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Priority Pass guest fee for Amex Platinum cardholders rising to £20

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Priority Pass has confirmed that the guest fee for anyone who has a card via American Express Platinum is rising to £20 from 1st October.

This is not a surprise as Priority Pass has already told its own members of a similar rise as we covered here.

This is unlikely to have a major impact for American Express Platinum cardholders.  You can already get FOUR people for free into any of the 1,200 Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide.  The main cardholder is allowed to bring a guest and the Platinum supplementary cardholder, who gets their own Priority Pass, can also bring a free guest. Nothing changes here.

(The strategy for a family of four is to give your partner the free Platinum supplementary card, allowing you to each guest in one child if you are all travelling together.)

It seems that Priority Pass is not increasing the credit you get when eating at one of its airport restaurant partners, such as The Grain Store in Gatwick South.  This will remain at £15, which means that you should pay cash if taking an extra person rather than charging a guest to your Priority Pass account.  This rather confusing comment (given that the actual answer is ‘No’!) has appeared on the Priority Pass Q&A page:

“With the lounge visit fee increasing, does this mean the equivalent value of credit available at Priority Pass’ airport partners (cafes and restaurants) will increase accordingly?

Where Members pay for their visit or guest visits, these particular offers may not represent best value. We advise Members to visit our app or website to review full conditions of access before visiting.”

There is no word yet about changes to the Lounge Club card issued with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.

One by-product of this change is to make the American Express Platinum Business card weaker.  Holders of this card do NOT get a free guest with their Priority Pass cards and so are more likely to end up paying the £20 charge if not travelling alone.

Priority Pass increasing guest fee to £20

Getting airport lounge access via a UK credit card

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

Two free Priority Pass cards (one for you, one for your supplementary Platinum cardholder, each admitting two – so a family of four gets in free) giving access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network – search it here.  You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

You get a Lounge Club card loaded with two free visits to any Lounge Club network lounge – see the list here.  The list is slightly shorter than the Priority Pass list, but not by much.  Additional visits are charged at £20 per person.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  No annual fee in Year 1.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

You get a free LoungeKey card allowing you access to any property in the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although regular travellers will find it cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card (adults only, of course).  The card has an annual 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.

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  1. Stefano says:

    Every time I access a priority pass lounge, I find a place dirty, crowded and where the qualify of food is generally terrible. Probably priority pass is working good as a model, but as a platinum customer, I would love to enter some airline lounge where the style of people and the quality of the lounge itself is far better. This is my two cents.
    Probably priority pass is trying to get more money and at the same time less crowded lounges. Down the line, the money they charge and what they give me back it’s not always worth. A pub can provide WiFi, better food and drinks and in particular times also more quiet.

    • Platinum gets you into Centurion Lounges, but there are only a few, most in USA.
      Seattle is superb.

      • Stefano says:

        I know. Hong Kong is also awesome. Fact is Amex sells you the value of PriorityPass to justify the annual fee. Also they sell you the value and exclusiveness of the Platinum card.
        Then, you enter in a priority pass lounge, and even knowing it’s not an exclusive closed club, you find the same crowed as in the main concourse.
        Hence, my point, is that there’s no value in Priority Pass and Amex should either find a different way to get people into true lounges or scrap the priority pass and part of the fee.

    • Amex / priority pass lounges are not great but don’t think they are below par either. At Heathrow I find all the plaza premium lounges decent enough and there are arrival lounges you can get in that premium passengers cannot. When I’m in Europe priority pass will share the same contract lounge with BA a lot of the time.

      I mean, this is something you can get for 200 quid a year, you shouldn’t expect to be treated as a first class passenger.

    • “The style of the people”????!!!!

      Get you. You could always purchase a business class ticket if common folk are so beneath you.

      • Stefano says:

        Nice idea… I express wrongly myself, but the concept is clear. Discussion is not if you wear a shirt or not.

      • I think the same of the BA Galleries lounges..which are appalling.

        I’ve been to some brilliant Priority Pass lounges that put BA to shame.

    • It really depends on the lounge. Was earlier this week in Bangkok BKK Oman Air lounge. A nice lounge, excellent food and drinks and enjoyable atmosphere.

      • I agree about the Oman lounge – very nice but not as good as the Qatar lounge in BKK. A nice change to many others and must be based on light useage by Oman

    • If you want to enter airline lounges then pay for a business class ticket or earn status like everyone else.

  2. As bits, anyone have any experience of buying Marriott gift cards to reach an Amex target? Have looked at the T&C’s which doesn’t preclude gift cards but does say prepaid cards excluded. Best guess anyone?

    • No idea, but would buy a small amount first and see who charges the card. It may be a third party like with hotel etc. points.

      • Genghis says:

        What difference would that make whether it’s or Marriott? There used to be an extra bonus buying SPG points if you used the SPG card (I did it and it justified the fx fee to hit sign up).

        • I read it as target for spending on Marriott for statement credit, probably incorrectly.

        • It’s for amex Gold sign up 20,000 MR. Got the card but kept using partners as a sup on their card and just remembered it. Got a couple of weeks to go but thought I could buy gift cards for stays later, apparently you can’t unless I’ve read it wrong. As per Genghis the fx fees would be worth it on this occasion.

  3. The PriorityPass changes are a pain in the backside for us, as my wife regularly travels with our two kids but without me. That means we have to pay the lounge fee which, at £15 was borderline acceptable, but at £20 is not.

  4. Has anyone had issues trying to use their Curve card (linked to my IHG) to purchase foreign currency in the UK? Had my card declined at Thomas Exchange earlier this week and it had happened previously at another place.

    • May be coded as ‘financial services’ and so blocked (although their blocking is very random as most people have realised!)

    • Memesweeper says:

      Standard for it to be blocked. There’s nothing you can do.

  5. Apologies if I have missed but is there any more news on the new Marriott credit card?

  6. Slightly OT, related to Lounge Access and may well have been covered elsewhere but I’ve been offered, as a Vodafone customer, the option of buying an annual Dragonpass for £20 including one free visit. Not sure whether that represents good value or not, I don’t need it, but the details, for fellow Vodafone customers are here:

    • GeoffGeoff says:

      I think that must be a targetted offer as the link doesn’t work for me.

      • You have to log in.

        It should be open to all Vodafone pay monthly customers.

    • Dragon Pass website says you can buy access for guests and additional visits past the free first one for £16 in the FAQs. I took the Vodafone offer out as didn’t think it was too bad but to buy guest access or extra visit the actually charge is £20 so feeling abit misled and ripped off.

  7. O/T my husbands iberia avios from the 9k promotion finally posted today. He wants to move them from IB to BA. However, he is unable to do it on either BA or Avios. Both sites say “sorry your login details have not been recognised” for the Iberia part. He is definitely inputting the correct login that allows him to login through Iberia website and he even did combine my avios for 1 avios from BA to IB on the IB website. Any ideas?

    • We higly recommend you to enter your profile using Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox due to compatibility settings.
      quote I got when I had similar issues

    • You are aware that this risks effectively blocking both his Iberia and BA accounts after Iberia take back the Avios in December? BA and Iberia balances will eventually merge into one.

  8. OT Referring g/f from my Amex Plat to SPG and it says that I’ll get 9k points. That isn’t right is it? If I change the card to Amex Plat it says 18k points. Anyone else know why?

  9. Andrew S says:

    OT: Anyone waiting on SPG Amex points on retention offer/welcome bonus to be corrected as 3 Points/GBP, I had this from an Amex Rep:

    “Yes, all Starpoints not yet converted to points at a 1:3 ratio will be corrected by mid-September. This includes welcome bonus and adjustment/retention startpoints previously issued.”

    So I would be checking back in a few weeks to make sure they’ve been adjusted correctly.

    • Thanks. I was sure it would work out in the end – Amex is not totally daft.

    • Hoping this is the case as speaking to Amex this morning they were adamant the 11k Starpoints bonus would not be tripled in value following a case being opened to look into this for me.

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