Best Credit Cards With Airport Lounge Access of February 2023 (Updated Monthly)

Best Credit Cards With Airport Lounge Access of February 2023 (Updated Monthly)

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best card for lounge access because it comes with access to several popular airport lounge networks.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. Citi is an advertising partner.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

United Club℠ Infinite Card

Airports worldwide are home to one of the best perks for travelers — airport lounges. Instead of cramming into a seat at your gate, lounges provide comfort, convenience and complimentary services to help you relax and unwind before your flight.

The question is how do you gain access to airport lounges? Many credit cards come with airport lounge memberships or passes. These cards tend to have higher annual fees than other cards, but often the cost is more than made up through the value of lounge access and other card perks. Below are some of our top picks for credit cards with airport lounge access so you can determine if one is right for you.

Credit cards with lounge access in 2023

The following cards all come with complimentary airport lounge access. If approved for a card, you may receive an email or other correspondence on how to activate your lounge membership. In most cases, you'll need to take action on your end before you can visit a lounge.

Card
Annual fee
Lounge access
Guest policy
The Platinum Card® from American Express*$695 American Express Global Lounge CollectionVaries depending on the lounge network and individual lounge policies
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express*$695American Express Global Lounge CollectionVaries depending on the lounge network and individual lounge policies
American Express® Green Card*$150$100 LoungeBuddy CreditN/A
Chase Sapphire Reserve®$550Priority Pass™ SelectTwo guests max per visit for primary cardholders and authorized; additional guest passes cost $27 per guest, per visit
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card$395Priority Pass™ Select, Capital One lounges, Plaza Premium loungesTwo complimentary guests per visit (Capital One and Plaza Premium), Complimentary guest access (Priority Pass™)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card$9510 Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select PassesComplimentary passes may be used for guests
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card$9510 Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select PassesComplimentary passes may be used for guests
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card$650 Priority Pass™ SelectFirst two guests are free at select lounges
United Club℠ Infinite Card$525United ClubUp to two guests free
United℠ Business Card $99Two Anniversary United Club One-Time PassesN/A
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card$550 Delta Sky Club, Centurion LoungesDelta Sky Club: Up to two guests for a $39 fee per person, Centurion Lounges: Up to two guests for $50 fee per person
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card$250 Delta Sky Club Per-Visit RateUp to two guests for a $39 fee per person
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®$450Admirals ClubUp to two guests free
Mastercard® Black Card™$495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account)Priority Pass™ SelectTwo free guests max per visit for primary cardholders and authorized; additional guest passes cost $27 per guest, per visit
Mastercard® Gold Card™$995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account)Priority Pass™ SelectTwo free guests max per visit for primary cardholders and authorized; additional guest passes cost $27 per guest, per visit

*Unlike some credit cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Green Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express allow you to carry a balance on some of your purchases, but not all.

Best card for lounge access overall and international lounge access

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • 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 and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. 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 select 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 is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Earns transferable points

  • Annual fee: $695
  • Lounge network:
    • American Express Global Lounge Collection
    • International American Express Lounges
    • Centurion Lounges
    • Delta Sky Club
    • Escape Lounges
    • Plaza Premium Lounges
    • Priority Pass Lounges (enrollment required)
    • Air Space Lounges
  • Number of lounges: Over 1,200 airport lounges in over 120 countries
  • Authorized user access: You can add additional card members for a fee. Additional card members have the same lounge access as the primary card member.
  • Guest policy: Guest policies vary depending on the specific lounge network. Many allow up to two guests per visit.
  • When can you access lounges?: Lounge access is for same-day travel only.
  • Terms apply

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best card for airport lounge access hands-down. Cardholders get access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Priority Pass™ Select membership, exclusive access to Amex's own Centurion lounges, and entry into Delta Sky Clubs before or during Delta flights. The card also comes with a laundry list of credits, benefits and protections like up to a $200 airline fee credit (enrollment required) and upgraded hotel status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required).

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

Drawbacks? The high annual fee

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Runner-up for best card with international lounge access

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

$395

21.24% - 28.24% (Variable)

720 - 850

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Earns transferable points

  • Annual fee: $395
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass™ Select, Plaza Premium Group, Capital One
  • Number of lounges: Over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide
  • Authorized user access: Authorized users receive the same full complimentary access to lounges as primary cardholders.
  • Guest policy: Primary cardholders and authorized users are allowed a maximum of two guests per visit. Passes for additional guests cost $45 per guest per visit at Capital One lounges.
  • When can you access lounges?: Lounge access is for same-day travel only.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is another strong pick for international lounge access. Its Plaza Premium Group feature allows you to access more than 100 international lounges. It has access to Priority Pass lounges on top of that — and at a $395 annual fee, which is lower than The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Drawbacks? Capital One doesn't have a large airport lounge collection of its own, so the main draw of this card is its partner lounge network. Capital One has one lounge at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, with two more slated to open in Denver International Airport and Dulles International Airport.

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Best credit card with Priority Pass lounge access

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

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®

$550

21.24% - 28.24% Variable

720 - 850

  • 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.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights 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
  • 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 PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Earns transferable points

  • Annual fee: $550
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass™ Select
  • Number of lounges: Over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide
  • Authorized user access: Authorized users receive the same full complimentary access to lounges as primary cardholders.
  • Guest policy: Primary cardholders and authorized users are allowed a maximum of two guests per visit. Passes for additional guests cost $32 per guest per visit.
  • When can you access lounges?: Lounge access is for same-day travel only.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® is our top pick for Priority Pass perks since you get lounge access for the most reasonable annual fee. The card has a $550 annual fee, but also comes with a $300 annual travel credit that applies to most travel purchases and cancels out most of that fee. Essentially, as long as you travel enough to use up the travel credit, you'll get access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide for a cost of just $250 per year.

Drawbacks? The Priority Pass program is inferior to many lounge programs on this list. Some of the best lounge networks don't participate in Priority Pass, and Priority Pass members are often second on the admission list to airline elite status members.

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Best card with lounge access for business

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin

Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

$695

18.74% - 26.74% Variable

660 - 850

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in value per year for statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless with the Business Platinum Card.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card or any of the Additional Cards on your Platinum Card account.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: CLEAR® uses biometrics to assign you a touchless ID, allowing you to move faster through security at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. You can cover the cost of a CLEAR membership with up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year after you pay for CLEAR with your Business Platinum Card®.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Annual fee: $695
  • Lounge network(s):
    • American Express Global Lounge Collection
    • International American Express Lounges
    • Centurion Lounges
    • Delta Sky Club
    • Escape Lounges
    • Plaza Premium Lounges
    • Priority Pass Lounges (enrollment required)
    • Air Space Lounges
    Number of lounges: Over 1,200 airport lounges in over 120 countries
  • Authorized user access: You can add additional card members for a fee. Additional card members have the same lounge access as the primary card member.
  • Guest policy: Guest policies vary depending on the specific lounge network. Many allow up to two guests per visit.
  • When can you access lounges?: Lounge access is for same-day travel only.
  • Terms apply

If you're a fan of The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is just as good, if not better. It's our top pick for a business card with lounge benefits because it offers access to the same lounge networks as the consumer version of the card, including Priority Pass™ Select membership, access to Amex Centurion lounges, and access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. While a $695 annual fee applies, business owners with this card get valuable business credits, such as up to $400 in credits from Dell and up to $360 in credits with Indeed (enrollment required).

Drawbacks? The high annual fee

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Best credit card for Admirals Club lounge access

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

On Citibank's Secure Website

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

$450

20.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases in 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
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from 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

  • Annual fee: $450
  • Lounge network(s): Admirals Club
  • Number of lounges: Nearly 50 lounges plus access to 60 partner lounges
  • Authorized user access: No charge to add authorized users. Authorized users have access to domestic and international Admirals Club locations but not full membership privileges.
  • Guest policy: Up to two guests free
  • When can you access lounges?: Lounge access is for same-day travel only.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is the only credit card that comes with american Airlines Admirals Club membership. While a $450 annual fee applies, Admirals Club membership is actually worth up to $650 if you chose to pay for it outright. Getting the card instead gives you several airline-related perks, including priority check-in, security, and boarding privileges and a Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit.

Drawbacks? You're limited to Admirals Club and its partners' lounges. The annual fee may not be worth it if you don't frequently visit airports with these lounges.

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Best credit card for Delta Sky Club lounge access

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

$550

20.24%-29.24% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) With Status Boost® per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs up to four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights.
  • New: Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Receive a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or domestic Main Cabin round trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • With your Card receive upgrade priority over other Medallion Members within the same Medallion level and fare class.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Annual fee: $550
  • Lounge network(s): Delta SkyClub, Centurion
  • Number of lounges: 50+ Delta SkyClub Lounges, 40+ Centurion Lounges
  • Authorized user access: Authorized users receive full lounge access
  • Guest policy: Up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $39 each at Delta SkyClub and $50 each at Centurion lounges.
  • When can you access lounges?: Lounge access is for same-day travel on Delta flights.
  • Terms apply

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the only co-branded consumer credit card from Delta that offers Delta Sky Club membership as well as access to Amex's exclusive Centurion Lounge network. While a $550 annual fee is required to get this card, purchasing Delta Sky Club membership alone would set you back a minimum of $545 ($695 starting Jan. 1 2023). Cardholders also get a round-trip companion pass every year, a first checked bag free on Delta flights and more.

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

Drawbacks? You're limited to Sky Club and Centurion lounges. The annual fee may not be worth it if you don't frequently visit airports with these lounges.

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Best credit card for United Club lounge access

United Club℠ Infinite Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

$525

20.74% - 27.74% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 80,000 bonus miles.
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases including tickets, Economy Plus®, inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services
  • Earn 500 Premier qualifying points for every $12K you spend on purchases, up to 8,000 PQP in a calendar year.
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip. Terms Apply

  • Annual fee: $525
  • Lounge network(s): United Club
  • Number of lounges: 45+ United Club lounges, six United Polaris lounges
  • Authorized user access: Authorized users can only access lounges as a guest of the primary cardholder.
  • Guest policy: Up to two free guests per visit
  • When can you access lounges?: Lounge access if for same-day travel on United and Star Alliance flights.

United fans will love the United Club℠ Infinite Card since it comes with access to United Club lounges and premium travel services when flying United. Major benefits outside of airport lounge access include first and second checked bags free, priority check-in and boarding and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. The annual fee on this card is $525, whereas paying for United Club membership costs a minimum of $650.

Drawbacks? You're limited to United Club and Polaris lounges. The annual fee may not be worth it if you don't frequently visit airports with these lounges.

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Best credit card for lounge access and a low annual fee

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

$95

19.99% to 28.99% variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
  • 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, at U.S. supermarkets, and at 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 (enrollment required).
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Lounge network(s): 10 complimentary Priority Pass™ Select passes
  • Number of lounges: 1,300+ lounges
  • Authorized user access: Authorized users don't receive this benefit but may use complimentary passes for lounge access.
  • Guest policy: Complimentary passes may be used for guests.
  • When can you access lounges?: Access is for same-day travel only.
  • Terms apply

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is great for infrequent travelers since it comes with 10 free passes to Priority Pass airport lounges with an annual fee of just $95 per year. Earning rates for this card are also generous, and it comes with valuable hotel perks, like Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required).

Drawbacks? You're limited to 10 lounge visits per year.

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Compare the best credit cards for lounge access in February 2023

Welcome offer
Other benefits
Annual fee
Best overall and international

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $200 hotel credit (enrollment required)
  • $240 digital entertainment credit
  • $200 airline fee credit (enrollment required)
  • $189 Clear credit
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status (enrollment required)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status (enrollment required)
$695
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
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Unlike some credit cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express allow you to carry a balance on some of your purchases, but not all.

Is lounge access worth it?

Getting a credit card with airport lounge access is worth the cost if you travel often to destinations with lounges within your network. Airport lounges offer several amenities and benefits for travelers including:

  • Complimentary food and beverages (including alcohol)
  • Wi-Fi access
  • Comfortable, quiet spaces to work or relax
  • Charging stations and outlets
  • Credits to airport restaurants sometimes
  • Shower facilities
  • Quiet rooms
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Guest privileges
  • Business centers

Having lounge access is only valuable if you plan to take advantage of the perks that come with it. If you only fly a few times a year, a credit card with lounge access may not be the best fit.

How do I get free airport lounge access?

There are a few ways to get free airport lounge access:

  1. One of the best ways is through credit cards. Some credit cards offer complimentary access to a lounge network (multiple lounge networks in some cases).
  2. Some airlines allow you to access lounges if you've achieved a higher status in their frequent flyer program.
  3. In some cases, especially with domestic flights, booking a first-class flight can earn you free entry into an airport lounge on the day of your flight.

Keep in mind that there is still a cost involved — either through purchasing airfare with the airline or paying the annual fee for a card with lounge access. You just aren't paying directly for lounge access.

What are the best lounge networks?

If you're looking for the best lounge networks to join, there are several to choose from. Below are some of the most popular airport lounge networks among travelers today.

The Centurion lounge network is home to more than 40 world-class airport lounges worldwide. The network includes Centurion and Escape lounges. Features often include complimentary drinks and food prepared by world-class chefs and carefully crafted seating areas for work or relaxation.

Priority Pass is among the most popular airport lounges because of its vast number of lounges available worldwide. The network is home to over 1,300 lounges in 600 cities worldwide. Lounges feature standard amenities like Wi-Fi and refreshments. Some Priority Pass lounges offer perks like spa treatments and sleeping rooms.

Admirals Club is American Airlines' airport lounge network. The network has almost 50 lounges spread across the world. Members also get access to 60 partner lounges. Admirals Club lounges feature snacks, made-to-order food, beverages, business centers, shower suites and personal travel assistance.

United Club is the lounge network for United Airlines. Along with over 45 lounges worldwide, select members and travelers can also access its six United Polaris lounges. Members also have access to select Star Alliance partner lounges too. Lounges feature standard amenities like free snacks and beverages, comfortable seating, and Wi-Fi.

Delta Sky Club has locations around the world to meet travelers' needs. Features often include complimentary beverage services and food, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, business centers, and shower facilities.

Can you pay for airport lounge access?

If you don't have a credit card with lounge access, you may still be able to gain entry. Many airlines allow you to buy memberships or one-time passes for a fee. United Airlines, for example, sells one-time passes for its United Clubs for $59. American Airlines Admirals Club offers several annual membership options with fees of up to $1,250 for a household membership. Some lounge networks, like Centurion, do not sell lounge access passes or memberships.

How to use lounge access at airports

Airport lounges can be an enjoyable and relaxing experience for travelers. You can maximize your experience by following these tips.

Take time to familiarize yourself with your lounge network before visiting. Learn what perks come with lounge membership, lounge locations, guest pass policies, family and kids policies and other pertinent program details.

Once you have flights booked, find out what lounges are available at your departure and arrival airports. Lounges often have their own set of policies, procedures, and hours. Find out if there's anything special you need to know before your visit. Figure out where it's located in the airport in relation to your gate.

Plan on arriving at least 30 minutes early to take advantage of all of the lounge's amenities. Having to rush through your lounge time, grab a quick snack and sit for a minute is not enjoyable. Always plan for enough time to enjoy lounge access.

Another way to maximize your lounge visit is to do a lap around the entire lounge before sitting down. That way, you know what they offer and where everything's located. Check out all of the amenities and seating areas before you settle in.

Sometimes airport lounges can be too relaxing. Remember that you're at the airport for a reason — your flight. Make a note of your flight's boarding time to avoid missing it. Set an alarm if you think you might lose track of time.

Frequently asked questions

Several credit cards come with free access to airport lounges, including The Platinum Card® from American Express, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® and Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Some credit cards offer free airport lounge network memberships. Other cards may offer one-time lounge passes or exclusive discounted lounge visit rates.

Typically, you can either show your credit card or your lounge membership card to access an airport lounge. Some lounge networks also offer a digital membership card through their mobile app. Most lounges also want to see a same-day boarding pass.

Check your cardholder agreement or contact the credit card issuer to determine if airport lounge benefits are included with your card.

Recap of the best credit cards with complimentary lounge access in February 2023

Methodology

To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of cards that offer the best airport lounge access. Our recommendations are based on the strength of the cards' lounge networks, as well as the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.

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

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

For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please click here

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here

The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Green Card, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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).