Definitive Guide: Priority Pass Airport Lounge Program

priority pass airport lounge guide featured

Airport lounge programs are one of the most valuable perks offered by many credit cards, such as complimentary access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection and the DragonPass lounge program. Another one of these airport lounge programs is Priority Pass, which is often included as a benefit on many premium credit cards in both Canada and the United States.

Let’s look at everything there is to know about the Priority Pass airport lounge program and show you how to access these lounges for free on your next vacation.

What is the Priority Pass Airport Lounge Program?

The Priority Pass airport lounge program is a network of over 1,400 airport lounges worldwide. These lounges are not Priority Pass branded, but rather participate in the Priority Pass program and thus are accessible by travelers who have Priority Pass membership.

With Priority Pass lounges around the world, there is a wide range of quality when it comes to those lounges that participate in the program. Some are great spaces that you look forward to spending time in, whereas others are a passable stop for something edible and free booze (like the Plaza Premium Lounge in Edmonton).

Priority Pass Membership

Similar to the Dragonpass lounge program, Priority Pass membership is broken into a tiered system at various price points and benefits. Priority Pass memberships require an annual fee to join and then members can benefit from a number of complimentary airport lounge visits during their membership year. 

For example, those with Priority Pass Standard Plus membership will receive 10 free lounge visits, whereas those with Priority Pass Prestige membership will receive unlimited visits for themselves but still have to pay for guest access.

priority pass lounge program membership tiers

Simply put, I would not recommend signing up for Priority Pass through the traditional method as the value simply isn’t there. Travelers can receive complimentary unlimited access for themselves and a guest just by holding the right credit card; I’ll touch on how that works below.

Priority Pass Mobile Application

Upon enrolling in Priority Pass, the best way to access your membership details, in addition to learning about available lounges you can access on the go is to download the utilize the Priority Pass app on your smart device.

The Priority Pass app makes it easy to quickly pull up your membership details, including a scannable QR code, to gain airport lounge access.

priority pass airport lounge membership card

If mobile apps aren’t your thing, Priority Pass members will also be mailed a physical Priority Pass membership card that can be used for lounge access as well. The physical card will also list your name, membership number, and membership expiry date.

Credit Cards with Free Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access

There are three credit cards in Canada that offer free Priority Pass airport lounge access issued by American Express and Scotiabank. These cards either offer unlimited airport lounge access or a set number of visits per calendar year, but all visits are complimentary.

As an aside, there are many more credit cards in Canada than those listed below that offer complimentary Standard Priority Pass membership but not complimentary lounge access. This means that the cardholder, even with a Priority Pass membership, would still have to have to pay $35 USD per visit for themselves, and an additional $35 USD per guest they want to bring in. For that reason, we have not mentioned any of those cards below as they are fundamentally useless.

American Express Credit Cards

American Express Canada offers access to a number of airport lounge programs on their two most premium credit cards, including access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection and the coveted American Express Centurion Lounges.

The American Express Platinum card and American Express Business Platinum card are the crown jewels in the Amex card lineup, and as a result, also offer access to the Priority Pass program.

American Express Platinum Card

The American Express Platinum card earns Membership Rewards and offers cardholders a variety of benefits including an annual $200 travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access, an annual $200 dining credit, and instant elite status with many hotel loyalty programs.

In 2024, we awarded this card as the Best Credit Card for Airport Lounge Access.

100,000 Membership Rewards

Both of these cards come with unlimited access for the cardholder and one guest to any Priority Pass lounges. This access, coupled with the other complimentary airport lounge programs on these cards mentioned above, grants cardholders access to an overwhelming amount of airport lounges.

Coincidentally, these are two of the best credit cards for airport lounge access in Canada and we would highly recommend holding one of them if you are a serious traveler and want to take your travel experience to the next level. If you hold one of these two credit cards and want to enroll in Priority Pass, call the number on the back of your card to get started.

Scotiabank Credit Cards

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express card is the only other credit card in Canada that offers complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access.

Apply Now Learn More Earn $175 in FlyerFunds upon approval.
Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express card earns Scene+ Rewards points and offers cardholders benefits such as no foreign transaction fees and ten complimentary airport lounge access passes annually.

60,000 Scene+
Oct 31, 2024

The Scotiabank American Express Platinum card provides the primary cardholder with a standard Priority Pass membership and ten annual complimentary airport lounge visits. The card also grants four annual complimentary airport lounge visits for any supplementary cardholders.

In order to apply for a Priority Pass membership, cardholders will need to visit this link and enter code Scotia1 for the primary cardholder and code Scotia2 for the supplementary cardholder.

US Credit Cards

If you have figured out how to get US credit cards as a Canadian, there are significantly more cards in the United States that offer complimentary Priority Pass and lounge access. Not to mention, the Priority Pass access offered in the United States is even more powerful.

In the United States, the American Express Platinum card (US), the American Express Business Platinum card (US), the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card (US), the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card (US), the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (US), and the Capital One Venture X Rewards card (US) all offer complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.

Priority Pass Select membership offers complimentary access to any Priority Pass lounge for the primary cardholder and two guests. This is even more powerful than the access that is offered on any of the Canadian cards and might be a better fit for those who often travel in groups of more than two people.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is also unique in that it offers access to Priority Pass restaurant credits in which the cardholder can receive a $28 USD credit for dining at various restaurants in airports. Credit can be applied towards food and beverage purchases, but cannot be applied towards tipping charges.

If you hold any of the above-mentioned US credit cards you can follow these instructions to set up your Priority Pass Select membership:

  • Eligible American Express cardholders can enroll in Priority Pass Select membership via the benefits tab in the dashboard. 
  • Eligible Capital One cardholders can enroll in Priority Pass Select membership here.
  • Eligible Chase cardholders will need to log into Chase Ultimate Rewards, select “Card Benefits”, select “Travel”, and “Complimentary Airport Lounge Access” to enroll in Priority Pass Select Membership.


The Priority Pass airport lounge program gives Canadians another avenue to gain airport lounge access for their next vacation. While it is only offered as a benefit on a few credit cards in Canada, and many more in the United States, if you hold one of these eligible credit cards it is well worth enrolling in Priority Pass to expand the number of airport lounge options that you can access throughout your travels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, provided that you hold a credit card that offers complimentary airport lounge visits, enrolling in Priority Pass is worth it as airport lounge access can make your time spent in airports that much more enjoyable. Complimentary food, drink, and a more comfortable area go a long way when you are traveling for hours on end.

Airport lounges in the Priority Pass program can fluctuate in volume depending on flight schedules and delays. From time to time, this may mean that lounges will hit capacity and you may need to wait in line to access the lounge.

Yes, but refer to the terms of your membership and the specific lounge access rules as there may be variances in the number of guests, if any, you are allowed to permit.

There are a number of premium credit cards in both Canada and the United States that offer complimentary Priority Pass membership and airport lounge visits. Holding one of these credit cards is your best path to accessing lounges in the Priority Pass network for free.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards


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