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The best way to share lounge access with a spouse or family member

May 28, 2021
5 min read
American Express Centurion Lounge in Denver
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


These days, more and more credit cards are offering some form of airport lounge benefit, most commonly seen with a Priority Pass Select membership. While most cards will allow you to bring in a couple of guests or your immediate family free of charge, there isn't an easy way to transfer your membership to a spouse or family member when you're traveling separately.

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For instance, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers unmatched access to airport lounges compared to any other travel rewards card on the market. As a cardholder, you'll have access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when traveling on same-day Delta flights). Enrollment required for select benefits.

The Wingtips lounge at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL). (Photo courtesy of Wingtips/Facebook)

If you're looking to share lounge access with a family member, you have a couple of options. First, how frequently do you and your family member travel separately? If it's only once or twice a year, it might not be worth getting their own access. Second, are there even lounges in the airports you visit the most? Priority Pass Select is a nice perk to have, but it won't do your family much good unless you travel internationally often.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Priority Pass program

However, if your spouse or someone else in your family is targeted for the Amex Platinum's incredible 100,000-point welcome offer with the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at any time), they should absolutely apply for their own card. Not only is that the easiest answer to this question of sharing lounge access, but the welcome bonus will also be a big boost of points (worth $2,000 based on TPG's valuations) to jump-start your next family vacation. The public offer on the card is 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Your second option is to add your spouse or other family members as an authorized user on your card. Here are the costs and associated lounge benefits for authorized users on a few popular premium travel rewards cards:

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

While the Amex Platinum isn't the cheapest card when it comes to adding authorized users, it certainly offers the most benefits of the bunch. The $175 fee remains the same whether you add one user or three. So if you're looking to share lounge access with multiple people, you can drop the per-person cost to under $60 each year.

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access in 2021

Bottom line

Enjoying an airport lounge during a delay or long layover is a great way to make the airport experience more pleasant, but lounge benefits on top travel rewards credit cards typically apply only if the primary cardholder is traveling.

Adding your family members as authorized users is an option for sharing lounge access benefits. However, if your family member is targeted for the incredible 100,000-point welcome bonus (offer subject to change at any time) on the Platinum card, the best option is likely for them to apply for the card. That gives them at least a year to figure out a more permanent solution to this problem.

For rates and fees on the Amex Platinum, please click here.
For rates and fees on the Delta Reserve, please click here.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/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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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases