Skip the lounge and get free food at 29 US restaurants that are part of Priority Pass – The Points Guy

Editor's note: This is a recurring post that is updated as information changes.

A few years ago, Priority Pass augmented its worldwide lounge program by adding restaurants across its network. This change allowed members to enjoy a sit-down dining experience as part of their membership. After all, TPG readers can't always take advantage of the more far-flung benefits, like the pool at an airport lounge in Punta Cana.

Unfortunately, you don't get complimentary access to restaurant locations if your Priority Pass membership is through an American Express card. However, Priority Pass memberships provided as a perk by other credit card companies, such as Chase and Citi, continue to offer the restaurant benefit.

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The list of U.S. restaurants participating in Priority Pass changes somewhat frequently. For now, there are 29 Priority Pass restaurant lounges at 20 U.S. airports. Most of these offer members a $28 to $30 per guest food and drink credit. But if you're strategic and are traveling with a companion who also has Priority Pass, you may be able to get more free food every visit.

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Where to use the Priority Pass restaurant benefit

Here's a list of all U.S. airport restaurants that are currently part of the Priority Pass program:

Related: Priority Pass continues to single-handedly offset my credit card annual fee with this overlooked benefit

And here's a list of Priority Pass restaurants at international airports:

Related: Quick points: There is such a thing as a free airport lunch — here’s how to get one

How to use the Priority Pass restaurant benefit

To get free food or drinks at these Priority Pass lounges, you need an eligible Priority Pass membership offered through a credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Mastercard® Black Card™, U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card or Citi Prestige® Card. (The information for the Citi Prestige card and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.)

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

Depending on your card, you may be entitled to a dining credit for the cardholder and at least one guest. Check the terms of your card's Priority Pass benefits and the restaurant's rules, but it is common to receive a larger credit when dining with guests.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Landrys Seafood IAH EntranceThis meal is on Priority Pass with the right card. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Related: Best credit cards for Priority Pass

Several American Express cards offer a Priority Pass benefit (enrollment required). However, unfortunately, Amex discontinued "complimentary access to non-lounge airport experiences" in August 2019. That means those with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cannot dine at Priority Pass restaurants for free.

If you're traveling through an airport with multiple restaurants that participate in the Priority Pass program, you can hop from one to the other and get multiple free meals in a single trip. However, many restaurants only allow travelers with an outbound boarding pass, meaning you can't stop by if you just landed at your final destination.

Finally, even though cardmembers are offered a dining credit at these Priority Pass restaurants, the usual tipping etiquette applies to the pre-credit meal cost. I've seen Priority Pass members stiff the waitstaff on multiple occasions at U.S. Priority Pass restaurants. So, bring along cash to tip your waiter or waitress. But you may be able to ask the restaurant to ring up a $0.01 charge so that you can pay — and tip — via a credit card.

Additional reporting by JT Genter and Mark Spivak.