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Over the last few years, the Priority Pass lounge network has been growing by leaps and bounds. With over 1,000 locations worldwide to date, it’s been easy to find a lounge at airports outside of the US, though domestic locations have proved more challenging. Recently, Priority Pass has tried to rectify that disparity by adding non-lounge perks for airport restaurants and bars, with Priority Pass members getting a voucher at these establishments to offset the cost of food and beverages.

Now, the company has made a significant addition to its roster of actual lounges, and in the second-largest city in the US. Starting Monday, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in LAX’s Terminal 2 will become a part of Priority Pass.

It’s important to note that Priority Pass cardholders will not have the same access that Upper Class Virgin Atlantic passengers and elites get at the Clubhouse. Previously, the lounge only opened four hours before Virgin’s first London (LHR) departure, which is normally in the late afternoon after 5pm. Now, Virgin will open the lounge early for Priority Pass members, whose access is restricted to 5am through 12:30pm. This is undoubtedly because Virgin Atlantic is taking advantage of previously unused Clubhouse capacity.

Second, while the Clubhouse normally offers a complimentary full-service menu and open bar, neither of those features will be available during Priority Pass hours. Instead, lounge occupants will get complimentary beer and wine only, along with a cold buffet.

While it’s definitely not the full Clubhouse experience, this is still excellent news for folks with a Priority Pass membership. Since the Virgin America Loft in Terminal 3 closed in May, there have only been two Priority Pass lounges at LAX — the Alaska Airlines Board Room at Terminal 6 and the KAL Lounge in the Tom Bradley Terminal. It’s great to have a new third option, and especially in Terminal 2 which is now occupied by Delta after a major airline reshuffling earlier this year. Other airlines who depart from Terminal 2 are Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, WestJet and of course Virgin Atlantic.

If you’re interested in a Priority Pass membership, you can buy one directly at prioritypass.com. But often a better option is to get one for free as a complimentary benefit of many premium credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Platinum Card from American Express, the Citi Prestige, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card and others. Even though the annual fees on these cards can run between $450 and $550, that’s only slightly more than buying a full Priority Pass membership, and you’ll get numerous additional benefits with a premium credit card.

Featured image by Virgin Atlantic.

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.

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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.

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