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Skip the lounge and get free food at 31 US restaurants that are part of Priority Pass

Dec. 16, 2022
9 min read
SFO Giants Clubhouse food
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Editor's Note

This is a recurring post we update as information changes.

Priority Pass is most well-known for its network of airport lounges. But Priority Pass also includes some non-lounge options, including restaurants. These restaurants let eligible Priority Pass members enjoy sit-down dining experiences at select airports as part of their membership.

The list of U.S. restaurants participating in Priority Pass changes somewhat frequently. Currently, there are 31 Priority Pass restaurant lounges at 22 U.S. airports. Here's what you need to know about using the Priority Pass restaurant benefit in the U.S.

Priority Pass restaurants in the US

Yankee Pier in San Francisco. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Here's a list of all U.S. airport restaurants that are currently part of the Priority Pass program:

There are also restaurants at airports outside the U.S. that participate in Priority Pass. And there are other non-traditional airport lounge options that you can access with Priority Pass, including:

  • An hour in a private room at select Minute Suite locations.
  • Use of a game station for one hour (and a snack and a bottle of water or soft drink) at select Gameway locations.
  • Select treatments at participating Be Relax Spa locations.
  • Discounts with select airport merchants through retail offers.

In short, checking your options on the Priority Pass website is always a good idea before visiting a new-to-you airport.

Related: There is such a thing as a free airport lunch — here's how to get one

How to get Priority Pass restaurant access

Landry's Seafood in Houston. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

You need an eligible Priority Pass membership to get free food or drinks at participating Priority Pass restaurants. You could purchase a Priority Pass membership. But, several premium cards offer Priority Pass membership as a complimentary cardholder perk.

However, you don't get complimentary access to restaurant locations if your Priority Pass membership is through an American Express card. And effective Jan. 1, 2023, Capital One cardholders will also lose complimentary access to Priority Pass restaurants.

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But, Priority Pass memberships provided as a perk by other credit card companies, such as Chase and Citi, continue to offer the restaurant benefit. My top three picks for cards that offer Priority Pass Select membership that includes restaurant access are the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Citi Prestige® Card (not open to new applicants) and UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card.

The information for the Citi Prestige and UBS Visa Infinite has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Once you have a card offering Priority Pass membership as a perk, enroll in Priority Pass if your issuer doesn't automatically enroll you. Once enrolled, you'll get digital access and a physical Priority Pass card in the mail.

Related: 10 credit cards that offer Priority Pass airport lounge access

How to use the Priority Pass restaurant benefit

Yankee Pier in San Francisco. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Once you get your physical Priority Pass card, put it in your carry-on bag or travel wallet since some lounges and restaurants don't accept digital cards.

When you arrive at a participating airport restaurant, mention to the greeter or host that you plan to use your Priority Pass membership for your meal. You'll find out at this point whether the restaurant is still participating in Priority Pass and, if so, whether it currently accepts Priority Pass members. After all, most of the Priority Pass restaurant pages note the following:

Please note that the restaurant may exceed their seating limit at certain times of the day & access to the restaurant is at their sole discretion.

You'll likely be entitled to a dining credit for the cardholder and at least one guest. But check the terms of your card's Priority Pass benefit and the restaurant's rules. For example, the Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar in Houston limits the number of guests you can claim to one.

PRIORITYPASS.COM

The dining credit amount varies by restaurant, although most offer members a $28 to $30 per guest food and drink credit. Check the restaurant's Priority Pass page for all the relevant details. Most Priority Pass restaurants prohibit to-go and grab-and-go orders, and some even prevent you from taking leftovers. You won't get a refund if you don't use your entire credit.

Related: Priority Pass continues to single-handedly offset my credit card annual fee with this overlooked benefit

Frequently asked questions

San Francisco Giants Club House. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Here are some of the most common questions about Priority Pass restaurants.

How many times can you use Priority Pass restaurants within a day?

If you're traveling through an airport with multiple restaurants that participate in the Priority Pass program, you can visit all the restaurants if time (and stomach space) permits.

However, some Priority Pass restaurants only allow travelers with an outbound boarding pass. So, you might not be able to stop by a Priority Pass restaurant if you just landed at your final destination.

Does Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass include restaurants?

Yes, the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership available to Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders includes airport lounges, restaurants, cafes and markets.

Chase Sapphire Reserve primary cardholders and authorized users can enroll in complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. These members can bring up to two guests per visit at no extra charge, although some Priority Pass restaurants may allow fewer guests.

Related: Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth the annual fee?

Do you tip at Priority Pass restaurants?

When using your Priority Pass benefit at a restaurant, tip as you normally would on the full amount of your bill. At most restaurants — Corona Beach House in Miami is an exception that automatically adds 18% gratuity to your bill — you can't use your Priority Pass credit toward gratuity.

Even if your credit completely covers your bill, some restaurants may be willing to charge a minimal amount to your card (like $0.01) so you can add a tip to that charge. However, it's best to also have some cash on hand in case you need to leave a cash tip.

Can you use multiple Priority Pass cards?

You can only use one Priority Pass card per person at Priority Pass restaurants. The conditions for most restaurants note, "Only 1 Card per visit per Cardholder will be accepted."

Bottom line

If you enjoy eating at an airport restaurant before your flight or during layovers, check the list of airports with Priority Pass restaurants in the story above.

If you frequently originate in or connect through one or more of these airports, it may be worth getting a card that provides Priority Pass restaurant lounge access. You'll want to avoid American Express and Capital One cards, but one excellent option is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Check out our Chase Sapphire Reserve review for more details about the card and its benefits.

Additional reporting by JT Genter, Benji Stawski and Mark Spivak.

Featured image by KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY
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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Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees