Credit Cards With Complementary Airport Lounge Access & Benefits

Credit Cards With Complementary Airport Lounge Access & Benefits

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Citi is an advertising partner.

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

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small® in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 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 crown 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.

American Express Centurion® Lounge in Las Vegas
Pictured above is the American Express Centurion® Lounge in Las Vegas. Image Source: AmericanExpress.com

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 cards (enrollment required). 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 1,300 lounges across over 500 airports within 140 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.

Lounges

Number of Locations
Guest Policy
Amex Centurion40+2 complimentary guests. You must purchase a one-day pass for any additional guests.
Priority Pass Select1,300+2 guests for no charge. You will be charged $32 for any additional guests
Delta SkyClub33$29 per guest

Card Highlights

*Up to $200 Annual Uber Credit for U.S. Uber rides and U.S. Uber eats when you add the card to the Uber app *Up to $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit (enrollment required)

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®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$550

16.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

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 $32.

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 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Click here for our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Lounge
Number of Locations
Guest Policy
Priority Pass Select1,000+All members of your travel party may enter at no charge

Card Highlights

  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Annual $300 Travel Credit

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Low Annual Fee but Luxury Value

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 $32. 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 Select1000+10 free passes and $32 for each visit afterwards

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: Welcome to Admirals® Club

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

$450

15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)

Excellent/Good

  • 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 miles 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 ClubNearly 50Free 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.

Card

Lounge Access
Guest Policy
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Centurion
  • Priority Pass Select
  • Delta SkyClub
  • Centurion: 2 complimentary guests. You must purchase a one-day pass for any additional guests.
  • Priority Pass Select: Free for immediate family members or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $32 each
  • Delta SkyClub: $29 per guest
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Priority Pass Select2 free guests and $32 thereafter
Citi Prestige® Credit Card Priority Pass SelectFree for immediate family members or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $32 each
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardPriority Pass SelectFirst 10 visits are free. Additional visits cost $32 each
United Club℠ Card *United ClubFree for spouse and dependent children under 21, or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $59 each
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card *Priority Pass SelectNo limit on number of guests
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardDelta 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 SelectFree for immediate family members or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $32 each
Mastercard® Gold Card™ *Priority Pass SelectFree for immediate family members or up to two guests. Additional guests cost $32 each

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Cardcard has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).