Best Credit Card To Access Airport Lounges – If you’ve been to an airport lounge lately, you’ve probably noticed that it’s busier than ever. This is largely thanks to credit cards, which have opened the door for passengers flying Economy or low-cost airlines. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on which side of the fence you sit on, but like it or not, democratic access to airport lounges is here to stay.
On that note, it’s time once again for us to take a look at the best credit cards for annual lounge use.
Best Credit Card To Access Airport Lounges
Here’s an overview of the credit cards that offer airport lounge access, the networks they use and the number of free visits you’re entitled to.
Best Credit Cards For Free International Airport Lounge Access
Priority Pass is undoubtedly the most popular provider and also offers the largest network of lounges globally. However, it took a big hit in 2021 when Plaza Premium announced it was severing ties with Priority Pass (and LoungeKey) to replace it with DragonPass.
As a result, Priority Pass currently has a network gap at airports where Plaza Premium is the sole lounge operator.
To strengthen their value proposition in airports where they do not have a lounge agreement, Priority Pass has added alternative amenities such as F&B credits or access to a capsule in Dubai or a bedroom in some US airports.
If your Advantage Card membership is issued by American Express, be aware that this card does not include so-called “non-lounge experiences” such as restaurants or bars. You will be billed separately if you use your Priority Card for these.
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When in doubt about whether something counts as a “non-lounge experience,” consult the American Express lounge finder. If you see a lounge listed there, you can safely use the Priority Card issued by American Express.
LoungeKey has 1,150 lounges worldwide and partners with Mastercard to offer eligible cardholders lounge access during flight delays. Members also have access to special dining offers at select airport restaurants.
There is not much to distinguish LoungeKey and Priority Pass, as they are owned by the same company. Just be aware that you will experience the same issues when entering the Plaza Premium Lounge, as previously mentioned.
DragonPass is a China-based lounge program with over 1,200 lounges, including some at train stations in China. Members can redeem free meals at some airport restaurants or even things like free massages.
Best Credit Cards With Lounge Access
Most importantly, DragonPass has retained access to the Plaza Premium Lounge, which makes it more useful than Priority Pass or LoungeKey, depending on where you fly.
Plaza Premium has a much smaller network of over 180 private label and third party salons worldwide. Despite its small size, Plaza Premium lounges are generally of a much higher quality than the average contract lounge and in some airports (eg Penang and Langkawi), Plaza Premium is the sole lounge operator. The best.
Plaza Premium has announced a strategic partnership with DragonPass, which means cardholders with Plaza Premium lounge access will be able to access the global DragonPass network “in the near future”.
Plaza Premium also has a chain of Plaza Premium First lounges, offering an experience comparable to some airline first class lounges. These require additional fees, but you may find the experience well worth it.
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Free accesses usually refresh based on your membership year (ie the date you have a lounge membership). For example, if your favorite card was approved on April 1st, your free hits will be tracked from April 1st to March 31st of the following year.
However, there are some cards that track benefits by calendar year (eg January 1 to December 31):
If you have BOC Visa Infinite, please note that your free access will be valid from November 1st to October 31st. Don’t ask me why, it’s BOC.
In case you’re wondering, free access can be stacked on cards. For example, if you have the DBS Elevation Visa (two free visits with Priority Card) and the Citi PremierMiles Card (two free visits on Priority Card), you will have a total of four visits to use. However, you will need to register and keep track of separate Priority Pass cards.
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With most cards, bringing a guest means you’ll need to use one of your free accesses. For example, bringing a guest on your DBS Altitude Preferred Visa Card will exhaust your allowance for two visits.
However, higher-tier cards like the Citi Prestige or AMEX Platinum Charge allow you to bring guests for free.
Children’s policies are more vague and vary by lounge. In general, babies under 2 will be admitted for free, while some salons may allow children under 12 to enter for free.
As a general rule, lounge privileges are only available to primary cardholders. That said, there are some exceptions.
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The quality of airport lounges can vary greatly, especially in the post-COVID era when facilities can shrink dramatically. The best precaution to avoid wasting your free visit to a gloomy lounge is to simply ask if you can take a quick look inside before you decide.
In theory, some salons put time limits on visits, but I’ve never seen this actively enforced because it’s hard to keep track of who comes in when. If lounges enforce a time limit, they usually base it on the departure time (for example, if your flight leaves at 9pm and the limit is three hours per turn, they won’t let you in before 6pm: 00).
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Credit card highlights airlines singapore hotels airlines star deals alliance krisflyer guest writers trip reports amex mattc citibank uob sq dbs oneworld wds stays vtl hilton hotel reviews ocbc singsaver fares In the airport lounge you will find amenities such as heated rooms, peaceful areas and Wi-Fi, entertainment centers. In fact, some airport lounges have gone as far as introducing shopping malls, gift shops, restaurants, gyms, spas and beauty salons!
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If you travel often, having a credit card in Singapore that allows you to use the lounge for free is a financially wise decision. Compared to the option of buying a separate pass for using the airport lounge, it is definitely a better decision.
With a credit card that allows access to airport lounges, you can enjoy premium accommodation – away from high-traffic areas of the airport. Without a lot of random people around you, you can go about your business without interruption.
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Best for: 4 SATS Premier Lounges & Plaza Premium Lounges vouchers; Use Star Alliance Gold Lounge (Changi Airport) and Star Alliance Gold Lounge
Swanky Airport Vip Lounges You Can Access
The American Express KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card means you’re a superstar at these airports: SATS Premier Lounge, Plaza Premium Lounge, Gold Lounge (at Changi Airport) and Star Alliance Gold Lounge. In these lounges, you can lie back and relax while waiting for your flight.
With your HSBC VISA Infinite credit card, you can choose from hundreds of airport lounges – over 700 to be exact. Once you’ve decided, you can use it any time you want!
If, in addition to getting a VIP card, you are focused on accumulating miles, then the CITI PremierMiles VISA credit card is the ideal choice for you. Free VIP access every year is already a big deal; getting (up to 42,000) bonus miles is definitely another!
As a holder of the Standard Chartered VISA Infinite credit card, you have VIP access to airport lounges – 6 turns to be exact. In addition, you can take advantage of exciting benefits.
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When you apply for the DBS Altitude VISA credit card (also available on AmEx), you will receive 2 VIP airport lounge tickets each year. This is one of the best cards with free airport lounge access mainly because the DBS and VISA names are both on it. As a DBS and VISA branded credit card, this means that as a cardholder you will also enjoy DBS and VISA privileges!
These airport lounge access credit cards are worth signing up for – especially if you frequent airport lounges. You’ll want to make your time at airports count, right?
Because so many credit cards actually have a no-fee feature, you might as well maximize your chances of doing so with the best cards. And as long as you follow the credit card companies’ rules, you won’t have to pay to use airport lounges.
Perhaps the best advantage of using an airport lounge is the opportunity to have a nice, quiet area to go about your business. Whether you want to go shopping or just relax, an airport lounge ticket will help you have a great day.
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Well, what do you think about these credit cards with free airport lounge access? Please share them below.
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