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Traveling often proves to be a taxing endeavor, particularly when contending with extended queues and bustling terminals at airports. Nevertheless, for individuals who find themselves frequently traversing the skies for business or leisure, there exist strategies to enhance the airport encounter, rendering it more gratifying and stress-free.

Personally, I have found respite in airport lounges during numerous journeys, and gaining access can significantly elevate the overall experience. These exclusive spaces boast an array of amenities, encompassing plush seating, complimentary refreshments, and, on occasion, amenities such as showers and spa services. Now, the pertinent question arises: Which credit cards provide access to airport lounges?

The Centurion Lounge. Credit: Johnny Jet

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

What Credit Cards Get Airport Lounge Access?

While lounge access was once a luxury reserved for elite travelers, it has become more accessible through various credit cards. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at credit cards that provide airport lounge access. We hope to help you determine which one might be the best fit for your travel needs.

Types of Credit Cards that Get Lounge Access

There are several types of cards that can grant access to airport lounges, including:

  • Airline Lounge Memberships With Airline Cards: Many airlines offer their own lounge memberships. Memberships provide access to their own lounges and sometimes their partner lounges as well. Airline credit cards with an annual fee, including cards from Delta, American Airlines, and United, have cards with lounge access.
  • Flexible Credit Cards with Lounge Access: Some premium credit cards offer complimentary access to certain airport lounges as a cardholder benefit. Examples include The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
  • Priority Pass: Priority Pass is a membership program that provides access to a network of over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide, regardless of airline or class of ticket. Membership can be obtained either directly or through a credit card that offers Priority Pass membership as a benefit.
  • LoungeBuddy: LoungeBuddy is a mobile app that allows users to book access to airport lounges on an individual basis. Users can pay for access with a credit card. Alternatively, they can purchase access through the app with LoungeBuddy’s own currency, called “LoungeBuddy credits.”

It’s important to note that each lounge may have its own access policies and requirements. Check in advance to ensure you have the necessary credentials to access the lounge you want.

Credit Cards That Get Airport Lounge Access

Here are several cards that come with airport lounge access.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a credit of up to $100 every four years to cover the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This can be used to expedite the security screening process at airports. Additionally, cardholders can enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges. Also, enjoy up to 100+ locations through Capital One’s partner lounge network.

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry members are often eligible for expedited security lines. This can lead to shorter wait times and more time spent in airport lounges. Read more in our Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

If you travel more frequently, The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card might be a better option. Cardholders get unlimited complimentary access for themselves and two guests to 1,300+ airport lounges. This includes Capital One Lounges and Capital One’s partner lounges. Additionally, cardholders can get a complimentary Priority Pass™ membership. A fee credit of up to $100 for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry is also included.

Venture X Cardholders earn unlimited:

  • 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles on all other purchases

Other Venture X Rewards Credit Card perks include a $100 experience credit and other premium benefits on every booking at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection. Additionally, they get a $300 annual Capital One Travel credit and an annual 10,000-mile anniversary bonus.

The annual fee is $395. However, there are no foreign transaction fees, making it great for international travel.

You can compare the premium Venture X Rewards vs. the Venture Rewards to see which card works better for your lifestyle.

American Express Cards

American Express offers several credit cards that provide access to airport lounges as a benefit. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • The Platinum Card from American Express: Get access to the exclusive American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Priority Pass Select lounges, and other select lounges worldwide.
  • The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: This card offers the same lounge access benefits as The Platinum Card, including access to American Express Centurion Lounges. Additionally, enjoy Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Priority Pass Select lounges, and other select lounges worldwide.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club® is also available when traveling on a Delta-marketed or operated flight on the same day. Get four Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes annually. After that, you can bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person per location. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter. Plus, enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: This card offers complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which provides access to a network of airport lounges worldwide.

Chase Credit Cards

Chase offers several credit cards that provide access to airport lounges as a benefit. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: This card provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide through Priority Pass Select. Additionally, enjoy access to airport lounges operated by Chase’s airline partners.
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card: Get access to United Club airport lounges when flying on United Airlines, as well as access to participating Star Alliance airline lounges.

Summary of What Credit Cards Get You Airport Lounge Access

In conclusion, what card gets airport lounge access? It’s important to note that credit card benefits can change over time. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check the latest information on a credit card’s benefits before applying. You may choose to go with a card that works with one brand, such as a dedicated airline card. Alternatively, a flexible rewards credit card can help you get more out of your travels.

Should you get a credit card with lounge access?

While the quality of the airport lounge experience might differ according to the airport you’re at, the age of the lounge itself, and the airline you’re flying with, it’s generally true that having access to a lounge does upgrade the flying experience to a certain degree. You do often enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with having access to a space that limits who can and cannot enter. 

If you don’t currently have a credit card that offers lounge access and are maybe considering signing up for one, how do you decide if the option is right for you? Here are several things to take into consideration.

cards worth annual fees
American Airlines (AA) JFK SOHO Lounge. Credit: Johnny Jet

1. Do you travel for work?

Airport lounges are a boon for busy business travelers. Trying to get work done in the terminal before your flight? You’re lucky if you can answer a few emails because any in-depth work, calls, or anything that takes more than an iota of brainpower will have to wait. There’s often just too much going on around you to get anything done. 

Airport lounges remedy this by providing a quiet space often geared toward business travelers. In many lounges, there are actually entire zones set apart just for these business travelers, where silence is plentiful. Additionally, lounges usually offer free WiFi, making your work even easier. Plus, there are spaces where you can conduct calls without being disturbed or disturbing anyone else. 

Your employer might pay for you to have access to an airport lounge when you travel. But if that’s not the case, you might want to sign up for a credit card that comes with lounge access.

Business Credit Cards With Airport Lounge Access

Here are a few business cards to consider that come with lounge access. Note that many of these are also some of the best small business credit cards available.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express comes with access to airport lounges in 140 countries (which, according to Amex, is more lounge options than any other card on the market; enrollment may be required). Cardholders get access to the Centurion Lounge and international Amex lounges. They also get access to Amex partners like Delta Sky Club or Priority Pass lounges.

Other benefits include 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

Earn 1x points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases.

Cardholders 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.

Additional Perks

Additionally, unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on the curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.

You also get a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Plus, get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your Card.

Cardholders can get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when they use their Business Platinum Card®.

With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, with The American Express Global Lounge Collection®. You have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023. Enrollment is required for some lounges.

New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have the opportunity to 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. 

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees).

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card comes with Delta Sky Club® access at no cost and bring up to two guests or immediate family at a rate of $50 per person per visit. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.

Plus, when you purchase a Delta flight with your Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, you will receive complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge.

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express, one of the best Delta credit cards, also comes with the ability to earn 3x miles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

Earn 1.5X miles on eligible transit, U.S. shipping, and U.S. office supply store purchases, plus all eligible purchases after you spend $150,000 in purchases on your Card in a year. If your purchase qualifies for a category that has a higher mileage accelerator, only the higher accelerator will apply.

Additionally, save 15% On Award Travel With TakeOff 15. Eligible Card Members can enjoy exclusive savings on Delta flights. Not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees. Also, get an annual statement credit of up to $250 after using your Card to book prepaid hotels or vacation rentals through Delta Stays on delta.com.

Welcome Bonus and Additional Perks

New Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card cardholders can earn 110,000 Bonus Miles after spending $12,000 in purchases on their new Card in their first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 3/27/24.

The annual fee is $650 (See Rates & Fees).

United Business Card

The United℠ Business Card comes with 2 United Club one-time passes per year. Additionally, get a $100 United® travel credit after 7 United flight purchases of $100 or more each anniversary year.

United Business Card cardholders earn 2x miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores, and local transit and commuting. Earn 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Also, cardholders can receive a 5,000-mile “better together” bonus each anniversary when they have both the United℠ Business Card and a personal Chase United® credit card.

New United℠ Business Card cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

With perks like a free first checked bag (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip—terms apply), 2 United Club one-time passes per year, and priority boarding privileges, the United Business Card has plenty to offer.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card comes with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership (once enrolled). You’ll get 10 free visits to a selection of over 1,300 Priority Pass airport lounges every year.

Also, enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.

Cardholders earn Hilton Honors bonus points for each dollar of eligible purchases on their Card:

  • 12x at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
  • 6x at:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • U.S. purchases for shipping
    • On wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
    • On flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
    • Also on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • At U.S. restaurants
  • 3x on all other eligible purchases

New The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card cardholders earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of Card Membership.

There is a $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Find more extensive details in our The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card review.

2. Do you travel often?

This question needs to be asked when you sign up for any credit card that comes with travel-related benefits. As nice and posh as those benefits sound — flight upgrades, lounge access, free hotel stays, VIP perks — if you don’t travel enough to earn them, you may be better off looking for something else, especially if you’re paying an annual fee for it.

If you’re considering a travel credit card with lounge access but you only fly two or three times a year, you might want to forgo that travel credit card and instead pick a credit card that will give you more benefits that you’ll actually use on a regular basis. A cash-back credit card, for instance, may be a better choice.

Related: Cash Back vs. Travel Rewards Credit Cards

3. Who do you travel with?

Do you travel solo? With your partner? Or with the whole household? If you travel often with children, you might want to reconsider getting a credit card with lounge access. Travelers who come to a lounge with children in tow are sometimes frowned upon. Most travelers in a lounge are seeking to escape the noise that often accompanies said children.

Now, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. You can find certain lounges that offer kid-friendly spaces where families are more than welcome. However, it is something to look into and consider.

Additionally, there are likely going to be extra costs for bringing guests. Take this into consideration if you travel with other people often.

4. Are you loyal to a particular airline?

Many credit cards that you might consider for their lounge access perks are tied to a particular airline. Additionally, some lounges only allow you to enter if you’re flying with that airline on that day. Because of this, it helps to be loyal to a particular airline, whether you just like one airline or find that one airline more conveniently serves the routes you travel most often.

For instance, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® comes with access to the American Airlines Admirals Club® membership. So if you frequently fly on American Airlines, this may be worth your consideration.

If, though, you’re only ever looking for the best flight deal you can, then you might find that doing so prohibits you from using your airline-specific lounge membership on a regular basis. As such, signing up for a co-brand airline credit card with lounge access could be a waste. 

Still, cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express come with lounge access and aren’t tied down to one airline. The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with access to Priority Pass Select membership while the American Express Platinum comes with access to the Amex Global Lounge Collection. To add to their appeal, both cards are also some of the best metal credit cards available.

5. What kind of routes do you typically fly?

Another thing to consider is the routes you generally fly. If you often find yourself on red-eye flights or with layovers, then a lounge can be a great resource for you, as some offer places to refresh and even shower after a long travel day. Others offer places to catch a few winks before you have to head out to your destination. 

6. How much money do you usually spend at the airport anyway?

The annual cost of a credit card with lounge access could be negated if you spend a lot of money every time you go to the airport. Plus, you’ll be saving money on things like dining and drinking. If you think that the free food, drinks, and WiFi you’ll find in a lounge may make up for the cost of a credit card with lounge access, then you could save money by signing up.

JFK Club attached to Greenwich Lounge AA (May 2, 2023). Credit: Johnny Jet

3 Rewards Cards With Airport Lounge Access and Travel Benefits

For many people, aspects of traveling can be a chore. But I figured out the ways to get rid of most of the hassles at an early age. This includes gaining elite status, not checking a bag, signing up for CLEAR and TSA PreCheck to zip through security lines, boarding early to get overhead space, and of course, getting the right credit cards to earn more miles and points and gaining access to airline clubs. There you can avoid crowds, enjoy free food/snacks, wait out delays more comfortably, and have access to the top reservation agents to help change tickets.

Almost everything listed above can end up costing you next to nothing if you get the right cards. This is what I usually carry in my wallet.

Below are a few details on what these cards with airport lounge access offer.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers complimentary Priority Pass Select access for the primary and authorized users. You can also bring up to two accompanying guests. Each additional companion costs $27 per visit.

Another reason to consider this card? Points are worth 50% more when you book award travel. It also comes with a $300 annual travel statement credit and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

You also get access to valuable Chase travel partners. Points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio.

Plus, 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.

The annual fee is $550. Each authorized card costs $75.

Read more in our Chase Sapphire Reserve review.

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express has an eye-popping number of travel and lifestyle perks. Regarding airline lounge benefits, you get complimentary access to The Centurion Network, which many frequent flyers consider to be one of the best networks.

Other lounges that you can visit include Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club (with an active Delta Airlines itinerary), Escape, and Airspace (enrollment may be required, terms apply).

Cardholders can get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when they pay with their Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.

Also, 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.

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees), which is higher than most premium cards. However, you also get an above-average amount of benefits, valued at over $1,400.

You can also save a few bucks as you pay a flat $195 annual fee for up to three additional cards. Whether you request one, two, or all three, you pay the same cost, and your authorized users can enjoy lounge access when the primary user isn’t traveling with them.

Welcome Bonus Offer

I had to mention the enhanced welcome bonus offer, one of the best card offers available now.

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $8,000 on purchases on their new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.

As long as you have a good credit score when applying for the Amex Platinum, it won’t be a hard American Express card to get.

Which Mastercard are Eligible for Airport Lounge Access?

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is the premium credit card for American Airlines flyers. You get an Admirals Club membership for yourself and up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you (up to $650 value).

Other featured benefits include a free checked bag for you and up to eight companions, 25% in-flight food and beverage savings on American-operated flights, and priority boarding and check-in. This card also offers a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Earn a total of 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. 

Earn 1x AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.

Plus, earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.

New Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® cardholders can earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, enjoy a complimentary Admirals Club® membership (a value of up to $850).

This is one of the best credit cards for American Airlines flyers. The annual fee is $595. Authorized user cards are free.

In Conclusion: Getting Airport Lounge Access via Credit Cards

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what type of traveler you are. Look at your needs. Yes, credit cards with lounge access can be a great resource to have in your wallet. But, you want to be sure that you’re not signing up for a credit card with an annual fee that’ll just go unused.

In conclusion, depending on what you’re looking for, one of these premium cards with airport lounge access might work for you. Having access to airport lounges has proven to be a valuable benefit that might save money. However, if you don’t travel often enough to take full advantage of the benefits, consider a card with a lower annual fee.

Related Articles:

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

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

For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, please click here.

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

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