Benefits of a Credit Card With Priority Pass

By Sarah Li Cain · April 15, 2024 · 8 minute read

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Benefits of a Credit Card With Priority Pass

If you’re considering a new credit card, frequent travelers may benefit from using a credit card with Priority Pass. Depending on the airport you happen to be in, you may be able to access lounges in the Priority Pass network. That could give you a welcoming lounge to relax, work, game, or even sleep in, plus food, drink, and other perks when traveling.

However, since there are different levels of access with Priority Pass, it’s important to understand what exactly the program offered involves, and whether it may make sense to become a member. Finding the right credit card can involve considering a variety of factors, so arm yourself with this intel.

What Is Priority Pass?

Priority Pass is a company offering a network of over 1,400 airport lounges, restaurants, and other services in 148 countries. Different features at qualifying airport lounges include free drinks and food, wifi, spa treatments, showers, and sleeping areas.

You can join Priority Pass with an annual membership, with different access tiers based on how often you travel. Some credit cards — typically luxury travel ones — offer free Priority Pass membership just for being a cardholder. That can make your time preflight or during a layover feel like a posh experience.

Depending on your membership, you may be able to bring guests free of charge into lounges.

Benefits of Priority Pass

There are an array of credit card rewards, such as cash back vs. miles. Here, a closer look at what you’ll enjoy if you get Priority Pass with your credit card.

Airport lounges within the Priority Pass network are popular with travelers because there are no requirements to access them other than being a member vs. some lounges that require you to fly with a certain airline on a specific class to gain access. Other benefits include worldwide access, luxury amenities, and complimentary food and drink. Here’s a closer look.

Airport Lounges

There are over 1,400 airport lounges worldwide, with many offering access within three hours of your flight. Though specific features differ between lounges, you can typically expect perks like complimentary food and beverages, wifi access, comfortable seating, workstations, and alcohol at select lounges. Some airport lounges may even allow you to pre-book or reserve lounge access so you’re guaranteed a spot when you arrive.

Restaurant Access

Priority Pass members also have access to a network of restaurants at select airport terminals. You will receive a credit to go towards a meal at participating restaurants, which can be a great way to save money on food. Depending on where you dine, there may also be promotional offers on occasion. Any amount you spend over the credited amount you will need to pay out of pocket. To receive the credit, you’ll typically present your Priority Pass card to a restaurant staff member and your boarding pass information.

Private Suites

How’s this for a perk? Select airports also offer private sleeping areas for you to rest, helpful if you’re between long haul flights. Most commonly, you’ll access through Minute Suites available at select locations. Members receive access to a private room which may include blankets, a workstation, white noise machine, and a daybed sofa if you want to take a nap.

Game Lounges

Some Priority Pass locations also offer lounges with gaming features. Called Game Space, these are locations where members can relax and play at various gaming stations with offerings for different ages. This might help time seem to pass a little more quickly before your flight.

Free Guests

Priority Pass members can take guests into lounges with them, often without an additional fee. Children are also allowed and may either count as an additional guest or be allowed in completely free of charge.

Recommended: How Do Credit Card Payments Work?

Why Get a Priority Pass Credit Card

Getting a credit card with Priority Pass access opens you up to a possible better travel experience than if you were to travel without lounge access. Many credit cards offer Priority Pass Select, a membership tier offering you access to certain airport lounges, restaurants and other experiences through the Priority Pass network.

You don’t need to pay an additional membership fee — your credit card’s annual fee typically should suffice. Priority Pass memberships can run up to several hundred dollars per year. If your credit card annual fee is around the same price, it may be worth it signing up for a card that offers Priority Pass as part of its rewards, especially if you can access other perks that more than offset the cost.

Examples of Credit Cards that Offer Priority Pass Membership

Credit card reward offers and perks can change quite often. Currently, these are among the credit cards that offer Priority Pass membership:

•   Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

•   Chase Sapphire Reserve

•   Citi Prestige Card

•   The Platinum Card and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, both from American Express

•   Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite Card

Recommended: Guide to Automated Credit Card Payments

Pros and Cons of Paying for Priority Pass vs as a Priority Pass Credit Card Perk

There are both benefits and drawbacks to paying for Priority Pass membership yourself or getting on through


First, consider the advantages of getting Priority Pass as a credit card benefit.

•   Squeeze value out of card: Getting a credit card with Priority Pass membership included can help you to maximize the value of your card. As you evaluate credit card rewards, you want the benefits to more than offset the fees you pay.

•   Save on travel costs: Even if you don’t spend much time in airports, you can save money when traveling with the free meals feature at select Priority Pass restaurants.


Next, consider the potential disadvantages of getting Priority Pass with your credit card.

•   Fees: No matter if you have a credit card with airport lounge access or pay for a Priority Pass membership out of pocket, you probably have to pay an annual fee one way or another to gain access.

•   Charged for guests: Depending on the membership tier (even for memberships attached to a credit card), you could be charged for each guest that enters with you. If you’re using your membership that’s included with your credit card, you may want to ask if guests are free, or else you may get a “surprise” charge on your next statement. This can be important when traveling on a budget as a family too.

•   Select benefits: Not all Priority Pass memberships are the same. Ones attached to credit cards may change at any time, so you’ll need to ask what is included and what’s not. For example, some restaurants may not offer perks or discounts if you hold a certain credit card.

Priority Pass Tips

There are several ways to get the most out of your Priority Pass membership, whether or not you pay for it out of pocket or get one through a credit card.

•   To enroll out of pocket, head to the Priority Pass website and select the membership tier you want, and pay for the annual fee. You will need to provide details such as your name and address. Once paid, Priority Pass will send your membership card in the mail — you can activate the card online.

•   If you signed up for a credit card with Priority Pass access, you will also need to activate it. Depending on your credit card, you may need to activate your membership by first logging into your credit card account and selecting the correct link to follow the appropriate prompts.

Other tips to get the most out of your Priority Pass membership include:

•   Look up lounges in advance: When planning your flight itinerary and comparing airfare options, it can be wise to look at what layovers are available to you. If flights with similar itineraries are around the same price, consider booking one with better lounge access during your layover. Also check what lounge access you may have when coming back on your return flight. Some airports may also have more than one lounge, so pick one that seems like the best fit.

•   Prebook when possible: Some locations allow you to reserve a spot at an airport lounge. If it’s during peak travel season or you want to guarantee a place, pre-booking can increase the chances you don’t have to wait.

•   Check to see what benefits you have: Priority Pass Select memberships can vary, so it’s better to check ahead to see what you get. Same goes even if you’re paying for a different membership tier out of pocket.

•   Check benefits for authorized users: Some credit cards with Priority Pass memberships don’t allow authorized users the same access, whereas some do.

The Takeaway

Getting a credit card with Priority Pass membership can be beneficial, but only if you use this perk. You may also pay a higher annual fee since luxury credit cards are typically the only ones offering this type of benefit. If you’re not a frequent traveler, you may be better off with another credit card. You could likely pay out of pocket for the occasional use of a lounge.

Whether you're looking to build credit, apply for a new credit card, or save money with the cards you have, it's important to understand the options that are best for you. Learn more about credit cards by exploring this credit card guide.


What is the advantage of having a Priority Pass?

Priority Pass can make spending time in airports more comfortable and affordable. Having Priority Pass allows you access to over 1,400 airport lounges, restaurants, and services in over 148 countries.

Do you need your credit card with Priority Pass?

In most cases, you don’t need your credit card when accessing a Priority Pass lounge. You will need your membership card and your boarding pass.

Does Priority Pass give you free lounge access?

Yes, Priority Pass can give you free lounge access to over 1,400 airport lounges globally.

Photo credit: iStock/jacoblund

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


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