Nowadays there are many premium credit cards that offer Priority Pass memberships, giving cardmembers access to airport lounges around the world. However, not all Priority Pass memberships are created equal, in terms of guesting privileges and experiences you have access to. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has several Priority Pass memberships, given how many credit cards I have.
In this post I wanted to discuss the basics of telling Priority Pass cards apart, and why it matters.
In this post:
Which credit cards offer Priority Pass?
Below are some of the most popular premium credit cards in the United States that offer a Priority Pass membership, along with their guesting privileges (I just realized I have all five of these cards, goodness!).
- With a $395 annual fee, the card has the lowest annual fee of any of the above cards
- Most of that annual fee can easily be recouped by the card’s $300 annual travel credit and 10,000 anniversary bonus miles
- The card not only offers a Priority Pass membership for the primary cardmember, but you can also add up to four authorized users at no extra cost, and they receive a Priority Pass membership as well
Beyond the guesting privileges, one important point of differentiation between these cards is whether or not they get you credits at Priority Pass restaurants. Priority Pass has partnered with select airport restaurants to offer members a credit that can be redeemed towards food & drinks.
The catch is that Priority Pass memberships issued through American Express credit cards don’t get you access to these locations, while Priority Pass memberships issued through Capital One, Chase, and Citi, do get you access to these locations.
How can you tell Priority Pass cards apart?
Once you physically have your Priority Pass membership card, how can you tell which card issuer it came from? There are some clues based on the card number and expiration date:
- Priority Pass cards issued through American Express typically have 11 digit membership numbers, the card number typically starts with 100, 102, 104 or 142, and the cards are typically valid for four years
- Priority Pass cards issued through Capital One typically have 11 digit membership numbers, the card number typically starts with 104 or 105, and the cards are typically valid for one year
- Priority Pass cards issued through Chase typically have 16 digit membership numbers, the card number typically starts with 735, and the cards are typically valid for three years
- Priority Pass cards issued through Citi cards typically have 11 digit membership numbers, the card number typically starts with 142, and the cards are typically valid for three years
Hopefully between those three identifiers, most people can figure out through which credit card their Priority Pass membership was issued. If anyone has data points that contradict the above, please let me know. This is what I’ve been able to piece together based on looking at my cards, though it’s possible that I’m missing something.
There’s another way to easily pull up your Priority Pass membership number issued through Amex, which is the most important anyway, given the Priority Pass restaurant restriction. Just log into your Amex account and go to the “Benefits” tab for the Amex card that has a Priority Pass membership.
Scroll down to where it says “The American Express Global Lounge Collection,” and then if you’re enrolled you should see a green checkmark, and then next to that you’ll see your full Priority Pass card number.
If you’re still confused about which Priority Pass card is which, you can phone up Priority Pass on the number on the back of your card, and an agent can help you figure out which card issuer the membership is through (however, that requires going through a verification process, which typically includes an agent asking how you got your card, so that’s a whole different adventure).
Tip: mark your Priority Pass cards
Priority Pass membership cards have a signature panel on the back. While I’m not sure this is the intended purpose, personally I use the signature panel to simply write the card issuer through which the card was issued in permanent marker, so I know whether the card was issued by Amex, Capital One, Chase, or Citi.
That makes it easy for me to always remember how I got a card membership, which is useful if you’re trying to figure out if the card gives you credits at Priority Pass restaurants.
Nowadays many premium credit cards offer a Priority Pass membership. These memberships can have different restrictions (like Priority Pass restaurant credits), so it’s always worth remembering which Priority Pass card is tied to which credit card. If you’re like me and have multiple Priority Pass memberships, it can be tough to tell them apart.
Hopefully the above is a useful guide that can help you differentiate which card comes from which issuer. I always recommend just writing the card issuer on the back of your Priority Pass card, so you can easily remember and don’t have to go through this exercise.
If anyone has any data points that contradict the above guidelines, please let me know so I can get the post updated.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).