The American Express Platinum Card, Citi Prestige Card, and other premium credit cards include a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that provides access to various airport lounges. Exact benefits depend on how you get the card. For example:
- The Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass provides a free Priority Pass Select membership, but you need to pay $27 per person (including yourself) to actually enter a club.
- The Amex Platinum Card provides a free membership, but the cardholder can enter for free. Guests are still $27 per person. I recommend that you make regular guests an authorized user on the Platinum Card so they can request their own free membership.
- The Citi Prestige Card provides a free membership and both the cardholder and the first two guests are complimentary.
You can buy a comparable membership directly from Priority Pass without the credit card go-between, but I don’t recommend it. The top membership level costs $399 and still only the primary member can enter for free. You may as well get the Amex Platinum Card or Citi Prestige Card and all the other benefits associated with those credit cards.
I use my Priority Pass membership to access the Alaska Airlines Board Room. I don’t even need to be flying Alaska that day. Plaza Premium also has some good lounges in Vancouver and throughout Asia. You can learn more about exact lounges available in each destination.
But the problem I face is that I often forget to bring my card with me. Now Priority Pass has revamped their website and produced a new mobile app that includes the card information. This means you can quickly pull up your card on the go when you need to get into a lounge. Some of my best opportunities to use Priority Pass have been in smaller airports or when flying on carriers that don’t have a big enough presence to operate their own lounge (e.g., flying Delta out of Singapore). Packing a menu of frequent flyer cards and lounge membership cards is not a high priority for me when preparing before a trip.
If you already have a Priority Pass Select card, you will need to have the number available and then create an online account. Once you have an account, download the mobile app and log in to display your card information and a unique barcode that you can display when you enter. (HT Head for Points)