First of all, it must be said that Amex Priority Pass is actually not quite the correct name. This is because credit cards other than those from American Express can also come with a Priority Pass, and it can also easily be purchased separately.
So the Amex Priority Pass actually simply describes a Priority Pass purchased in combination with an American Express Platinum or Gold credit card. This offers some nice advantages, as we’ll discuss.
- What Does the Priority Pass Offer?
- Membership Levels
- Acquiring the Priority Pass
- Amex Platinum Priority Pass
- Amex Gold Priority Pass
(Click to jump to the relevant section)
1) What Does the Priority Pass Offer?
Priority Pass is a renowned global program that offers travelers the opportunity to enhance their travel experience at airports significantly. With access to an impressive network of over 1’400 airport lounges around the globe, Priority Pass allows its members to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of crowded airport terminals.
The aim is to immerse members in an oasis of calm and relaxation at the airport lounges. It’s a kind of insurance for smooth travel.
What Makes it Attractive 🎉
Lounges offer guests a variety of amenities, from comfortable seating to free Wi-Fi and a selection of drinks and snacks to more luxurious amenities such as showers, private rest areas, and sometimes spa services.
Priority Pass is independent of airlines and ticket classes. This means members can enjoy the luxury of these lounges no matter which airline they fly on or which booking class they are in.
For many travelers, the Priority Pass offers a welcome alternative and a way to spend their waiting time in a comfortable, appealing lounge environment. It’s not just a matter of convenience for many but also efficiency, as business travelers often use the quiet atmosphere of the lounges to get work done or hold meetings.
All in all, Priority Pass is a key to an improved travel experience for people who travel frequently.
2) Membership Levels 👑
The Priority Pass program offers three different membership levels for travelers who want expanded access to airport lounges: Prestige, Standard Plus, and Standard.
The levels address different travel frequencies and budgets. So, understanding the intricacies of each level will help you choose the one that’s best for you. The most expensive one doesn’t have to be the optimal one for you! Your travel patterns, financial considerations, and destinations all play a role in your selection.
Here’s a comprehensive overview of each Priority Pass membership plan:
(prices are better with Amex; see below)
1. Prestige 🥇
Prestige, the highest level of Priority Pass membership, grants its members unlimited access to all Priority Pass lounges, with no fees for individual visits. This premium membership is particularly suitable for travelers who are on the move a lot and find themselves at airports frequently.
For an annual price of 469 euros, Prestige members enjoy the luxury of unlimited lounge visits.
2. Standard Plus 🥈
The Standard Plus Priority Pass plan is an intermediate tier, offering a balance between the Prestige and Standard levels. Members in this category are entitled to up to ten free lounge visits during their membership year. After these ten visits, a fee of 28 euros per lounge entry is charged. If you travel occasionally but not constantly, this plan might be a good fit for your needs.
For an annual subscription fee of 289 euros, you can enjoy the ten lounge entries. After that, the advantage price of 28 euros automatically comes into effect.
3. Standard 🥉
The simplest Priority Pass level, Standard, offers members the privilege of using the lounges at a fixed price of 28 euros per visit.
This level costs 89 euros annually.
App to find Restaurants, Lounges, etc. 📱
No matter what membership level you have, you can get the priority-pass-app to find lounges and restaurants near you or at your travel destination. They aim to make everything as simple and comfortable as possible for you.
Bringing Guests with You 🤝
If you want to introduce a guest to the exclusive world of airport lounges with your Priority Pass, expect to pay an additional fee of 28 euros per guest.
This is where the luxury of an Amex Priority Pass comes into play. That’s because if you get your Priority Pass through an American Express Platinum Credit Card, you can take up to three guests into the lounge for free.
3) Acquiring the American Express Priority Pass 💳
Many people purchase their Priority Pass membership directly.
Others gain access to Priority Pass lounges through premium credit card benefits or business programs. This is where the Priority Pass via an American Express card comes in handy. That’s because both cards offer unique services.
Advantages of Acquiring the Pass Through an American Express Card:
The advantage of a purchase together with an American Express over a direct purchase is primarily twofold.
- The purchase is free of charge in the case of Amex Platinum and at a reduced price in the case of Amex Gold.
- In the case of the Platinum card, you can even take guests with you for free.
In the following, the two options, Amex Platinum Priority Pass and Amex Gold Priority Pass, will be examined in more detail.
4) Amex Platinum Priority Pass 💎
A detailed review of the Amex Platinum Switzerland credit card can be found here. (The review is specific to the offer in Switzerland.)
In addition, cardholders can each take one guest into the lounge for free, which means a total of four people can get into the lounge through one American Express Platinum card.
In Switzerland, the offer in combination with the American Express Platinum looks a little different than in other places. When getting the credit card in Switzerland, two people can get into the lounge for free (cardholder and additional cardholder), and two guests get in at a reduced price.
5) Amex Gold Priority Pass 💰
A lesser-known fact is that the Amex Gold card, in addition to its points collection system, also offers Priority Pass benefits. With this card, you will receive a discount of 25% to 35% when purchasing a Priority Pass. This results in the following discounted prices:
- Priority Pass Standard: 58 euros instead of 89 euros (35% discount)
- Priority Pass Plus: 217 Euro instead of 289 Euro (25% discount)
- Priority Pass Prestige: 345 Euro instead of 459 Euro (25% discount)
(Prices sometimes change slightly)
In Switzerland, the offer in combination with the American Express Gold Card looks a bit different than in other places. If you get the credit card in Switzerland, you get the standard membership for free, plus two free lounge visits per year.
A detailed review of the Amex Gold Switzerland credit card can be found here. (The review is specific to the offer in Switzerland.)
Is Prestige worth it?
The question of whether it pays to purchase a Priority Pass through an American Express Gold depends mainly on the number of trips you make. For frequent travelers, the Amex Platinum, which includes two Prestige Passes, may be more attractive, especially if you frequently travel with companions.
If you calculate the Priority Pass Prestige fee of 345 euros plus the annual Amex fee of 144 euros, this is not much less than the annual fee for the Platinum card (720 euros).
However, it’s important to remember that with the Amex Gold, you get the fee back in the form of a credit in the first year. So, if you are thinking about applying for an Amex Gold and just want to try out the Priority Pass, this combination will serve you well.
For those who often find themselves at an airport terminal waiting for a flight and do so with a companion, the Amex Platinum is probably more beneficial, especially considering the higher welcome bonus.
Is Standard Plus worth it?
For Amex Gold holders, I think the Standard Plus membership is the most attractive option. For the reduced price of 217 euros, you get free lounge access ten times.
So, if you travel five times a year and use the lounge each time before your outbound and return flights, you pay an average of 22 euros per visit. This is a lovely price for Priority Pass lounges.
Is Standard worth it?
From experience, the standard version of the Priority Pass does not offer incredible benefits in many parts of the world, as many lounges offer paid access without the pass. In many lounges, access does not cost much more than 30 euros. Therefore, it makes little sense to purchase the Priority Pass Standard for 58 euros and then pay an additional 28 euros for lounge access.
So it only makes sense if you know exactly which airports you’ll be at regularly and if you know that the single entry fees there are much higher than 28 euros.
The second case in which the Standard level makes sense is if you get it for free, such as with an Amex Gold card from Switzerland.
The term Amex Priority Pass refers to the Priority Pass purchased in conjunction with an American Express credit card. The pass offers travelers worldwide access to over 1’400 exclusive airport lounges like the famous “aspire lounge”, regardless of the airline or booking class.
There are different membership levels to suit different travel frequencies and budgets:
- Prestige 🥇
- Standard Plus 🥈
- Standard 🥉
The key advantage of getting it through an American Express credit card is the significant discounts and additional benefits. Of particular note is the ability for Amex Platinum holders to bring up to three guests into the lounge for free.
If you live in Switzerland and would also like to see the benefits of other credit cards, take a look at our article on the best credit cards in Switzerland.
Which level of membership you should get via the Amex Gold depends on your individual travel frequency. In some cases, purchasing an Amex Platinum can make more sense than the Gold card plus a Priority Pass Prestige membership.