Starting August 1 Priority Pass cards that come from American Express will no longer give credit at participating airport restaurants. We learned about this change back in May. Priority Pass sent emails to affected cardmembers with profiles in their database today and created a frequently asked questions page. Unfortunately the page doesn’t mention ‘American Express’
Emails went out about this change today that we learned about back in May today from Priority Pass. That same thing happened last year when the fee for bringing in guests not covered by a card went up for American Express-issued cards only causing a panic.
This does appear to be a page just for people who received an email from Priority Pass, and the email went to people with Priority Pass profiles associated with cards sponsored by American Express.
Adding restaurants and in-airport experiences to the Priority Pass network has been great for cardmembers. Restaurant food is usually better than lounge food. Lounges are often crowded. And many airports don’t have available options, this gives customers more choices in more cities.
However it’s also great for Priority Pass, and not good for credit card issuers paying Priority Pass since they’re charged for each visit.
- Priority Pass network grows. Restaurants mean there are more airports where customers can use their card, driving up costs.
- Restaurant credits may even have a higher take up rate than lounges. I will usually skip mediocre lounges but hit up the restaurants myself. One man hit up Priority Pass restaurants for $200 in free food on a single trip.
Chase and Citi Priority Pass cards will still offer restaurant access when Amex cards lose it August 1, despite the confusing FAQ on the Priority Pass site. We’ll see what impact this has on restaurants who get $23-$24 for each $28 credit. Timberline Steaks at the Denver Airport has become one of the 100 busiest independent restaurants in the country on the strength of Priority Pass (HT: lenin1991)
United, as the largest airline at Denver, is affected here as well since Priority Pass revenue ultimately flows through and also affects airport costs.