Best Credit Cards For Priority Pass
Many credit cards offer Priority Pass membership as a benefit. However, not all cards offer the same versions of this benefit. Guest limits, fees for additional guests, and restaurant access are some of the features to consider. Below, we break down the best credit cards for Priority Pass.
What Is Priority Pass?
Priority Pass is a program that provides members with access to airport lounges around the world. Members can visit lounges regardless of the cabin they’re flying in. This makes Priority Pass a great way to enjoy a finer experience even when traveling in the economy. Priority Pass also offers access to additional services, including restaurants and airport hotels.
The program’s footprint includes over 1,300 lounges across the globe. The quality of lounges ranges dramatically. Some offer light snacks and beverages, while the nicer ones offer freshly-prepared warm dishes and great alcohol selections, as well as shower facilities.
Priority Pass offers three membership tiers: Standard, Standard Plus, and Prestige. Annual fees range from $99 to $469. Members are charged $35 per guest under each of the tiers (up from $27).
Holders of credit cards offering Priority Pass as a benefit receive Priority Pass Select membership. This is a different form of membership than any of the three tiers.
Which Credit Cards Offer Priority Pass?
Several premium credit cards offer Priority Pass Select membership as a benefit. The following credit cards offer Priority Pass Select as a benefit:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Platinum Card from American Express
- Business Platinum Card from American Express
- Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite
- Capital One Venture X
- Capital One Venture X Business
- Citi Prestige
- The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
- The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card from Chase
- U.S. Bank Reserve Visa Infinite
Differences among Priority Pass Benefits
Although all of the cards listed above come with Priority Pass Select membership, not all of the memberships are equal. In fact, 2 of the 4 best cards with Priority Pass membership are no longer available for new applications. Here is a breakdown of how the benefits differ:
The CSR offers access for up to two free guests. Additional guests cost $27 each. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders are eligible to enjoy the Priority Pass restaurant benefits.
2. Ritz-Carlton Card
Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Ritz-Carlton card includes Priority Pass restaurant benefits. What makes this card among the best for Priority Pass membership is that authorized users are free and they each get their own Priority Pass membership. The primary cardholder and each authorized user are allowed a maximum of 2 guests each, and additional guests cost $27 each. The Ritz-Carlton card is only available via a product change from a Chase Marriott Bonvoy card.
3. Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card
This card flies deep under the radar when it comes to Priority Pass access. The Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card offers Priority Pass membership that includes restaurant access, which is a good start. But this card also lets you gift a full Priority Pass membership to up to 4 people without adding them as an authorized user! This is highly unusual as all the other cards on this list will only grant membership to the primary cardholder and authorized users. For more information about the Premium Rewards Elite Priority Pass membership, check out this post.
The business version of the Venture X has a big leg up over its personal cousin: the Venture X Business includes restaurant access with its Priority Pass membership. But on the other hand, authorized users (also known as employee cards for business cards like this one) do not receive their own Priority Pass membership. This downside could justify having the Venture X Business switch places with the Venture X in this ranking, depending on your needs. This card also offers complimentary guest access to Priority Pass lounges.
Surprisingly enough, this card offers access for unlimited free guests. Cardholders can add up to 4 authorized users at no cost too, and authorized users can bring their own free guests as well. As of January 1, 2023, Venture X cardholders are no longer eligible to enjoy the Priority Pass restaurant benefits, which is why this card is not ranked higher on this list.
6. Citi Prestige
The Citi Prestige allows the cardholder to bring two guests or their immediate family into the lounge at no extra fee. This makes the Prestige a great card for travelers who have more than two children. Immediate family is defined as “spouse, domestic partner, and/or children under 18.” Tough luck for your parents and in-laws! Additional guests are $27 each. Cardholders are also eligible to enjoy the Priority Pass restaurant benefits. Unfortunately, the Citi Prestige is not available for new applications, nor is it available as a product change option from other Citi cards.
Both Platinum cards offer access for up to two free guests. Additional guests cost $32 each. Memberships do not include Priority Pass restaurant benefits, but do include Minute Suites.
The Hilton Surpass offers 10 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits each year, which can be used for guests as well (ends 2/1/24 for current cardholders). The Aspire (ends 2/1/24 for current cardholders) and Business credit cards offer access for up to two free guests. Additional guests cost $32 each. Memberships do not include Priority Pass restaurant benefits, but do include Minute Suites.
This card offers access for up to two free guests. Additional guests cost $32 each. As with the other American Express cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant credit card does not include Priority Pass restaurant benefits.
10. U.S. Bank Reserve Visa Infinite
The primary cardholder receives complimentary access for the first four visits, as well as four individual guest visits. After the free visits are used, a $27 entry fee will apply to cardholders and guests.
Best Cards for Priority Pass Lounge Access: ToP Thoughts
Not all credit cards offer the same form of Priority Pass membership. The best benefits come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ritz-Carlton, Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite, and Citi Prestige cards. These cards all include restaurant benefits, while American Express cards do not. The Venture X does have the added benefit that cardholders may add up to 4 authorized users at no cost, and each of those authorized users get their own Priority Pass membership.
Which card or cards do you rely on for your Priority Pass Select membership? What is your favorite Priority Pass lounge? Come share your thoughts in our Facebook group!