Priority Pass™ Select: How It Works & Credit Cards With It

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I remember the first time I entered an airport lounge. I was in my typical travel uniform of leggings and a backpack; everyone around me was sporting suits and briefcases. For a few moments, I worried I didn’t belong.

Then I saw a buffet of free food, a bartender ready to serve me a free glass of wine, and a million open electrical outlets — and my concerns soon evaporated. So what if I wasn’t wearing a suit? I was a Priority Pass™ Select member, and life was good.

In the years since that first visit, I’ve flashed my Priority Pass™ card at more than a dozen airports around the world. Each time, it feels magical to get so many free perks simply for having a credit card.

If you want in, here’s everything you need to know about Priority Pass™ Select membership: what it is, what it includes, and how to get it for free through your travel rewards credit card.

What Is Priority Pass™ Select?

Priority Pass™ bills itself as “the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program.” While it doesn’t operate its own lounges, its members have access to “1,200+ airport experiences in over 500 cities and 143 countries.”

Most people join through “Priority Pass™ Select,” a membership program that comes as a perk of many high-end travel credit cards.

When you’re a Priority Pass™ Select member, you’ll gain access to all Priority Pass™ “experiences” — the vast majority of which are airport lounges and restaurants. 

You can treat your friends, too: Most credit card issuers allow you to bring two Priority Pass™ guests at no extra charge. (Some lounges don’t count young children, typically those under 2, toward the two-guest limit.)

If you don’t want to apply for a credit card, you can purchase membership directly from the Priority Pass™ website for $99 (Standard), $249 (Standard Plus), or $429 (Prestige) per year. As you can see below, most of these memberships don’t offer unlimited access, and they all charge $32 per guest visit.

We would advise against purchasing your Priority Pass™ membership directly from the company. Since most credit cards with Priority Pass™ offer unlimited free visits, as well as two free guests, they’re a much better deal.

You can’t use your credit card to get into lounges — you’ll need a separate Priority Pass™ membership card (along with a same-day boarding pass). Some credit cards let you download a digital membership card that’s accessible from the Priority Pass™ app. If you forget your physical card at home, you can use this digital version to enter the vast majority of lounges.

What Are Priority Pass™ Lounges Like?

While the quality of Priority Pass™ lounges varies greatly, at the minimum you’ll usually find free food and alcohol, an espresso machine, a dedicated WiFi network, ample charging outlets, comfy chairs and desks, and newspapers and magazines. Some lounges even have conference rooms, showers, and spas.

Generally speaking, international lounges are fancier than their domestic counterparts, and often offer a wider selection of hot food.

As long as you’re a member of Priority Pass™ Select, it doesn’t matter which airline you’re flying — you can go into any of its affiliated lounges. All you need is your Priority Pass™ card and a same-day boarding pass. 

The only major restriction you’ll face is if a lounge is too full. Some lounges prohibit Priority Pass™ members at certain hours, and others simply place a sign at their entrance saying “No Priority Pass™” when they’ve reached capacity. Lounges may also cap your stay at, say, three hours (though I’m not sure how those limits are enforced).

If you’re unable to access a particular lounge, take heart: Your Priority Pass™ Select membership might provide other options, like restaurants or sleep pods — we reveal these additional experiences below.

In the U.S., you can usually even enter Priority Pass™ lounges after arriving at your final destination. (You might want to do this to grab a snack before hitting the road, or to chill for a while and avoid rush-hour traffic.) Outside the U.S., lounges might not let you in without an onward boarding pass, but there’s no harm in trying. You can also check to see if there are any “arrivals lounges” at your destination, which cater specifically to arriving passengers.

Where Can You Find Priority Pass™ Lounges in the U.S.?

Unfortunately, Priority Pass™ has a fairly limited footprint in the United States.

You’ll find more lounge locations at international airports, with the heaviest concentrations in Western Europe and North Asia.

As of August 2021, here’s a full list of American airports with Priority Pass™ lounges and restaurants:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Baltimore (BWI)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Buffalo (NY)
  • Charleston (SC)
  • Charlotte (CLT)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Cleveland (CLE)
  • Colorado Springs (COS)
  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Hebron KY Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Intl (CVG)
  • Honolulu (HNL)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Indianapolis (IND)
  • Jacksonville (FL)
  • Kahului (OGG)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Lexington (LEX)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
  • Nashville (BNA)
  • New Orleans (MSY)
  • New York (EWR & JFK)
  • Orlando (MCO & SFB)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • Portland (PDX)
  • Providence (PVD)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • San Jose (SJC)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • St. Louis (STL)
  • Syracuse (SYR)
  • Tampa (TPA)
  • Tucson (TUS)
  • Washington, DC (DCA & IAD)
AirportHoursConditions
ATL
  • 06:30–22:00 daily
  • Access permitted three hours before flight departure.
  • Children under 2 admitted for free; all children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Computer workstations and printers
  • Some amenities may be restricted due to regional or local restrictions.
DFW
  • The Club DFW: 05:30–21:00
  • Minute Suite, Terminal A: 24 hours
  • Gameway, Terminal B: 09:00–17:00
  • Minute Suite, Terminal D: 24 hours
  • Gameway, Terminal E: 06:00–17:00
The Club DFW:

 

  • Access permitted three hours before flight departure.
  • Children under 2 admitted for free; all children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Computer workstations and printers
  • Some amenities may be restricted due to regional or local restrictions.
LAX
  • Alaska Lounge: 05:00–20:00, closed Dec 25.
  • KAL Lounge: 11:00–17:00
Alaska Lounge:

 

  • Access permitted two hours before flight departure.
  • All cardholders must have a physical/digital Priority Pass™ card plus same-day boarding pass.
  • Two guests per cardholder or immediate family.
  • Cardholder must be 18+
  • Access could be restricted due to capacity.
  • Three alcoholic drinks per adult (21+)
  • Face masks required

KAL Lounge:

  • Access permitted three hours before flight departure.
  • Limited to two guests per cardholder, subject to a charge when applicable.
  • Children under 2 admitted for free; all children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Access could be restricted due to capacity.
CLT
  • Minute Suites: 24 hours
  • 1 hour limit, $28 per subsequent hour
  • Up to three guests
  • Showers $20 per 30min
  • May be required to present a payment card at check-in for incidental charges.
LAS
  • The Club LAS, Terminal 1: 05:00–20:00
  • The Club LAS, Terminal 3: 11:00–22:00
  • Access permitted three hours before flight departure.
  • Children under 2 admitted for free; all children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Computer workstations and printers
  • Some amenities may be restricted due to regional or local restrictions.

Similar restrictions may apply at other Priority Pass™ Select lounges, so be sure to check Priority Pass’™ list when traveling.

How Do Priority Pass™ Select Restaurant Credits Work?

In addition to airport lounges, Priority Pass™ Select membership includes a slew of highly valuable airport “experiences.”

These mostly come in the form of restaurant credits — usually around $28–$30 of free food and drink at participating restaurants. (All you’ll need to pay is the tip!)

This credit usually applies to one guest, too, meaning you could get $56–$60 of free food just for having Priority Pass™ Select. At some airports, the credit isn’t for a restaurant, but rather a golf green (MSP) or a nap room (PHL).

$60 of free food and drink at LAX’s P.F. Chang’s, thanks to Priority Pass™ Select.

While it sounds too good to be true, I promise it’s not. The first time I tried it, at PDX’s Caper’s Cafe, I was nervous to pull out my Priority Pass™ card. I figured the server would laugh at me, but instead he took my card — and took $28 off my bill.

As always, when you receive a discount on food, you should tip at least 20% on the pre-discounted bill. If your pre-discounted bill is $28, for example, you should tip at least $6 — even if your total reads “$0.” Most restaurants will allow you to charge $.01, plus a tip, on a credit card if you don’t have cash. Remember: Your server has to do just as much work to serve a free customer, so reward him or her with a generous tip. (You have no excuses, since you’re already saving a lot on the meal!)

Take note that Priority Pass™ Select memberships through American Express cards now exclude non-lounge experiences, like restaurants.

As of August 2021, here’s a full list of U.S. airports with Priority Pass™ experiences:

AirportVenue(s)Perk
Atlanta (ATL)Minute Suites1 hour
Baltimore (BWI)Minute Suites1 hour
Boston (BOS)Stephanie’s // Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill$28
Charlotte (CLT)Minute Suites1 hour
Cleveland (CLE)Bar Symon$28
Dallas (DFW)Minute Suites // Gameway1 hour // 2 hours of gaming, plus 1 soda and 2 snacks
Detroit (DTW)Be Relax Spa10–30 minutes
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)Kafe Kalik$28
Houston (IAH)Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar // Landry’s Seafood$28
Indianapolis (IND)The Fan Zone$28
Lexington (LEX)Kentucky Ale Tap Room$28
Los Angeles (LAX)P.F. Chang’s // Rock & Brews$30 // $28
Miami (MIA)Corona Beach House // Air Margaritaville // Viena $30 // $28 // $28
Minneapolis-St.Paul (MSP)PGA MSP Lounge$15 (off food or golf bill)
Nashville (BNA)Minute Suites1 hour
New York (JFK)Bobby Van’s Steakhouse$28
Philadelphia (PHL)Minute Suites1 hour
Portland (PDX)Capers Market //Capers Cafe Le Bar // Westward Whiskey$28
Providence (PVD)Providence Provisions Kitchen & Bar$30
San Diego (SAN)Be Relax Spa10–30 minutes
San Francisco (SFO)San Francisco Giants Clubhouse // Yankee Pier$28
Seattle (SEA)Trail Head BBQ Bar // Bambuza$28
St. Louis (STL)The Pasta House // The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer$28
Syracuse (SYR)Johnny Rockets$28
Tampa (TPA)The Café by Mise en Place$28
Tucson (TUS)Barrio Brewery Co.$28
Washington Dulles (IAD)Chef Geoff’s$28
Washington Reagan (DCA)American Tap Room // Bracket Room$28

Since there are more options abroad — and since participating venues change all the time — we recommend downloading the Priority Pass™ app and checking it as soon as you arrive at an airport. That way you won’t miss out on any lounges or experiences!

What Are the Best Priority Pass™ Select Credit Cards?

Ready to take advantage of all that Priority Pass™ Select has to offer? Here are the four best Priority Pass™ credit cards, plus four other options.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Mastercard® Black Card™

Continue reading for a more in-depth look at our top choices.

Whichever card you choose, note your Priority Pass™ membership usually isn’t automatic. You’ll typically need to activate it through your credit card’s online account, after which you should receive your card in the mail in a few weeks.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Min. credit level: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Purchase APR: 16.99% – 23.99% Variable
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Spending Rewards
  • 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Chase Dining through Ultimate Rewards
    • Hotel stays and Car rentals through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Lyft rides (through 3/31/22)
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Air travel through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Travel (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Balance transfers

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: 16.99% – 23.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
  • Late Fee: See Terms
  • Returned Payment Fee: See Terms
  • Additional Cards Annual Fee: $75
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0

The information related to Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

This is the card that got me hooked on the lounge life. It offers 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides, 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel (after the full travel credit is used) and dining, and a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit (alongside a huge list of other benefits).

There’s also an excellent welcome bonus: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Although this solid Chase Priority Pass™ option has a $550 annual fee, it’s offset by $300 worth of annual statement credits for travel purchases, which effectively reduces the annual fee to $250.

As for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass™ guest policy? It allows you to bring two people with you. Additional guests will cost $32 each.

Authorized users of this card cost $75 per year, and get their own Priority Pass™ Select memberships with the same level of access.

This card used to allow unlimited guests to enter for free, but that was a bit too good — possibly leading to overcrowding — and it was knocked down to the standard two free guests.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Min. credit level: Good
  • Annual Fee: $695 Rates & Fees
  • Purchase APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on eligible Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through Amex Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, then 1X)
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

Balance transfers

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Penalty APR: See Rates & Fees
  • Late Fee: Up to $40
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $40
  • Additional Cards Annual Fee: $175 for first 3; then $175 per card
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None

The information related to The Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

If you want more extensive lounge access — beyond what Priority Pass™ offers — the Platinum card’s a great choice. With it, you’ll have access to a range of lounges including those from Delta (when flying Delta), Airspace, and Escape, as well as the Centurion lounge network, which is generally heralded as one of the nicest in the biz.

Just know that the Priority Pass™ Select membership available through American Express cards excludes non-lounge experiences, which means you won’t get any restaurant, bar, or cafe credits.

This card offers Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu., and its annual fee is $695.

Other benefits include Membership Rewards points for flights booked directly from airlines or through Amex Travel, and on eligible prepaid hotels through Amex Travel; up to $200 in Uber credits; up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits; and a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit.

Up to two guests can enter for free, and additional guests cost $32 each. Authorized users of this card generally get the same lounge access as primary cardholders. You can designate up to three authorized users for a total cost of $175 per year; after that, each additional authorized user costs $175 each.

Alternatively, business owners can check out The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers the same level of lounge access as the personal card.

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Mastercard® Black Card™

  • Min. credit level: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $495
  • Purchase APR: 14.99% Variable
  • Patented black-PVD-coated metal card—weighing 22 grams.
  • 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
  • Annual Airline Credit—up to $100 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry.
  • Enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest limit. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat. Around-the-clock service to help you save time and manage tasks big and small.
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, room upgrades, free wifi, breakfast for two and more) at over 3,000 properties.
  • Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus additional World Elite Mastercard® benefits.
  • Annual Fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User). Terms and conditions apply.
Spending Rewards
  • 1X point per dollar for all purchases
    • Cash back redemption value: 1.5% cash back
    • Airfare redemption value: 2% cash back

Balance transfers

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: 14.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% ($5 min)
  • Penalty APR: N/A
  • Late Fee: Up to $39
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $39
  • Additional Cards Annual Fee: $195
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%

The information related to Mastercard® Black Card™ has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Compared to other premium travel cards, the Mastercard Black Card doesn’t deliver a ton of value for its annual fee. Still, it’s worth mentioning because it allows you to bring an unlimited number of guests into Priority Pass™ lounges.

Most other credit cards charge fees after the second guest, so if you regularly travel with a large family or several companions, this perk could save a lot of money. When you’re approved for this card, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Priority Pass™ Select, and won’t need to take any further steps. Authorized users, who cost $175 each, receive the same level of Priority Pass™ access.

Other than that, this card’s perks are pretty basic (and don’t really live up to the annual fee): a $100 airline credit, an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®, and 1X point on all purchases.

Other Priority Pass™ Select Cards

Not interested in any of the above options? Here are four other Priority Pass™ credit cards.

Want Priority Pass™ access without the high-end travel card? Consider the Deserve Pro Mastercard, which offers a complimentary one-year Priority Pass™ Select membership for spending $1,000 in the first three months. Unlike with the premium cards, however, each lounge visit will cost you $27.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • Min. credit level: Good
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Purchase APR: 15.74% – 24.74% Variable
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Spending Rewards
  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 3X Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar:
    • U.S. restaurants
    • Flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 75,000 Bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months; up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months

Balance transfers

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable
  • Late Fee: Up to $40
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $40
  • Additional Cards Annual Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • $450 annual fee
  • Priority Pass™ Select membership (excludes non-lounge experiences)
  • 75,000 Bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months; up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months
  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with participating Marriott Bonvoy properties; 3X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points on flights booked directly with airlines and at U.S. restaurants; 2X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points on everything else
  • $300 Marriott Bonvoy annual statement credit
  • Complimentary Marriott Gold Elite status and free night every year after your account anniversary
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • Min. credit level: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Purchase APR: 15.74%-24.74% (Variable)
  • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
  • Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 7X Bonus Points for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies & at U.S. restaurants.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Enjoy up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card.
  • $450 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Spending Rewards
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 7X Hilton Honors points per dollar for:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
    • Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors points per dollar on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 150,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening

Balance transfers

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Penalty APR: 29.24% Variable
  • Late Fee: Up to $40
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $40
  • Additional Cards Annual Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: N/A

The information related to Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

  • Hilton Honors Diamond status: Includes a 100% bonus on Base points earned, room upgrades to suites when available, executive lounge access, a 48-hour room guarantee, and more
  • Annual free Weekend Night Award: One free night every year, and earn another free weekend night by spending $60,000 in a calendar year
  • Annual $250 Hilton resort statement credit: Get up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio
  • Annual $250 airline fee statement credit: For incidental fees only
  • $100 Hilton on-property credit: Good for every eligible stay of two nights or more at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, valid for incidental fees only
  • Priority Pass™ Select membership: Complimentary access to Priority Pass™ airport lounges (excludes non-lounge experiences)
  • American Express Concierge: Call for help with select services, like buying event tickets, making dining and other reservations, and finding hard-to-find items.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty; Return Protection; Baggage Insurance Plan; Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance; Trip Delay Insurance; Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $450

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

  • Min. credit level: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95, $0 first year
  • Purchase APR: 15.74% – 24.74% Variable
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Annual fee: $95, $0 first year
  • Terms Apply.
Spending Rewards
  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar at:
    • U.S. Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
    • U.S. Gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 150,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months; 50,000 bonus points for spending a total of $10,000 in the first 6 months

Balance transfers

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable
  • Late Fee: Up to $40
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $40
  • Additional Cards Annual Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None

The information related to Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

  • Hilton Honors Gold status: Includes an 80% point bonus, room upgrades when available, complimentary breakfasts, and more
  • Priority Pass™ Select membership: 10 free visits to Priority Pass™ lounges per year; additional visits cost $32 per person
  • Annual Weekend Night Award: For spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Baggage Insurance Plan, Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Global Assist Hotline
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95, $0 first year

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

  • Min. credit level: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $400
  • Purchase APR: 16.24% Variable
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center
  • 3X points per dollar for travel, mobile wallet purchases, and restaurants (until 7/1/21)
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of membership, equivalent to $750 in travel redemptions.
  • $325 annual travel credit.
  • Application fee credit for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓® ($85), once every four years.
  • Enhanced status at Relais & Châteaux hotels and resorts.
  • 12-month membership to Priority Pass™ Select for airport lounge access.
  • 12 complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi passes per year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $400 annual fee, $75 for additional authorized users.
Spending Rewards
  • 5X points per dollar spent on:
    • Prepaid hotels booked in the Altitude Rewards Center
    • Car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center
  • 3X points per dollar spent on:
    • Travel
    • Mobile Wallet purchases
    • Restaurants (until 7/1/21)
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of membership

Balance transfers

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: 16.24% Variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%, $5 minimum
  • Penalty APR: N/A
  • Late Fee: Up to $40
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $35
  • Additional Cards Annual Fee: $75
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Annual fee: $400
  • Four free Priority Pass™ lounge visits for you and one accompanying guest per year (after that, each visit will cost $27 per person)
  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days
  • 3X points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases
  • $325 annual travel credit
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit
  • 12 complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi passes per year

Is Priority Pass™ Worth It?

Like all travel credit card questions, this depends on how much you travel.

Although I wouldn’t recommend purchasing Priority Pass™ directly from the company, I do think it’s an incredibly valuable perk of the premium travel rewards cards above. 

For me, it’s certainly been worth it. Over the past three years, my partner and I have visited an average of four lounges a year, and have used the restaurant benefit about once a year. If we’d paid for those lounge visits ($50 per person without a membership, for a total of $100 per visit) and restaurant tabs ($28 per person, for a total of $56), it would amount to approximately $456 per year.

(Even if we’d skipped the lounges — which we probably would, if we didn’t have Priority Pass™ Select — we would’ve spent around $20 per trip on airport food, for a total of $100 per year.)

The annual fee on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card is $550, but as mentioned above, the annual travel credit effectively reduces it to $250. So, even if I don’t count the card’s strong earning power and (many!) other perks, I’m getting $456 in benefits for $250.

Besides the monetary calculations, I just love the feeling of freedom that Priority Pass™ Select gives me. It’s fun to feel special, to graze on free food, to order drinks without thinking about their cost — and to charge your phone without having to sit on the floor.

If you want that feeling, too, I’d say the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express are your best bets.

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