Priority Pass has always been one of those things that has been nice to have but hasn’t felt essential in my travel hacking experience. But maybe I just have been taking it for granted, because when I recently decided to move on from the CNB City National Visa Infinite card I found myself scrambling to find a Priority Pass Select membership to replace the one I was losing. I’ve found an alternative I’m happy with and it won’t even require me getting a new card.
I had one main goal and one secondary goal. My main goal was to make sure I have a Priority Pass membership that will take care of my entire family of five when we travel. My secondary goal was to get my wife her own Priority Pass membership, though she doesn’t travel on her own very often (or at all!). I was also hoping to grab a Priority Pass membership that covers both lounges and restaurants, since a lot of times restaurants make more sense for my family than hanging out in a lounge.
The best Priority Pass membership from a credit card for families
The process I went through was mentally going through in my head the cards I have that offer Priority Pass and googling what each card offered. Don’t be that guy – I found this very convenient and very would have been useful to me yesterday article detailing all the different Priority Passes after I had finished my own research.
tl;dr – the Priority Pass select membership that comes with the Citi Prestige allows the member to bring in two guests OR any immediate family members. So my family will be covered and I’m going to stick with that membership. To confirm this, I went to check the Citi Prestige benefits website:
Other options I had were American Express Platinum (2 guests only AND no restaurants), Chase Sapphire Reserve (2 guests only), or the Hilton Aspire (2 guests only). So out of my options, Citi Prestige is obviously the best.
I played around with the idea of having my wife apply for a Bonvoy Boundless card, hold onto it for 12 months, and then product change to a Ritz Carlton card but that just seemed like too much friction for me to ask my wife to deal with. But if you have access to the Ritz Carlton card, that one is the best – free authorized users (who each get their own Priority Pass), unlimited guests, and even the Visa Infinite air $100 credit to boot.
Ideas for getting my wife a Priority Pass card in her name
My wife currently has no cards that come with a Priority Pass membership, so I was debating getting a new card for her to reach the secondary goal. Mark at Miles to Memories has some good thoughts on the Hilton Ascend card and how its Priority Pass membership might be best for infrequent travelers. It allows 10 visits total per year (so essentially two visits total for my family of five). That really got me thinking, the card would be perfect for my wife BUT she keeps getting the “you will not receive the sign up bonus” pop up from American Express so I’ve been holding off.
My other options are to pay $50 to make her an authorized user on my Citi Prestige or $75 to make her an authorized user on my Chase Sapphire Reserve, but neither of things seem worth it.
Figuring out which Priority Pass card is which
I’m swimming in Priority Pass cards so I needed to figure out which one was the card associated with my Citi Prestige. It turned out to be pretty simple – I called the number on the back of my Citi Prestige card, told them I lost my Priority Pass card, and then they transferred me to Priority Pass. After asking a few questions Priority Pass agreed to reissue the card and I also asked for the card number which I wrote down.
I’ve now finally learned to write the card name on the back of my Priority Pass card once I receive it so I shouldn’t be getting too confused in the future. Maybe.
Anyway, all in all ten minutes of research and a five minute phone call made me whole, Priority Pass wise, again. If you’re trying to replace a lost or soon to be lost Priority Pass membership, hopefully this helps you find a good solution too!
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It’s also confusing that the membership number in the app is different from the card. I’ve started putting the card name in the login too so I have usercsr and userritz.
CNB did have great priority pass (and still does for something like 6 weeks). The main limit was local restrictions by the priority pass lounge. I also agree that the Ascend card had a structure that provided a level of flexibility, a total of ten visits that could be mixed and matched. Glad to hear that you figured out a way forward.