The Card With The Most Generous Authorized User Priority Pass Benefit

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Nowadays there are quite a few premium credit cards that offer a Priority Pass membership to cardmembers. At some point that’s almost a problem, as I have more Priority Pass cards than I know what to do with. šŸ˜‰

For those of you not familiar with Priority Pass, it’s the world’s largest independent network of airline lounges, with over 1,000 lounges around the world.

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Access the Almost@Home Lounge Helsinki Airport with a Priority Pass membership

Many credit cards offer a Priority Pass membership, though the terms associated with the membership can vary.Ā For example, some cards only give a Priority Pass membership to the primary cardmember, while others also give it to authorized users on the card. However, many cards have additional fees for authorized users, which negates the value of that.

But there’s one card that’s especially generous when it comes to the Priority Pass benefit for authorized users, as it’s the only cardĀ I can think of that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Doesn’t charge extra for adding authorized users to the card
  • Gives authorized users a Priority Pass membership
  • Offers guesting privileges with the Priority Pass membership, even for authorized users

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Access the Air France Lounge JFK with a Priority Pass membership

That card isĀ The Ritz-Carlton RewardsĀ® Credit Card. The card comes with a slew of great benefits, includingĀ a great sign-up bonus ofĀ three complimentary nights at aĀ Tier 1-4 property upon completing minimum spend, as well as perks likeĀ Ritz-Carlton Gold statusĀ (which is also valuable at Marriott properties), a $300 travel credit,Ā a $100 domestic companion airfare benefit, three Ritz-Carlton club upgradesĀ per year, etc.

While the card itself has a $450 annual fee, you’re allowed to add authorized users at no additional cost. Those authorized users receive a Priority Pass membership with guesting privileges, which is a pretty awesome perk.

Furthermore, keep in mind that this card offers a $100 domestic companion airfare benefit. When booking two passengers on a roundtrip domestic ticket through the designatedĀ site, you get $100 off, and you’d still be eligible to earn miles as usual. If you often travel as a pair, this is a huge benefit that has the potential to more than offset the annual fee.

While the terms suggest that this benefit is only for the primary cardmember,Ā in practice authorized users are able to use this benefit as well. Of course that can change at anytime, but as of now it’s still working for authorized users.

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This really does make adding authorized users onĀ The Ritz-Carlton RewardsĀ® Credit CardĀ extremely lucrative.

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Comments

  1. Also note City National Bank Visa Infinite at $400 annual fee, up to three free authorized users each with $250 airline credit fee (total of $1000 for four), similar Priority Pass benefits (each AU gets own account with guesting privileges), Global Entry credit, etc.

    However, limited availability to get this card.

  2. Ah, I was hoping that card would be the Chase Sapphire Reserve, since I just got it! Looks like it’s a $75 fee to add an authorized user, but they’d get the Priority Pass too. Thanks for this info!

  3. @Amy: CSR is a great card — they’re just not offering as high of a referral fee as the Ritz card is currently, so expect it to get less love from the bloggers.

    Ritz vs. CSR? I’d gladly take the CSR, and that’s what I carry. If you stay at A LOT of Ritz/Marriott properties, it might make sense. I stay at quite a few Marriott properties in a year, BUT the Ritz card doesn’t make sense for me, while the Marriott one does. Ultimate Reward points > Ritz points.

  4. @ Jason — I’m not sure, to be honest. Presumably there’s some limit, but it’s more than just a few.

  5. How do I take advantage of this card if I am already a Marriott Rewards member? I thought that you can only be a member of Ritz Rewards or Marriott Rewards, not both.

  6. Just looked into the City National Visa Infinite card – I’ve never heard of it before.
    It looks tempting but a couple of minor points.
    Each account is allowed a total of 2 Priority Pass memberships – it can be the primary plus one AU, or two AU’s. But two Priority Pass memberships is the maximum per account.
    The $250 credit is for incidental fees – such as baggage, onboard food, lounge, inflight entertainment, wi-fi. It specifically states airline tickets, upgrade fees, mileage purchases, award ticket fees are excluded.
    Annual fee is $400 – waived the first year. Does not appear to have additional fee to add AU’s.

  7. @AlexS – Thanks for the reply! I feel better about my CSR now (to be honest, I was already pretty stoked about it before)!

  8. Hi there,
    Is this still available? I see the sign up bonus changed to only 2 free nights. I just signed up last month (Feb 2017) and added an authorized user but I’m being told by CS (I called Elite Rewards Guest Services #) that priority pass membership is only for the cardmember. Thanks!

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