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On Tuesday, American Express shared that it would be reducing one of its more popular benefits on a number of its cards. Cards that came with Priority Pass membership, which provides access to more than 1,200 airport lounges and restaurants across the would, will no longer enjoy free access to the 44 restaurants that are a part of the program.
Chase, Citi and US Bank have confirmed with TPG that they currently don’t have plans to change any of the benefits on either of their cards that offer a Priority Pass membership. That includes that Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Citi Prestige® Card and the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card, all of which give complimentary Priority Pass membership for cardholders.
The Prestige and Reserve’s membership allows the primary cardholder and up to two guests unlimited entry to Priority Pass lounges. While most Priority Pass locations are airport lounges, there are also a number of restaurants where members can dine and receive a fixed dollar credit toward the cost of the bill, usually around $28 per person. Both cards also give authorized users a Priority Pass membership.
The Altitude Reserve only gives four free lounge visits per year for the primary cardholder and one guest, and those visits can be used at Priority Pass restaurants.
Starting August 1, these Amex cards that come with a Priority Pass membership will no longer be able to receive a credit at any restaurants that participates in Priority Pass:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
- American Express Centurion Card
- American Express Business Centurion Card
Over the last few years we’ve seen banks cut back on the lounge access benefits. Before August 2018, Chase allowed its Sapphire Reserve cardholders to bring an unlimited number of guests into the lounge, now down to two. In 2017, the Citi Prestige ended access to American Airlines Admirals Club for its cardholders.
Priority Pass lounges in the US are notorious for being overcrowded and many times the spaces will turn people away. Last month, Priority Pass lounges in the UK started offering the ability to reserve your space in advance for £5 ($7). As members of Priority Pass grow, it’s likely that we’ll see more and more of these issues, and possibly cuts, as the program and banks try and throttle back the number of people trying to enter the lounges.
Even with the Amex changes, The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express cardholders have the access to more lounges than any other credit card. On top of the Priority Pass lounges, they can enter Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta and Amex’s own Centurion Lounges, which there are eight of in the US and another five under construction.
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