Reminder: AMEX Issued Priority Pass Access Changes Today

by Miles Jackson

Several weeks ago, American Express announced that cards that included a Priority Pass Select membership would no longer include complimentary access to non-lounge airport experiences as of August 1. These cards include the Platinum, Centurion, Hilton Surpass® Card, Hilton Aspire, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Cards.

american express priority pass restaurants

Starting August 1, Priority Pass cards that come from American Express will no longer give credit at participating Priority Pass airport restaurants.

Priority Pass’s landing page states: “Please note that these FAQs only relate to the membership referenced in the email that you have received. Please log in to your online account for each membership to understand the features available against each membership.”

The growth of Priority Pass has been widely applauded as they brought in more non-lounge options to travelers. However,  credit card companies have been paying for that growth. With American Express investing in their own Centurion Lounges, they didn’t want to bear the costs of paying for restaurant access. As a consequence, this latest devaluation is just a symptom of this strategy by the company.

Remaining AmEx Priority Pass Non-Lounge Options

As a result of these changes, a small number of non-lounge airport experiences (mostly Minute Suites) will remain available subject to complimentary benefit provided by American Express. These locations are shown below:

Lounge NameAirport CodeAirportTerminalCountry
Minute SuitesATLHartsfield Jackson Atlanta InternationalConcourse BUSA
Minutes SuitesATLHartsfield Jackson Atlanta InternationalConcourse TUSA
Minute SuitesCLTCharlotte Douglas InternationalAtriumUSA
Minute SuitesDFWDallas / Fort Worth internationalTerminal AUSA
Minute SuitesDFWDallas / Fort Worth InternationalTerminal DUSA
Minute SuitesPHLPhiladelphia InternationalTerminal BUSA
Sleep'n'fly - the new airport sleep concept by YAWNDXBDubai InternationalTerminal 3, Concourse AUAE
The Grain StoreLGWLondon GatwickSouth TerminalUK

Memberships Are Unchanged For Cards Like The Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase cardholders will continue to have access to non-lounge restaurants through their Priority Pass memberships that come with their cards.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a Priority Pass Select membership. That card currently has a 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening. There’s a $450 annual fee for this card, and each additional authorized user costs $75 per year (Authorized users receive a Priority Pass Select membership of their own.)

Priority Pass Membership Options

american express priority pass restaurants

If you don’t want to apply for a credit card, you can purchase membership directly from the Priority Pass website for $99 (Standard), $299 (Standard Plus), or $429 (Prestige) per year. As you can see below, the two cheaper memberships don’t offer unlimited access, and they all charge $32 per guest visit.

Related: 7 Reasons Why You Should Get & Keep No Annual Fee Cards

The Upshot

For American Express premium cardholders, this is a devaluation of a card benefit. Popular options like Capers Cafe  (Capers Market was removed in April 2019) in the Portland Airport, Jerry Remy’s at Boston, and Corona Beach House located in Miami were great options other than lounge food.

american express priority pass restaurants

Meanwhile, some airports don’t even have a Priority Pass lounge but do have non-lounge restaurants.

For me, I will rely on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. But this change is another blow specifically to the AmEx Platinum’s lounge benefit — especially since you can’t access Centurion Lounges on arrival anymore and there’s time restrictions for access on departure.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

11 comments
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11 comments

Joe Palke July 12, 2019 - 3:42 pm

Do you know if the PGA lounge at MSP is still ok or not. It is called a lounge but it also gives a $15 credit to a restaurant below it?

Reply
Miles Jackson July 12, 2019 - 3:48 pm

Joe Palke –
Thanks for the question. Yes, as far as I have heard, this is still an option. If any readers have any other information regarding access to this or any other Priority Pass locations through their AmEx cards, please add them in the comments.

Reply
Jeff July 12, 2019 - 8:03 pm

If you’re referring to French Meadows that restaurant has closed and is no longer an option. Just flew through MSP last weekend.

Reply
William July 12, 2019 - 4:49 pm

I cancelled my Amex Platinum. This was a bridge too far after the AF increase.

Reply
Miles Jackson July 12, 2019 - 4:59 pm

William –
A lot of AmEx cardholders share your angst. Social media sites are filled with comments from them also questioning the high annual fee. We’ll see if Chase follows suit. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment.

Reply
Airline employee July 12, 2019 - 5:14 pm

I am so glad that I got the Ritz Carlton card last year which gave me Platinum status for 18 months plus Priority Pass with lounges and non lounges.
Now there’s no reason for me to get the AMEX Centurion since you can’t even enjoy their lounges as a nonrev employee since you have to have a seat assignment beforehand (we don’t get those until about 30-60 minutes before departure) and now we can’t even enjoy the lounge after landing so I’ll be keeping my Ritz Carlton card and won’t apply for any AMEX cards that come with any lounge benefit.

Reply
Miles Jackson July 12, 2019 - 5:27 pm

Airline employee –
It’s been frustrating for many with the changes at both AmEx and the Centurion Lounges, as you pointed out. Obviously, you point out how this affects the NonRevs so clearly. It’s unfortunate that the hard-working people in the skies can’t get into these lounges and now, non-lounges. Chase is surely gloating over this, I bet. Thank you for your insight.

Reply
Richard July 14, 2019 - 1:59 am

I have been contemplating getting the Amex Platinum cars but now I don’t think so. Fees go up and benefits reduce. lovely

Reply
Miles Jackson July 14, 2019 - 2:25 am

Richard –
Exactly! Cardholders have to balance the annual fees against their realized benefits.

Reply
Andrew French November 22, 2019 - 11:57 am

As a regular Priority Pass user in Europe, I was dismayed with this change as it’s one of the few Amex benefits that I actually use. The increase in the annual fee was also a massive disappointment, which I now view as an interest charge, since the card does provide 15 days credit and has a very large world wide acceptance.

Reply
Miles Jackson November 22, 2019 - 7:10 pm

Hi Andrew French- I am in complete agreement with you. Obviously, AmEx wants to develop their own lounge network, not support non-lounge PP locations while they hand money hand over first to Delta Air Lines for the right to be Delta’s exclusive credit card partner.

Reply

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