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What is Priority Pass?

As a Priority Pass™ member, travelers get access to a network of 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide. Whether you're looking for a quiet place to work, or a luxurious place to lounge, Priority Pass alleviates a lot of the common stresses that come with traveling.

Here's what you need to know about accessing an airport oasis on your next trip:

  • What is Priority Pass
  • Two ways to get Priority Pass
  • How to get Priority Pass with a Chase credit card
  • Priority Pass benefits
  • How to start using your Priority Pass benefits
  • How to get the most from Priority Pass benefits
  • Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card with free Priority Pass Select membership

What is Priority Pass?

Priority Pass is a membership club with a global network of 1,300+ airport lounges. It's the largest independent airport lounge access program in the world. Members can swap busy airport terminals for complimentary refreshments and quiet spaces. 

Two ways to get Priority Pass

Consumers have two ways of accessing Priority Pass lounges. They can either buy a membership, or get a free membership with a credit card (but expect to pay an annual fee for that card).

1. Buy a Priority Pass membership

Travelers can choose from several membership plans, each with an annual fee but different pricing for lounge visits:

Standard Membership level - for occasional travelers

  • Flat fee per member visit
  • Flat fee per guest, per visit

Standard plus Membership level - For regular travelers

  • 10 free member visits, then a flat fee per member visit
  • Flat fee per guest, per visit

Prestige Membership level - For frequent travelers

  • All member visits are free
  • Flat fee per guest, per visit

In general, the Priority Pass membership plans are suited to travelers based on the amount of travel they do.

2. Get a free Priority Pass Select membership with a credit card

Most credit cards that include a Priority Pass membership also include a number of free visit with some including unlimited free member visits.

Annual fees and the cost of additional guests will depend on the card. When used strategically, Priority Pass Select benefits may outweigh the cost of a luxury card's annual fee.

How to get Priority Pass with a Chase credit card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card® offers a free Priority Pass Select membership. Cardmembers get full access to every Priority Pass airport lounge for up to two guests (additional guests are $27 per visit). Authorized card users are also eligible for their own Priority Pass Select membership.

Priority Pass benefits

Priority Pass airport lounges are popular because you don't have to fly a specific airline or class to enter them. There are over a thousand airport lounges in Priority Pass's global network. Seventy-five of those are in North American airports, with over 40 in the United States. Amenities will vary, ranging from simple to luxurious.

General amenities

Most Priority Pass airport lounges have comfortable seating and business facilities — like work stations, reliable wi-fi and plenty of outlets for charging your devices. Beverages and snacks are complimentary, and adult beverages may be free or offered at a low cost.

Restaurant lounges

Priority Pass members get free dining credits to nearly 30 airport restaurants and bars. Note that the credit may not be applied to tips.

Private mini-suites

Priority Pass also offers access to private sleeping areas in select airports.

Luxury amenities

Some Priority Pass airport lounges have special features unique to that location only. For example, some offer waterfall features, natural green walls, fireplaces, putting greens and even outdoor pools.

How to use Priority Pass benefits

Once you get Priority Pass membership set up, enjoying the benefits only takes few steps:

Activate your membership

You'll need to activate your Priority Pass membership before you can use it —simply showing your credit card at the lounge will not work. Activation steps will vary by credit card.

If you have a Chase credit card with Priority Pass membership as a benefit, here are the steps to activate:

  1. Sign in to Chase Ultimate Rewards. (If already signed in, select your "Total Points" in the bottom left.)
  2. Choose the card you'd like to enroll.
  3. Select "Card Benefits."
  4. Scroll to see benefits, then choose "Travel."
  5. Select "Complimentary Airport Lounge Access."

After activating your membership, you'll receive a Priority Pass card in the mail.

Tip: Authorized card users are automatically enrolled. If you add someone to your card after enrolling, call the number on the back of your card to activate their Priority Pass membership.

Get a digital membership card and download the app

Most Priority Pass airport lounges accept digital membership cards. Having this info on your smartphone helps if you ever misplace your physical card. You can see more information here. If you're an eligible Chase customer, now you can also access your Priority Pass Digital Membership Card in the Chase Mobile® app. You can find it in the Explore Lounges section under Benefits > Travel.

Visit a Priority Pass airport lounge

Use the Priority Pass app to find a lounge. To enter, all you have to do is scan your physical or digital membership card to the lounge attendant.

How to get the most from Priority Pass benefits

Here are some tips for maximizing every benefit and convenience the program offers:

Plan ahead

There is not a Priority Pass participating airport lounge in every airport. As you shop for flights, include airport lounge availability and amenities in your search. Compare flights and lounges to make sure:

  • The lounge will be open when you need it.
  • Your preferred amenities will be available.
  • The lounge time limits match your trip.
  • Your guests or children are allowed.

Arrive early

Getting to the lounge a couple of hours before a flight means less stress and more time to enjoy the amenities. Check the lounge information ahead of time to see how early you can go in. Some airport lounges restrict travelers to three hours before their flight.

Use your restaurant credit

Check the Priority Pass app for participating restaurants. Upon arrival, let the server or bartender know you're using your card. They will register you and up to one guest, and you'll get a credit discount or savings. (Be sure to tip! It isn't included.)

Read your credit card's terms and the restaurant's terms beforehand. See if they include a guest credit, and make sure you're OK with any limitations, such as no take-out orders.

Use your card's travel benefits

Most cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, offer a host of other travel benefits along with Priority Pass Select. Be sure to take advantage of these rewards, like welcome bonuses or travel credits, along with accessing airport lounges.

In conclusion

To many travelers, having access to airport lounges makes traveling much more enjoyable. Priority Pass is a great option for if you're seeking amenities and conveniences that you won't find anywhere else in the airport.

If you're looking for lounge access in addition to earning rewards for your travel and dining expenses, check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.