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“Reader Questions” are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

Last week we explored what happens to unused United lounge passes when you cancel a United credit card. But what about Priority Pass lounge memberships, as TPG reader John asked us in an email…

I added my sister and mother as authorized users for my Amex Platinum so they could get Priority Pass memberships. As my annual fee is coming due, I wondered if their Priority Pass memberships would be cancelled if I remove them from my Amex Platinum, even though their Priority Pass cards expire in May 2019.

TPG Reader John

Many premium credit cards, including The Platinum Card from American Express, come with complimentary Priority Pass memberships, which offer access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world. When you have a credit card with Priority Pass as a benefit, you receive a separate card to access lounges in the Priority Pass network, and as John noted, these cards come with an expiration date embossed on the front of the card.

IMG-priority-pass-featured
Use a physical Priority Pass card — or the digital equivalent — to access Priority Pass lounges.

So are these Priority Pass cards like the one-time United lounge passes that come with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card, which as we explained last week are good until their printed expiration date regardless of whether you cancel the credit card?

Unfortunately, no. Because regardless of the expiration date printed on your Priority Pass card, if you cancel the credit card related to your membership, you’ll soon get a letter from Priority Pass informing you that your access to the lounge program is also discontinued.

IMG-priority-pass-cancel-letter
A few days after canceling your Amex Platinum, you’ll get a letter canceling your Priority Pass as well.

In the letter it’s common for Priority Pass to offer to convert you to a standard membership for free, which normally costs $99 per year. But the standard-level plan also requires a payment of $27 per lounge visit for both the cardholder and guests. Is this offer worth taking? It doesn’t cost anything for the membership when you accept this offer, so theoretically there’s no downside since you’ll only be charged if you actually use it. But given the numerous cards that offer a complimentary Priority Pass membership nowadays, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Citi Prestige Card and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, it probably makes more sense to pick up a regular membership with one of those cards and not get charged for visits (and even be able to bring a guest or two into the lounge for free as well).

So in this case, John, there’s no such thing as a free lounge. But thanks for the question, and if you’re a TPG reader with a question you’d like answered, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or send an email to info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image of the Star Alliance Lounge in Paris (CDG) courtesy of Priority Pass.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.