Priority Pass credit cards

Compare credit cards that come with Priority Pass and make your time in the airport more relaxing. Apply for a card below.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 7th September 2020

Comparing Priority Pass credit cards

American Express Platinum Card

On American Express' website

American Express Platinum Card

Rewards program

Membership Rewards Ascent Premium

Points per $1 spent

2.25 points

Sign up bonus

80,000 points

Annual fee

$1,450.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get 80,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria of $3,000 in the first 3 months. Available to new Card Members only.
  • Receive a $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year, which can be redeemed for flights, hotels or car hire.
  • Complimentary access for you and a guest to over 1,200 Airport lounges across 130 countries.
Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Altitude)

On Westpac's website

Apply by 11 November 2020

Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Altitude)

Rewards program

Altitude Rewards

Points per $1 spent

1.25 points

Sign up bonus

150,000 points

Annual fee

$250.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive 150,000 Altitude bonus points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Exclusions apply. Qantas rewards fee applies.
  • Earn up to 6 Altitude points per $1 spent (terms and conditions apply).
  • Complimentary Insurances: Overseas Travel, Extended Warranty, Purchase Security and Transit Accidents (terms and conditions apply)
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

On Bank of Melbourne's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Rewards program

Amplify Rewards

Points per $1 spent

1.5 points

Sign up bonus

200,000 points

Annual fee

$139.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 200,000 Bonus Amplify Rewards Points over 2 years when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases each year.
  • Reduced annual fee of $139 in the first year, currently saving you $140.
  • 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers. Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
BankSA Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

On BankSA's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

BankSA Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Rewards program

Amplify Rewards

Points per $1 spent

1.5 points

Sign up bonus

200,000 points

Annual fee

$139.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 200,000 points bonus Amplify Rewards Points* over 2 years when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases each year. Exclusions apply.
  • Reduced annual fee of $139 p.a. in the first year, currently saving you $140.
  • Enjoy 0% p.a. for 6 months with 0% fee on Balance Transfers requested at new card application. Rate reverts to cash advance rate.
St.George Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

On St.George's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

St.George Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Rewards program

Amplify Rewards, Amplify Qantas

Points per $1 spent

1.5 points

Sign up bonus

200,000 points

Annual fee

$139.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 200,000 Bonus Amplify Rewards Points over 2 years when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases each year. Plus, receive a birthday points bonus of 10% of the points earned in the last 12 months.
  • 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers with 0% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.
  • Reduced annual fee of $139 in the first year, currently saving you $140.

Overview

Airport lounge access is a desirable credit card benefit. Premium credit cards designed for the travelling lifestyle often come with complimentary access to airport lounges. Cardholders able to access these lounges can relax in comfortable surroundings before or between flights, taking advantage of free meals, snacks and drinks, using dedicated working areas with Wi-Fi facilities, watching TV, reading newspapers or magazines, and even taking a refreshing shower or luxurious spa treatment.

One of the most popular airport lounge schemes for Australian credit cards is the extensive Priority Pass program, which provides access to more than 1,300 lounges worldwide by partnering with other lounge programs (such as Plaza Premium). The benefit of Priority Pass when compared with a specific airline’s lounges is that you will find one in most airports, and access doesn’t depend on which airline you are flying with, or which fare class you have.

Priority Pass lounges in Australia

Previously only a significant benefit for those travelling overseas, Priority Pass has expanded its Australian presence in recent years and now offers access to lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin and the Gold Coast.

Some of the ‘lounges’ in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and the one in the Gold Coast, are in fact restaurants or bars with whom Priority Pass has an arrangement for a substantial bill discount for members or pass holders. Facilities in these establishments are more limited than in the fully-fledged lounges found in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin.

Priority Pass single-entry passes

Your credit card may offer a number of single-entry passes per year. In most cases this will be two single-entry passes, allowing the cardholder to make two free lounge visits per year. Standard Priority Pass membership normally costs US$99 per year, allowing members and their guests to use lounges for US$32 per person, per visit. So an annual benefit of membership plus two single-entry passes is worth US$163 ($99 = $32 + $32).

Priority Pass membership levels

While the Standard membership, free with some credit cards, normally costs US$99 p.a., more prestigious credit cards may give greater access. ‘Standard Plus’ membership (US$299 per year) gives members 10 free visits per year, after which they are required to pay the usual US$32 fee. ‘Prestige’ membership, for $429 p.a., confers unlimited free lounge access for members, but members’ guests are always charged at US$32.

Deciding whether Priority Pass complimentary membership is worthwhile

Based on the lounge access granted by the various membership levels, two single-entry passes are worth US$163 ($99 + $32 + $32) per year, so in years when you use both passes you will significantly defray the annual fee cost of your credit card. These passes really shine for anyone travelling in Economy, because they can still use an airport lounge. They may be less worthwhile for Business Class travellers, who will usually be granted automatic access to the lounge of the airline they are flying with, or an affiliated lounge.

If you have a really expensive credit card granting unlimited Priority Pass access, the benefit is worth US$429 (the cost of Prestige membership) in any year where you think you are likely to make more than 14 visits to a Priority Pass lounge. That's still a substantial dent in any annual fee, no matter how high.

Alternative lounge access schemes

Priority Pass is not the only lounge access program able to be accessed by Australian credit cards.

  • American Express lounges with premium American Express cards.
  • Qantas lounges with some Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards.
  • Virgin Australia lounges with some Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards, plus the American Express Platinum Card, American Express Platinum Business Card and ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Credit Card.
  • Delta Sky Club lounges with the American Express Platinum Card.
  • Centurion lounges with American Express Platinum Card and American Express Platinum Business Card.
  • Veloce lounges with some ANZ frequent flyer and various rewards points cards.
  • Plaza Premium lounges with the American Express Platinum Card.
  • LoungeKey lounges with the Commbank Ultimate Awards Credit Card.
  • Diners Club lounges with Diners Club cards.

Regular travellers will appreciate Priority Pass lounge access

If you are a frequent business or leisure traveller, you could make good use of Priority Pass lounge access, especially if you travel overseas and need to relax or work before or between long-haul flights. Check out the credit cards listed below, all of which have Priority Pass lounge access as a complimentary benefit.

Learn about Priority Pass credit cards

Considering a credit card with Priority Pass? Here are the answers you need before applying.

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

  • FAQs

  • Guides

A good resource for business travellers or flight delays

Regular business travellers will make really good use of the dedicated workspaces and free Wi-Fi to be found in most Priority Pass lounges. And lounge access really comes into its own, for both business and leisure travellers, when your flight is delayed for hours and you have a comfortable space in which to work, eat, relax, and possibly even take a shower.

It's a benefit you have effectively paid for but may not use

The type of premium credit card that has Priority Pass lounge access as a complimentary benefit will usually have a high annual fee. And although the complimentary benefits are advertised as 'free', you are definitely contributing to the cost via the annual fee. But if you're not a regular traveller there's no guarantee that you will be able to make use of both passes every year, and you can't roll over unused passes into the following year.

Save money on lounge membership fees

If you're not a regular traveller, perhaps travelling interstate or overseas only once or twice a year, you can avoid having to pay an expensive lounge program membership fee by using your two free single-entry Priority Pass lounge passes instead. If you travel more regularly, you still have Standard Priority Pass membership, which lets you use the lounges for a much lower single-entry fee even if you've used up all your passes.

Some Australian airports don't have Priority Pass lounges

Not all Australian airports have Priority Pass lounges. You won't find them in Perth, Canberra, Cairns and Hobart, and the GoldCoast/Coolangatta facility is a bar rather than a full lounge.

Some lounges are not as good as others

Some Priority Pass lounges have all the bells and whistles – free meals, snacks and drinks, dedicated relaxing areas, workspaces with Wi-Fi facilities, and even refreshing showers or spas in some cases. But others may have more limited facilities, and may even be just a restaurant or bar where you have to pay for food and drinks (although you get a substantial discount).

You get discounted entry for guests

If you have a credit card with two single-entry passes annually, the passes are for the use of the primary cardholder only. But since you will also have Standard annual membership, it means that you can purchase access for your travelling companion at a discounted US$32 per visit, less than you would pay to access most airport lounges.

Check ahead to see if the airport you will be using has a Priority Pass lounge

You won't find a Priority Pass lounge in every one of the world's thousands of airports. And if there is one, airports are large busy places, and Priority Pass lounges are run by third parties so they may not be easy to locate. So plan ahead before you travel, by checking for lounge locations using the Priority Pass website or the app.

Check the permitted hours for Priority Pass members

Since Priority Pass lounges are not operated by Priority Pass but by third parties, you may find that Priority Pass members are only allowed to access a particular lounge during specified hours. Check ahead at the Priority Pass website.

Even if there's no full lounge, you may still qualify for a food and beverage discount

Perhaps there's no full Priority Pass lounge in the airport you'll be using, or it may be located in a part of the airport too far from your departure gate if you have limited time available. But you may still be able to use one of the many restaurants and bars affiliated with Priority Pass. You'll receive a discount on your food and drinks by using your membership and/or single-entry pass.

Membership is not automatic - you need to sign up

Don't make the mistake of assuming that you just need to wave your credit card at the lounge desk if your credit card comes with free Priority Pass membership and passes. You'll need to enrol in the Priority Pass program first, by following the link provided by your credit card issuer. To speed things up, download the Priority Pass app which stores your membership card digitally. Complete these steps before you travel.

You can still access Priority Pass lounges after you've used your annual free passes

Even if you've used your two free passes for the year, you can still usually access Priority Pass lounges by using your Standard membership and paying US$32 per person, per visit. Check your credit card's terms and conditions to make sure this is allowed.

Are Priority Pass lounges badged with Priority Pass signage and logo?

No. Rather than operating their own lounges, Priority Pass have arrangements with local lounge operators at airports around the world. So you will not necessarily see the Priority Pass logo or signage prominently displayed, if at all.

Do all cards with complimentary benefits offer airport lounge access?

No. While most of the more expensive cards come with complimentary travel insurance, shoppers' insurance and other benefits, airport lounge access is restricted to about 20 credit cards. The lounge brands offered include Priority Pass, Qantas, American Express, Virgin Australia, Veloce, Diners Club, LoungeKey, Centurion and Delta Sky Club. Some cards give access to more than one brand of lounge, for maximum availability.

Do all Priority Pass lounges have the same facilities?

No. While some lounges offer luxurious surroundings, complimentary food and drinks, business amenities including free Wi-Fi, conference rooms, shower facilities and even spa treatments, others will have more limited features. Some, including many in Australia, may actually be affiliated restaurants or bars where members receive a discount on their food and beverage bill.

Do I need to be travelling in business class in order to access a Priority Pass lounge?

No. If your credit card has complimentary Priority Pass lounge access (either in the form of single-entry passes or unlimited membership) you will be admitted to the Priority Pass lounge regardless of your fare status.

Do I need to be travelling with a specific airline in order to access a Priority Pass lounge?

No. If your credit card has complimentary Priority Pass lounge access (either in the form of single-entry passes or unlimited membership) it doesn't matter which airline you are travelling with.

Do I need to book ahead in order to be admitted to a Priority Pass lounge?

No. There's no need to book ahead. Just present your single-entry pass or Priority Pass membership card, plus your flight boarding pass, at the reception desk on arrival.

How do I activate my Priority Pass lounge access?

You will need to apply for your membership and single-entry lounge passes (usually two per year) through a link provided at your credit card's website.

Prestige credit cards with complimentary Prestige Priority Pass membership, granting unlimited access, will come with instructions about how to obtain your Priority Pass membership card. Some credit cards give you a digital membership card, included in the Priority Pass app.

How do I find out if an airport I'm travelling through has a Priority Pass lounge?

Visit the Priority Pass website, or use the Priority Pass app, to see if the airport you are passing through has an affiliated lounge.

How much does it cost to have Priority Pass lounge access with a credit card?

Although you can buy Priority Pass lounge membership by paying an annual fee (and possibly an additional fee per visit, depending on the membership level), if you have the right credit card you can get free access as a complimentary benefit.

This may take the form of two single-entry passes per year, or unlimited free access (generally confined to cards with a very high annual fee).

So the only cost is your credit card's annual fee.

How much is Priority Pass lounge access worth?

Under some circumstances (e.g. your flight is delayed for six hours) access to a Priority Pass lounge could be considered priceless. But to put a dollar value on it, there are three levels of membership:

  • Standard: Annual fee US$99, plus pay US$32 per person, per visit
  • Standard Plus: Annual fee US$299, includes 10 free visits, then pay US$32 per person, per visit
  • Prestige: Annual fee US$429, unlimited member visits, US32 per guest visit

So, two single-entry passes are worth US$163 ($99 + $32 + $32) per year. The unlimited access granted by very few (extremely expensive) credit cards is worth US$429 in any year where you think you are likely to make more than 14 visits to a Priority Pass lounge.

What if I want to use Priority Pass lounges more than twice a year?

If you have a prestige card which comes with Prestige Priority Pass membership your lounge visits are unlimited.

If your credit card offers two single-entry lounge passes per year you may still have Standard Priority Pass membership, which means that you can pay for each lounge visit once your two annual passes have been used. Check your credit card's terms and conditions in order to verify this.

Which Australian Airports have Priority Pass lounges?

The answer to this question can change over time, as lounges join or leave the Priority Pass network. But at the time of writing, the following Priority Pass lounges were available:

  • Sydney. A REX Lounge (Terminal 2), and four restaurants or bars (including two in Terminal 3)
  • Melbourne. A Plaza Premium Lounge and three restaurants or bars (International terminal), and a REX Lounge (Terminal 4)
  • Brisbane. A Plaza Premium Lounge and three restaurants (International terminal)
  • Adelaide. A REX Lounge
  • Darwin. A Catalina Lounge
  • Gold Coast Coolangatta. One bar/restaurant

Priority Pass members or single entry pass holders can also use The House lounges in Melbourne and Sydney but will need to pay an extra fee of A$20 per person per visit.

Will I find a Priority Pass lounge at every airport?

Priority Pass originated in the US, so that's where most lounges are located. But their website says that they have over 1,300 lounges in 148 countries, so you are likely to find at least one at most major airports. Some airports, such as London Heathrow, will have multiple Priority Pass lounges. In Australia, there are no Priority Pass lounges in Perth, Canberra, Cairns or Hobart.