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One way to make travel easier, or at least more comfortable, is to have access to airport lounges where you can usually get complimentary snacks, drinks, places to sit, clean(er) restroom, decent internet, and if you are super lucky, even a family room. I’ve sat on the floor in a corner of a crowded gate area with my phone plugged into an outlet that looks like it was left over from the Walking Dead, and I’m sure I will find myself in that situation again, but I’d much rather wait for my flights in a decent lounge…especially when I am traveling with my family.
Lots of premium rewards credit cards provide for lounge access to some degree, sometimes via the Priority Pass network. Priority Pass isn’t a specific brand of lounge like a United Club or Amex Centurion Lounge, but instead, it is a network of lots of different types of lounges around the world that you can access when you have a Priority Pass membership.
There are different levels and types of Priority Pass memberships, but a common one that is available via the Amex Platinum Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is Priority Pass Select membership. You generally have to go online and activate your Priority Pass Select membership within your related credit card account, and then a Priority Pass Select card comes in the mail a couple weeks later. Via your Priority Pass Select card (not your credit card) and a same-day boarding pass, you can get into over 1,000 lounges around the world.
KLM Crown Lounge and Air France Lounge in Houston, The Club at MCO in Orlando, Mera Business Lounge in Cancun, Club Mobay in Jamaica, Alaska Lounge located in Seattle and more, and the Plaza Premium Lounge in London’s Heathrow.
We have visited a few lounges in the Priority Pass Select network, and while they aren’t all amazing, we are always glad to have somewhere other than just the gate area to visit in the airport.
The Priority Pass Select Membership That Includes Free Guests
Of course family travelers will often want to bring in their partner, children, etc. into the lounge with them, and while many of the lounges do allow children and guests, how much that will cost you depends entirely on what type of Priority Pass membership you have.
It may be a surprise to some that the Priority Pass Select membership that comes with the Amex Platinum only provides complimentary entry to the membership holder and two guests. All additional guests cost $27 per person that is charged to the card tied to the Priority Pass Select membership, and that fact isn’t always very prominently shared in the lounge. Some lounges provide free entry to very young children up to two or three years old or so, but even that isn’t 100% guaranteed.
However, he Priority Pass Select Membership that is available via the Chase Sapphire Reserve does not charge for guests! We thought that was the case, but now that I have my very own Chase Sapphire Reserve, I was able to look at the information that came with my Priority Pass Select card first-hand. It indeed states that “You and your accompanying guests may visit participating lounges at no charge compliments of Chase Sapphire Reserve as often as you wish during your membership year”.
That is great news for traveling families and makes the Priority Pass Select membership that is available via the Chase Sapphire Reserve more valuable than the other versions by a wide margin!
Were you aware of the difference in guest policies for the different Priority Pass Select memberships?
This is one of the top premium cards out there since you earn 3x on all travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining and have access to great perks like a $300 travel credit each cardmember year, 50% more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and you get elite travel benefits like Global Entry application fee rebate, Priority Pass Select and special rental car privileges.
- Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- Named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card for 2017’ by MONEY® Magazine
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®