The best credit cards for Priority Pass lounge access
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Traffic-choked checkpoints. Ever more crowded terminals. Serpentine security lines. Jam-packed gate areas. Getting to and through the airport today is more stressful than ever. Airport lounges can provide a respite from the hordes and the hassle of flying. Luckily, many of the top travel rewards credit cards include lounge access as part of their benefits packages.
Best Priority Pass Credit Cards
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Citi Prestige® Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Some of these credit cards, like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express and the United Club Card only get you into their own airlines’ clubs.
However, others like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve let cardholders register for Priority Pass Select membership, which grants access to more than 1,200 airport lounge and restaurant locations worldwide (although Amex cardholders are no longer allowed to use the restaurants as of Aug. 1, 2019).
Popular Priority Pass locations in the U.S include the Turkish Airlines Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD) and the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Newark (EWR). Internationally, the SkyTeam Lounge at London Heathrow (LHR) is a crowd pleaser, while the VIP Lounge at Punta Cana (PUJ) even has its own swimming pool.
Given that large footprint, here’s a roundup of the best credit cards currently available to new applicants that offer Priority Pass lounge access to cardholders, and the specific rules and policies for each.
Comparing Benefits of Credit Cards with Priority Pass Access
|Card||Lounge Access||Welcome Bonus||Annual Fee|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Cardholder + 2 guests free, $27 per guest after that||60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening||$550|
|Citi Prestige||Cardholder + immediate family or 2 guests free, $27 per guest after that||50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months||$495|
|The Platinum Card from American Express||Cardholder + 2 guests free , $32 per guest after that||75,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. Terms apply. (possibly higher through CardMatch)||$550 (see rates & fees)|
|Business Platinum Card from American Express||Cardholder + 2 guests free, $32 per guest after that||Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms apply.||$595 (see rates & fees)|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||Cardholder + 2 guests free, $32 per guest after that||150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Terms Apply.||$450 (see rates & fees)|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card||Cardholder + 2 guests free, $32 per guest after that||Earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first three months. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first six months of card membership. Offer ends 5/12/2021. Terms Apply.||$450 (see rates & fees)|
|US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite||12 months free, 8 passes per year after that, $27 per guest after that||50,000 points after spending $4,500 in the first three months||$400|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card||10 free visits per year, $32 per visit after that||130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you earn an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months. Terms apply.||$95 (see rates & fees)|
|Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||10 free visits per year, $32 per visit after that||130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.||$95 (see rates & fees)|
Here are the details on each card, along with current welcome bonuses, annual fees and other notable perks.
The information for the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Credit Cards with Priority Pass
Benefits: The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular premium travel rewards credit cards thanks to its impressive list of benefits. Cardholders receive $300 in annual travel statement credits for a wide range of travel purchases. The card earns 3x points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1x point per dollar on everything else. Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to nine airline and three hotel partners. Points may also be redeemed directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.5 cents apiece. The card reimburses members up to $100 once every four years for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application and waives foreign transaction fees.
Benefits: The Citi Prestige earns a phenomenal 5x points per dollar at restaurants and on air travel, 3x points per dollar at hotels and on cruise lines, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Cardholders are eligible for up to $250 worth of annual statement credits each calendar year toward travel purchases.
Citi ThankYou Rewards points can be transferred to 15 airline partner programs, and are worth one cent apiece when redeemed directly for travel through the Citi portal (starting in September, until then, it’s 1.25 cents). Cardholders can book a fourth night free on up to two hotel stays per year when reserving through the Citi concierge or online at thankyou.com. No foreign transaction fees. They’re also eligible for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement once every five years.
Benefits: In addition to Priority Pass lounges, cardholders have access to Amex’s own Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Plaza Premium and certain Lufthansa lounges. The card earns 5x points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or with American Express Travel and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Cardholders can transfer Membership Rewards points to 22 airline and hotel partners
It also comes with an annual rebate of up to $200 on incidental fees charged by a carrier you select each year, plus up to $200 in annual Uber Cash. Cardholders qualify for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee refund once every 4.5 years (up to $100). Booking stays through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts confers plenty of value-added benefits, and you can register for both Gold status with Hilton Honors and Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy. Amex’s International Airline Program can secure deep discounts on premium economy, business- and first-class tickets on 25 airlines. However, cardholders no longer receive dining credits at restaurants that participate in Priority Pass as of August 1, 2019. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Benefits: In addition to the personal version’s perks, the Business Platinum Card offers an annual statement credit up to $200 for Dell technology U.S. purchases. Cardholders can count on a 50% points bonus (1.5x per dollar) on purchases of more than $5,000, up to 1 million bonus points per calendar year, plus a 35% rebate when redeeming points for airfare on their selected airline, or for business or first class tickets on selected qualifying airlines booked on amextravel.com (up to 500,000 points per calendar year). Otherwise, it offers the same perks as the personal version, except for the Uber credits. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Benefits: This is the top Hilton card for a number of reasons. It earns 14x points per dollar on Hilton purchases; 7x points per dollar on flights booked through Amex Travel or directly through airlines, on car rentals and at US restaurants; and 3x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Cardholders automatically receive top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond status, an annual free weekend night and up to $250 in statement credits each cardmember year for purchases at participating Hilton Resorts, plus up to $250 back each year for airline incidentals. They also qualify for up to $100 in credits for charges at participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking two-night-minimum stays via HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Benefits: Among its most compelling perks, this card earns 6x points per dollar on Marriott purchases, 3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Cardholders get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application reimbursement once every 4.5 years (up to $100) and receive automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold status. A free anniversary night award is worth up to 50,000 points each year. Special rates on stays of two nights or more at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties are eligible for up to $100 in credit for qualifying charges, and receive up to $300 in statement credits each year of card membership for purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Benefits: This card earns 3x points per dollar on travel and mobile wallet purchases, and 1x point per dollar on everything else. Cardholders can redeem points for 1.5 cents apiece on airfare, hotels and car rentals (or lower values for other purchases). They can also count on 12 complimentary Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes each year, and a reimbursement for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application once every four years (up to $100). They are also eligible for up to $325 in statement credits per cardmember year for purchases made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
Benefits: This card earns 12x points for charges at Hilton portfolio hotels. Cardmembers also earn 6x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations and 3x points for all other eligible purchases. Cardholders receive automatic Hilton Honors Gold status and can spend their way to Diamond status by making $40,000 in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year. They can also earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
* For the most recent information regarding the updated Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, read our full Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card Review here.
Benefits: Earn 12x Hilton Honors points per dollar for purchases made directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio; 6x points per dollar at US gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers, on US shipping purchases, at US restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, and on car rentals booked directly from rental agencies; then 3x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Cardholders get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status (Diamond status with $60,000 spend) and a Free Weekend Night Reward after hitting $15,000 spend in a calendar year.
Related Credit Card Guides
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, please click here.
Featured image by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
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