12 Airline Lounge Visits for $20 at Your Choice of Lounge

There’s a great, really useful post on Milepoint that I thought I had blogged about months ago but I couldn’t find a post when searching so I must have only thought I shared.

The Milepoint post outlines how to use the SkyGuide Executive Privilege Club, at $20 for a year, to secure free lounge access and some various and sundry other privileges. (I may have need to buy lounge access for some domestic South America flights, hoping for a shower after an overnight arrival.)

The program will reimburse you for up to 12 airport lounge day passes. At ~ $50 each, that’s $600 of reimbursements for $20. They also provide reimbursement of health club passes (12 per year up to $25 each).

Sign up for membership using one of the links below.

You manage your membership here. If you sign up at a customersvc.com link (eg the second one above but not the $19.99 with no auto renew) then you can go to this website right away in the same browser window after signing up and you’ll see your member number and account information right away. Signing up at timeinc.com (the $19.99 option) will involve a short delay. This is where you can cancel online for a refund or stop auto renewal. Of course you can call to do this as well.

Pay for lounge day passes using an American Express card at the airline-operated lounges of your choice (or online ahead of time) and submit the receipts to SkyGuide Executive Privilege Club via certified mail. Reimbursement checks arrive in 4-6 weeks. There was a brief period of time where they limited you to one lounge pass per month, but that restriction is no longer in place, in theory you could sign up at $2.99, max out the benefits within two months and then cancel.

How does this make sense for them? They sell their mailing lists, you’ll probably get lots of junk mail. And they make the reimbursement process cumbersome enough that lots of people won’t bother. Keep copies of paperwork, and follow instructions to the letter.

  • You must send your receipts individually via certified mail, no bundling receipts in a single envelope with a single form.
  • The receipt needs to be dated and show it’s for a day or one-time pass.
  • The receipts must be in your name — you can’t pay for other people.
  • You’re required to pay for passes with an American Express card.

If the receipt doesn’t have your name on it, doesn’t show payment with an American Express card, or doesn’t show it’s for a day pass the reimbursement could be denied. There have been plenty of reports of successes with Delta and with American. I don’t know what United’s new day passes, purchased in-club only at present (I believe online purchases have ‘temporarily’ gone away with the new United website). I suspect this will work fine with online purchase through Alaska Airlines, but haven’t tested it.

As noted in the Milepoint post, you can use lounge and health club day pass purchases towards minimum spend requirements for various American Express cards to earn signup bonuses (and it should work just as well with Citibank or Bank of America-issued Amex cards as for true American Express-issued ones)

And because Executive Privilege club membership is for twelve months, while the 12 reimbursement limit is per calendar year, you could actually squeeze 24 passes out of a single $20 membership.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I signed up for this last month when I saw it on MP, and sent in a receipt for the new UA daypass, but haven’t heard back yet. It’s been just around 5 weeks, so I have a bit more to go.

  2. The 19.99 link looks like a Groupon that when I click on it says it is over and expired 190 days ago. It go go directly to their website it say that their annual membership is now $199 per year.

  3. @Joseph M – I just used the link @ $19.99. We’ll see if it doesn’t process but it says it worked.

  4. I sent in an Admirals Club pass purchased online. I filled in the date and airport with random info. Does anyone know if they accept those? Its been like 2 weeks so still gotta wait.

  5. So I signed up for the $19.99 link. Do I have to wait for my membership package to come in the mail before I can start using it?

  6. I signed up for the $2.99 for two months offer that came with an Amex $25 gift card (now expired offer). Got the gift card, cancelled the membership, and to my surprise… was refunded the $2.99. So I basically got the gift card(s) for free. Loved it!

  7. I can vouch for the reimbursement; I charged my visit to the Alaska Airlines lounge in SeaTac back in early February to my Amex Blue Sky card; roughly 6 weeks later (around mid-March) I received a check for $45 with a letter of thanks.

  8. Does this apply for overseas lounges? I have a long trip scheduled to south america this fall and will be spending a lot of time at airports in lima, santiago, etc.. wondering if this will work?

  9. Yes, it reimburses for any lounge world wide. Also when I tried to book in advance on line for a lounge in Europe that refused AMEX, I was told I could pay with another CC In the end I canceled the trip so can’t vouch for having actually received a refund but I did have the info from SkyGuide in an email so I doubt they would have refused it; AMEX doesn’t play those sort of games.

  10. @ThunderStorm – it renews at the “current rate”, which can be anything they want to charge. At the time Amex posted the restaurant.com offer, the “current rate” may have been $59.99, but I’ve seen recent renewals come up at $89.99 pretty consistently.

    @Gary – thanks for the callout to my MilePoint post!

    Another tip — Because the receipt submission process can be time consuming and tedious, pre-printing a stack of forms and envelopes can speed up the submission process. When my family gets home form a trip, we simply fill in the date on the form and put the lounge receipt in a pre-printed envelope. It makes the process much easier.

  11. I haven’t read any terms on the site but can one buy a lounge pass online, redeemable at a later time? If so why not just buy your limit of 12 online, a day apart?

  12. I signed up as well but didn’t get any confirmation. I suppose that means the link is dead?

  13. The $19.99 offer generated an email with a membership number that i received this morning, and used it to log in.

  14. With 5 people in my family, would I need to buy 5 of these packages? Would it work to pay for my kids’ entry to the lounge with my AmEx? or do the passes come with “guest privileges” also?

  15. Anyone with experience buying multiple one day passes online with one transaction? Just bought 3 AA one day passes and the receipt shows 3 passes for a total of $150. Did I just shoot myself in the foot?

  16. I just got email from AMEX offering me a 2 month free trial for a $2.99 processing fee and includinging 2 $100 dining certificates for signing up.

    It’s kind of funny since this particular AMEX card includes PriorityPass and I have a United Club membership so I’ll probably pass on the offer.

    Please send my complete membership package for the SkyGuide Executive Privilege Club and my two FREE $100 Restaurant Certificates. By clicking Submit Form, I agree that: I will be charged a one-time club processing fee of $2.99. If I enjoy my first 2 months and want to continue receiving the valuable benefits, I will do nothing and a special introductory rate of $89.95 will be billed to my American Express Card for my first year of membership, unless I call to cancel. If satisfied, I will receive continuous annual renewal of my club membership at the then-current special rate. All prices are subject to applicable sales tax. I may cancel my membership at any time, for any reason, by calling 1-800-365-4357 and receive a credit to my American Express Card for the remainder of my club membership term — GUARANTEED!

    *Each Certificate is good for a total of $100 in savings vouchers, each worth between $10 and $100 with a minimum purchase at a participating restaurant, once per visit. Visit http://www.diningdough.com to redeem Certificate for vouchers, to see list of participating restaurants, their offer details, and full redemption terms and conditions. Certificate is not redeemable for cash or credit and cannot be combined with any other offer. Your two $100 Restaurant Certificates will be mailed following receipt of order. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. If supply limitations occur, we may substitute with an equally valuable benefit.

    †Receive reimbursement for your purchase of daily guest passes up to 12 times per calendar year. Monthly or yearly airport lounge memberships are not eligible for reimbursement. Mail receipts within 30 days of use. Allow 4-6 weeks for receipt of check.

    Copyright 2012 American Express Publishing Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Please read the Privacy Statement of American Express Publishing.

  17. United Club passes can be purchased using the iPhone app for $45 each. It sounds like they are only one-time use rather than day-passes.

    I’m not sure what sort of receipt you send for reimbursement, or if passes can be pre-purchased for reimbursement. Anybody know if / how this would work?

  18. Hi,

    What’s preventing me to enroll at $2.99, order online a lounge pass for next week and submit the receipt, get refund for the pass and cancel afterwards. I am flying next week

    Basically I am out for only $2.99 ?? I don’t think I’ll use a lounge service again until late next year. This time I have a 12 hr connection.

  19. I just signed up and got the email confirmation. The online benefits guide says you can only do one reimbursement per calendar month. I wish I could cancel it now!

  20. Jim.. I think you can still cancel if you have not filed for any reimbursement. I’m stuck with 2 lounge passes bec. they did let the members know that the terms have changed… except you need to read the “fine print” on the website. Get out while you can!

  21. So you can use any lounge in the world, but can you live anywhere in the world to take advantage of this? I live in Canada and often can’t take advantage of schemes like this because they only apply to the US.

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