Priority Pass Benefits – More Than Just Lounges

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Lounge access can revolutionize the way you travel. Layovers are inevitable if traveling to all but the biggest destinations, and having somewhere to stretch out, grab a bite to eat, recharge your electronics, and enjoy a moment of peace and quiet can make a huge difference to your travel experience. With access to a good lounge, it doesn’t matter which cabin you’re flying; you’ll get the chance to rest up and enjoy first-class facilities before flying.

In recent years, lounge access has been added to many premium travel-focused credit cards. The access varies by card. The Platinum Card® from American Express provides access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Club, Airspace, select Lufthansa Lounges, and Priority Pass lounges.

Co-brand cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® only provide access to the airline's lounge, in this case, Admirals Club. Then there cards like the Citi Prestige® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offer access to just the Priority Pass lounge network.

priority-pass-1000-lounges

By far the most common lounge access grants entry to the Priority Pass network. Numbering over 1,000 member lounges spread all over the globe, Priority Pass is the largest independently operated lounge network in the world. But, did you know that Priority Pass doesn’t just offer lounge access?

That’s right. Priority Pass has been quietly adding new features to its existing lounge network and now counts a dozen or so restaurants in different locations, a spa in London, and Minute Suites in three airports in the US amongst other benefits you may not know exist.

Credit Cards with Complimentary Priority Pass Membership

The table below lists our favorite credit cards with complimentary Priority Pass memberships and the guest policies for each. For more information, we dig into more detail in our introduction to Priority Pass.

Credit CardComplimentary Cardholder AccessNumber of Free GuestsDigital Priority Pass CardCard Annual FeeAuthorized User Lounge AccessAuthorized User Fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Unlimited2 guestsYes$450Yes$75
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit CardUnlimitedNo limit - Lounges can limit the number of guests at their discretion Yes$450Yes$0
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressUnlimited2 guestsYes$550 - Rates & FeesYes$175 total for first 3 AU's then $175 each - Rates & Fees
The Business Platinum® Card from American ExpressUnlimited2 guestsYes$595 -
Rates & Fees
Yes$300 - See Rates & Fees
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire CardUnlimited2 guestsYes$450No$0
Citi Prestige® CardUnlimited2 guests or immediate familyYes$450Yes$50
Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit CardUnlimitedNo limit - Lounges can limit the number of guests at their discretion Yes$400Can gift access to one other person - doesn't have to be AU
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card10x free passes then $27 per person$27 per guestYes$95 - Rates & FeesNoN/A
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card4x free passes then $27 per visit1 guest free for first 4 visits, then $27 per visitNo$400No$75

Wine and Dine with Priority Pass

One of the coolest features of Priority Pass membership is the addition of restaurants and to-go joints outside of airport lounges. Places where you can grab food and drink to the value of about $28 per person, depending on the country and specific guest privileges of your card. These locations are outside the lounge network but still within the airports themselves providing dining (and drinking) options without having to enter a lounge. Bonus tip: If you're in an airport with multiple locations, you can visit each of them!

MoVida Sydney Airport

Below are the current locations that allow you to charge food and drink directly to your Priority Pass membership.

City/AirportRestaurant Name + LocationSpecial Conditions
BOS - Boston, USStephanie's - Terminal B
Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill - Terminal C
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Cardholders and guests are required to show an Outbound Departure Boarding Pass with confirmed same-day travel
CLT - Charlotte, USMinute Suites - Main Atrium• Complimentary 1 hour stay for the cardholder + 3 guests in same suite
DCA - Washington, USBracket Room - Terminal B
American Tap Room - Terminal C
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Cardholders and guests are required to show an Outbound Departure Boarding Pass with confirmed same-day travel
• Limit 1 Guest at American Tap Room
CLE - Cleveland, USBar Symon - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
DEN - Denver, USTimberline Steaks & Grille - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Cardholders and Guests must show a DEN Outbound Departure Boarding Pass with confirmed same-day travel
• Dine-in only and dessert restrictions apply
• Excludes ‘To-Go Orders’ and 'D Bar French Macarons'
GSP - Greenville–Spartanburg, USRJ Rockers Flight Room - Concourse B• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
IAH - Houston, USCadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar - Gate A17
Landry's Seafood - Gate C42
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest - 1 guest allowed
IAD - Washington DC, USChef Geoff's - Gate C14• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest - 1 guest allowed
IND - Indianapolis, USThe Fan Zone - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
LAX - Los Angeles, USRock & Brews - Terminal 1 - Gate 11B
P.F. Chang's - TBIT - Mezzanine Level
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest ($30 at P.F. Chang's)
LEX - Lexington, USKentucky Ale Taproom - Concourse B (next to entrance)• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Only valid for domestic flights
MIA - Miami, USCorona Beach House - Concourse D• Receive US$30 off the bill per Guest
• 18% gratuity is automatically added to the final bill
• Free Wi-Fi is limited to 45 minutes
MIA - Miami, USViena - Landside - Concourse E
Air margaritaville - Landside - Concourse E
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
JFK - New York, USBobby Van's Steakhouse - Terminal Eight• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest. Limit 1 guest.
PDX - Portland, USCapers Cafe Le Bar - Concourse C
House Spirits Distillery - Concourse C
Capers Market - Concourse D
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
Capers Market & Capers Cafe Le Bar Additional Conditions
• Cardholders and guests are required to show an Outbound Departure Boarding Pass with confirmed same-day travel
• Excludes bottle sales & merchandise
SFO - San Francisco, USGiants Clubhouse - Terminal 3
Yankee Pier - Terminal 3
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Limit 1 Guest
STL - St Louis, USThe Pasta House - Terminal One
The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer - Terminal Two
• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
• Free Wi-Fi is limited to 20 minutes
SYR - Syracuse, NY, USAJohnny Rockets - Concourse B• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
TPA - Tampa, FL, USA The Café by Mise en Place - Airside by Gate F85• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
TUS - Tuscon, AZ, USANoble Hops - Landside 2nd Floor• Receive US$28 off the bill per Guest
HEL - Helsinki, FIFly Inn Restaurant - Terminal 2• Selection of Menu Items
LGW - London Gatwick, UKGrain Store Café & Bar - South Terminal• Receive £15 off the bill per Guest
SYD - Sydney Kingsford Smith, AUSBetter Burger - Terminal 1
Mach2 - Terminal 1
Peroni Bar - Terminal 1
Bistro 2020 & Bar - Terminal 2
Movida - Terminal 2
Bar Roma - Terminal 3
Wok On Air - Terminal 3
• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per Guest
BNE - Brisbane, AUSBar Roma - Domestic Terminal
Graze Grill & Bar - Domestic Terminal
Corretto Cafe & Bar - International Terminal
• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per Guest
OOL - Gold Coast Coolangatta, AUSVelocity Expresso & Bar - Airside - Domestic Departure Area, after Security, near Gate 3.
• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per Guest
GRU - Sao Paulo, BRLa Bonbonniere - Landside
Bar Bleriot & Lounge - Airside - after Passport Control
• Receive US$27 off the bill per Guest.
LIM - Lima, PeruLa Bonbonniere - Airside
Bar Bleriot & Lounge - Landside
• Receive US$27 off the bill per Guest.

Bar Roma Brisbane Airport

How Does the Dining Credit Work at Restaurants?

Simply choose food and drinks to the value allowed at that location; the exact dollar amount will vary slightly by locale. You can certainly spend more, but you are responsible for paying the difference.

When it’s time to pay, have the cashier swipe your Priority Pass card rather than your credit card. Guests are eligible too, as long as your Priority Pass membership offers guesting privileges, i.e., if you have the Sapphire Reserve you could technically supply unlimited people with $28 credits towards food and drink. If you have the Prestige Card, you can bring two guests (or your immediate family) as this is the guest policy for that particular membership.

Get Pampered at a Spa or Catch a Few Hours Sleep in Transit

Restaurants aren’t the only perk added to the Priority Pass network. When transiting through Dubai, you can now take advantage of the Sleep ’N Fly Pods in Terminal 3 (Concourse A). The pods are equipped with a flatbed, fold away table, chargers for various electronics, and storage for bags. You can only stay between two and three hours, but any respite from a busy international terminal is going to help.

The Sleep 'N Fly pods in Dubai
The Sleep ‘N Fly pods in Dubai

Priority Pass has also added ‘Minute Suites’ facilities in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Dallas. You’ll get an hour free and then a reduced rate of $28 per hour after that. The Minute Suites are great if you need quiet to concentrate on work or some privacy. There is room for two to sleep and Minute Suites supplies bedding, a workstation, and a sound masking system to neutralize noise. If you happen to have multiple Priority Pass memberships, you could try to piggyback your stay across them as well.

In addition to the seven lounges already available at London Heathrow, Priority Pass members can access the Aspire Lounge & Spa in Terminal 5. While the lounge itself isn’t uber luxurious, you gain access to the Bliss Spa without forking over the required £40 to get in the door. You need to pay out-of-pocket for specific pre-flight spa treatments, but the Rest Pod sleeping area up the far end of the lounge is included in the admission fee (need to book the pods at reception upon entering).

Hotel Discounts and Rental Car Status

Note: The IHG discount and Avis rental car benefits are not available to Priority Pass Select members (all complimentary Priority Pass memberships offered with credit cards are ‘Select' memberships). They only apply to paid memberships.

Other features of Priority Pass that appear relatively unknown include receiving discounts of up to 30% at IHG Hotels by logging in through the Priority Pass membership portal, and members can join the AVIS Preferred Plus program and get priority service, upgrades, add a free additional driver, and receive a voucher for a free weekend in Europe after your third rental.

These benefits aren't groundbreaking by any means, but when you take them all into account, they add another layer of value to a Priority Pass membership that most members reading this post will have received as a complimentary credit card perk.

Final Thoughts

Lounge access without having to fly in premium cabins is one of the best evolutions in credit card benefits over the past decade; it truly changes the way you travel and makes the layover/pre-flight experience one to enjoy rather than endure. The ability to charge food and drinks to your Priority Pass card at select cafes, restaurants, and bars is icing on the cake and a benefit we hope to see them expand.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (Rates & Fees), The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

Priority Pass Benefits – More Than Just Lounges
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