A few weeks, holders of Priority Pass cards issued by American Express in the United States and Hong Kong were told that, from 1st August, they could no longer use their card in restaurants or bars.
(You can still hand over your card and the restaurant will give you the £15 credit, but Priority Pass will charge your Amex card with a £20 fee!)
There are a growing number of airport restaurants and bars which will give you £15 or equivalent credit by showing your Priority Pass. This is instead of visiting a lounge, although nothing stops you using the credit and then visiting a lounge too.
In the UK there is only one participating restaurant – The Grain Store in London Gatwick’s South Terminal. We wrote about The Grain Store here.
I didn’t cover it at the time because I thought it was a US-centric issue. However, American Express cardholders in Germany and Austria with a Priority Pass were also told this week that they are losing this benefit on 1st August.
Will we get a similar email in the UK soon? I can see why American Express may want to avoid cutting UK cardholder benefits, given the £125 hike in the Platinum membership fee this week. Let’s see.
Note that this only impacts Priority Pass cards issued by Amex. If you get one via another source, either bought directly (click here) or via another bank, you won’t be hit by this even if Amex makes the change.
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:
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.
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.
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.
(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards? Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)