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A Priority Pass membership can get you into 1,200+ airport lounges around the world and the program is constantly expanding. It’s definitely the most comprehensive lounge membership you can get. And it’ll get you access to more lounges than any other single airport lounge membership you can get just for opening a credit card.
But access to airport lounges isn’t the only perk you can get with your membership. I’ll share with you the other benefits and explain your options for getting a Priority Pass membership.
5 Priority Pass Benefits Other Than Airport Lounge Access
There are two main ways to get a Priority Pass membership: Pay cash or get a credit card that includes membership as a perk.
Here is what you’ll pay per year for a membership if you decide to pay cash:
- Standard – $99, both member and guest visits cost $32
- Standard Plus – $299, comes with 10 free visits for the member, then $32 per visit and $32 per guest
- Prestige – $429, comes with unlimited free visits for the member and $32 per guest
Occasionally, Priority Pass will offer discounted memberships for as much as 40% off. And you can often find discounts codes or deals for memberships on sites like Groupon or Living Social.
But most of you will be better off getting the Priority Pass membership that comes with a credit card. Here are your options:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – $450 annual fee with unlimited free visits for the cardholder and 2 guests
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express – $595 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) with unlimited free visits for the cardholder and 2 guests
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) with unlimited free visits for the cardholder and 2 guests
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card – $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) 10 free visits per year
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) 10 free visits per year
- U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card – $400 annual fee with 4 free visits for the cardholder and 1 guest per year
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express – $450 annual fee with unlimited visits for cardholder and 2 guests (free of charge)
- Citi Prestige® Credit Card – $495 annual fee with unlimited free visits for the cardholder and 2 guests or immediate family members
At first glance, it might seem foolish to pay a $400 to $595 annual fee for a card that comes with Priority Pass membership. But if you’re traveling with guests it’s absolutely not because most of the credit card memberships include free guest visits. The Citi Prestige card even allows you to bring more than 2 guests if they are immediate family.
The other consideration that makes obtaining membership through a credit card make sense is that these cards come with all sorts of bonuses, benefits, and perks that help offset the cost of the annual fees.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has an annual $300 travel credit. So the first $300 you spend on travel expenses like hotels, rental cars, flights, or even Uber rides each year is reimbursed. Since you’re essentially prepaying $300 of your yearly travel expenses, all of a sudden the card’s $450 annual ends up only effectively being $150 out of pocket.
Once you’ve decided which Priority Pass membership you want, there are other perks you can get in addition to just access to relaxing airport lounges.
1. Restaurant Credits
It’s not exactly a secret that your Priority Pass membership gets you credit at select airport restaurants. But it’s such a valuable perk it needs to be mentioned – again.
Currently, there are ~30 airport restaurants in the US where you can use your Priority Pass to get a credit toward your meal (not including tip). This credit is usually $28 to $30 per person for up to 2 people, but the terms vary by location. So always double check before ordering.
To take advantage of this benefit, you’ll typically need a valid same-day boarding pass and proof of your Priority Pass membership. If you happen to be in an airport that has more than one Priority Pass restaurant, and you have a membership with unlimited free visits, you can visit them all for free!
2. Minute Suites, Sleeping Pods, and Gameway Access
Aside from restaurants and lounges, there are a few places where your Priority Pass membership grants you access to different boutique airport amenities.
For example, there are Minute Suites, which are small private rooms you can rent out at these airports:
- Dallas-Fort Worth
A 1-hour stay counts as a single Priority Pass visit and you can’t apply more than 1 visit per 24 hours. After the first hour, you’re charged a set hourly price (currently $28) which is charged in 15-minute increments. You can also pay for extras like a shower and they even have discounted rates for 8-hour overnight stays.
That said, the Minute Suites can fill up fast, so I always suggest booking a reservation.
You can also access Sleep Pods at the Dubai airport. For a single lounge visit, you’ll get 2 to 3 hours (depending on the time of day) in a pod and access to a shower.
If you’re Passing through the Dallas-Fort Worth airport you can now use your Priority Pass to visit the Gameway video game lounges and get 2 hours of complimentary game time, 2 snacks, and a drink. A 2-hour gaming session normally costs $35.
3. Priority Pass Offers
Once you have a Priority Pass membership, you can log in to your account on the website or through the app to view your Priority Pass Offers.
These offers are discounts for purchases from various airport stores. These discounts typically aren’t large enough to offset the high prices you’ll pay at the airport, but if you need to pick up something in a pinch they’re nice to have.
To learn more about how to use them, check out our step-by-step guide to using the Priority Pass app.
4. IHG Discounts
According to the Priority Pass website, you can use your membership to get discounts of up to 30% at IHG Hotels through the Priority Pass membership portal. The discount varies depending on the hotel, so I’m sure that it’s often a much smaller discount.
Once you login to the Priority Pass member portal, add your membership number. The discount will be applied to the total when you’re checking out. Just remember, this is likely considered a 3rd-party booking site by IHG so it’s unlikely you’ll receive any elite perks for your stay.
5. Avis Rental Car Perks
You’ll also get Avis Preferred Plus elite status for free.
This gets you perks like a single class upgrade (when available), free additional driver, and a voucher for a free weekend in Europe (after your 3rd rental).
Reports online suggest the IHG discount and Avis rental car perks are only valid for paid Priority Pass memberships, not the type of membership you get with a credit card. But the Priority Pass website isn’t clear, so if you have any experience with them please let me know and I’ll update the information here.
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For rates and fees of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, please click here
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here