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Get up to 25% off Priority Pass annual membership

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Priority Pass – the card that gets you access to over 1,000 airport lounges globally – is running a September promotion offering a discount on its annual membership fees.  This seems to be a way of gently introducing the increased £20 guest or additional visit fee, which used to be £15.  You can see the discounts here.

Your options are:

25% off Standard  –  now £51 (normally £69), each lounge visit costs £20

15% off Standard Plus  –  now £160 (usually £189), 10 free lounge passes, then £20. Guests £20.

10% off Prestige  –  now £305 (usually £339), unlimited lounge visits, guests £20

‘Standard’ clearly sees the greatest discount although you still have to pay £20 each time you want to visit a lounge.  ‘Standard Plus’ arguably makes more sense, because you are in ‘profit’ – compared to ‘Standard’ – after six visits.

You can buy your discounted Priority Pass membership here.

Ironically, even Priority Pass’s own top tier is not as good as the (free) Priority Pass membership you get when you take out an American Express Platinum Card, which lets you take one guest free of charge each time – and Amex Plat gives you TWO Priority Pass cards, so a family of four can all get in without paying.

Priority Pass sale

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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Comments

  1. stevenhp1987 says:

    O/T New Amex Supplementary card is receiving 0 offers while the main card has had ~ 30 since the supp was added.

    Spoke to live chat who were fairly useless. I understand it’s an additional perk but just seems odd to get 0… I’ve tried removing the sup and re-adding it to my account (on the same login as my main cards).

    • How long have you had the supp card? I recently got an amex gold supp card and took 6 weeks to receive my first offer. After that, they’ve started coming at a normal pace compared to the main card.

    • That might be a problem. I have separate account for each main and supp. If you add too many cards on one account, Amex IT somehow blocks. I think two is the max before it gets blocked, but I’m not risking it any more and have separate ones!

      • I have 6 cards on one online account, at one point it was 8. All offers are showing up fine.

        Definitely can’t be just 2.

        • You might be fine, but for some people it causes issues if they put more cards on one account. I’m not sure if it is two, three or more. But there is clearly an IT problem which Amex refuses to acknowledge and I wouldn’t risk it again.

  2. Lady London says:

    When I first bought the top end Priority Pass about 4 years ago I think the rack rate for it was £210-215.

    Then I think it went to around £230 the following year then £250 or so.

    At £305 I think I will not renew when mine expires. The numbers of my visits add up to make it look ok but I don’t use Heathrow much right now. Heathrow has Plaza Premium which I like. Lounges elsewhere in UK, Europe and the US often don’t add much value to what you can get in the terminal anyway at same or less ‘cost’ per visit. Some Priority Pass lounges are downright depressing.

    I suppose the increases in price have been to pay all the extra Amex 2* entries particularly external money PP has been paying out to restaurants. Australia has also been hit hard by the withdrawal of this. It made some airports a lot more tolerable as access to dining filled a gap left by lounges there too.

    If I do renew my PP again after its next expiry it wouldn’t be till I am heading for Asia due to quality issues in lounges. Also due to continuing worry that I will start being turned away at London airports where the lounge is tolerable. Or where the lounge isn’t that good but the airport is so much worse (LTN).

    However most of the lounges I like using are accessible with other memberships than PP or they are airline lounges. For this reason I am giving serious thought to planning my flights to achieve Star Alliance Gold. On the whole I have found Star Alliance lounges better than One world. And I’ll use Plaza Premium otherwise.

    But at these ripoff prices restaurants in any decent terminal are a strong contender as compared to Priority Pass. If restaurants are poor then generally a Priority Pass lounge will be too. Airline lounges in a poor terminal can sometimes be a haven of quality. But this is less often the case with Priority Pass as it seems Priority Pass may only have access to the poorer of the paid lounges in that terminal. I’m thinking IST (old Atatürk), DXB.

    Priority Pass has also emailed me a few times very recently offering me as a prestige cardholder 50% off the mid level pass if I buy it for someone. At the mid and lower levels as compared to other ways above I consider the Priority Pass a waste of money even at 50% off. Your sums are different if you get it as part of Amex. The Prestige level pass has just about been holding on on terms of value, but I now won’t be renewing it till I am heading to Asia or start flying out of LHR again.

    • That’s a fair point. Airlines with great lounges also tend to have great restaurants, because the airport takes a hard line on quality everywhere (and the competition keeps both sides on their toes).

      • Lady London says:

        Maybe I’ve not tried enough restaurants in SIN but i would say this is an airport where you want to be in an airline lounge. Otherwise food and drink seems to be lower end. Without airline lounge (for everything if you’re right level) you have Plaza Premium for comfort, not really for food. So if Priority Pass ever lost Plaza Premium i doubt i would bother at all with it. Luckily Plaza Premium is accessible other ways however. Otherwise airport outlets are toward lower end it seems.

        Luckily, unlike airports like Luton, SIN main terminals are very tolerable if you are not lounged with open air areas, open air swimming pool etc.

        So SIN is a case at one end of the spectrum where airline lounges prob best option, Priority Pass can get you into a decent offering, and the main passenger areas are very tolerable as well. So conditions in the airport don’t force you into a lounge, and the lounge options are quality.

        Luton is towards the other end of the spectrum
        You have a massively cramped airport with huge passenger throughput per square foot of terminal area. There is 1 Priority Pass lounge, which is frequently full. Priority Pass members turned away in masses at many times not just when you’d think they would be busy, as are masses of others. They lock the door downstairs at the entrance before the stairs up to the lounge at those times as the lounge is so rammed it’s not even worth queuing.

        The airport has no airline lounges. The only thing that has made that single inadequate-capacity lounge plan to improve is the arrival of No.1 Clubrooms which had queues out the door in it’s first week No. 1 Clubrooms will cost a chunky supplement even if someone has a Priority Pass. And yet, the overcrowding in the main terminal still makes Priority Pass worth it as there’s no airline louanges and thé main terminal is horrible to spend any time in – for an offering that is better than most other Aspires but still not really a relaxing expérience.

        If there were better quality restaurants with decent seating and a bit less crowding in the terminal few people would pay for it and that’s the case with a lot of Priority Pass lounges I’ve been in. They are mostly borderline quality and OK if quiet and if you have some sort of access that means you would have low to zero marginal cost for the visit. Unless there were massive flight delays you’d have to be certified insane to pay rack rate for this level of quality.

        The “we’ll let you in if you reserve by paying £5 extra on top of your lounge pass” practice creeping in and the “No.1 Clubrooms will let you in with your pass, but there is a £15 supplement” is not looking good. This may be a direction the lounge providers are testing. Lounge access could evolve so that there is routinely an extra level of ‘taxes’ to access lounges dependent on quality or demand. Alex light silently allow this to creep in (it has already, with the reservation fee) because it would keep the lid on their costs.

        I have a different plan for my airport lounging other than contemplating *G for their louanges which are better, and the other ways I already have to access Plaza Premium, which I might share after my existing Priority Pass expires and I’ve had the chance to test it a bit.

        • Lady London says:

          “Alex above = Amex not protesting about the £5 ” reservation” fee and not renegotiating to reduce lounge turnaways because it keeps a lid on their costs.

        • Shoestring says:

          Why are you so against the £5 reservation fee? It guarantees your entrance to the lounge. Your PP cost is a sunk cost whereas the £5 is effectively your variable cost. If somebody said: pay just £5 and you can definitely get a lounge pass & secured entry, you’d jump at the chance, esp given what you say about the general public terminal at Luton.

          Hazarding a guess, I’d say you think £5 extra is just gounging/ a rip-off, after paying so much up front for the PP card. I simply don’t get that as realistically reflecting the whole picture. I’d weigh up that minor irritation/ trifling amount vs the thought that just £5 gets you food & drink, relaxation, good wifi, comfy seat, presumably fairly pleasant environment in most respects.

          • Lady London says:

            @Shoestring for very specific lounges where you know the offering is up to scratch yes I am absolutely prepared to pay £5 even though I do think it’s a ripoff.

            That would be No.1 at T3 LHR. Based on my experience last month there would be one other lounge at LGW I’d contemplate for this and it’s not No.1.

            However paid lounges with a quality feel are rare – airline lounges on the whole are a better bet. So the thing is I would seek another method of entry than PP as I probably won’t have PP by the time I will be flying out of T3 next towards end of this year.

            You being OK with the £5 is a rational choice as you describe @Shoestring. But it goes to my fear that lounge program fee increases may slow down – but lounges will start demanding co-pay everywhere. Just like taxes on British Airways tickets really. People paid for their Avios (lounge membership) but in future lounge programs may work so ‘taxes’ (supplements / reservation fees) have to be paid by the passenger as well.

        • Pangolin says:

          I totally agree with everything you say about PP in your first post but the use of SIN as an example is perhaps unfortunate, since it’s the one place where I would always choose a contract lounge (SATS, accessible w/ PP) over the home airline’s main lounge (Kris Gold, accessible for *G). The Silver Kris lounge is certainly better but you need a J class ticket to get in there (or be SQ PPS, which is a little bit like LH HON).

          I used to have PP via the Amex Plat – now I have *G status I rarely miss it, unless I’m taking a non Star-Alliance flight and therefore lose lounge access. The Star Alliance lounges are definitely better than the contract ones in general (with places like SIN being a notable exception).

          • Agreed – loved the Blossom / SATS lounge in T4 🙂

          • Lady London says:

            You are correct @Pangolin I am basing it on flying in J on so SQ higher level lounges to and from Oz on SQ. The only lounge I couldn’t get into was the one for PPS (there’s a specific one, or at least there was. The last 2 times I was travelling Y I was straight into the Plaza Premium lounge with massages booked. So you are probably right about the “status but not flying J or F” lounge.

            But isn’t SIN a really great airport that caters to longhaul travellers’ needs really well ?

      • And that’s why T3 at MAN has a KFC…

  3. Travel Strong says:

    I struggle to see any way I would ever pay for a PP over an Amex Platinum.

    Amex Plat = £575
    Add 1 supp and achieve 2 referrals in a year, and that’s >£290 of miles value…
    And the card has all the benefits of the £305 PP
    (*plus* free guests *plus* more lounges e.g. centurion, Plaza Premium)

    £305 + £290 = £595 of value…. £20 more than the Amex fee.

    … and that’s without qualifying for any signup bonus, and without applying any value to the free guests, or any value to the other platinum benefits… Hilton breakfasts… Hertz discounts… Amex offers… etc.

  4. is There an issue With Miles and More website ?

    I keep getting error code when searching award availability.
    {“code”:400,”message”:”An error occurred servicing your request. “}

    • Lady London says:

      For some strange reason I usually found the Miles & More website often worked better if accessed via Lufthansa.co.uk or even Lufthansa.de.

      Clear cookies first if you’ve been having problems.

      • Pangolin says:

        That’s exactly what I do half the time. You can get access to all your info about miles, etc., by logging into the LH site.

        I also find that using my Lufthansa ID means I get fewer of those annoying occasions when it refuses to recognise my M&M credentials.

  5. Pangolin says:

    Best to wait until Black Friday to pull the trigger on PP membership. They usually have a hefty discount on the Prestige tier at that time (which is IMO the only one worth considering, given alternatives like DragonPass for paid access).

    IIRC they had Prestige PP for £159 last year on Black Friday.

    • Shoestring says:

      [40% off Standard membership (reduced to £41 from £69) – no free visits, you and your guests pay £20 each time

      25% off Standard Plus membership (reduced to £141 from £189) – 10 free visits then £20 for every additional visit or for every guest visit

      25% off Prestige membership (reduced to £254 from £339) – all your visits are free, your guests pay £20 each time]
      https://www.headforpoints.com/2018/11/23/black-friday-offers-opodo-virgin-holidays-priority-pass/

    • Lady London says:

      @Pangolin which country and where was that advertised? I searched for similar and did not find.

      On that kind of price it stacks up for me. But I last saw that about 4 years ago.

  6. OT – Rob’s referenced this a few times historically, but can someone please remind me what check Amex don’t do when you’re paying for something on card – is it that the name you’ve typed in matches the name on the card?

    (Long story short, I’m waiting for my supp card, to my girlfriends main card, but need to buy some tickets from BA in the meantime and wondered if I could give them my name, and use my girlfriends card number so we can start accumulating spend for the 2-for-1).

    Purchase might need to be over the phone (as opposed to online) and might need to be at 1am (hence me doing it, not the girlfriend!)

    • Shoestring says:
    • Name. Address and postcode must match.

      • Thanks both – address and post code is all good, so sounds like I’ll be fine 🙂

        • (and I’m correct in thinking if you cancel a 2-for-1, you get the voucher back, don’t you?)

      • For sure, name does not need to match.

        • Lady London says:

          My ex used to send his daughters shopping in New York with his Amex. No shop ever queried it.

          Must be OK because do you remember Julia Roberts using Richard Here’s Amex – well I assume it was an Amex – up and down Rodeo Drive ? 🙂

          • We use each others all the time while waiting for supps. Shops never even look these days.
            Talking about PP.if tou have bought the top tier membership LL, surely you should be granted entry each and every time. Unlike with the amex, where it’s considered a benefit. Amex are quick to offer MRs when we ring up to complain yet again about denied entry. And STN sont even let us pay the 5 to prebook. But we got in yesterday v quiet. Nice start to the trip. But serving cheapo on the tap prosecco! Nice tho.

          • Lady London says:

            I didn’t know that Polly thank you.

  7. OT. IHG spire- has anyone stayed at the intercontinental o2 as spire? What benefits do they generally give? I need to fulfil my accelerate targets and don’t expect to be anywhere else so thought we would celebrate a birthday there instead. Just that the non refundable rate has no food or breakfast included so unsure and don’t know the benefits the hotel might provide.

    • Breakfast is the issue there as no other option. It was £24 four years ago when we went, no child discount, so £96. Roughly the same as the room cost!

    • Pop into the O2, several options such as Harvester, I think Rob was just afraid to suggest it to Mrs Raffles 🙂

    • Easy answer. Absolutely none. I was offered ?600? points which never posted.

      • Thanks. My thoughts exactly. I could get breakfast for £24 for the 2 of us if purchased at the same time as the room as an optional add on so I’m thinking we may do hah as it seems reasonable- but getting Hilton brekkie free I’m being stingy even about £24! The kids are under 3 so eat very little. Perhaps we can just bring in continental with us! I’ve become quite used to making sandwiches for on the go I’m sure fixing up a quick continental won’t be too much hard work!

        • Got yo look st the big picture, it is a good deal at £24 for 2 given the quality of the hotel for price in either cash or points. Were it a Hilton, I doubt you would get such a good deal, even factoring in the free breakfast. At that price you wouldn’t be saving much going over to the Ow and adding drinks to the meal so I’d definitely eat in.

          • Very true- I’ve never had an IC breakfast before so didn’t and don’t know what to expect but we’ve decided to opt in and have it. Thing is we are only doing the stay for and accelerate target which is why we just wanted the cheapest cost for us!

  8. Aston100 says:

    O/T:
    Anyone know a way to escalate a complaint to IHG?
    Not getting anywhere with the usual [email protected] email address.
    Would like to escalate further up.
    It’s to do with a best price guarantee that was rejected on what I feel are really dishonest grounds.
    Not looking to debate the matter here, just hoping someone has another contact method for the next level up in IHG customer services (but not the BPG team themselves).

    Thanks.

  9. Shoestring says:

    O/T just checked & my wife & I both got our 1000 Nectar bonus points for Edinburgh-Waverley (or whatever it was!) – credited 29th Aug

    in fact for some reason they gave it to me twice

    • Lucky you, got me excited so I just checked and got 6 bonus points! I recall there was also a 6x points offer running at same time as 1000 bonus points. Despite clicking through from the latter it seems I got the former. No worries though, I previously complained about these and other missing points, got 3x 1000 and sent them over to LNER at the recent double offer 🙂 Hopdfully we will see a Nectar anex offer in the next couple of months that is independent of amex sign up offer rules. I’ve got 4 referrals waiting for such an eventuality in hope I can double dip.

    • Looks like Nectar have wisened up to stop this trick. My new offer for 500 bonus points with LNER has £5 minimum spend as a condition.

  10. The restaurant at HI at Bath Road is great – offering Italian stonebaked pizzas. My partner and I went there whilst staying at adjacent Staybridge Suites for Accelerate promo. You can even charge your meal to a room (though technically we were at a different hotel!)

    • @Alex Am do you know are those pizzas bought in or made on the spot? What would you expect to pay there for a pizza etc. meal for two?

  11. OT — new offer on my Gold credit card: spend £1,800 or more with Emirates, get £200 back. Only valid on business and first class flights departing from a UK airport.

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