What Is An Airport Lounge
An airport lounge is a designated space in an airport that gives you a place to relax and unwind before your flight. Getting access to airport lounges can be very expensive and is often reserved for those who pay a hefty fee or have a first or business class ticket. That said, you may be able to access an airport lounge for free if you have this perk on your credit card.
Many airport lounges come with free food and drinks as well as Wi-Fi and Internet stations. A select few come with extra benefits such as showers, conference rooms for meetings, pre-flight massages, printing stations and a host of other perks. The benefits you get will depend on which lounge you visit and where.
The Best Credit Cards With Lounge Access For 2022
One of the worst things about travelling is the airport experience before a flight or during a layover. Think about the uncomfortable seating , crowded bathrooms, overprice food and noisy/busy areas.
To escape this chaotic environment, you can head into airport lounges which are private, offer food, and comfortable seating. Each lounge is different and offers different amenities, but theres no denying how comfortable they are. The problem is, normally you need to pay a yearly membership fee of $99 USD and then $32 USD for each visit which is not exactly cheap.
However, if you have credit cards with lounge access, then you could end up paying nothing at all which is the ideal scenario. Before you get to my full list of free airport lounge access credit cards, its important to know the different lounge programs that youll typically encounter.
Lounge Access Guest Policies
Lounge networks generally allow you to bring along guests but there are some things to be aware of.
First, there may be a limit on how many guests you can bring. Priority Pass Select doesn’t restrict how many guests you can bring but individual lounges may have different policies.
Don’t assume guests are free either. With Delta Sky Club, for example, you can bring up to two guests per visit but you’ll pay a $29 fee for each of them.
Keep in mind that if you travel for children, individual lounges may impose age limits for access. Again, it’s wise to research the lounge you plan to visit beforehand to make sure you don’t run into any issues once you arrive.
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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.
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Pros And Cons Of Credit Cards With Lounge Access
- A relaxed environment. As well as making you feel like a rockstar, an exclusive airport lounge takes you out of the chaos thats typically found in an airport waiting area. Just dont get so relaxed you miss your flight!
- Freebies. Enjoy free drinks and tasty snacks while waiting to be called for your flight, and in some cases even a massage!
- Convenience. With cosy chairs, tables and work stations, you can spend your time wisely by taking advantage of free Wi-Fi to catch up on work. Or not.
- Other benefits. Since the majority of these cards are part of a rewards programme, your day-to-day spending can earn you points that can later be redeemed against airfares, merchandise and more.
- Costs. Realistically, credit cards with airport lounge access tend to be premium products expect high annual fees and minimum spend requirements.
- Restrictions. The world of airport lounges is full of partnerships between operators. In some cases, you might be restricted to which amenities are available to you inside the lounge.
- Accessibility. The brand of lounge that you have free access to wont have a lounge at every every airport, sadly.
- Limitations. Complimentary passes are usually offered in pairs. If youre travelling with your family or a group of friends/colleagues, some of your party could be left out in the cold.
Amex Green Review: Triple Points On Dining And Travel Plus Credits
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Which Credit Card Has The Best Airport Lounge Access
The credit card with the best airport lounge access will depend on how much you want to spend on your annual fee.
- Low fee cards. These offer a general lounge membership which means you can access the lounge for a discounted rate but you wont get any free passes to enter.
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Best Travel Credit Cards For Airport Lounge Access
When youre waiting for your flight at the airport after youve cleared security, there are two ways to kill time. You can stuff down vending machine snacks while scouring the wall for an open outlet so you can sit on the floor and charge your phone or you can lounge in a lounge.
Airport lounges have cushier seating, better food and drinks, and a more laid-back vibe than the terminal, where the stressed-out masses cram into plastic seats but not just anyone can stroll inside. With the right credit card, however, youre an instant VIP.
Are you shopping for a travel card with airport lounge access in mind? Each and every one of these cards will give first-class seating right there on the ground.
Which Card Is Best
There are other cards out there that will get you into airport lounges. But these three are clearly the best of the bunch in terms of the benefits they provide and the airport lounge access.
Some top-tier airline co-branded credit cards like the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card,the United Club Infinite Card, and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® will get you into their own lounges. But then youre tied to that one airline, often paying the same or a similar hefty annual fee as one of these cards that will open far more lounge doors.
But which one should you choose: The Amex Platinum, Capital One Venture X, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card? The answer will be different for everybody. All three cards earn you ultra-valuable flexible points currencies: American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Miles, and Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. Travelers should weigh these cards based on a number of factors, including location, airline status, future travel plans, and more.
Theres no denying that the American Express Platinum Card is the most powerful among the credit cards with airport lounge access. If thats your primary consideration for one of these top-tier cards, its the clear winner. But the Capital One Venture X also provides great lounge access at a much cheaper annual fee cost of only $395.
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Best Credit Cards With Lounge Access As Of May 2022
Categories Travel Credit Cards
Traveling is a great way to experience new places and cultures. And if youre lucky enough, you might even get free lounge access with your credit card. Read on to learn the most common credit cards that provide airport lounge access and how to use them.
An airport lounge is a necessary place where you can have a break from the hustle and bustle of the airport.
From complimentary food and beverages, relaxing sofas, or free internet access there are many perks to be had in an airport lounge! But not all .
In this article, well teach you about some of the best credit cards that provide airport lounge access as well as how to use them.
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.
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Priority Pass Lounges In The Us By Major Airport
|The Club at SEA – located in Concourse AAlaska Lounge – located in Concourse CAlaska Lounge – located in Concourse DAlaska Lounge – located in North SatelliteThe Club at SEA – located in South Satellite||Alcoholic drinks are limited to three per adult for both Alaska LoungesSeparate prayer room available at The Club at SEA located in South Satellite|
Frequently Asked Questions About Airport Lounge Access
I want to order an additional card for my partner. Will they also have access to airport lounges?
With most of these cards, at least one of the additional cardholders will be given the same lounge passes as the primary card holder. However youll want to confirm this with the issuer before applying for the card, or if you already hold the card, before you arrive at the airport.
How do I use the passes for airport lounge access?
In order to enter, you will need to show your lounge pass along with a boarding pass for the same date.
Can I give my airport lounge pass to a relative or friend to use?
Generally, no. The name on the pass and on the boarding pass usually must be the same.
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Is There A Credit Card With Lounge Access And No Annual Fee
Unfortunately, there isn’t a no-annual-fee card that also offers airport lounge access. However, the United Explorer Card offers two United Club lounge day passes each anniversary year. Its annual fee is $95, waived the first year, so you can experience a lounge or two without committing to a big annual fee.
For Overall Lounge Access: The Platinum Card From American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Expressgives you access to a vast network of lounges. In fact, as of July 1, 2020, AmEx expanded The Centurion® Network to include an additional 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations around the globe. The card offers 5 points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines or booked through American Express Travel 5 points per $1 spent on hotels booked on amextravel.com and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Terms apply .
It has a $695 annual fee, but the long list of perks can help offset the cost. Here are a few that merit a glance:
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
A $200 annual airline fee credit for checked bags, in-flight meals and other travel expenses.
Up to $200 annually in Uber credits for rides in the U.S.
Up to $179 back annually on your CLEAR® membership.
No foreign transaction fees.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® gets you and immediate family or up to two guests into Admirals Clubs that have nearly 50 locations worldwide and 60 partner lounges in select domestic and international destinations. Youll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases and 1 mile per $1 on everything else.
Other key incentives include:
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Are Cards With Lounge Access Worth It During The Pandemic
If you are traveling during the pandemic and travel through airports with open lounges, it can make sense to carry one or more cards that provide lounge access. But if you dont intend to restart travel soon or plan to skip airport lounges, it may not make sense to have airport lounge cards now. I recommend assessing your credit card portfolio to determine which cards are worth their annual fees.
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.
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Which Lounges Are The Best For Food
Centurion Lounges offered by American Express tend to be the best for food. Each Centurion Lounge offers a unique menu inspired by regionally-sourced ingredients and local dishes, and cuisine is prepared by award-winning chefs. In addition, cocktails at a Centurion Lounge are crafted by a top mixologist.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Best For Luxury Perks At A Great Value
The Capital One Venture X is a great middle-ground option for travelers who want both luxury perks and streamlined rewards for a lower annual fee than other popular travel cards. Although the annual fee is still on the higher end at $395, its much lower than other comparable cards .
Cardholders will earn 2X miles on every purchase, plus 10X on hotels and rental cars and 5X on flights booked through Capital One Travel. With the current welcome offer, you can earn 100,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $10,000 in your first six months of card ownership, plus earn up to $200 back in statement credits for vacation rental purchases through sites like Airbnb and VRBO during your first year. Other perks include: up to a $300 annual credit for bookings made on Capital One Travel 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary and up to a $100 credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Airport lounge membership details
The Capital One Venture X comes with a Priority Pass Select membership to over 1,300 lounges worldwide. Cardholders will all have unlimited access to the Capital One Lounge and receive two complimentary guest passes per year.
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Axis Bank Pride Signature Credit Card
the Pride Signature credit card gives a monthly bonus of 100 points if you spend 5,000 on it. you get 8 reward points worth 0.4 Yatra vouchers each – contingent on spending every 200 on the card.other perks include two quarterly access to 10 lounges across 5 Indian cities and up to 400 fuel surcharge waiver. you’ll be charged an annual fee of 500 from the second year unless you spend more than 40,000 in the year.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass
The Hilton Surpass comes with Priority Pass lounge access, however, its not unlimited. So, if youre a frequent traveler, this may not be the card for you.
But, it could be the right lounge access card for someone who travels a few times a year.
The Hilton Surpass gives you 10 Priority Pass lounge passes each calendar year.
You would need to use 1 pass each time you were to access a lounge, so if you had a flight with 2 layovers and you wanted to access 2 different Priority Pass lounges, you would use 2 of your 10 passes.
Similarly, if you were traveling with others, each person would need their own lounge pass. A family of 4 would use 4 of the 10 passes for a single lounge visit.
The access is only for Priority Pass lounges only and does not include Priority Pass restaurants.
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