Here’s a positive development that will make the process of accessing Priority Pass lounges even easier.
You no longer need a Priority Pass card
Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of airport lounges, with over 1,300 locations around the world. There are several premium credit cards that offer memberships as a perk, with registration being required for activation. Even though credit cards offer this as a perk, historically your credit card as such hasn’t gotten you access to Priority Pass lounges.
That’s to say that you needed to register for a Priority Pass membership, and then show your Priority Pass membership card (or the digital version in the Priority Pass app) to access a lounge. That’s no longer needed, at least for one card. Per an email from Priority Pass:
You can now enter locations in the world’s leading airport lounge program, Priority Pass, with your payment card!
How to activate your payment card as a means of access
Log in to your online account at prioritypass.com, and the payment card associated with your Priority Pass account will automatically be activated for you to use to enter lounges.
Activation of your payment card to access airport lounges and experiences is not currently available in the Priority Pass app.
Please allow 12 hours for the activation to take effect. Some locations are unable to accept payment cards for entry, see the full list here, and remember to have your Digital Membership Card or alternative means of access available.
In other words, you’ll now be able to access Priority Pass lounges by presenting your premium credit card at the entrance. The catch is that I’m told that for the time being this is only possible with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review), and not with other cards.
I’m curious if Capital One is paying extra for this (so that people keep the card in their wallet), or why this is just limited to that card for now. Hopefully other cards get a similar option in the future.
Is this a significant development?
This seems like a positive, common sense development, though it’s also important to understand what this does and doesn’t mean.
You still need to register your premium credit card to be able to use it at Priority Pass lounges, so this doesn’t suddenly mean that you can use your credit card at a Priority Pass lounge without actually having registered it.
There are a few things I see as the primary benefit of this change:
- Some of us have a hard time keeping track of which Priority Pass card is from which credit card issuer, so that problem is solved if you’re using the credit card as such; this matters for credits at Priority Pass restaurants
- Personally I’ll keep traveling with some of my Priority Pass cards, since it’s noted that “some locations are unable to accept payment cards for entry,” and I also wonder how well lounge agents will be trained on this development
- Where I see the most value here is for family members and friends who don’t enjoy traveling with dozens of cards in their wallet (I know, what’s wrong with them?!), or who easily lose or misplace their Priority Pass cards; this solves that issue
Those with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card can now use their payment card to directly access Priority Pass lounges, rather than having to use the Priority Pass app or membership card. I’d say that’s a great development, because for many it will translate to one less card to carry around.
Anyone happy to see this improvement from Priority Pass?