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What Credit Card Gets Me Into Airport Lounges

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Why Are Airport Lounges Worth It

Airport Lounge Access Explained (Priority Pass, Credit Cards, and More)

Airline flying can be exhausting, and long layovers don’t improve the stress of a long flight. It’s certainly worth it to get access to an airport lounge rather than spend six hours wandering through the airport shops. Flying is much easier when you have a nice meal and a shower between your flights. You’ll leave the lounge with your gate assignment in hand rather than worrying about how you’ll spend your layover.

Citi / Aadvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard has a $450 annual fee, with no charge for up to 10 . Suppose youre mainly interested in the card for Admirals Club access. In that case, youll notice that the annual fee is lower than the cost to purchase or renew an individual Admirals Club membership.

How Do I Get Free Airport Lounge Access

The easiest way to get free airport lounge access is to sign up for a credit card that offers lounge access as a perk. However, you may be able to snag airport lounge access with some types of airline elite status. And if you reside outside the U.S., you may find that some non-travel memberships include free access to some airport lounges.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, please click here.For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card, please click here.For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve, please click here.For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business, please click here.For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass, please click here.For rates and fees of the Hilton Business Card, please click here.For rates and fees of the Amex Green Card, please click here.

Featured photo of the Amex Centurion Lounge at New York-JFK by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site . This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the authors alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Credit Cards That Come With Airport Lounge Access

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The coveted airport lounge: A place where the crowds disperse, comfortable seating is available, you dont have to sit on the floor to charge your device and complimentary snacks and beverages are offered. As you step out of the loud and chaotic halls of an airport terminal, the relative quiet is the first thing that greets you.

Lounge entry comes at a price, but some of the best travel cards offer it as a perk. Here are some cards that can get you into airport club lounges:

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

I just used my credit card perk that gets me into certain ...

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is great for Priority Pass access, in spite of the restaurant exclusion. In fact, this is one of my top personal credit card picks, thanks to a host of really useful benefits. I shared how this card saved me thousands of dollars on a Maldives vacation.

The $450 annual fee is high, but in exchange you get Priority Pass Select membership, a $250 annual airfare credit, $250 Hilton resort credit, top-tier Hilton Diamond status and an annual free weekend night. These are just a few of the cards highlights, but taking all these perks into consideration, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a great choice if you want Priority Pass access and perks to make your travel a little more VIP.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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Bmo World Elite Mastercard*

The BMO World Elite Mastercard is a great credit card that offers a competitive welcome bonus , no annual fee for the first year and participation in the Mastercard Airport Experiences program. Mastercards Airport Experiences program and lounges are run by LoungeKey and offer World Elite users access to 1,000 lounges around the globe.

With BMO World Elite Mastercard, cardholders receive four passes to use themselves or to share with their travel companions, which is a great option if youre not a frequent flyer but still want the flexibility of using a lounge a few times a year. The card has a $150 annual fee, and can be a great way to try out LoungeKey, and if you need more access, the cost for additional visits is US$32 per person.

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Income requirement: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household annual income required
  • Sign-up bonus: Get 70,000 points when you sign up. Plus, the first authorized cardholders can earn up to 4 free airport lounge passes .
  • Rewards: 3 points per $1 on travel, dining and entertainment 2 points per $1 on everything else
  • Other perks: Participation in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey four complimentary lounge access passes per year extended warranty, purchase protection and BMO World Elite travel and medical protection

Bmo Eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

Age: Residency:

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card has one of the strongest Priority Pass access offerings of the cards reviewed today. With this credit card, youll receive a Priority Pass annual membership and up to six free visits per year. On top of this market-leading lounge access, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card has one of the most generous welcome bonuses. Youll be awarded 35,000 BMO Rewards Points when you reach $5,000 in purchases within your first three months. On your first anniversary of card ownership, youll receive another 15,000 BMO Rewards points, bringing you to a total of 50,000 BMO Rewards points in your first year. Their rewards scheme is equally generous, netting users 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on travel, dining, gas, groceries, and at the pharmacy. For all other spending, youll earn 1 point per $1 spent. Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, or statement credits.

Accessing these perks isnt for everyone as qualifying for this credit card isnt easy. Not only does it come with a hefty $499 annual fee , but youll also need an excellent credit score and an individual income of $150,000 or a household income of $200,000. So if youre well established in your career or business, and travel often, this card might be the refresher youve been waiting to hit the market.

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First What Are Airport Lounges

If youve never been to an airport lounge, you might be wondering what they actually are. Airport lounges are exclusive areas where members or passholders can relax before a flight. Many airport lounges offer complimentary snacks and beverages, as well as comfortable seating.

If you frequently purchase single-use lounge passes , the right travel rewards credit card may help you save on lounge entrance fees.

The savings can add up in a hurry when you have complimentary lounge access, either through your credit card or a membership that you paid for yourself, says travel and lifestyle writer Lee Huffman.

Youll have to do the math to determine how frequently you travel, he says, but it doesnt take that many lounge visits to break even on a membership, especially if youre traveling with friends or family.

Best Credit Cards That Offer Airport Lounge Access

5 Ways To Get Into Airport Lounges FOR FREE | Finder Friday

No travel credit card on the market offers more comprehensive airport lounge access than The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’ll receive entry to the following lounge networks:

There are some other peripheral lounge networks that you can enter but probably won’t encounter. For example, Airspace Lounges currently has one location in San Diego.

I had never tried an Amex Centurion Lounge until last year. I’ve since been to six of them throughout the US, and they are consistently higher quality than other lounges offered by Priority Pass.

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The Best Credit Cards With Lounge Access

While there are more than 20 airport lounge access credit cards, Ive selected the best and most popular ones in the list below. Keep in mind that each card has its own individual benefits, so Ive also provided a link to my reviews if youre looking for more details. Also, note that you can always apply for multiple credit cards with lounge access which essentially gives you more free passes and can be ideal for those travelling as a family. Best of all, the credit cards Ive featured below also make my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada so you know youll have a winner with any of these cards.

Citi / Aadvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard*

For fans of the Admirals Club, the Executive World Elite Mastercard provides access to nearly 50 Admirals Club lounges worldwide for cardholders and immediate family . Other lounges with which American Airlines has reciprocal access privileges are also accessible by the primary cardholder only.

The real advantage for those who want an Admirals Club membership is that the annual fee is only $450 . New cardholders can receive a welcome bonus: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, Admiral’s Club® membership

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How To Choose The Right Credit Card For Airport Lounge Access

If youre struggling to decide among credit cards with lounge access, youll need to compare each card option based on several different factors. These tips can help:

  • . If you want a credit card with unlimited lounge access, picking an option with a Priority Pass Select membership is a smart move. But since the fees are higher for cards with unlimited plans, you can also consider cards with a set number of lounge visits per year. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card only gives you 10 visits per membership year but the annual fee is just $95 .
  • Figure out the type of rewards you want to earn. Look at the best credit cards for lounge access in terms of the points or miles they offer. Some cards will give you flexible rewards you can spend in more than one way, while others let you rack up airline miles or hotel points instead.
  • Compare other perks you receive. All credit cards with lounge access charge an annual fee, but the benefits you receive can more than make up for it. Look at the welcome bonuses and ongoing rewards that each of the top cards offers, and compare other perks like travel credits or credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card

I just used my credit card perk that gets me into certain ...

Minimum Income: Age: Residency: Other:

One of my favourite airport lounge access cards is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card, which gives cardholders six annual passes on the Priority Pass airport lounge program. If you use all your passes before the annual renewal, you can pay for entry at a cost of US$27 per person, per visit. The allotment of 6 yearly airport passes makes this the most generous among comparable premium cards.

You can save significant cash if you travel frequently outside of Canada, thanks to the cards lack of foreign transaction feesa feature that helps offset its $139 annual fee. Youll get 2 Scene+ points for each $1 you spend on groceries, dining, entertainment and daily transit costs, including things like subways, taxis and more. Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise and gift cards.

The welcome offer allows you to earn up to 30,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year . Plus, no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards, terms and conditions apply.

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What Is The Guest Policy

The Centurion® Lounges:

Platinum Card® Members may enter with up to two guests at no additional charge. Guest access policies may vary internationally by location and are subject to change.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card Members may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person who are also traveling on a same-day Delta marketed or Delta operated flight, per location into U.S. Lounges, or rate comparable in the currency of the country where the lounge is located , into Centurion® Lounges in Hong Kong International Airport and London Heathrow Airport.

Centurion Members may enter with up to two guests or immediate family at no additional charge.

NOTE: Centurion® Lounge Complimentary Guest Access CHANGES WILL GO INTO EFFECT ON FEBRUARY 1, 2023. SEE ABOVE.

Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner:

Platinum Card Members and Centurion Card Members may enter with up to two guests at no additional charge.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card Members may bring guests at a per-visit rate equal to the guest fee of the respective Escape Lounge location.

Should You Get A Credit Card With Airport Lounge Access

Consider getting a credit card with airport lounge access if:

  • You fly multiple times per year. The more time you spend at the airport, the more valuable it is to have a card offering free lounge access. These cards also normally earn or reward points that you can redeem for free flights and possibly other travel perks, such as statement credits for a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry membership.
  • You have a good. Credit cards with lounge access are usually targeted at consumers who have a FICO® Score of 670 or more.
  • You always pay your credit card bill in full. Since you’ll almost never get a good credit card APR from a travel card, this isn’t the type of card to use if you’re going to carry a balance.
  • You don’t mind paying an annual fee. Since lounge access is a premium perk, it’s only available on credit cards with annual fees. Some cards with lounge access are $95, but most of the cards with this benefit are premium travel cards costing at least $400. If you’re trying to avoid a yearly fee, check out travel credit cards with no annual fee.

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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

The Centurion Lounges And American Express Lounge Network

BMO | Get Airport Lounge Access with Your BMO Mastercard | Credit Cards

Centurion Lounges are located in eight airports in the United States with the sole international outpost for the time being in Hong Kong . Regarded as the crown jewel in the American Express lounge portfolio, these oases are considered among the most modern and stylish spaces for discerning travelers.

Featuring the standard amenities like high-speed Wi-Fi, private business seating areas, flatscreen TVs, and shower suites, the Centurion lounges set the bar higher than their competitors with a focus on food, drinks, and atmosphere. Lounges have menus designed by award-winning chefs, handpicked wine selections from top sommeliers, and a series of signature cocktails by mixologists. Specific salons even offer tranquility areas and the option to spend your time stripping away stress during a spa therapy before boarding.

In addition to The Centurion lounge network, American Express operates 13 lounges exclusively for cardmembers internationally: six in Mexico , two in India , one in Argentina , one in Brazil , one in Sweden , and to round it out, two down under in Australia . While these lounges are not categorized as Centurion lounges, they provide the same quality and comfort you ‘d expect from an American Express branded lounge.

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How To Get Free Airport Lounge Access With Your Credit Card

Posted on

By: Author Debra Schroeder


Youve seen the frosted glass doors. Caught glimpses of the large soft leather chairs. Seen frazzled travelers walk in and come out relaxed and smiling.

Those frosted glass doors are the gates to the kingdom. In other words, entrance to the airport lounge.

You can get free airport lounge access from your credit card.

Originally published on January 29, 2018. Updated on February 26, 2021.


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