If you have a Priority Pass through your American Express card, some of your choices are about to be cut. From 1 August 2019, American Express will cut off the $36 credit at food and beverage outlets offered by Priority Pass. This does not affect lounge access- you will still have same lounge access as you do now.
What’s being removed?
The option was added a few years ago and gave members an alternative to lounge access. This was a big thing from an Australian perspective, as there were few lounges available in Australia.
The option proved to be quite popular with cardholders. Maybe too popular, and now the benefit is being withdrawn.
What’s not being removed?
These changes only affect the food and beverage credits at restaurants and bars.
Eligible Card Members may continue to gain access to approximately 1,200+ Priority Pass lounge locations in more than 130 countries.
Card Members can continue to review which locations they have access to by logging into their Priority Pass membership account on the Priority Pass website and mobile app, or by visiting this page.
At the time of writing the eligible lounges in Australia are
- Sydney T2 (domestic): Rex lounge,
- Melbourne T4 (domestic): Rex Lounge
- Melbourne T2 (international): Plaza Premium Lounge
- Brisbane international: Plaza Premium Lounge
- Adelaide domestic: Rex Lounge
- Cairns international: Reef Lounge
- Darwin international: Catalina Lounge
In addition, there are no changes to the lounge access for American Express cardholders. Eligible American Express cardholders will still be able to enter the American Express lounges in Melbourne and Sydney. In addition, if you are an American Express Platinum cardholder, you will still have access to the Virgin Australia lounges.
There is no affect on Priority Pass cards obtained by other means. If you have purchased one directly, or have one through another banking relationship, then the credit remains available.
Which cards are affected?
The change affects those that have a Priority Pass card through an American Express card. In Australia, American Express offers Priority Pass with the following cards:
- American Express Centurion Card
- American Express Platinum Card
- American Express Platinum Business Card
- American Express Corporate Platinum Card
- American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card
- American Express Platinum Rewards Credit Card
This only affects Priority Pass cards obtained through an American Express card. If you have a Priority Pass directly, or through an account at another bank, then you are not affected by this change.
The addition of a the food and beverage credit is fairly recent, only having been in place for a few years. Due to the lack of lounges in Australia, it proved to be a popular option. Let’s face it, the food at a dedicated eatery is generally better than what you might find in an airport lounge.
Unfortunately, it seems the option was too popular – and was perhaps costing American Express or Priority Pass more than anticipated.