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Priority Pass guest fee jumping up to £20 – what should you do?

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The Priority Pass guest fee is going up sharply.

Lounge access card Priority Pass has emailed members who hold a card directly with them – ie not via American Express Platinum or a similar deal – to inform them that the lounge visit fee is going up to £20 on 18th September.

The current fee is £15.  The £20 fee applies to either yourself (if you have a basic Priority Pass card with no free access) or to any guests you bring (if you have unlimited free access for yourself).

It is not clear yet if holders of Priority Pass and Lounge Club cards issued via American Express and other financial groups will see a similar hike.  I would be very surprised if they did not increase the fee.

Whilst Priority Pass is implying that the blame is down to lounges demanding more money, I get a feeling that this is actually demand management.  More and more people now have a Priority Pass – issuance has gone crazy in the US with virtually every premium credit card now offering it – but the number of lounges is not expanding as quickly.  Putting up prices may also persuade airports to give over more space to new lounges.

American Express Platinum House London

Full details of the changes are on the Priority Pass website here.

If you had been thinking of getting a Priority Pass, today might be a good day to lock in a version with a number of free visitsVia this link you can save up to 25% on the standard fee, which means:

£51 for the Standard card – don’t get this, as you’ll be paying £20 per visit on top

£127 for the Standard Plus card – this comes with 10 free visits

£233 for the Prestige card – this comes with unlimited free visits

Alternatively, get an American Express Platinum charge card.  This is substantially better than buying a Prestige card, as the Amex version is even better – you get TWO Priority Pass cards and each lets the holder bring a free guest.  This means that it gets a family of four into a lounge.  Whilst Amex Platinum has a £450 annual fee, you get 30,000 Memership Rewards points for signing up (= 30,000 Avios) and a huge range of other benefits too.  My full review of American Express Platinum is here.

PS.  There should be some upside here.  If you visit a Priority Pass restaurant, eg The Grain Store in Gatwick South, the free food and drink should (in theory) increase from £15 to £20 per person!  Will it happen?  Let’s see ….


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges. The card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club lounge – see the list here

The Lounge Club list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list.  Additional visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  There is no annual fee in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.