Earn Alaska Airlines lounge membership (almost) with a card you probably already have

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Many U.S. carriers issue airline credit cards with high fees that gain you access to their proprietary airport lounges. Not so with Alaska Airlines. There’s no premium Alaska credit card that gives you run of the Alaska lounge network.

Perhaps that’s because Alaska doesn’t have the sheer number of spaces provided by other airlines. It’s got a measly grand total of seven. Still, that doesn’t prevent Alaska from charging $450 annually for a membership! But guess what: If you’ve been playing the miles and points game for a while, you’ve almost certainly had access to the vast majority of Alaska Airlines lounges at some point through the Priority Pass program.

However, the airline began removing some of its lounges from Priority Pass in 2019. Fortunately, that’s changed since Alaska has recently added three of its lounges back to the Priority Pass network.

Alaska Airlines lounge in Seattle. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines lounges

With Priority Pass, you get access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide. And if you hold one of the best cards for lounge access, you can get a free Priority Pass Select membership for free. This membership comes with unlimited visits, as well as guest privileges. And currently, you’ve got access to five of seven Alaska Airlines lounges.

Alaska Airlines lounges seem to be perpetually pushing around the revolving door of the Priority Pass lounge network; some enter, others leave. Rinse and repeat.

Currently, however, you can visit the following Alaska Airlines lounge locations:

The first three of these lounges have re-entered the Priority Pass network within the last few months, according to One Mile at a Time — perhaps the rest (all located in Seattle) will again rejoin soon enough! And while this is great news for those who frequent the above airports, it’s hard to forget our previous experiences trying to use Priority Pass to enter Alaska lounges. Erratic would be a good adjective.

Alaska lounges reserve the right to deny you entrance if there is restricted capacity (as all lounges do), but they seemed to have particular contempt for Priority Pass cardholders in the past. I’ve not been to an Alaska lounge since the above locations have reentered Priority Pass, but I’m hoping that it will be easier to enter them now. Since the number of flyers in the air is less than half of what it was last year, you’ll likely have an easier time entering an Alaska lounge in 2021.

Overall, this is a net positive for Priority Pass’ U.S. lounge network, which was somewhat limited compared to its overseas offerings.

Best credit cards for Priority Pass lounge access

There are a ton of credit cards that offer Priority Pass membership as one of their benefits. Check out the list below to see which one works best for you.

CardGuest privilegesAnnual feeMembership for authorized users
Chase Sapphire Reserve®– Up to two complimentary guests
– $27 for additional guests
$550Yes, $75 per authorized user
The Platinum Card® from American Express– Up to two complimentary guests
– $32 for additional guests
Enrollment required for select benefits.
$695 (see rates and fees)Yes, $175 per authorized user (see rates and fees)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card– 10 complimentary visits annually
– Each guests counts as one visit
Enrollment required for select benefits.
$95 (see rates and fees)No
Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express– Up to two complimentary guests
– $32 for additional guests
Enrollment required for select benefits.
$450 (see rates and fees)No
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card– Up to two complimentary guests
– $32 for additional guests
Enrollment required for select benefits.
$450 (see rates and fees)No
The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card (card no longer available for new applicants)– Unlimited free guests$450Yes, no fee
Citi Prestige® Card– Up to two guests (or immediate family, defined as spouse, domestic partner and/or children under 18)
– $27 for additional guests
$550Yes, $175 per authorized user

The information for the Hilton Aspire card, Chase Ritz-Carlton Credit Card, Hilton Surpass, and the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines lounges are slowly making their way back into the Priority Pass fold. Five in, two to go. Alaska’s airport lounges are above average for a Priority Pass lounge, so this is welcome news when traveling through West Coast hubs.

Let us know what you think of the news! And subscribe to our newsletter for more posts like this delivered to your inbox once per day,

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here
For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Surpass, click here
For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Aspire, click here
For rates and fees of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, click here

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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