Gain Entry With Elite Points Status
If you earn enough points or miles through a credit card or airline program, you can gain free or discounted entry to airport lounges once you’ve reached a certain status. Keep in mind that often there are requirements to maintaining said status, such as earning a certain number of miles per year or reaching minimum spends. To learn how to quickly accumulate such points, check our other guide here.
Programs that offer lounge access for points status include:
How To Access Mastercard World Elite Airport Lounges On Your Own
All Mastercard World & Platinum Credit cardholders can get complimentary airport lounge access by providing their eligible Mastercard for entry. If you have a Mastercard with lounge access benefits, there are two ways to get into their airport lounges.
|Show Your Eligible Mastercard Payment Card||Even if you have not registered for a LoungeKey online account, you can access Mastercard World Elite airport lounges by simply presenting your eligible credit card to the lounge staff and mentioning LoungeKey.|
|Present Your Digital Lounge Access Code||If you choose to register for an online LoungeKey account, you will receive a lounge access QR code to show to the lounge staff for entry. You pull up your digital lounge access code via the LoungeKey website or app, and the staff with scan the code and ask for your signature to verify access to the Mastercard lounge.|
While the two methods for accessing the lounge as a World or Platinum Mastercard credit cardholder seem simple, the process of identifying the lounges you are allowed to access can be difficult and overwhelming.
Since not all airports have a participating Mastercard lounge, it can be a challenge to search for lounges available in your desired location. To make your Mastercard airport lounge search less frustrating, give DoNotPay a try. Then all you’ll need to worry about is how to use the lounge to recharge.
One Of The Best Credit Cards For Airport Lounges Is No Longer Available
The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card is perhaps the best travel credit card that isn’t on the market. It’s’ not available to new applicants but there’s a way you can still get it.
If you ask them, Chase can convert your existing Marriott credit card, such as the or , into the Ritz-Carlton Card. The only catch is that you must have held your current Marriott card for at least one year, and your credit limit must be $10,000 or more. If your credit limit is lower, you can request that credit from your other Chase cards be reallocated to the Ritz-Carlton Card.
The Chase Ritz-Carlton Card comes with Priority Pass lounge access. Here are a few reasons why it’s better than the majority of travel credit cards for airport lounges:
- There’s no cap on the number of free guests you can bring with you. If you travel with a large family, this could save you $100+ every time you visit a lounge.
- You can add authorized users for free, and they get their own Priority Pass membership .
- The Priority Pass membership issued from the Ritz-Carlton card qualifies for Priority Pass restaurant discounts .
You won’t get a sign-up bonus since there’s no way to apply for the card. But it also comes with valuable benefits such as:
- Up to $300 in annual credits to offset airline incidentals
- Annual free night certificate with Marriott for hotels costing up to 50,000 points per night
- Top-tier travel coverage
This card comes with a $450 annual fee.
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What Credit Score Do I Need To Get A Credit Card With Lounge Access
Credit cards that provide free lounge access invariably require applicants to have a good to excellent credit score. The cards usually charge a triple-digit annual fee, well above that of cards for lesser credit ratings. They also have the most generous credit limits, often exceeding $20,000.
In the FICO system, good credit scores begin at 670 on a scale of 300 to 850 .
Obtaining a card with the lounge benefit is an incentive and reward for improving a less than good credit score. You can earn a desirable score in several ways.
Miles & More World Elite Mastercard
The Miles & More World Elite Mastercard is affiliated with Lufthansa and partner airlines. This card has a modest lounge benefit with two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers after each account anniversary. This card has a moderate annual fee.
Cardholders can redeem miles earned through points for flight awards or upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Star Alliance Airlines and other partners.
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How Did We Choose These Airport Lounge Access Credit Cards
There are many different credit cards that offer access to airport lounges. To select the best card for you, we considered:
- Type of lounge benefit: Which airline you fly and the airport hubs that you visit the most will help you determine which airport lounge rewards card will best meet your needs.
- Annual fee value: Does the lounge access — alongside the other rewards and benefits of the card — add up to meet or exceed the value of the annual fee?
- Other travel benefits: In addition to lounge access, most of these cards offer other specific travel benefit including free baggage, priority boarding, or travel credits. These benefits help offset the high annual fees common to luxury travel cards.
Premier World Elite Mastercard From Hsbc Uk
The card comes with a premium LoungeKey membership, which is similar to the Priority Pass programme, with complimentary membership to more than 750 airport lounges worldwide. It also comes with iPass, which grants cardholders access to millions of Wi-Fi networks in more than 120 countries.
Cardholders will also get up to three supplementary cards for £60 each year, with all three receiving the same premium LoungeKey membership, which is a really valuable perk if travelling with family. You cannot bring any free guests into the lounge with you unless they have their own supplementary card.
Theres also up to 40,000 bonus points in your first year of cardmembership.
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Use Credit Cards That Give Free Lounge Access
This is the easiest way to gain free, unlimited access to the largest possible number of airport lounges around the world, plus several other benefits that every traveler should have. Having the right credit card can be the difference between sitting in Starbucks on a 5-hour layover, or indulging in bottomless champagne before boarding for your next trip.
- 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on your card in the first 6 months
- Up to $200 in Uber rides and eats savings in the US annually, and Uber VIP status
- 5x points on up to $500,000 per year spent on flights booked directly with airlines, or through American Express Travel
- Unlimited access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide through the American Express Global Lounge Collection
- No foreign transaction fees
- Learn how to apply See Rates and Fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express is our #1 pick for airport lounge access . This card has the largest pool of unlimited lounge access, including American Express lounges, The Centurion Lounge, partner networks, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass Select lounges.
To put that in perspective, the regular price on a Priority Pass membership for unlimited access to their network of lounges is $429 USD per year. By spending a bit more on this card, this access is included, but with a ton of other lounges and benefits.
If the annual fee is still too much, or for other options, consider these cards:
Air Canadas Maple Leaf Lounges
17 lounges total, with 11 in Canada and 6 in the United States and Europe. Maple Leaf lounges are only accessible when you fly Air Canada, and only under certain circumstances, such as: holding a specific ticket class attaining various frequent flyer statuses or holding an Aeroplan card and redeeming your flight with Aeroplan Miles. Maple Leaf memberships can also be purchased.
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Estimated Savings Vs Annual Fee
A high annual fee is off-putting. But if youre a constant globetrotter who seems to spend more time in the airport terminal than your living room, you might save money by paying a high annual fee for a card with unlimited lounge visits, like the Amex Platinum. Take the number of lounge visits you estimate that youll need annually, multiply it by $32 , and add $100 . If the annual fee of the card youre considering is equal to or less than that number, youll save money with it.
Is Airport Lounge Access Worth It
Looking at it strictly from a dollar value, airport lounge access credit cards can be a great deal. For example, a standard Priority Pass membership costs US$99 and each visit is US$32. Suppose you had the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, which comes with six free annual visits. In that case, youre getting US$291 in value. Thats worth significantly more than the $139 annual fee.
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Delta Skymiles Reserve Business American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Cards offerings reflect those of the regular Reserve card. Cardholders have complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge or Escape Lounge when their Delta flight is booked with their Reserve card with two one-time guest passes to the Delta Sky Club per year.
The Business card has an annual fee of $550 and offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles , and a $100 statement credit after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Cardholders are also eligible to earn 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases. After spending $150,000 in a calendar year, earn 1.5 miles per dollar on eligible purchases the rest of the year.
How To Get Your Credit Card
To get your credit card, check to see if you have a credit score first.
If you are unsure of what your credit score is then you should check your credit score from the four credit bureaus in the UK: Experian, Crediva, Equifax and Transunion.
Some of these credit bureaus may charge you a fee to view your credit report so what you can alternatively do is request a statutory credit report which is a free credit report which each credit bureau must provide to you upon you requesting it.
Alternatively, you can also use credit score services such as Checkmyfile and clearscore to check your credit report.
Once you have done this you should then check on a credit card eligibility platform to see what credit cards you are eligible for and then apply for the best credit card.
In this brief guide, we discussed credit cards with airport lounge access in the UK. If you have any comments or questions, please let us know.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity Step Change if you are in debt and need help.
Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.
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Choosing An Airport Lounge
While it might seem like you should purchase a lounge membership based on which airline you fly the most, thats not always the case. Many airline lounge networks allow anyone flying on a partner airline to enter, meaning you might choose a different airline in the alliance if its lounges better suit your needs. Private lounge networks might also provide more extensive coverage to areas you frequently travel, and they allow access to passengers of any airline.
Before you purchase a membership to any lounge network, carefully research the following factors:
- Do the lounges provide the amenities you want when you travel?
- Are there lounge locations in your frequented airports?
- How expensive is lounge membership, and does it fit into your budget?
- Can you receive free or discounted membership with airline elite status or a luxury credit card?
If any lounge network meets most or all of these qualifications, its likely a good choice for you.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Club
The Air Canada Maple Leaf club is a program that is specifically dedicated to people who fly regularly on Air Canada and Star Alliance partners. For people who fly often enough to value access to the program
There are Maple Leaf lounges in every major airports in Canada including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Halifax, Quebec, Winnipeg.
They also have a few international lounges in New York , Los Angeles , London , Paris and Frankfurt .
There are 3 types of membership for Air Canada Maple Leaf Club:
Barry already receives access to these lounges through his status as an member with Elite or Super Elite status with Air Canada. His Star Alliance Gold status should get him access when he travels internationally so buying up membership would not be the best
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Not Sure If You Can Get Into The Airport Lounge Just Ask
If youre confused about your lounge access, you can contact your airline or your credit card issuer before your trip. If youre already at the airport, just walk up to the lounge entrance and ask if youre eligible for entry.
If you are, note that you will need to present your access credential , your photo ID and your boarding pass.
Hsbc Elite Credit Card*
Premier World Elite cardholders receive complimentary unlimited access to over 1,000 lounges using LoungeKey. Up to one guest is allowed per visit.
Other travel benefits include up to $400 a year in travel credits for all airfare, hotels, and car rentals booked through HSBC Travel. This card charges a $395 plus $65 for each authorized user annual fee.
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Bmo World Elite Mastercard
- Annual fee: $150
- Earn 3 BMO Rewards points for every $1 spent on travel, dining and entertainment purchases. 2 points for all other purchases
- Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months plus another 10,000 points after your first year
- VIP lounge access with the included Mastercard Airport Experiences membership, plus 4 complimentary passes per year
- No blackout dates points can be used to cover taxes/fees
As a Mastercard, the BMO World Elite comes with a complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey and four free lounge passes renewed every year.
Along with its lounge perks, this card stands out for its welcome bonus , travel insurance, and great everyday rewards. Youâll earn 3 BMO points per dollar on travel, dining, and entertainment and 2 points on everything else â which comes out to a strong 2.1% and 1.4% return respectively. The fact itâs a Mastercard also means itâs widely accepted and can be used everywhere from Costco to No Frills.
How Do Credit Cards With Free Airport Lounge Passes Work
A credit card with an airport lounge pass offers complimentary access to exclusive waiting rooms at the airport. This means you can relax in style and comfort before your eligible flights, with popular airport lounge features including Wi-Fi, food and beverages, premium seating and even beds and showers in some locations.
Most cards that offer complimentary airport lounge access provide a limited number of passes for each year you have the card, and a few provide lounge passes as an introductory benefit. Depending on the card and the type of lounge pass available, you may be able to invite a guest or provide access to a supplementary cardholder. Often you will have to meet specific requirements to access this feature, such as spending a certain amount, keeping your account in good standing or requesting the passes directly through your card provider.
Common requirements to get airport lounge access with a credit card
While the requirements you need to meet to get lounge access with a credit card vary based on the provider and the airport lounge, some of the most common conditions include:
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Is Free Lounge Access Worth It
Its a personal decision, but this writers opinion is yes, definitely! Of course, Im older and am easily irritated by the noise and rush of airports. The best airport lounges offer sanctuary and cocktails, an unbeatable combination.
But also consider the high annual fees you must pay to get free lounge access. If you dont travel often, you may prefer to buy day passes to lounges as you need them. Indeed, an occasional $150 for round-trip lounge access is cheaper than a $400+ annual fee.
Complicating considerations are all the other perks that premium travel credit cards offer. For example, youll probably be able to fatten up your savings account if your card has a $600 annual fee but issues you a $300 travel credit yearly and pays for luggage check, flight insurance, collision damage waiver, and TSA PreCheck fees.
Find Free Access With The Loungebuddy App
LoungeBuddy is an all-in-one app and website for all things lounge access. They have a comprehensive database of airports and lounges all around the world. Each lounge is displayed with photos, amenities, reviews, and details on how to access the lounge, be it with a travel credit card, frequent flyer status, or paid access.
The coolest feature of the app is that you can fill in your profile and check off the travel credit cards, lounge memberships, and elite statuses that you have, as well as whether you are an active US military member. The app will then automatically highlight the lounges that you have free access to based on your profile.
It’s also possible to purchase one-day lounge passes directly within the app, but you can only pay with an American Express card. Unfortunately, the app is iPhone only right now, but you can still research and purchase access to lounges on the website. For $10 USD free credit towards a lounge pass, , go to Settings > Credit, and enter the code guYu66zaHY
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