Here’s How You Can Tell Your Priority Pass Cards Apart

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Nowadays there are so many premium credit cards that offer Priority Pass memberships, which is a great development, as it gives a lot more people lounge access. Not only do more cards offer Priority Pass memberships, but the guesting privileges offered by Priority Pass cards issued through credit cards have improved significantly. My first ever Priority Pass card offered by a credit card didn’t allow any guests for free, while I now have Priority Pass cards that allow unlimited free guests.


The SkyTeam Lounge Dubai, a Priority Pass lounge

While this is positive overall, the catch is that it also means that many lounges are more crowded than in the past, and some are even having to deny entry to members during peak hours. As a reminder, here’s a comparison of the Priority Pass guesting privileges of a few US credit cards:

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN2Yes$300 Per Person
Citi Prestige® Card2 Guests Or Immediate Family MembersYes$50 Per Person
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit CardUnlimited GuestsYes$0
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ CardUnlimited GuestsYes$75 Per Person

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has many Priority Pass cards in my wallet, and sometimes gets them mixed up.

I’m asked by readers pretty often how to tell Priority Pass cards apart, given the different guesting privileges these cards have. In the past my advice was one of two things:

  • When you get a Priority Pass card, write on it in permanent marker what the guesting privileges are, what card it’s associated with, etc.
  • If you didn’t do that, you can phone up Priority Pass and ask

Doctor of Credit points to another way to tell who issued your Priority Pass card, which I wasn’t aware of. Perhaps more accurately, you can at least tell whether your Priority Pass card was issued by Chase or not just by looking at the number.

Priority Pass cards with 16 digits on the front are issued by Chase, while cards with 11 digits on the front are issued by other banks, including American Express and Citi.

This can be useful in terms of figuring out the guesting privileges of a card, and can also be useful in figuring out which Priority Pass card may be deactivated if you’ve canceled the associated credit card.

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Comments

  1. I was recently denied entry into a completely empty SEA Alaska lounge. The agent behind the desk told me “Priority Pass wants you to get used to the other lounges available at Seatac”. I understand they can deny entry based on space, but it seems they are just refusing entry at any time of the day.

  2. AMEX sponsored Priority Pass is digital card-enabled while Chase sponsored PP is not (at least for me). I end up using AMEX-sponsored PP for that reason without carrying an extra hard PP card in my wallet.

  3. Is there a smart way to tell the PP cards that are paid by AMex/Chase/Citi/US Bank? Thinking about tracking them in case of account cancellation

  4. THANK YOU for addressing this. I’ve been putting off upgrading my current Amex. because I would never use their PP card for lounge access (for one person) vs. using another card for lounge access for up to three. Meaning I cannot see the purpose of carrying multiple PP cards when all I want to take/keep is the one with the best access.

    While you don’t clear *everything* up, it’s a good start, and noting on the PP card what the associated credit card is, along with guest limits, is a great idea.

    Please keep up the great tips, they’re very helpful.

  5. Ben,

    While no one ever gets in free, even the main card holder, you failed to mention Amex Hilton Surpass also has PP membership. Worth noting when you to PP posts.

  6. The last four times I have tried to use my Priority Pass card for lounge access (IAD – Air France, Wingtips – JFK, Terminal C – BOS and again at Air France – IAD) I was told the lounge was too full even though it was plain to see there were very few people inside. They said they need to “keep it available” for paying guests! The Air France Lounge wouldn’t let me in even though I was flying on Air France! (economy) Sure enough, there is a disclaimer on the Priory Pass app for all of these lounges that basically says you can use it unless they say no.

    Priority Pass is pretty much a useless perk now in the USA.

  7. Hey guys,

    is there any possibilty for a german to get a credit card which brings unlimited guests with it ?
    Would be nice to know 🙂

    Thanks so much
    Steffen

  8. If you have a PP card that allows you to bring unlimited guests with you, why would you even carry the others in the first place? Why not pack the others away and just carry the one card connected to the CSR? If you wouldn’t mind explaining because I don’t understand the point in having multiple on you all the time.

  9. @rjb

    Do you recall what time you tried using the AF lounge at IAD? They have a two-hour or so window, I believe 16:00-18:00(?), where they only allow AF flyers (meaning first, biz, and whomever they allow by status, which would unfortunately preclude you from accessing if flying economy without status, even with the PP card). I used that lounge regularly when I was commuting up to Toronto for a spell last summer, and I believe it was in the late summer ’16 when they starting restricting access during that new time window.

    Outside that window I have never had a problem accessing the AF IAD lounge with PP, but I may just be lucky.

  10. In 10 years, I’ve traveled many miles with this benefit via AMEX Platinum and only once used Priority Plus access. One other time recently, I was denied entry since I did not carry my card with me. I find this Lounge benefit completely worthless. But, obviously, I am in the minority on this matter. Thanks for the posts, though.

  11. Our family just was in ATL, with a flight out of Concourse A. First we tried visiting the SkyClub in A thinking with our dual Amex Plat cards there was SOME chance the lounge dragon would overlook the kids. The place was pretty empty, I’ve had them overlooked in years past at other locations. However our Jedi mind trick failed, and the question was which card did we want to pay $29 for each small child with.

    So we took the train to F which is only 8-10 minutes ride for “The Club at ATL”. We were very pleased with it. Decent veggie sandwiches, nice staff. I wish there were more PP clubs in ATL, or a Centurion.

  12. Forgot to mention, thanks for the idea! I did exactly as you said and wrote the guests into the little box on the back.

  13. Vicente, that Delta limit is so aggravating. It annoys me so much that the last time I was in SAN I purposefully entered the Skyclub with our infant to change his diaper while my wife waited in the food court. They should allow at least one guest at a minimum.

  14. I just received a new PP card in the mail a couple weeks ago. Thought it was odd as my current one through AX personal plat is months away from expiring.

    After reading a bit more I noticed that it was associated with my new Hilton Surpass card and that while it provides access, you pay up every time you use the lounge.

    What total bs, I thought. What the hell kind of “perk” is this? I commented to my wife there are going to be a lot of disappointed people getting shooed from lounges. How easy would it be to NOT read the info with the card and stick it in your travel wallet?

    Needless to say, mine had a swift appointment with the shredder. Useless perk.

  15. Yes, I was able to confirm with PP that memberships issued through Chase (the Reserve in my case) don’t allow use of the digital app, thus requiring members to use the physical PP card. When I had Amex, I could use the PP digital app, and just leave the card at home.

    Was confused for a while at why I couldn’t log in using my Chase-issued PP member number.

  16. there is also one operator in china called Dragon pass.. many of them shared the same lounge in international airports with PP card

  17. If I have a PP card through Chase CSR, is there any reason to also sign up for the one’s available via my other cards, i.e. Amex Platinum, etc.?

    Thanks!

  18. Just found out the Alaska lounges, at least at SEA, switched to card member only, even with the Chase sapphire PP. I could go in, but my 5 year old daughter could not (unless she had her own card).

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