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Is Priority Pass Worth the Money?

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Priority Pass Card

Priority Pass is your passport to airport business lounges. In this review we will evaluate if the card is worth the money.

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Free Entries to Airport Lounges with Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a membership that allows you to enter business lounges at selected airports for free or with a discounted price. The normal price of an ordinary airport business lounge lies usually between 40 and 50 USD. With Priority Pass lounge card, you can reduce your lounge costs almost by 50 percent by using a right membership model. There are currently more than 1,000 Priority Pass lounges in the world so finding a lounge is easy. It is almost sure that in every big airport there is at least one lounge to where you can enter with your Priority Pass card.

We have also published the Ultimate Guide to Airport lounges.

With the Priority Pass no-one will ask if you are flying in business or in economy. Airlines and cabin classes have nothing to do with Priority Pass. You just need to present a valid boarding pass together with your Priority Pass membership card and you are allowed to enter a lounge. In many airports Priority Pass customers and airlines' business class passengers end up to a same lounge.

Entering a lounge with Priority Pass membership may be totally free or discounted depending on your card type. We decided to write this Priority Pass review to introduce you different membership models.

Three Main Types of Priority Pass Memberships

Please be aware that the prices we mention are only estimates. The exact prices may depend on your location. We advise you to check current prices from Priority Pass* web pages. On the offical web page it is also possible to purchase Priority Pass.

Priority Pass Standard

Standard Priority Pass is the cheapest membership model but according to our opinion it is also the worst option. You need to pay about 100 USD annual membership fee but you still don't get any free lounge entries. Using the lounge services costs about 27 USD / visit. A guest with you costs the same.

Standard Priority Pass could be useful for people who travel only a few times in a year. The annual membership fee and per lounge access fee makes the average cost of a lounge moderately high so obtaining the standard version does not give you much benefit. For random lounge visitors there are better options.

Priority Pass Standard Plus

Priority Pass Standard Plus is much better for a traveller who makes at least 5 return trips per year. Standard Plus membership costs about 250 USD per year and it includes 10 free lounge accesses. After these 10 free visits, the following visits will be priced like in Standard membership model.

Standard Plus membership is a good choice if you travel from 3 to 7 return trips per year. The average price for a lounge visit will then be about 25 USD that is a moderately good price.

Priority Pass Prestige

Priority Pass Prestige has unlimited free lounge entries for the card holder. The cost of the card is about 400 USD yearly. Prestige becomes the best option after 15 lounge visits per year. That means that you should do about 8 return trips in a year for it to be a good choice. If you prefer having connecting flights, this is absolutely the best choice for you. You can spend layovers in cosy lounges between your flights.

The Summary of the Pricing Model

Membership Model Price / Year Our Recommendation
Standard 99 USD Seldom a good choice
Standard Plus 249 USD A good option for people who travel a few times in a year
Prestige 399 USD The best choice for frequent travellers

For frequent and business travellers, Priority Pass Prestige is the best option.

Where to Purchase Priority Pass?

The safest place to purchase Priority is their own web page*. Priority Pass has now also an electronic membership card so you can take the card to use right away after joining. You just need to install their app to your phone.

Priority Pass Membership with Credit Cards

Many credit card companies offer Priority Pass membership freely with their credit cards. You only pay the credit card annual fee and you will get Priority Pass lounge membership free of charge.

According to our opinion this is often a very good option. However, you should calculate how much benefit Priority Pass is giving you. Notice also that Priority Pass cards coming with credit cards often have different terms. Many of them include 4 free Priority Pass lounge visits and after that, you will pay Standard visit fees. With some luxury credit cards, you as the card holder may get Priority Pass card with unlimited free access and also for the guest who is travelling with you.

When obtaining Priority Pass credit card, calculate its value carefully. Estimate what is the value of the credit card itself and target the rest of its annual fee to Priority Pass costs by using the following formula: One lounge visit price = (credit card annual fee - your estimate of credit card's own value) / (maximum free lounge visit the card has or you will use in a year).

One lounge visit price = (credit card annual fee - your estimate of credit card's own value) / (maximum free lounge visit the card has or you will use in a year)

How to Find Priority Pass Lounges

There are more than 1200 Priority Pass lounges so finding one is an easy task. Big airports have usually multiple lounge options and smaller ones have normally at least one lounge where you can enter with Priority Pass. The current list of all Priority Pass lounges can be found on their webpage*.

Alternatives for Priority Pass

DragonPass

Priority Pass has a very similar competitor called DragonPass. We have published a separate article where we compare Priority Pass to DragonPass.

Lounge Pass

As we mentioned earlier, Priority Pass may not be the best option for less frequent travellers. If you still would like to visit a lounge a few times in a year there are some other options aside from those enumerated above. For example, you can pay the the normal lounge entry prices or to buy a business class ticket but these ways are obviously less affordable.

For infrequent lounge visitors, we recommend buying lounge entry vouchers from Lounge Pass*. You can buy single entries that are often discounted even 40%. Check Lounge Pass web page to see the exact prices and the lounge selection.

Lounge Pass

Why to Use Lounges?

Finally we would like to motivate you considering using airport business lounges.

People usually feel airports to be stressful places. They are crowded and noisy. Airport restaurants and cafes are really overpriced. Having a light meal, snacks or coffee will often cost from 20 to 30 USD. Why not treat yourself with the same expenditures at a relaxing lounge?

In the lounge, the atmosphere is more peaceful. Snacks or sometimes even meals are free. Warm, cold and alcohol drinks are usually included too. You get a comfortable chair and free WiFi. When you are feeling tired you really appreciate these services. If you are still feeling unsure about Priority Pass, try lounges once via Lounge Pass.

Even better, many lounges have showers for free use. What could be better than have a fresh shower before a long flight. The best lounges have even sleeping facilities and spa treatments but these services may be charged with a small extra fee.

What Option Do We Use Ourselves?

We visit lounges often when travelling. We are using Priority Pass membership that has come with a credit card. Sometimes we access lounges also with Finnish Diners Club card that gives us much discounted lounge entry.

We recommend you also to check your country's available credit cards. As we have mentioned earlier, many credit cards are linked to lounges someway. The credit card selection differs so much between countries that we decided not evaluate credit cards in this article. We are based in Finland and for example in our country the selection is not that good. If you are totally new to airport lounges, the best strategy could be try lounges once via Lounge Pass discounted voucher. If you like them and you want to use them more often, Priority Pass is a good choice. Evaluate carefully which model is the best for you.

Please comment below if you like lounges and what is your way to access them.

Got interested? Check this Priority Pass* link to see if they have a sale campaign going on. Or visit Lounge Pass* if you are only interested in single lounge entry vouchers. More information you will also find from our Ultimate Guide to Airport Lounges.

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We are updating articles when we get new information. This article has been edited last time on 09/29/18.


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Comments (6)

  1. I have found Amex platinum including unlimited access to lounges (priority pass and amex lounges) very valuable. We share the yearly ($700) fee with my spouse and we both get insurances, points and free lounge accesses with that. We travel around 20-30 flights per year in total and we visit lounges always - sometimes together, sometimes with colleagues or friends (you can bring one visitor for free to lounge per card holder). When flight is late, it's hot in the airport, etc. It's super nice to stay in a lounge with AC, food and free wi-fi.

    Reply

  2. Dec 16, 2017 at 17:57 EET Ceasar/Finnoytravel :

    Hi Nora, Thank you for sharing your positive experiences with lounges and for sharing too your practical way of accessing the lounge. Indeed it is worth having it for frequent travellers like you. :) Regards!

    Reply

  3. Thanks for sharing! Have came across another membership, DragonPass, www.dragonpass.com. They seems to offer lounge access as well. But on top of that, they are offering dining discounts (up to 25%) across 1+k restaurants around the world!

    Do you think DragonPass is a good replacement for Priority Pass? Thanks. :)

    Reply

    1. Hi Vincent, thank you for your comment and for the link. We will check about this.

  4. Hi! Very nice article! I've a question about Priority Pass Platinum. I've got the offer to bet Amex Platinum and it inlcudes also the PP Platinum. Can you tell me, i didn't find anywhere the answer, if the access to lounges is only for me(cardholder) or could be for my family as well?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Mar 29, 2018 at 11:46 EEST Niko / Finnoy Travel :

      Hello.

      Thank you for the comment. Quite often PP coming with Amex platinum allows a free lounge entry to the card holder and to his (one) guest. But the terms vary between countries. We suggest you to confirm this from your country's Amex issuer. Platinum also includes often 1 supplementary card with the same benefits. But as we said, the PP terms depends on the agreement between Amex and Priority Pass so better to confirm them.

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