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Credit cards with airport lounge access are a must-have for those who call airports their second home. No one likes being stuck in a noisy airport especially if you're in the middle of a long layover on a longhaul redeye flight. Lounges can be a nice oasis that features free drinks, free food and a quiet area where you can work or get some much needed shuteye. Unfortunately, membership to lounges is rarely cheap. By using a credit card to get complimentary access you can save hundreds of dollars each year.
Best Credit Cards with Airport Lounge Access
Though many credit cards will give you access to airport lounges, we wanted to call out some of the best offers. If you're unsure of exactly what you're looking for, this is a good place to start.
Note: We discuss general lounge benefits as outlined by the terms of service for each card. However, individual lounges and certain airlines always have the option to set their own rules, or even shut down. Always check before whether a lounge is still open in your most frequently used airports before settling on a card.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best Overall Lounge Access
The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the premier choice for anyone looking to make their travel more luxurious. The card provides access to the most lounges among the dozens of cards we examined. Moreover, the lounges you get with The Platinum Card® from American Express are some of the best in the industry.
The crowning jewel of the Amex program are the Centurion® lounges. These high-end clubs provide some of the best amenities, including catered food, bars, showers, high-speed Wi-Fi, conference spaces, and (in some cases) even a dentist's office. Currently, you can only find them in New York (LGA), Miami (MIA), Houston (IAH), Dallas (DFW), Las Vegas (LAS), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Philadelphia (PHL) and Hong Kong (HKG).
The Platinum Card® from American Express also throws in extra lounges for cardholders. You get the standard Priority Pass™ membership that is common among premium credit cards. The quality of Priority Pass lounges can differ significantly from location to location, and they aren't always reliable. One advantage they do have is their sheer number. As of the time this article is being written, there are over 1,000 lounges across over 500 airports within 120 different countries, easily making this the most comprehensive network of airport lounges available today. With The Platinum Card® from American Express you also get access to Delta's SkyClub® lounges. The only caveat there being that you must be traveling on a Delta flight that same day.
|Number of Locations||Guest Policy|
|Amex Centurion||9||2 complimentary guests. You must purchase a one-day pass for any additional guests.|
|Priority Pass Select||1,000+||2 guests for no charge. You will be charged $27 for any additional guests|
|Delta SkyClub||33||$29 per guest|
- $200 Annual Uber Credit
- $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Great For Those Who Travel With Others
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
18.49% - 25.49% Variable
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives you complimentary Priority Pass Select enrollment, with one of the best guest policies round. You're allowed to bring in two accompanying guests for free and any more guests after that will cost you $27.
Another reason to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is because it's bar none one of the absolute best travel credit cards. If you're reading about airport lounge access, odds are you're a frequent traveler. If that is indeed the case, you can stand to profit a lot from using the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The card comes with a $300 annual travel credit, a fantastic welcome bonus, and very good rewards on your everyday purchases. Cardholders get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining, plus 1 point per $1 on everything else (3 points on travel after you earn the $300 travel credit).
|Lounge||Number of Locations||Guest Policy|
|Priority Pass Select||1,000+||All members of your travel party may enter at no charge|
- Annual Fee: $550
- Annual $300 Travel Credit
Low Annual Fee but Luxury Value
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
- Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card stands out from the rest of this list for an extremely important reason: affordability. While the other luxury travel cards presented demand high annual fees and cater toward a wealthier demographic, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card features a significantly lower annual fee of $95. Although the lower fee translates into a more modest suite of benefits, we still calculate cardholders to be easily earning benefits worth far more than what they pay.
If you spend over $15,000 on purchases within a calendar year, the card gives you a Weekend Night Reward for any participating Hilton hotel. This single benefit alone is worth hundreds of dollars. However, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card's most valuable and consistent feature is its limited Priority Pass membership.
All cardholders are automatically provided 10 free passes per year. Each subsequent visit to the Priority Pass lounges costs an additional $27. Priority Pass gives members access to over a thousand airport lounges across many countries. The free passes alone have a value of $249. If you don't travel frequently enough to justify paying the high annual fees of other luxury travel cards but still seek amenities for your traveling experience, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is a great choice.
|Lounge||Number of Locations||Guest Policy|
|Priority Pass Select||1000+||10 free passes and $27 for each visit afterwards|
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: Welcome to Admirals® Club
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
- Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® provides cardholders with access to the Admirals Club. The Admirals Club is a collection of nearly 50 lounges spread across Europe, Asia, South Pacific, South America, and the United States.
There are a variety of complimentary amenities and services to be found within these clubs. The lounges all provide morning and afternoon themed snacks, made-to-order specialties and premium cocktails. Each lounge also features a shower suite, personal travel assistance, and a business center. The immediate family of a cardholder (or two accompanying guests) will also have access to the Admirals Club and all of its benefits.
However, the card was designed to mostly benefit frequent flyers of American Airlines. The points redemption system and many other benefits, such as a free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions, are exclusive to flights with American Airlines. Given the steep annual fee of this credit card, we would recommend only applying for this card if American Airlines is your most frequently used airline, because that is the only way to maximize this credit card's value.
|Lounge||Number of Locations||Guest Policy|
|Admirals Club||Nearly 50||Free for immediate family members or up to two guests|
List of Credit Cards Offering Airport Lounge Privileges
In case you're interested in other credit cards that will provide you with airport lounge benefits, or if you simply want a summary of the cards we called out above, look to the table below. In either case, we recommend you check out a card's full review and details before choosing to apply.
|Lounge Access||Guest Policy|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Priority Pass Select||2 free guests and $27 thereafter|
|Citi Prestige® Card||Priority Pass Select||Free for immediate family members or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $27 each|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||Priority Pass Select||First 10 visits are free. Additional visits cost $27 each|
|United MileagePlus® Club Card *||United Club||Free for spouse and dependent children under 21, or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $59 each|
|Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card *||Priority Pass Select||No limit on number of guests|
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card||Delta SkyClub||$39 per guest|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®||Admirals Club®||Unlimited for immediate family or up to two guests|
|Mastercard® Black Card™||Priority Pass Select||Free for immediate family members or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $27 each|
|Mastercard® Gold Card™ *||Priority Pass Select||Free for immediate family members or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $27 each|