Strategies for holding multiple Priority Pass accounts
For the purposes of this document, we will only discuss the possibility of obtaining a Priority Pass account via a credit card. However, for those who wish to do so, it is possible to purchase an account directly from Priority Pass, according to 3 possible package options.
First of all, it is NOT possible to combine Priority Pass accounts. Each account is independent of the other.
Each account must be managed according to the type and number of accesses it provides.
The first important step is to define our trade show access needs for the next 12 months. We talk about it a lot, but have a minimum of a game plan in mind before you embark on this process.
Over the next 12 months:
- How much total lounge access do we estimate we need(counting ourselves and each guest)?
- Is it necessary to have access to the lounges at every airport we do?
- Will all the stops be long enough to get to the show?
- Is it necessary/wanted to go to thefinal arrival airport lounge? If yes, is there an arrival lounge (most lounges are only accessible for departures)?
- Is it necessary/wanted to go to the salon when leaving our home town?
- Will we have business class or first class tickets on some flights? If applicable, access to the exhibition is included in the ticket (even if a premium ticket).
- Will we have Air Canada award tickets obtained through our Aeroplan account and do we have one of the TD or CIBC cards that provide lounge access for these award tickets?
- Will we have access to lounges via credit cards that we own (therefore access not linked to Priority Pass), such as the National Bank Lounge in Montreal because we hold one of the National Bank cards providing access or a Centurion lounge because we hold one of the American Express Platinum cards providing access?
- Do any of the lounges in question allowfree access to children? If so, until what age?
The exercise does not need to be accurate to the decimal point! The idea is to realistically estimate our needs in order to apply the right strategy to optimize our access to trade shows while minimizing the related costs.
This requires some preliminary research, it is true. And the exercise aims to optimize subscriptions and their calibration over time.
Strategy 1: Multiple credit cards held by the same cardholder
Only 2 travelers
In such a case, we have two options:
- Apply forone of the two American Express Platinum Cards. We will then have unlimited access for the holder or a guest
- Sign up for multiple credit cards that will allow us to get the amount of access we need for the next 12 months.
3 or more travelers
In such a case, the solution is to subscribe to several credit cards allowing us to obtain the number of accesses we will need for the next 12 months.
For example, a single cardholder to hold the American Express PlatinumMD card and the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card card, which would provide them with 2 separate Priority Pass accounts and a total of 2 unlimited (cardholder + 1 guest) plus 6 free annual admissions.
Strategy 2: Multiple cardholders holding multiple credit cards
The reasoning is much the same as in Strategy 1, except that the credit cards that provide access to Priority Pass accounts are purchased by more than one person (friends or spouse depending on who the travel partner is).
As you have read in our various articles we do not usually recommend taking an additional / extra card for your spouse. It is often preferable that everyone take a card in their own name, both for the subscription bonus and, in this case, for access to the lounges.
For example, if each member subscribes to one of the American Express Platinum cards, the “pair” will be able to hold 4 unlimited lounge accesses. This could be useful in the case of a mini-tour of the world in family.
In addition, if one partner sponsors the other for the second Platinum Card, they will also have earned Membership Rewards points for the sponsorship.
How to manage multiple Priority Pass accounts
Physical management of Priority Pass cards
As we’ve mentioned several times, Priority Pass cards are distinct from credit cards. For many lounges, there is no need to present a credit card as the Priority Pass account provides access.
So there are physical Priority Pass cards. Unless you can remember which Priority Pass card number gives which access, a simple trick is to physically identify them. A cool tool for this is the Brother P-touch.
Online management of Priority Pass cards
Of course, every Priority Pass account is accessible online.
Personally, as I don’t tend to memorize a series of numbers, I prefer to create a username for each of my accounts. And to make my management even easier, I use a simple coding system.
- JFlevTD6 => For my Priority Pass account obtained with my TD Visa Infinite Preferred card (6 for 6 access)
- JFlevAMEXill => For my Priority Pass account obtained with my personal American Express Platinum card (ill for unlimited)
And of course I use the same password for each account!
It will then be easy to consult each of your accounts and to follow each of your accesses.
Here is an example where I used 2 separate Priority Pass accounts while visiting a PVG Priority Pass Lounge in Shanghai (there were 4 of us).
Smartphone management of Priority Pass cards
Once you have created each of your accounts, it is recommended that you download the Priority Passapplication(iOs, Android) to your smartphone.
When you launch the application, you will be able to log into each of your Priority Pass accounts and view the digital membership card. This version, as well as the physical card, allows you to access airport lounges.
However, in the application, only one account at a time can be displayed.
Thus, when you want to use several accounts when accessing a lounge, you must:
- Login to the first account
- Show the digital membership card for this account
- Log out of the first account
- Reconnect to the second account
- Show the digital membership card of the second account
This requires an internet connection (to access each of the accounts) while we have not yet entered the lounge (we are at the reception desk trying to enter) and therefore we may not yet have access to the internet (not yet connected to the lounge’s Wi-fi and smartphone in airplane mode).
In short, this can be a complication. In this case, take a screenshot of each of your maps and save it in your phone before your trip!
On the Apple iPhone, the solution is to add the cards in the
To do this, we simply go through the Priority Pass app, log into each of our accounts and add each card to the wallet.
In this way, it is possible to display:
- All our Priority Pass cards at once
- All our Priority Pass cards in airplane mode (no internet connection).
However, it is not possible to identify which account is which, for example which one has unlimited access versus which one has 6 accesses per year. You need to memorize it to make sure you choose the right Priority Pass account.
Beware of credit card closure!
Please note that if the credit card that provided access to a Priority Pass account is closed, the Priority Pass account obtained will be closed within 24 hours.
Therefore, you must keep the credit card that provided the Priority Pass account active until the need for access to the lounges associated with that account has been fully consumed.
It is not necessary to have the credit card with you or to make transactions with it. It can very well for example sleep in your drawer at home.
What is important is that the credit card account is active (i.e. not closed).
With some preparation and planning, it is relatively easy to estimate the number of trade show accesses we will need in the next 12 months. Based on this calculation, we have demonstrated that it is simple to obtain and manage multiple Priority Pass accounts simultaneously.
All you have to do is plan your subscription requests carefully so that you can travel with ease and take advantage of the magnificent privilege of the airport lounges.
In addition to the undeniable rest that the lounges provide, as opposed to the common waiting areas, it also results in significant savings in terms of meals and drinks.
On that note, have a good trip!