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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
Airport lounges have long been a haven for business- and first-class passengers, but they’ve become more accessible to the everyday traveler. The Priority Pass program, for instance, now has a network of more than 1,200 lounges in 143 countries and 500 cities worldwide.
There are several membership options available — Standard, which costs $99 per year and gives you access to each lounge for $32 per visit; Standard Plus, which costs $249 per year and gives you 10 free visits, then charges $32 per visit for additional visits; and Prestige, which costs $429 per year and provides unlimited access. Thankfully, you can avoid paying for Priority Pass lounge access altogether just by signing up for one of several credit cards that offer complimentary entry as an included benefit.
Priority Pass Membership as a Credit Card Benefit
A Priority Pass Select membership is included with the following premium credit cards, although enrollment is required. Note that this list doesn’t include cards that are no longer available to new applicants or are invitation-only.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Membership is included for both cardholders and authorized users, along with two guests. The card costs $450 annually, plus $75 for an authorized user.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express $550 (see rates & fees) and $595 annual fees (see rates & fees), respectively. Access for both primary card holders and authorized users, along with two guests. Platinum cardmembers can also access Delta Sky Club lounges when they’re traveling on a Delta flight the same day, with guest access at a reduced fee ($29 per person for up to two guests); Airspace lounges (with two guests); Escape lounges (with two guests) and American Express Centurion Lounges (with two guests). Authorized users cost $175 annually for the personal card (see rates & fees) and $300 for the business version (see rates & fees).
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: Primary cardholders receive a Priority Pass Select membership good for themselves and two guests. There’s a $450 annual fee (see rates & fees) for this card.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: This card offers a Priority Pass Select membership with unlimited complimentary access for the primary cardholder and two guests. The card has a $450 annual fee (see rates & fees).
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card: This card includes a Priority Pass membership; however it offers only 10 free visits a year, with no free guests. You can visit by yourself 10 times, or visit once with nine guests. After that, you’ll have to pay a $32 fee per person per visit. There’s a $95 annual fee (see rates & fees) for this card.
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card: This card comes with a limited Priority Pass Select membership for one cardmember per account, including authorized users. The member will receive complimentary access to participating lounges for the first four visits as well as four individual guest visits. After the free visits are used, the discounted $32 per visit entry fee will apply to cardholders and guests. There’s a $400 annual fee for this card.
- Citi Prestige Card: Cardholders and authorized users both get Priority Pass Select with access for immediate family members (a spouse, children or domestic partner) or up to two guests. The annual fee is $495, and the primary cardholder may add authorized users for $75.
Although the vast majority of Priority Pass lounges are outside of the US, there still are some swanky spaces at most major airports stateside. From LAX to JFK, here’s a look at the nine best Priority Pass Lounges in the US:
(Note that the hours listed for the lounges are the hours they are available to Priority Pass members. A lounge may be open outside of those hours, but will not admit members then. Additionally, for all these lounges, you must have a valid boarding pass and access may be restricted if the lounge is full.)
1. The Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington at IAD
Location: In the Midfield Terminal at Washington-Dulles International Airport, near gate B43 on the Concourse Level.
Hours: 6am – 11pm
Amenities: Complimentary hot food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and speedy Wi-Fi. The lounge also has a shower room and prayer room. Check out TPG’s full review of the lounge.
2. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at EWR
Location: Terminal B at Newark Airport, near Gates B51 – B57 on the ‘Airline Lounges’ floor.
Hours: 12pm – 5pm
Amenities: You can order free food and drinks from an a la carte menu, albeit with more limited options than what is usually offered to premium passengers.
3. The Air France Lounge at JFK
Location: Near Gate 1 in Terminal 1 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
Hours: 8am – 1pm and 11pm – 12:30am.
Amenities: Snacks, Wi-Fi and drinks are available for free, as are showers in case you need to freshen up before a long flight. Read more about TPG’s experience visiting the lounge.
4. The Club at SJC
Location: Terminal A at San José International Airport, across from Gate 15 on Level 3.
Hours: 5am – 10pm
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks and drinks. The lounge also has showers and conference rooms.
5. The KLM Crown Lounge at IAH
Location: Near Gate D6 in Terminal D at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Those arriving at other terminals can reach it by using the SKYWAY trains, while a pre-security subway train can be used to get to each terminal.
Hours: 6am – 9pm
Amenities: You’ll find complimentary snacks, drinks and Wi-Fi to keep you connected on the go.
6. The Alaska Lounge at JFK
Location: JFK’s Terminal 7 on the Mezzanine Level.
Hours: 5am – 9pm Sunday to Friday, 5am – 5pm Saturdays.
Amenities: Coffee bar with complimentary made-to-order Starbucks beverages, snacks and Wi-Fi. Check out TPG’s full tour of the lounge.
7. The Club at MCO
Location: Near Gate 91 in Terminal B at Orlando International Airport. Note that this lounge is not accessible to passengers traveling from Gates 1-29 in Terminal A or from Gates 30-59 in Terminal B. If you’re boarding from Gates 70-99 in Terminal B, you’re in luck!
Hours: 6am – 9:30pm Saturday to Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 6am – 10:30pm Tuesdays; and 6am – 1:30am Fridays. Note that access may be restricted between 2pm – 8pm daily due to space constraints.
Amenities: Complimentary showers, Wi-Fi, snacks and alcoholic beverages.
8. Minute Suites
Locations: ATL (Concourses B and T), CLT (Atrium), DFW (Terminals A and D), PHL (Terminal B)
Hours: 24 hours daily (one hour free followed by a discounted $28 hourly rate for any additional time after that)
Amenities: Regardless of which Minute Suites location you visit, you’ll get a private suite complete with a daybed, bedding, yoga mat and TV. Check out TPG’s reviews of the CLT location and ATL location.
9. The KAL Lounge at LAX
Location: Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal (connected to terminals 4-8) on Level 5
Hours: 1pm – 7pm
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks, drinks and shower rooms. Check out TPG’s full review of the lounge.
Bonus: Restaurant Lounges
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the restaurant lounges as part of Priority Pass’ US roster. In addition to conventional lounges, Priority Pass has partnered with food and beverage establishments, letting members enjoy a complimentary sit-down dining experience as part of their membership. There are currently 28 Priority Pass restaurant lounges across 20 US airports, each offering members $28-30 per guest in food and drink (not including gratuity). Just note that as of Aug. 1, American Express is discontinuing “complimentary access to non-lounge airport experiences” for cards that have a Priority Pass benefit. Chase, Citi and US Bank currently don’t have plans to change any of the benefits on either of their cards that offer a Priority Pass membership.
While most credit cards that offer Priority Pass membership come with a $450 annual fee or higher, you’ll be getting access to at least one lounge at most major airports in the US and around the world, along with a ton of other great travel perks that basically let each card pay for itself. With so many great lounge options at your fingertips, it’s kind of a no-brainer and makes for a much better way to spend time at the airport before your next flight.
Just remember that enrollment is required if you have a card that includes a Priority Pass Select membership — you can’t simply present your credit card at a participating lounge, restaurant or Minute Suite to receive complimentary access.
What are your favorite Priority Pass Lounges? Tell us about them below.
Featured image of the JFK Air France Lounge by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Ascend, please click here
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, please click here
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