Fine print, Living with credit, Travel

My Priority Pass is an even sweeter card perk now

John Egan

Priority Pass, a perk on a handful of premium credit cards, is expanding outside airport lounges. That means Priority Pass – a benefit that I recently learned is available through my American Express Platinum card –  is an even sweeter deal.

Other credit cards offering Priority Pass include: Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express Hilton Honors AscendCiti PrestigeChase Ritz Carlton RewardsMastercard Black or Mastercard Gold.


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Airport lounges and more

If your credit card perks include Priority Pass membership, you get complimentary access at 1,000 Priority Pass airport lounges in 130 countries. And I can bring along a guest at no charge.

As my colleague Tony Mecia wrote in March, Priority Pass has expanded its perks to a dozen or so restaurants in airports and even rent-by-the hour in-airport hotels where tired travelers can nap.

For example, if I fly back to St. Louis (where I lived for three years), my pass will cover meals for a friend and me at The Pasta House Company in the airport. And if I need a nap during a layover, my pass will let me snooze for a bit – for free – at Minute Suites.

Although I might not take advantage of my Priority Pass benefits anytime soon, it’s nice to know they’re there.

And that’s the beauty of credit card perks: Their perks are there when you need them. In the case of Priority Pass access, there’s no extra charge, but you do have to enroll your card in the program.

Note: Don’t leave enrolling to the last minute before your big trip. As Priority Pass points out: “Upon receipt of your enrollment information, Priority Pass will send your Priority Pass card and membership package which you should receive within four to six weeks.”

Know your credit card perks

So, what’s the takeaway from my discovery of Priority Pass? You should be aware of all of the perks on your credit cards, particularly if you pay an annual fee for that card. I admit it: I was guilty of failing to do that.

Now I’m looking forward to unlocking the benefits of my Priority Pass.

AmEx explains that Priority Pass “allows you to relax before or in between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.”

For anyone who flies even semi-regularly, the quiet, comfortable setting of an airport lounge is a godsend, especially if you’re on a long layover during international travel.

Comforts of home all around the world

Among the U.S. lounges available to Priority Pass cardholders are facilities at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport, both in my home state of Texas; McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas; New York’s JFK International Airport; San Francisco International Airport; and Los Angeles International Airport.

Outside the U.S., you get access to airport lounges in far-flung spots like Brisbane, Australia; Kiev, Ukraine; Nairobi, Kenya; Osaka, Japan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Stockholm, Sweden.

While none of those international destinations are in my short-term or long-term travel plans, it’s nice to know that if I’m ever at the Kiev airport, I’ll be able to put up my feet, check my email and spend some time at a home away from home.

As they might say in Russian, Там нет места, как дома. Translation: There’s no place like home.

See related: How does Priority Pass airline lounge access work?Hidden card benefit: Save money and sanity in airport lounges, Premium card perk: Access to airport lounges, Are you a VIP jerk? 10 things NOT to do in airport lounges,

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  • Jerry

    “Kiev, Russia” is wrong on so so many levels.

    • Hi, Jerry. That was updated. Thanks for your note.