American Express confirmed that Priority Pass cards they provide to customers will no longer provide a dining credit at airport restaurants effective August 1.
That naturally leads to a great deal of speculation about whether other card issuers will do the same thing. Priority Pass cards for airport lounge access (and increasingly, lounge alternatives) have become much more common as a premium credit card benefit over the past three years.
Among the many cards that come with Priority Pass, there’s Citibank’s Prestige card; Chase’s Sapphire Reserve, Ritz-Carlton, and JP Morgan Reserve; US Bank Altitude Reserve; and City National Crystal Visa Infinite.
Timeline Steaks, Denver Airport
City National’s customer base is primarily high net worth investment clients. It doesn’t seem like there’d be a reason to skimp on them. US Bank limits annual Priority Pass lounge visits already. Questions have largely centered on plans from Citibank and Chase.
On the one hand, American Express has laid out an attactive way to cut costs. On the other hand, continue to offer full Priority Pass access could be a competitive differentiator (although possibly only for customers who would ‘use the benefit too much’ and be unprofitable).
Talking to multiple sources at Citibank it does not appear that they’re currently planning to eliminate Priority Pass restaurant visits from the Prestige card.
Chase offered me a statement,
Sapphire and The Ritz-Carlton Cardmembers can continue to use their Priority Pass benefit as they have been. No updates to share at this time.
Chase’s language concerns me, because the exact same statement “can continue to use their Priority Pass benefit as they have been” could be made by American Express, since their change does not go into effect until August 1. In fact American Express could have made the full exact same statement last week.
It’s understandable that they’d offer something fairly milquetoast,
- If Chase is making the change, they don’t want to announce it yet.
- If Chase isn’t making the change, they don’t want to lock themselves out of deciding to do so (especially now that American Express has announced it)
Tuna burger, Bobby Van’s New York JFK Terminal 8
Chase’s statement doesn’t provide much comfort. However I do think that if Chase had decided to make this change and wasn’t ready to share it they might say “no updates to share at this time” but wouldn’t offer that customers can continue to use the benefit as-is. I could be over-reading but I don’t think that I am. We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose, whether they make a decision one way or another in the future.