American Express Platinum Cardholders Rumored to Receive Priority Pass Membership
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
There has been some chatter recently that US Amex Platinum cardholders are going to receive Priority Pass membership, which will be in addition to the current lounge benefits (America, Delta & US Airways clubs). This makes sense to me, since the impending departure of Continental in September is going to leave a pretty big void in the program. Already, Amex has beefed up the Platinum card benefits to include up to $200 a year in travel reimbursements (baggage fees, in-flight snacks/drinks, pet fees, taxes on award tickets, etc).
I had a full access Priority Pass that was valid until December 31, 2010 and I have to say I was pretty impressed with it. While it didn't include Delta lounges, I had access to Continental, US Airways, and United lounges, along with a lot of individual lounges like the JFK T4 Oasis. The Platinum card allows Delta lounge access, so the addition of Priority Pass Select (details here) should fill some of the gaps.
While we don't have the full details on what the Amex Platinum membership will look like, it will most likely exclude Continental lounges and guests will cost $27 each. Even so, its nice a nice benefit added to an already impressive lineup of perks for the frequent traveler.
If you are thinking about getting a Platinum card, check out my review of the card and if you decide it makes sense for you, you can now get the card (application link) with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. I conservatively value 50,000 Amex points at $1,000, so the bonus more than covers the $450 annual fee, plus you get tons of other benefits (like the lounge access) that will make your travel more enjoyable.