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Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent lounge access program, and now has 900+ member lounges in 400+ cities in 120+ countries.

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I fly into and out of some pretty obscure airports worldwide, and I almost always have access to a Priority Pass lounge as I wait for my flight, usually with some good options for free food and drink, comfortable seating, and free wifi.

You can get Priority Pass membership for free and get lounge access for yourself and two guests for free no matter what airline you’re flying by getting the Citi Prestige® Card.

How Priority Pass Works

When you have a flight, you search the Priority Pass website or app for affiliated lounges. (If there are multiple available lounges at an airport, I usually also search for online reviews to determine the best one.)

At the lounge, you hand over your Priority Pass card and boarding pass for free entry.

You enjoy the free food, alcohol, and wifi while you wait for your flight away from the hubbub of the terminal.

Food Selection, LAN Lounge, Bogota
Liquor Selection, LAN Lounge, Bogota
Local Craft Beer Selection, LAN Lounge, Bogota

How Citi Prestige’s Priority Pass Membership Works

I’m not sure how exactly Citi got a better deal for the Prestige’s Priority Pass membership than American Express did, but Citi certainly did.

When you get the Citi Prestige® Card, you get a Priority Pass membership card in the mail within days. It entitles you to free access to 900+ lounges, and each time you enter a lounge, you can bring in any two free guests or your spouse and all your children for free.

You can’t even buy this level of membership directly from Priority Pass, whose top membership costs $399 per year and still charges $27 per guest visit.

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For further information including information on the Prestige’s AA lougne access, see Complete Guide to Prestige’s Lounge Access.

Why It’s Free

I said that you could get free Priority Pass membership, but the Citi Prestige® Card has a $450 annual fee.

In the first 12 months of holding the card, you can get its annual $250 Air Travel Credit twice–for instance if you got the card now you could get one in 2016 and one by April 2017–for $500 in free flights, airline fees, or award tickets which more than offsets the $450 annual fee.

In the first year, you are +$50 after the Air Travel Credits minus the annual fee, and you get the Priority Pass Membership, and the 40,000 bonus points.

In subsequent years, you cannot get a free Priority Pass membership, but you can get a discounted one if you think of the card’s annual fee as effectively $200–$450 annual fee minus $250 air travel credit.

Some Lounge Reviews

Here are a few of my reviews of lounges you can access with a Priority Pass membership. None is one of the top lounges in the world like the Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai for instance, but all made my journey a little better.

Bottom Line

Priority Pass has surpassed 900 affiliated lounges. The best way to get into those lounges is by holding a Citi Prestige® Card with included Priority Pass membership for you and guests.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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