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Why Amex Removing Priority Pass Restaurants Isn’t a Huge Deal to Me
Did you hear? How could you not it is all anyone has been writing about! American Express has removed Priority Pass restaurants from there memberships that come with Amex cards. People are pretty upset about this, me on the other hand I think of it as meh.
I am not going to try to sell you on the fact that this isn’t a devaluation. It is one and for some it is a huge one. I want to talk about why it isn’t a huge deal TO ME and why I think it was a perk that was overvalued some. If you lived in an airport with a quality restaurant like PDX Deals Guy and Capers then you are going to disagree with me but I think there may be some who see it my way. Or maybe not…🤨🤔
I Never Valued Priority Pass Memberships In My Decisions
If you have read my posts about credit cards or breaking down their values then you know I don’t put a value on Priority Pass memberships. Others will use it to inflate the card’s value to make it a better seller but I think it is a fringe benefit that is fluff more than substance.
And it seems like everyone and their brother has offered it lately, even non premium cards. Now if you are comparing the CSR vs the Amex Platinum and you value Priority Pass restaurant access that may tip the scales in which card you get. That is assuming that you had them on equal footing on most everything else.
Why I Think The Restaurant Perk Was Overvalued
The $28 credit that you get at restaurants was impressive and probably over the top. Especially when you are talking about a family of 3 or 4 where kids will never touch that volume. I think that was a big part of the issue here, they gave too much. Do you ever get $28 worth of value out of a normal lounge? Most likely not.
We are a group of people who like to maximize every perk we can. So you know people ordered stuff they were never going to eat to take home or on their plane. I bet a good portion of those people never ate the leftovers. Now did you really get $28 of value out of that or did you manufacture $28 of value out of it because you felt you had to?
That isn’t even taking into account the fact that this is overpriced, usually bland airport restaurant food. I stopped in Timberline on my recent trip to Denver for breakfast. Most of the people there were Priority Pass holders and it took close to 40 minutes to get my food. The eggs were kind of burnt and the food was just okay overall. I left a $5 tip and I could have probably got the same thing in the city for $12 out the door. So did I really get $20 in value or did I get $7-10 in value from it. And was it worth hanging out in the airport for an extra hour to do? I would say not.
Do You Want to Spend More Time at the Airport
That brings me to my last point. I have flown into or out of Denver 6 times in the last few months and this was the first time I stopped at the Priority Pass restaurant. The truth is I don’t want to spend more time in the airport then I need to…it isn’t enjoyable to me.
I know people that get to the airport a few hours early or hang out when they land just to get a free meal. Don’t even get me started about the people that leave security or ride the buses to hit PF Chang’s at LAX 😂. But how often is the food really worth it? Why not eat before heading over and get a better quality meal even if not free?
Before there were restaurants did you want to eat at the airport? Did you get to the airport early because of their dining options? I would guess not. Now I know this isn’t accounting for layovers which is when this change really stings.
I know we all love to get the best deal we can and max out every perk we have available. But my question is what is the true value of it and will you really miss it if other issuers follow Amex’s example?
I don’t think the value is anywhere near what we think it is and definitely not $28 a visit. How many people used to go to the airport early to eat or stayed upon arrival before these restaurants? Most of the time I will hit a lounge for a quick drink or snack before or in between flights but I get to the airport right before my flight most of the time. That is why the restaurants never appealed to me much.
I encourage you to truly ask what the value of this perk is. Do you do it solely because it is free or do you do it because you enjoy the experience? At least that is my take on it and I am sure many people will not agree with me which is okay too. I just wanted to give a different perspective on it. The times the loss will really sting are on long layovers or if you had a home airport with a quality PP restaurant. Those people may be valuing Chase and others a little bit more for the time being.
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.