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How does the Priority Pass program work for airport lounge access?

To the point Here's how the Priority Pass program works, allowing access to partner airport lounges with your credit card.

How does the Priority Pass program work?

*** Update February 10, 2023: Good news! From now on, people wanting to enter a Priority Pass lounge will no longer need to show their physical Priority Pass membership card. Instead, you will need to show the credit card with a Priority Pass subscription and possibly, the membership number available on the Priority Pass app.

Priority Pass is the largest airport lounge network in the world with over 1,300 accessible lounges.

In Canada, there are lounges in most major cities. At Montreal-Trudeau Airport, you have access to the National Bank Lounge. We have already talked about this advantage.

To access these lounges, you must be a Priority Pass member.

Priority Pass membership levels

There are 3 official levels of the Priority Pass program:

  • Standard: in addition to your annual subscription, you must pay for each of your visits and those of your guests
  • Standard Plus: 10 visits are offered each year, but you will have to pay for your guests’ access
  • Prestige: you have unlimited access to all lounges, but you will have to pay for your guests’ access.
Adhésion priority pass Canada

This is a useful service for frequent travelers, who do not necessarily have a status with their airline, but who want to be able to relax before/after their flight in the lounge.

It is therefore possible to subscribe directly to Priority Pass. However, we advise less frequent travelers to check out the offers available with credit cards!

Credit Card Subscription to Priority Pass

Beyond the “official” Priority Pass membership levels, there are “unofficial” levels offered by credit card .

Some cards feature Priority Pass in their benefits, but not all offers are equal! Check out these examples.

American Express Platinum Cards

Both American Express Platinum cards offer the highest level of Priority Pass membership. In fact, you will have unlimited access to all the lounges AND you will be able to bring a guest free of charge each time you visit.

That’s better than the official “Prestige” membership offered by Priority Pass at US$ 469 (or $630 CAD) per year! Moreover, this subscription does not even give you the possibility to have a free guest.

To enroll in this benefit, you must call Platinum Card Services at 1-800-263-1616.

Also, American Express Platinum cards give you access to the top-of-the-line American Express Centurion lounges.

If you travel a lot, these cards will be well worth the money.

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card

With the Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card Card, you get free Priority Pass and 10 annual lounge passes! Registration must be done on the Priority Pass website.

The ten free annual lounge visits are valid from the date of joining the Priority Pass program.

Mobile application

Finally, if you are a Priority Pass member, don ‘t forget to download the mobile app. This will give you access – on your iPhone Wallet application – to your Priority Pass profile and available lounges. This comes in handy when traveling!

application priority pass


Here is a summary of the credit card discussed in this article:

Number of annual visits Annual fee Comments

American Express Platinum Card

American Express Corporate Platinum Card


Holder + 1 guest



Access to the lounges:

The Centurion Lounge

Plaza Premium Lounges

Delta Sky Club

Executive of Swissport

VIP Lounge Jean-Lesage International Airport in Quebec City*.

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card 10 $399

No conversion fee for foreign currency transactions

2 points per dollar on all purchases

Premium insurance

*Customers wishing to access the Jean Lesage International Airport VIP lounge must show their Priority Pass access from the mobile application.

Bottom Line

It is always nice to spend time in a lounge rather than in the hustle and bustle of the airport. We regularly take advantage of this in our travels, and you can learn about our experiences in some of our articles:

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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