Posted by William Charles on August 1, 2019
Misc

Published on August 1st, 2019 | by William Charles

101

U.S. American Express Cards No Longer Have Access To Priority Pass Non-Lounge Options (Restaurants)

Update 8/1/19: This restriction is now in place. Remember not to use your American Express Priority Pass membership for these non lounge options otherwise you will be charged.

Update 7/11/19: Priority Pass now has a F.A.Q for these changes. Originally some people took this to mean it was being extended to Chase, Citi & U.S. Bank but we can confirm this is not the case and this will only be affecting American Express cardholders. It also looks like the early enforcement being mentioned below is not correct and shouldn’t have happened.

Update 7/7/19: Reader @matt_crumb was denied use of American Express Priority Pass at Timberline DEN, returned at access denied message for two different cards. I suspect this is just a temp issue and will be fixed given that we were previously told the August 1st end date. Would be nice to hear from other readers, has anybody use Timberline DEN recently?

Update 6/18/19: Keen eyed reader – – has noticed that the American Express app is already no longer showing the restaurant options, even though they are still accessible until August 1st, 2019. Just a word of warning for anybody that relies on the American Express app to double check, as a restaurant option might be available. Again, these restaurant options are still available until August 1st.

Original Post: Earlier today we reported that American Express cardholders in Hong Kong with Priority Pass access would lose access to non-lounge options. American Express has now confirmed that U.S. cardholders will also lose access starting from August 1st, 2019. Non-lounge airport experiences are defined as restaurants, cafes and bars where a food/beverage credit is offered instead of entrance into a traditional airport lounge.

This is huge news and a very big devaluation. Fingers crossed that other card issuers that offer Priority Pass do not follow suit. If Chase and other card issuers do keep access to these non-lounge options then American Express could lose it’s status as the best card for lounge access (as American Express also provides access to Centurion lounges) depending on your home airport. We will need to update our priority pass comparison tables to take into account this new change. I wonder if American Express is planning something else with the acquisition of LoungeBuddy as well?



101
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
parrothead
parrothead

Eyes on you Chase. Don’t do it.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

For whatever it’s worth, TPG got confirmation from Chase that they will NOT be doing anything similar. For now anyway

YoniPDX
YoniPDX

“for now anyway…….

ThaDingoAteYourBaby
ThaDingoAteYourBaby

Feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?

Peter H
Peter H

Was that a Spongebob reference?
And Seinfeld (username)?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

They also have an incentive to tell such a blogger (and by extension their readers) exactly what they want them to believe.

Harrison
Harrison

This isn’t the biggest change in the world but can make a difference down the line when thinking of the pros and cons of retaining the card for another year.

steve
steve

except when you fly out of Denver and you want a steak dinner

TravelingTricks.com

So if you think of it from the perspective of those who live in the restaurant-only PP cities… its a total game changer. I’m in CLE, where Bar Symon = $56 worth of good food and drinks EVERY time I fly, and its quick and easy and never too crowded, right after PreCheck line. Its The deciding factor in keeping the CSR which would otherwise just be a wash.

slowbrake
slowbrake

Just went through CLE, kicked myself for not remembering Bar Symon was on the list. Ended up with some seriously subpar terminal food.

Don B
Don B

I’m in a similar boat. Do I keep Amex Platinum or CSR? Do I want access to the Airspace Lounge or Bar Symon? I’ll probably pick the CSR and Bar Symon.

Nash
Nash

Can I cancel my Amex Platinum card and get a refund as Amex changed their rules?

Jags
Jags

Ha no

Spencer
Spencer

I was wondering the same.

Dan
Dan

Same here. It’s definitely a change in the offering

Sa
Sa

Seriously it is a change in the agreement.

Colin
Colin

Wonder if you could fight them on that. When you paid the $550 AF, you were under the impression that you would retain the priority pass benefits…

Denis
Denis

don’t you get a prorated refund anyway if you cancel an amex card?

Matt
Matt

Not anymore. You get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days of the statement date that your annual fee appears on. You get no refund if you cancel after that. You do get a prorated refund if you downgrade to a card with a lower annual fee at any time. However, there have been reports of shutdowns for people doing this within the first year of having the card.

Denis
Denis

ah OK, I confused it with downgrading. I got 11/12 of AF last year when I downgraded Delta gold to blue because it happened on 32nd day or so.

seems like the best option is to downgrade to amex green card to get some money back, correct? assuming amex is not gonna issue a refund for cancellation.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

You might find some useful leverage in your annual retention-offer call.

Mike L
Mike L

Didn’t Priority Pass start doing this to avoid having to invest in new lounges? What’s the purpose of even starting the program if they just let card issuers opt out?

Lynee
Lynee

Priority Pass is very good at make incoming…you can just email their sales on their website to get some numbers they ask for and you will find it’s insane…Banks can get lower rate but they also choose different plan. I suspect it’s Amex want to cut this as for sure, they choose the wrong plan

Jesse
Jesse

Priority Pass doesn’t own any lounges, they are simply an intermediary (collect money from credit card companies and disperse it to lounge companies).

AnameOfaguy
AnameOfaguy

The same group that owns Priority Pass owns the “The Club” lounges.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Grr.. Do I get access to the Centurion Lounge in SFO as replacement with my Hilton Aspire then? The only lounge is the KLM lounge that is only accessible when you fly from international terminal concourse A (and also time restricted).

Pointz
Pointz

It is interesting to know if US Bank Altitude PP will also lose this benefit.

Jags
Jags

I doubt it considering it’s already limited to just 4 visits/yr.

aubergine
aubergine

I think the USB AR is much more sensibly designed. They offer *something* but not an infinite amount. It’s fine for the normal leisure travel. It’s not going to satisfy the person with a PP resty at their home airport, who flies r/t each week.
I’m fine with that.

James L
James L

Currently an Amex Plat holder and I will most certainly cancel or downgrade at my next annual fee charge because of this and move back to CSR. Was on the fence before this, but this really pushes me over. I highly value PP restaurants given that most of them provide decent food, whereas most PP lounges provide awful food options (The Club, looking at you). I’d rather PP move to no-alcohol and food-only if that improves food options.

CM

Yeah, the alcohol thing is really unfair for anyone who doesn’t drink. However, not every The Club has food that’s horrible, I’ve been to a few that were decent (SJC was quite nice, SEA wasn’t that bad), although the one at PHX was indeed very horrible.

Gwen
Gwen

I was planning on downgrading my CSR when the renewal came up in a about a month and keeping the Amex plat. Seeing my home airports have priority pass restaurants and no Centurian lounges I might have to rethink this. Bummer

John
John

This does not sound good at all.

Kuso29
Kuso29

Could be good for people with annual fees coming up that could use this as a point for better retention offers

Derek
Derek

Based on recent round of devals and NO retention even offered, (Barclays, Chase) I’m sadly not hopeful. 🙁

N
N

Called today as AF has just posted, was told ‘last retention within 1 year so no’.

Will try again and close the card if still a no.

N
N

Closed, still no retention and this change makes the choice quite easy, even the ‘retention specialist’ agreed that I should close the card=)

C
C

This is almost always the case – one retention offer every two years, per card

tolikfox
tolikfox

do you think amex will backtrack if people start raising hell

aubergine
aubergine

no. the people most likely to cancel were those who used the benefit in an unprofitable manner. Amex is better at a data analyzing their customers than the other issuers, IMO

Lynee
Lynee

Amex may use the pay per visit plan (Base + pay every visit) with PP so those restaurant visit ends giving them very high bill (won’t be surprised if it’s $15+ per person) so it’s killing their long term profitable

RJS11
RJS11

Geez. How about just institute a one use per airport per day policy instead, or lower the amount to $20? The addition of restaurants was great for DCA-based fliers.

J
J

I’m curious, I have pp through my platinum and CSR cards, which one is tied to pp? I’m pretty sure my CSR (3 yr old card) pp access was converted to my amex platinum (opened a yr ago). Is this correct?

Lrdx
Lrdx

They are separate accounts.

Back to Top ↑