Posted by Ric Garrido

Hilton HHonors announced a partnership with Priority Pass, global airport lounge membership program offering access to over 600 airport lounges.

HHonors members can buy Priority Pass membership and earn 4,000 to 10,000 points. Or HHonors members can redeem 36,500 to 161,500 points to buy Priority Pass annual membership offered at tier levels priced from $99 to $399.

This post looks at the three Priority Pass membership levels and the value of earning or burning your Hilton HHonors points.

Three membership levels with Priority Pass:

  • Standard $99 annual fee for the privilege to pay $27 per visit fee for each lounge access. Or pay 36,500 HHonors points.
  • Standard Plus $249 annual fee for 10 visits free, then $27 per visit. Or pay 101,500 HHonors points.
  • Prestige $399 annual fee all member airport lounge visits free. Or pay 161,500 HHonors points.
  • At any membership level, there is a $27 Guest Visit Fee for a person accompanying you.

The main question is what airport lounges are Priority Pass members?

Priority Pass Airport Lounge Locator

SFO San Francisco Airport, a Priority Pass member can access

  • Alaska Airlines Boardroom Terminal 1
  • United Domestic Terminal 3
  • United International

LAX, Los Angeles Airport

  • US Airways Club, Terminal 1
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Terminal 2
  • Air France Business Class Lounge, Terminal 2
  • Alaska Airlines Boardroom, Terminal 6
  • United Club, Terminal 6
  • United Club, Terminal 7
  • Skyteam Kal Business Class Lounge, Tom Bradley International Terminal

Earn or Burn HHonors points?

Hilton HHonors sets the value of their points at less than $3 per 1,000 points by charging 36,500 points for a $99 membership.

Priority Pass Standard $99 or 36,500 points.

  • Redemption value is $2.71 per 1,000 points.

Priority Pass Standard Plus $249 or 101,500 points.

  • Redemption value is $2.45 per 1,000 points.

Priority Pass Prestige $399 or 161,500 points.

  • Redemption value is $2.47 per 1,000 points.

Points are easily worth twice as much for hotel award stays, but if you have loads of points, then this trade could be a good deal for a frequent flyer.

Personally I’d advise paying for Priority Pass if you desire lounge access and earn HHonors points with your purchase just on a simple cost and points value analysis.

Going all in is the only way to do airport lounges in my opinion. If you do not need a lounge more than 10 times a year, then you really don’t need lounge access privileges. Your money and points can go to better uses.

Earning Hilton HHonors points with Priority Pass membership.

  • Priority Pass Standard pay $99 and earn 4,000 HHonors points.
  • Priority Pass Standard Plus pay $249 and earn 6,500 HHonors points.
  • Priority Pass Prestige pay $399 and earn 10,000 points.

Assume points are worth twice as much to you than the HHonors points redemption value under $3 per 1,000 points for Priority Pass membership.

Assuming HHonors points have a potential value at $5.00 per 1,000 points, this means earning 10,000 points with a Prestige membership at $399 has $50 rebate value when those points are redeemed some time in the future for a hotel room. Saving $50 with 10,000 points is a reasonable redemption rate for HHonors points, especially since the Points and Cash option for hotel stays offers some higher redemption values.

Spending 161,500 HHonors points might be a guilt-free spend to improve your travel life in the area outside the hotel.

Spending $399 for Priority Pass might be an improvement to your airport experience while earning 10,000 Hilton HHonors points as a purchase bonus.

There might be better deals for buying Priority Pass membership. I have not looked into that aspect.

Lounge access is a nice perk when spending dozens or hundreds of hours in airports.

Hilton HHonors Priority Pass Partnership Press Release

5 Responses

  1. I’m certainly no expert, but if i was going to spend anywhere near $400 for lounge access, feels like the better option is Amex Platinum. Gives access to AA, US, DL, and Priority Pass lounges (including AS but excluding UA) for $450. $50 more but that extra $50 buys you $200 in airline fee credit per year, plus I believe up to 2 guests or all immediate family members can get in at no additional charge.

  2. You get a free standard Priority Pass with the Amex HHonors Surpass car (or at least I did). It still cost the $27 per visit.

  3. I agree with Matt B. If you travel enough to want lounge access, you’ll probably travel enough to get to $200 reimbursement on the Amex Platinum, making the annual fee only $250. That gives you Priority Pass (without United lounges), but also gives access to US, AA, and DL lounges. And the guest fee is annoying for Priority Pass.

  4. Thanks for the credit card tip. I don’t pay sufficient attention to credit card benefits to know this off the top of my head.

    Good to know the American Express Platinum card has Priority Pass benefit along with $200 airline fee credit. Looks like good value for frequent flyers.

  5. Will that be also with any platinum Amex card ( also those issued outside the US)?

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