The Priority Pass Airport Lounge Sale Is a Sham: Don’t Be Fooled by “40% Off” – There’s a Cheaper Way to Get Access!

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The Priority Pass Airport Lounge Sale Is a Sham:  Don’t Be Fooled by “40% Off” – There’s a Cheaper Way to Get Access!

Harlan VaughnThe Priority Pass Airport Lounge Sale Is a Sham:  Don’t Be Fooled by “40% Off” – There’s a Cheaper Way to Get Access!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Priority Pass has a sale for airport lounge membership with discounts up to 40% off.  But you’ll still pay a $32 copay at the lowest tier, and there are NO plans with free guest access.

On the surface, it looks enticing.  But if you want regular, unlimited airline lounge access, do yourself a favor and open the right credit card.  The annual fees include Priority Pass lounge visits – and there are many to choose from including:

Once you run the numbers, you’ll agree these cards are a better deal than the Priority Pass “sale.”

Here I Am Enjoying a Free Meal and Old Fashioned at Landry’s in the Houston Airport. I Get Priority Pass Airport Lounge Membership Included With My Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Let’s take a look!

Priority Pass Airport Lounge Membership Sale

Priority Pass has 3 membership tiers.  Right now, they’re all discounted so you can take advantage of 1,200+ airport lounge locations all over the globe.

$59 a Year Sounds Like a Deal for a Year of Lounge Access at the Lowest Tier, Until You Realize You’ll STILL Pay $64 for Yourself and a Guest for Each Visit

I’ve been to Priority Pass lounges in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dallas, Lima, Mexico City, Nadi, New York, and many other places.  I’ve even brought guests and never paid a thin dime for any of it, other than the annual fee on the credit card that got me access.

Membership has grown to include certain airport restaurants, and I’ve already dined for free in Houston and Portland.  So it’s certainly useful, especially if you fly coach or don’t have airline elite status (I haven’t had status in years).

But this latest sale isn’t worth it. 

Compare Priority Pass Membership to Credit Card Fees

Link:   The Best Credit Cards With Lounge Access

At the low end, you’ll pay $59 (a 40% discount) and then $32 for each visit.  The $223 middle tier gets you 10 free visits, then you’ll pay $32 for each.  And the $321 highest level gets you free unlimited visits, but you’ll still pay $32 for each guest!

Compare those prices to these cards that all come with Priority Pass visits as part of the annual fees:

So if you want at least 10 visits a year, pick up the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express  or The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card for a $95 annual fee.  You’ll also get Hilton Gold elite status that gets you free breakfast, late checkout, and upgrades when available at Hilton hotels.  Either card is a better deal than the first two Priority Pass membership levels, especially if you travel alone.

Team Member Jasmin Travels With Kids, so Having a Premium Credit Card for Priority Pass Lounges Is a MUCH Better Deal

And if you bring guests or want more visits, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve which comes with unlimited visits for yourself and 2 guests.  You’ll also get:

  • $300 annual credit every cardmember anniversary for travel purchases including airfare and hotels
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • Great rewards earning rates
  • Amazing travel insurance

Once you run the numbers and consider you’ll pay $32 per guest no matter which Priority Pass membership level you pay for, it’s clear that getting 1 credit card for regular access is much more cost-effective.  Not to mention all the other card benefits you’ll get!

Here’s more information about the best credit cards for airport lounge access.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Ascend Card, please click here.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

More Info

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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I’d like to get the HH Ascend for free hotel night and Priority Pass. Credit 800+. Amex discouraged me from continuing with the application 2 months ago with a message generally stating that ‘Amex probably won’t approve you based on your previous usage of Amex products – do you want to continue with application?’ I didn’t. (I assume the response regarded limited usage after initial spend – both Delta and SPG in the last two years)

The Delta card renews middle of January and I will probably drop it as I don’t feel I’m getting value at $195/yr when I don’t use the companion fare voucher. Tactically, would it be more likely to get the Ascend before cancelling the Delta card or after? Any ideas?

I didn’t realize they still sold it in the USA. It used to be a different version than the one you get from the credit card. Now that US Airways no longer exists, Delta and United dropped out a few years ago. Those lounges could not be used by those who had membership through financial institutions.

I can’t imagine they get many people who pay for the membership through the priority pass website. I certainly don’t know of anyone who has paid.

Still waiting for answer why they closed lounge at jet blue in JFK. What other lounge I can use at that terminal?


There are no other lounges in T5 @ JFK. You’ll have to go to another terminal – the closest is the Wingtips Lounge in T4.