What You Need to Know About Priority Pass Lounges What You Need to Know About Priority Pass Lounges

What You Need to Know About Priority Pass Lounges

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Once upon a time, there was an exclusive area of the airport that only the most elite flyers could visit. These little sanctuaries were known as lounges. The rest of us common folk were forced to sit on hard chairs and sometimes even sleep on the airport floor while suffering through blaring overhead announcements. But then along came something called Priority Pass, and everything changed.

What is Priority Pass?

Priority Pass is the company that brings together a massive network of lounges — currently over 1,300 around the world. The majority of these are traditional airport lounges. But Priority Pass also includes access to restaurants and experiences, such as sleep pods, work spaces, and game rooms.

Unlike other lounge access options, you don't need to be flying a specific airline or cabin class to access these Priority Pass lounges. All you need is your Priority Pass membership.

A photo of two chairs with a red lamp in between in an airport lounge.
Credit: Priority Pass

There are three levels of paid Priority Pass memberships:

  • Priority Pass Standard: $99 per year. Member visit fee is $35/Guest visit fee is $35.
  • Priority Pass Standard Plus: $329 per year. Members receive 10 free visits, then $35/Guest visit fee is $35.
  • Priority Pass Prestige: $469 per year. Member visits are always free/Guest visit fee is $35.

Related: Free Meals, Spa Treatments, Nap Rooms, Even Swimming Pools with Priority Pass

And then there's Priority Pass Select. This is a membership option available exclusively to members of certain financial institutions, provided as a benefit on credit cards. Some of the most popular banks that offer Priority Pass Select are Chase, American Express, and Capital One. However, plenty of other domestic and international banks also offer Priority Pass Select as a perk.

Priority Pass Lounge Access By Credit Card

Several U.S.-based credit cards offer some level of Priority Pass Select membership to cardholders. Here's a list summarizing some of the top cards and their respective benefits, fees, and additional guest policies:

Credit CardComplimentary Cardholder AccessNumber of Free Guests (when allowed by the location)Digital Priority Pass CardCard Annual FeeAuthorized User Lounge AccessAuthorized User Fee
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite Credit CardUnlimited lounge access - No F&B credits at non-lounge restaurants, bars, and eateries2 guestsYes$550Can gift access to three other people - don't have to be AUs$0
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardUnlimited lounge access - No F&B credits at non-lounge restaurants, bars, and eateriesUnlimitedYes$395Yes$0 (up to four authorized users)
Capital One Venture X BusinessUnlimited lounge access2 guestsYes$395No$0
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Unlimited lounge access2 guestsYes$550Yes$75
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® CardUnlimited lounge access - No F&B credits at non-lounge restaurants, bars, and eateries
(Enrollment Required)
2 guestsYes$650 - Rates & FeesNo$0 - Rates & Fees
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressUnlimited lounge access - No F&B credits at non-lounge restaurants, bars, and eateries
(Enrollment Required)
2 guestsYes$695 - Rates & FeesYes$195 for each additional Platinum Card for Authorized Users - Rates & Fees
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressUnlimited lounge access - No F&B credits at non-lounge restaurants, bars, and eateries
(Enrollment Required)
2 guestsYes$695 - Rates & FeesYes$300 - Rates & Fees
The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit CardUnlimited lounge accessUnlimited (as far as we've found)Yes$450Yes$0
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card8 free passes per year, then $35 per visitLounge passes can be used for guests or primary cardholder. $35 per visit after all passes used.No$400No$0
Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit CardUnlimited lounge access for the primary cardholder.$35 per guestYes$400Can gift access to one other person - doesn't have to be AU$95
Citi Prestige® CardUnlimited lounge access2 guests or immediate familyYes$495Yes$75

Related: Credit Cards for Airport Lounge Access

Note that you must enroll for Priority Pass (through a link or referral code provided by your credit card issuer) to access Priority Pass lounges. Simply showing your credit card at the entrance doesn't provide access.

Benefits Included in Priority Pass Lounges

As mentioned above, the Priority Pass network includes over 1,300 lounges throughout 600 cities around the world. Having Priority Pass Select means you can access most of these for free, receive significant discounts on dining, and more.

Priority Pass airport lounges

Airport lounge access is the highlight of Priority Pass for many. With just the (figurative) wave of your card, you can enter any lounge within the network and enjoy the unique amenities and services they offer. Some even have spa treatments included! Other benefits included at many, but not all, airports are:

  • Complimentary refreshments, potentially including alcoholic beverages
  • Private or semi-private workspaces
  • Free Wi-Fi and charging options
  • Comfortable seating and quiet spaces
  • Rooms designed specifically for families
  • Conference rooms, showers, and other facilities
  • Access to retail, dining, and sleeping options, depending on the airports
a world map with icons for how many Priority Pass locations are on that continent
Numbers of Priority Pass locations per continent. Credit: Priority Pass

To check if an airport has a lounge and what your options are, you can hop on the Priority Pass website or download the app. The app is particularly convenient as you can access your digital pass there, as well.

Priority Pass restaurants

In addition to traditional airport lounges, Priority Pass also partners with several airport restaurants around the world. Eligible Priority Pass members can use their membership to receive a credit towards their meal. At most restaurant locations, you receive up to $28 off of your final bill.

You are generally limited to one additional guest per cardholder — meaning you can usually get up to $56 off the bill. But check the terms and conditions carefully to see what the guest access policy is at each specific location. Others may provide a set menu, so it's important to know what's included and what isn't.

Note that Priority Pass memberships from American Express and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card no longer include restaurants and non-lounge experiences.

With that said, only five credit cards currently offer full Priority Pass memberships, including restaurant benefits:

And below is the list of Priority Pass restaurant locations, plus the benefit you can receive at each:

City/AirportRestaurant Name + LocationSpecial Conditions
Baltimore, MD (BWI)Harbor Grille - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Boston, MA (BOS)Stephanie's - Terminal B
Stephanie's - Terminal E
• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Cleveland, OH (CLE)Bar Symon - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Denver, CO (DEN)Mercantile Dining and Provision - Concourse A
SweetWater Mountain Taphouse - Concourse B
• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Detroit, MI (DTW)Anitas Kitchen - Warren C. Evans Terminal• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)Kafe Kalik - Terminal 4• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Houston, TX (IAH)Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar - Terminal A
Landry's Seafood - Terminal C
• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Indianapolis, IN (IND)The Fan Zone - Concourse B• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Miami, FL (MIA)Corona Beach House - Concourse D• Receive US$30 off the bill per guest (max $60)
• 18% gratuity is automatically added to the final bill
• Excludes 'To-Go' Orders
Nashville, TN (BNA)400 Degrees Hot Chicken - Concourse C• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
• Excludes "To-Go" Orders
New York, NY (JFK)Bobby Van's Steakhouse - Terminal Eight• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Portland, OR (PDX)Capers Cafe Le Bar - Concourse C
Westward Whiskey - Concourse C
Capers Market - Concourse D
• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Capers Market & Capers Cafe Le Bar Additional Conditions
• Excludes bottle sales & merchandise
Providence, RI (PVD)Providence Provisions Kitchen - Near Gate 15• Receive US$30 off the bill per guest
San Diego, CA (SAN)PGA Tour Grill - Terminal 2• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
San Francisco, CA (SFO)Lark Creek Grill - Terminal 2
Giants Clubhouse - Terminal 3
Yankee Pier - Terminal 3
Mustards Bar & Grill - Terminal G
• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
• Limit 1 guest
Seattle, WA (SEA)Brewtop Social - Central Terminal
Ninth & Pike Artisan Kitchen - Concourse C
Bambuza - North Satellite
• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
St. Louis, MO (STL)The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer - Terminal 2• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
• Free Wi-Fi is limited to 20 minutes
Syracuse, NY (SYR)Johnny Rockets - N Terminal B• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Tampa, FL (TPA) The Café by Mise en Place - Airside by Gate F85• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Tuscon, AZ (TUS)Barrio Brewery Co. - Landside 2nd Floor• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
Washington Dulles, VA (IAD)Chef Geoff's - Gate C14• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest - 1 guest allowed
Washington DC (DCA)Bracket Room - Terminal 2
American Tap Room - Terminal 2
• Receive US$28 off the bill per guest
• Limit 1 guest at American Tap Room
London Gatwick, UK (LGW)Tortilla - North Terminal
Juniper & Co. - North Terminal
The Breakfast Club
- North Terminal
Grain Store Café & Bar - South Terminal
• Receive £15 off the bill per guest
London Heathrow, UK (LHR)Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen - Terminal 2
The Oceanic Pub & Kitchen - Terminal 3
The Globe Pub & Kitchen - Terminal 5
• Receive £15 off the bill per guest
London Luton (LTN)Avalon Crafted Coffee
Big Smoke Taphouse & Kitchen
• Receive £15 off the bill per guest
London Stansted (STN)The Camden Bar & Kitchen - Terminal 2• Receive £15 off the bill per guest
Sydney Kingsford Smith, AUS (SYD)Mach2 - Terminal 1
Peroni Bar - Terminal 1
Bistro Bar 2020 - Terminal 2
The Fat Yak - Terminal 2
Bar Roma - Terminal 3
Wok On Air - Terminal 3
• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per guest
Brisbane, AUS (BNE)4 Restaurants Available - Domestic Terminal• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per guest
Gold Coast Coolangatta, AUS (OOL)Wollumbin - Airside - after Security• Receive AUD$36 off the bill per guest
Lima, Peru (LIM)La Bonbonniere - Airside
Bar Bleriot & Lounge - Landside
• Receive US$27 off the bill per guest.
Sao Paulo, BR (GRU)3 Restaurants Available - Terminal 3
Bar Bleriot & Lounge - Terminal 2
• Receive US$27 off the bill per guest.
Singapore (SIN)Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao - Terminal 1
Kaveri Indian Vegetarian - Terminal 2
Chutney Mary Indian Fast Food - Terminal 2
Crystal Jade Go - Terminal 4
• Receive a set menu for the cardholder and one guest maximum. Drinks not included.

Types of Priority Pass Lounges

Here are a few of our favorite Priority Pass lounge types:

  • Minute Suites: Provides a private room complete with a daybed sofa that can transform into a bed. It also offers office space with Wi-Fi and charging stations.
  • Be Relax: Over 40 locations worldwide, but 15 throughout the U.S. and Canada are now Priority Pass eligible. Priority Pass members who have full card-issued membership can receive select services for free.
  • The Club: Located primarily in the United States and the U.K., The Club airport lounges offer complimentary snacks and drinks, free Wi-Fi, charging areas, newspapers and magazines, TV, and workstations in a quiet and comfortable environment. Some lounges even include shower facilities.
  • Plaza Premium: After previously exiting Priority Pass, Plaza Premium lounges rejoined in June 2023. These 130+ lounges vary significantly by location, but you'll find drinks, light snacks, and Wi-Fi at all of them, plus showers and sit-down dining at select locations.
  • Airline-operated lounges: Many foreign (and some U.S.) airlines allow access to their own lounges with a Priority Pass membership. Examples include Virgin Atlantic, KLM–Air France, Lufthansa, Turkish, and more.
  • Independent lounges: Other independent, single-location lounges are also included. Amenities and benefits vary by location. A few examples include IASS Hawaii lounge located in Honolulu (HNL), PGA Lounge at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), and many more.

How to Use Priority Pass

Priority Pass lounge card

Enrollment is usually required to get your Priority Pass Select benefit from a credit card. Make sure that you enroll well before you plan to use your membership as your Priority Pass Select card is generally sent via snail mail.

Download the Priority Pass app and sign in for easy lounge access and to find which locations are available to you. In most cases, you'll need to present your physical Priority Pass card for entry, though you may be able to enter with just the credit card through which you have membership. To be on the safe side, always have your physical card. Some locations will accept your digital membership card, available in the app. When looking at lounges to find their locations and amenities, you'll see “Digital Card” if this is accepted as proof of membership.

When using your Priority Pass Select card with restaurant benefits, you'll present your card at the restaurant before you order — sometimes even before you sit down.

And lastly, guest policies vary from membership to membership, depending on which credit card provides your Priority Pass membership. Make sure to familiarize yourself with your card's policy.

Final Thoughts

The hustle and bustle of airports is never going away. In fact, as travel becomes more and more common, airports will likely get busier and busier.

Having the ability to access lounges thanks to programs like Priority Pass can really enhance the travel experience. What's better than being able to relax and unwind before a big trip or after a long journey?

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

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  • Repeatedly, I am finding I am blocked from entering due to over crowding. Priority Pass should really limit guests.

  • Ritz carlton does not have a digital priority pass card.

  • Following up on Rosario’s comment below, I’d be great if we could have an update on how lounges are operating internationally with all COVID-related restrictions, in terms of capacity, booking requirements, food and beverages offered, etc. Can that information be obtained anywhere? I’ve recently read many experiences in Argentina about passengers being unable to enter Priority lounges for lack of capacity.

    • Thanks for the feedback Veronica. It hasn’t been easy to find reliable information about individual lounges. So far, I’ve had decent luck with lounge buddy in terms of what is open/closed, but I haven’t seen any resources that address capacity or what features are accessible in real-time.

  • I had a paying Priority Pass subscription but I have cancelled it for the following reasons:
    – less trips
    – some lounges are still closed
    – the majority of the lounges now have some limited services (especially very reduced food choice).

    • On the food front, I hope the lounges and visitors follow the science in the sense that I don’t believe we’ve seen many cases at all of surface/ food transmission of Covid. I totally get why food would be an initial safety concern. But, if transmission is overwhelmingly airborne, I hope the lougnes reflect that and regain some confidence around providing food in a thoughtful manner.

  • Aurelio Fernandez Darritchon says:

    Great info!

  • I had gotten the aspire hilton card and have yet to use this benefit. I am eager to finally try this out! But it does make me wonder if I still need the aspire card if I am not traveling right now.

  • It’s good to have such a great way for lounge access around the world, as it’s pretty convenient during domestic or international travels. As lounges are currently reopening, it’s intriguing to utilize these offers provided. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sorry, but I think the list of the restaurants you provided here is most likely outdated.

    Speaking of LAX
    – P.F. Chang’s in TBIT have left the PP back in 2019 (we visited it in October, and they were out by December),
    – Rock & Brews in T1 is closed as a restaurant right now (due to COVID)… they are open only as a bar, which is not a part of PP. I also asked them and they are not sure if they will re-join the PP network when they re-open.

    So, as of now LAX has no PP restaurants.

  • Great list of cards with associated fees that offer access. Hilton card for 95 a year with 10 passes is a great deal. Fairly easy to get 10 of value out of a PP lounge if your airport has one.

  • Priority Pass is still my favourite third party lounge access

  • So here’sa question. Which has more value? The Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ritz Carlton? Just looking at the chart above the Ritz seems more affordable if you have another authorized user. It’s $100 cheaper on the annual fee. But I know the CSR is more popular. I currently have the CSR now but wondering.

  • Accessing a lounge at the airport makes the difference in a trip of many hours or while waiting for a combination flight. Priority pass gives us that opportunity for a better travel experience

  • I didn’t realize that the Priority Pass was only $429 yr (non credit card). I thought it was closer to 6 bills. Once I start traveling more often I may opt for that over one of the high rate cc’s.

  • Unfortunately PP is becoming worthless – with the exception being restaurants if you’re lucky enough to have regular access to one of the few of them. Too many lounges deny entry because they’re too “full” with huge quotes. Don’t they get paid per entry? Why deny people?

  • James Katz says:

    Very helpful article. Having enjoyed the wonderful Icelandair Airport lounge in Reykjavik including showering during a lengthy layover, I’m hooked. This article will help me choose the best rewards card for lounge access when my air travelling resumes . As an occasional traveller, Hilton Honors pass looks intriguing. Thanks!

  • Are lounges more crowded because of the wide-spread availability of Priority Pass?

  • I love priority pass, have had it since I started my CSR and its great for world travel!

  • This can be a good benefit if you travel frequently and have a primary city with a participating restaurant.

  • Thank you for the information. I need to fly more!!!

  • They need to add more AS lounges.

  • I always fly to cities with no lounges or restaurants included in Priority Pass. Or they are in a different terminal.

  • Very useful information, thanks for gathering all this

  • This says the Ritz card is only two guests but over and over its been printed elsewhere its unlimited guests (as long as the lounge allows it)

  • I wish Priority Pass lounges were more widely available in the USA.

  • PenFed Credit Union’s Pathfinder Rewards Visa also comes with a free Priority Pass membership.

  • Great to see more and more lounges have reopened in the US.