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

May 28, 2021

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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:

Card Authorized user fee Authorized user lounge benefits
The Platinum Card from American Express $175 for up to three additional cards (see rates & fees) Priority Pass Select membership; access to Amex Centurion Lounges; access to Delta Sky Clubs (on same-day Delta flights)
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Add up to 10 authorized users American Airlines Admirals Club access, including two guests
Chase Sapphire Reserve $75 Priority Pass Select membership
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card $175 (see rates & fees) Delta Sky Club access (when flying Delta)
Citi Prestige® Card $75 Priority Pass Select membership

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 photo of the American Express Centurion Lounge at Denver International Airport (DEN) by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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