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Best Credit Cards for Airport Lounges


Reviewed by Tanza Loudenback

If you're a frequent traveler, you know the importance of having a good travel credit card. Not only do they offer great rewards and bonuses, but they can also grant you access to airport lounges, which can be a lifesaver for long layovers, flight delays or if you’re just looking to escape the everyday chaos of the airport terminal.

Looking for the best credit cards for airport lounges? In this article we will discuss some of the best cards that offer lounge access, how to choose the right credit card for this access and also answer some frequently asked questions about airport lounge access.

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for Airport Lounge Access

1. Determine How Often You Travel

It's important to consider how often you'll use the lounge. If you only travel a few times a year, you may not want to pay an annual fee for a lounge access card. If you travel frequently, you'll want a lounge access card.

2. Consider the Type of Traveler You Are

If you're a business traveler, you'll want a lounge access card. However, you may not need lounge access if you're a leisure traveler.

3. Consider the Benefits And Perks

When choosing a credit card for airport lounge access, it's essential to consider the other benefits and perks the card offers. For example, some cards offer travel credits that you can use for airport lounges. Other cards offer bonus points on travel and dining purchases.

4. Consider the Annual Fee

Some cards have high annual fees, but the fee is worth it if you travel often. If you don't travel frequently, you may want to choose a card with a lower annual fee.

5. Read the Fine Print

Be sure to read the card's terms and conditions before applying. Some cards have restrictions on lounge access. For example, some cards only offer lounge access if you book your airfare through the card issuer. The best credit cards for airport lounges offer great rewards, bonuses, and perks that can make your travels more enjoyable.

6. Choose the Card That Best Suits Your Needs

The best credit cards for airport lounge access offer a variety of benefits that can save you time and money. When choosing a card, ensure you consider your travel habits and needs. With so many great options available, you're sure to find the perfect card for your next trip.

7. Compare Cards

Once you've determined which card is right, ensure you compare different offers. Some cards have higher annual fees but offer more benefits. Others have lower fees but fewer perks. Compare different cards to find the one that best suits your needs.

8. Read Reviews

When choosing a credit card, it's important to read reviews to see what other cardholders think. You can learn about the pros and cons of different cards and decide which one is right for you.

9. Consider Your Budget

Be sure to consider your budget when choosing a credit card. Some cards have high annual fees and require good or excellent credit. If you're not sure you can qualify for a specific card, consider a different option.

10. Ask Questions

If you have any questions about airport lounge access or credit cards in general, be sure to ask. The customer service representatives of the card issuer can help you choose the right card for your needs.

11. Compare Offers

Once you've considered all of the abovementioned factors, it's time to compare different credit cards. Compare the annual fee, interest rate, and other terms and conditions. You can find the perfect card for your needs by comparing different offers.

How Does Airport Lounge Access Work?

Most airport lounges are owned and operated by the airlines. However, there are a few that are independent. When you have airport lounge access, you can enter the lounge regardless of the airline you're flying. You'll typically need to present your boarding pass and a same-day flight itinerary to get into an airport lounge. Some cards also offer Priority Pass memberships, which give you access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.

What's Included in Free Airport Lounge Access?

1. Complimentary Food and Drink

Most airport lounges offer complimentary food and drink, including:

• Snacks

• Coffee

• Tea

• Soft drinks

2. Free Wi-Fi

Most airport lounges offer free Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected while traveling. This also allows you to avoid using data roaming while you're abroad.

3. Complimentary Newspapers and Magazines

Most airport lounges offer complimentary newspapers so that you can stay up-to-date on current events. They also offer a variety of magazines to keep you entertained during your travels.

4. Relaxing Atmosphere

Most airport lounges offer a relaxing atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal. This can make your travel experience more enjoyable.

5. TV

Some airport lounges offer TV so you can relax. This also allows you to stay connected while you're on the go.

6. Shower Facilities

Some airport lounges offer shower facilities so that you can freshen up before your flight. This can be especially useful if you have a long flight ahead.

7. Spa

Some airport lounges have a spa so that you can relax before your flight. They also offer a variety of other services for a fee, such as:

• Facial treatments

• Massages

• Manicures and pedicures

8. Luggage Storage

Some airport lounges offer luggage storage so that you can store your bags before your flight. This can be especially useful if you're traveling with a carry-on only.

9. Children's Play Area

Some airport lounges have a children's play area, so your kids can stay entertained while you travel. They also offer a variety of other amenities, such as diaper changing stations and strollers.

10. Pet-friendly Facilities

Some airport lounges are pet-friendly so you can travel with your furry friend. They also offer a variety of other amenities, such as pet sitting and walking services.

11. Business Center

Some airport lounges have a business center, so you can get work done while traveling. They also offer a variety of other services, such as:

• Faxing

• Photocopying

• Printing

Is Lounge Access Worth It?

If you travel frequently, airport lounge access can be a great way to save time and money. Lounge access can also be a great perk for business travelers. If you don't travel frequently, you may want to choose a card with a lower annual fee.

Should I Have Multiple Cards With Lounge Access?

If you frequently travel, having multiple cards with lounge access can be a great way to save time and money. The benefits of having multiple cards with lounge access include:

1. Access to More Lounges

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to more lounges. This can be especially useful if you travel frequently. But keep in mind that not all lounges are available at all airports, and having multiple cards with access to different lounges ensures you’ll always have access.

2. More Perks and Benefits

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you more perks and benefits. This includes:

• Complimentary travel insurance

• Complimentary food and drink

• Free Wi-Fi

• Complimentary newspapers and magazines

3. More Rewards

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you more rewards. This includes:

• Points

• Miles

• Cashback on your purchases

4. Access to More Airports

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to more airports. This can be especially useful if you travel frequently.

5. Access to a Variety of Amenities

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to various amenities. This includes:

• TV and workstations

• Shower facilities

• Free massages

• Luggage storage

6. Access to Special Events

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to special events. This includes:

• Private parties

• Meet-and-greets

• Exclusive experiences

7. Access to a Concierge

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to a concierge. This can be especially useful if you have questions or need help booking travel.

8. Access to VIP Services

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to VIP services. This includes priority boarding, security, and check-in. It also includes access to exclusive lounges and events.

9. Access to a Dedicated Customer Service Team

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to a dedicated customer service team. This can be especially useful if you have questions or need help traveling.

10. Access to Exclusive Discounts

Having multiple cards with lounge access gives you access to exclusive discounts. This includes:

• Hotel discounts

• Car rental discounts

• Airline ticket discounts

11. No Foreign Transaction Fees

Some cards with lounge access don't have foreign transaction fees. This can be especially useful if you travel internationally frequently. It can also help you save money on your purchases.

12. Purchase Protection

Some cards with lounge access come with purchase protection. This can be especially useful if you're worried about losing your luggage or damaging your purchases while traveling.

Picking the best credit card for airport lounge access comes down to the aforementioned key factors. With so many great options available, you're sure to find the perfect card for your next trip.

Thomas Donaldson is CompareCredit.com's credit card expert. His work has been featured by USA Today, NBC News, Business Insider and many more.

Tanza Loudenback is a CFP® certificant, writer, and editor. From 2015 to 2021, she was a top-read author and editor at Business Insider. Her work focuses on helping people make smart decisions with their money and is published by a variety of online publications. Full Bio

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