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Choose this, not that: CDG Priority Pass lounge edition

Nov. 10, 2019
8 min read
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A Priority Pass membership can make your preflight experience a whole lot more enjoyable. Membership unlocks access to more than 1,200 airport lounges in 143 countries and 500 cities worldwide. Check out this guide to learn about cards that offer a free membership, lounge guest policies and more. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Most major airports around the world now have multiple lounges accessible through Priority Pass. The program doesn’t own or operate any of the lounges and the quality can vary widely. Some lounges are little more than a small room with bottled water and pretzels. Others are as good, if not better, than those you’d get if you were flying in a premium cabin. Enrollment required for select benefits.

We've previously compared the Priority Pass lounges at major airports across the U.S., such as Los Angeles (LAX), Washington Dulles (IAD) and Boston (BOS). Today, we're going overseas and ranking the lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), which has five Priority Pass lounges. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Charles de Gaulle is Paris' main international airport. It ranked as the 10th-busiest airport in the world in 2018, second only to London Heathrow (LHR). United, Delta and American connect more than 15 American cities to Charles de Gaulle, and Air France flies to more than 10 North American cities. It's also a focus airport for low-cost carriers like easyJet, Norwegian and Vueling. Here's a look at what we found:

Related: Choose this, not that: JFK Priority Pass lounge edition

(Note that the hours listed for the lounges are the hours when 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. Star Alliance Lounge

(Photo courtesy of Star Alliance.)

Location: Terminal 1, after Passport Control but before security check points on Level 11

Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Access may be restricted because of space constraints, particularly from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Food and beverage: A great way to say au revoir to Paris, with an appropriately impressive selection of French wines and gourmet hot and cold food

Amenities: An outdoor terrace gives you a chance to suck in one last gulp of fresh, non-pressurized/recycled air before you board your flight; showers, many universal power outlets and fast Wi-Fi

(Photo courtesy of Star Alliance.)

2. Icare Lounge

(Photo courtesy of Plaza Premium Lounge.)

Location: Terminal 1, after Passport Control but before security check points, in the International Area on Level 10, between access to Gates 10 to 18, and Gates 40 to 48; passengers traveling within Schengen countries are required to show a boarding pass with confirmed same-day travel (access remains subject to the discretion of the French Border Police)

Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Food and beverage: Modest selection of light snacks such as croissants and cold cuts and a small self-serve bar with complimentary beer, wine and spirits

Amenities: A fresh-looking interior design and plenty of seating, including an outdoor terrace; many power outlets and built-in USB ports, but the Wi-Fi is slow

3. Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

(Photo courtesy of Air Canada.)

Location: Terminal 2A, after Passport Control on the right-hand side, near gates A37 to A39

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Food and beverage: Basic selection of cold cuts, sandwiches and fruit, albeit slightly more extensive than the Icare Lounge; an espresso machine and self-serve bar with all of the fixings

Amenities: Plenty of seating, a business center with a printer, solid Wi-Fi and many power outlets but you'll need to bring an adapter to use them

4. YotelAir Paris Charles de Gaulle

(Photo courtesy of YotelAir.)

Location: Terminal 2E, non-Schengen departing and transit passengers only; take the Shuttle train to Gate L, and follow the signs for Instant Paris/YOTEL; accessible by Shuttle train for passengers traveling from Gates K and M but allow time to return to the gates

Hours: 24 hours daily

Food and beverage: A credit for 10 euros per person per visit to use toward light snacks, soft and alcoholic drinks (limited to beer and wine) from the lounge's vending machines; free coffee, tea and hot chocolate

Amenities: A good mix of seating options, including a section for kids, but it gets quite crowded; many power outlets, built-in USB ports and fast Wi-Fi; showers available, at an additional charge

5. Sheltair Lounge

(Photo courtesy of Oneworld)
(Photo courtesy of Oneworld.)

Location: Terminal 2D, before Passport Control in front of Gate D56 on Level 1. This lounge is only accessible to those departing Schengen flights from Terminal 2D.

Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Food and Beverage: Basic selection of cold cuts, cheeses and pastries; self-serve bar with a good selection of complimentary beer, wine and spirits

Amenities: Solid Wi-Fi; plenty of seats, but many don't have easily accessible power outlets

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. Enrollment required for select benefits.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Membership for both cardholders and authorized users, along with two guests; $550 annual fee, plus $75 for an authorized user
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express $695 (see rates & fees) and $595 annual fee ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2022) (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; $450 annual fee (see rates & fees) Enrollment required for select benefits.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Priority Pass Select membership with unlimited complimentary access for the primary cardholder and two guests; $450 annual fee (see rates & fees)
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Priority Pass membership with 10 individual visits a year, with no free guests; or one visit with nine guests; after that, a $32 fee per person per visit; $95 annual fee (see rates & fees)
  • U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card: Limited Priority Pass Select membership for one cardmember per account, including authorized users; complimentary member access to participating lounges for the first four visits and four individual guest visits; after free visits are used, discounted $32 per visit entry fee will apply to cardholders and guests; $400 annual fee
  • Citi Prestige® Card: Priority Pass Select membership for cardholders and authorized users with access for immediate family members (spouse or domestic partner, children) or up to two guests; $495 annual fee, and $75 for authorized users

The information for the Citi Prestige, Hilton Aspire card, 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.

Bottom line

The Star Alliance lounge far outshines all of the other Priority Pass lounges at CDG. It has all of the essential amenities and is the only lounge to offer more food options than just cold cuts and pastries. Although YotelAir ranked toward the bottom of the list, it's nice to have a 24-hour option as you never know when things will go wrong and you might need to stay at the airport overnight.

Further reading: The 10 best Priority Pass lounges around the world

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass, click here.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 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.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 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.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more