Miles

Intro offer

70,000

Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Miles
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-10x

Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
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