Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Citi Prestige Comes to the Rescue for Lounge Access

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

During a recent trip to Asia and Europe, the Citi Prestige Card came in handy left and right. At the pricey Amanpulo in the Philippines, for example, the card’s 4th Night Free benefit saved us nearly $1,500 — and it cut down on costs at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Grand Hyatt Cannes and Park Hyatt Paris as well.

While getting 25% off our paid hotel bookings was plenty of reason to use this card on our trip, we also discovered another great feature when we flew economy from Nice to Paris on Air France: We were able to get free lounge access that we wouldn’t have had otherwise thanks to holding the Citi Prestige Card.

Priority Pass Select

If you plan on bringing guests with you into Priority Pass lounges, Citi Prestige is your best bet.
If you plan on bringing guests with you into Priority Pass lounges, Citi Prestige is your best bet.

Apart from 4th Night Free and an annual credit of $250 for airfare and other airline charges, Citi Prestige offers cardholders access to hundreds of lounges worldwide through Priority Pass Select. This benefit entitles the cardholder to access at participating lounges, along with immediate family members or up to two guests. You can pay for additional guests at the rate of $27 per person. Note that you don’t need to pay for a flight with the Citi Prestige Card to get lounge access through this card benefit.

Also note that the Citi Prestige isn’t the only travel rewards card that offers lounge access through Priority Pass. The Platinum Card from American Express also grants cardholders entry to Priority Pass lounges, though unlike with the Citi Prestige there are no free guests; each will cost $27.

The Cap Ferrat Lounge at NCE

Some of the many seating options at the Cap Ferrat Lounge at Nice Airport.
Some of the many seating options at the Cap Ferrat Lounge at Nice Airport.

In the past, we haven’t needed to rely on this Citi Prestige benefit to enjoy lounge access, since Star Alliance Gold status, Amex Platinum cardmembership (for Centurion lounges) or international tickets booked in business or first usually mean we’re granted entry somewhere. However, this time we were flying coach on Air France, and while Nice is a smaller airport, it does offer four smaller lounges spread across its two terminals. All of them are part of the Priority Pass program, but we went to the Cap Ferrat lounge because it was the closest to our boarding gate in Terminal 2, and also the only option for flights within the Schengen zone in Europe.

The lounge is quite spacious — it even includes a billiards area.
The lounge is quite spacious — it even includes a billiards area.

Luckily, this lounge is quite nice, with some cool furniture including bird nest-style swing chairs and plenty of seating space. The lounge was relatively recently renovated, and the representatives at the check-in desk were very friendly.

Plenty of places to plug in and work.
Plenty of places to plug in and work.

When we stopped by around breakfast time, there were no hot food options, but there were plenty of pastries and cookies along with some cold sandwiches, meats and cheeses. Drink options were nowhere near as high-end as a first class lounge such as the Lufthansa FCT in Frankfurt, but overall the Cap Ferrat Lounge was a much better place to wait for our flight than by our boarding gate.

The drink selection isn't on par with what you'll find at premium airline lounges.
The drink selection isn’t on par with what you’ll find at premium airline lounges.

Bottom Line

Priority Pass lounge access isn’t the main reason to get the Citi Prestige Card, as it’s not the only card to offer this benefit, and many of the lounges in this program — including the Cap Ferrat location we visited at NCE — can be accessed with a day pass for less than $30. However, if you don’t have Priority Pass access through the Amex Platinum card or a paid membership, this benefit is another great reason to consider adding this card to your wallet — and the two free guests are a very nice bonus perk.

Have you used the Priority Pass Select benefit of the Citi Prestige Card?