*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Sep 16, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
If you’re looking for a way to transcend the chaos of a busy airport, Priority Pass membership gets you access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide as you wait to board your flight. But when it comes to access in the United States, the pickings are a little slim, as it’s definitely more of a Europe and Asia region-centric network.
Priority Pass lounges provide travelers with a space to rest, work, eat or drink while they wait in the airport. Many offer Wi-Fi at no cost, alcohol and food so you have some of the creature comforts of home while on the go. Priority Pass members may also have access to other perks, such as retail and spa discounts in the airport as well as other lounge experiences such as entertainment stations. There are locations at 39 airports in the U.S., so you’ll find a lounge at most destinations, but many are in terminals designed for international travelers, so they can be hard or sometimes impossible to reach if you’re flying domestic.
The cost of membership varies based on the frequency with which you use it. The Standard membership plan is geared toward occasional travelers. For $99 per year, you pay $32 each time you or a guest visits a lounge. The Standard Plus membership plan costs $299 per year and you get 10 no cost lounge visits before paying $32 per visit after that. With the Standard Plus plan, however, your guests will have to pay $32 per visit each time. The Prestige plan is for frequent travelers. For $429 per year, you get unlimited no cost lounge visits, though guests will pay $32 per visit.
You can also get membership at no cost if your bank or credit card offers it as a benefit.
Which credit cards offer Priority Pass lounge access?
|Card||Annual fee||No. of guests allowed||Lounge access policy|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550||Maximum of two guests||Cardholders and authorized users get complimentary access to lounges|
|Citi Prestige® Credit Card||$495||Maximum of two guests and/or immediate family members such as a partner and children under 18. Additional guests must pay $27 per visit||Access granted to primary account holder and authorized users of the account|
|Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express*||$450||Up to two guests per visit||Unlimited lounge visits|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||$95||No guests||10 lounge visits each year at no cost|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card*||$450||Up to two guests per visit||Unlimited lounge visits|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||$695||Entry for up to two guests per visit in lounges that allow guests at no cost (enrollment required)||Unlimited lounge visits|
|U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card||$400||Fees for four individual guest visits waived per year||Lounge visit fees for first four visits per year waived|
To see rates & fees for Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® please click here.
To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.
Limited Time Offer: 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Resort fees may apply. Terms apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021.
Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary.*
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Resort fees may apply. Terms apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021.
- Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
- Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $450 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
- American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
- $695 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express
Since Priority Pass membership lets you access a lounge or lounge experience in the network no matter what airline you’re flying, here are five that are worth going out of the way for if you’re traveling out of a U.S. airport:
1. Air France Lounge – New York – Kennedy Terminal 1
Renovated in 2018, this lounge offers gourmet foods, champagne and a Parisian decor. Yet the dining experience is just the beginning. Prepare to get your pampering on. In early 2019, the lounge unveiled a new beauty treatment center created in collaboration with luxury wellness brand La Prairie. Lounge guests can enjoy rapid beauty treatments as they wait for their flight and get to their destinations refreshed.
2. Sleepbox Lounge – Washington Dulles International Concourse A
If you’re looking to steal a few minutes to take a power nap or need total privacy to finish that presentation, the Sleepbox, located in Concourse A, provides a welcome respite. Designed to hold only one person, each soundproof Sleepbox unit features an extra-long bed, desk space, reading lamps and a place for your luggage. If you have a guest, you’ll need to reserve a separate unit for them.
3. Gameway – Dallas Fort Worth International Terminal B, E
Waiting between flights doesn’t have to be boring. Gameway offers 36 gaming stations that come equipped with a PlayStation 4, pre-downloaded games, noise-canceling headphones and a 43-inch television. You’ll also find charging ports for your devices and room to store your luggage. A two-hour stay at a game station counts as a Priority Pass lounge visit.
4. PGA – MSP Lounge – Minneapolis/St. Paul International Terminal 1
If you are a fan of golf, consider a layover here. Not only will you gain access to a full-service lounge where you can eat and relax, but you can get in a golf lesson or kill time playing with a golf simulator while you wait for your flight. Business deals are often finalized on the golf course, so if you’re traveling for work, this lounge may prove even more valuable. You can also check out the golf shop, which has Ryder Cup and PGA branded clothing.
5. San Francisco Giants Clubhouse – San Francisco International Terminal 3
This Priority Pass experience gives you a taste of San Francisco’s local sports scene. While waiting for your flight, you can kick back and watch sports or other interactive entertainment or you can sample from the menu, which includes ballpark favorites. If you’re a fan of the team, you won’t want to miss the rotating exhibit that features Giants memorabilia.
In addition to the lounges above, you can access lounges at these U.S. airports along with over 800 other lounges outside the U.S.:
- Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (Maryland)
- Boston Logan International Airport (Massachusetts)
- Charleston International Airport (South Carolina)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (North Carolina)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Illinois)
- Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport (Kentucky)
- Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (Ohio)
- Colorado Springs Airport (Colorado)
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Denver International Airport (Colorado)
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (Michigan)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Florida)
- Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (South Carolina)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Georgia)
- Houston – George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Texas)
- Indianapolis International Airport (Indiana)
- Lexington Blue Grass Airport (Kentucky)
- Los Angeles International Airport (California)
- McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)
- Miami International Airport (Florida)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (New Jersey)
- Orlando International Airport (Florida)
- Orlando Sanford International Airport
- Philadelphia International Airport (Pennsylvania)
- Pittsburgh International Airport (Pennsylvania)
- Portland International Airport (Oregon)
- San Jose International Airport (California)
- Seattle Tacoma Airport (Washington)
- Syracuse Hancock International Airport (New York)
- St. Louis Lambert International Airport (Missouri)
- Tampa International Airport (Florida)
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (Alaska)
- Tucson International Airport (Arizona)
- Washington, D.C. – Reagan National Airport
A Priority Pass Lounge membership can enhance your travel experience tremendously. If you spend a lot of time flying, a credit card with a Priority Pass membership as a perk may be worth a second look.
*The information related to this offer has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.