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Best Credit Cards With Lounge Access as of January 2023 (Ranked!)

We all like to travel, but we also like to save money. So when it comes to our credit cards, we want the best of both worlds.

Luckily, some great cards out there offer lounge access and other perks that can make your travel experience more enjoyable—and more affordable.

Traveling is a great way to experience new places and cultures. And if you’re lucky enough, you might even get free lounge access with your credit card.

In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best credit cards with access to an airport lounge and what makes them stand out from the competition.

Airport Lounge

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to lounge in an airport? Well, we’ve got the answer for you: it’s awesome.

Airport lounges are places where you can relax and enjoy the comfort usually reserved for first-class passengers. It is a place where you can rest and relax after a long flight. It’s also a place to unwind before your flight, and it’s a great place to meet people and make new friends.

Airport lounges are usually located near the airport gates, so you can easily get there once your flight has landed. Some airport lounges have showers and sleeping areas, so you can freshen up before heading home or out of town.

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What are Airport Lounges?

Airport Lounge

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to lounge in an airport? Well, we’ve got the answer for you: it’s awesome.

Airport lounges are places where you can relax and enjoy the comfort usually reserved for first-class passengers. It is a place where you can rest and relax after a long flight. It’s also a place to unwind before your flight, and it’s a great place to meet people and make new friends.

Airport lounges are usually located near the airport gates, so you can easily get there once your flight has landed. Some airport lounges have showers and sleeping areas, so you can freshen up before heading home or out of town.

What makes Airport Lounges great?

Airport Lounge Table and Seats

Airport lounges are a great way to escape the chaos of the airport.

Let’s face it: an airport is a stressful place. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s no escaping the crowds, long lines at security checkpoints, or the chaos of baggage claim and busy terminals. And even if you’re not actually flying somewhere, just being at an airport can feel like a race against time—a race against yourself or other people who might be rushing through their own business.

Most people have probably never given it much thought, but the fact is that there are a lot of things to love about having lounge access at airports. They provide a relaxing and unwinding environment away from the people and commotion of the airport. The benefits of lounge access are numerous, but here are a few:

They’re quiet.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to work in a public space, especially one that’s loud and crowded. Within these types of lounges, you can get your work done in peace and quiet.

They’re comfortable.

You’ll find plush couches, soft chairs, and even showers in some lounges—all of which makes for an incredibly relaxing experience after a long flight or during layovers.

They have free food.

While not all lounges offer free food in the traditional sense (some charge for snacks), many provide their guests with complimentary drinks and snacks like sandwiches and salads. This way, you don’t have to spend money on food while traveling around town before boarding another flight (which can get expensive fast!).

They are private.

The privacy of a lounge in an airport allows you to work on your laptop without having to be interrupted by other travelers. If you’re traveling for business, this can be a huge benefit.

It’s hard to find a place where you can go and not be bothered by anyone else—and if you’re trying to get work done before your flight, having lounge access is crucial. At an airport lounge, you can go in, grab food and drink, sit on a sofa, and have the time of your life without interruptions.

It can act as a meeting place.

Airport lounges are meeting places where people with similar interests or backgrounds can come together for a chat or exchange ideas. The airport itself has a way of bringing people from all walks of life together in one place—which makes airport lounges an ideal location for connecting with others who share your interests!

They are safe.

Airport lounges also tend to have increased security measures in place because people who travel frequently often bring expensive electronics and other valuables with them on trips; this means that lounge memberships often come with additional perks like lost luggage reimbursement.

See Related: Best Flight Price Trackers to Find Great Deals

How to get free airport lounge access using a credit card?

Having the right credit card can give you several benefits, including lounge access.

Even if you have to sit in a tight economy class seat, having already experienced luxury will make the flight more bearable. It can also be something to be looked forward to once your plane arrives at your destination.

If you have lounge access as a “perk” rather than paying for it outright, then it is essentially free and is one of the more practical options, especially if you fly frequently.

United and American Airlines, among others, both maintain branded lounges in airports across the country, where passengers can take advantage of superior customer service, unique dining options, comfortable seating options, and more.

What is a Travel Credit Card?

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that some travel credit cards grant complimentary admission to have lounge access.

Traveling costs money, so make sure you find a strategy to get the most out of your trip without emptying your wallet. It is undoubtedly expensive to make it work, from hotel accommodations to plane tickets, excursions, and tour guides, to dining out and trying different places while on travel.

As with any type of credit card, using your travel credit card for eligible American Airlines purchases can earn you valuable points that can come in handy, especially if you frequently travel to different locations. Freebies, special offers, and price reductions are just some rewards that can be earned by racking up points.

One way of maximizing your travel credit cards is to ensure that they give you lounge access at airports.

If your journey has worn you out, take a load off and enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee in a peaceful setting.

If you like to get to places early, even if you get to the airport earlier than expected, you’ll have a location to set up camp momentarily where you may rest, read, listen to music, or get some work done.

See Related: Cheapest Places to Fly Around the World

Other benefits of having a travel credit card

Before diving into the list of credit cards, it’s helpful to gain an understanding of the many perks associated with having a travel credit card. Check out the options below and evaluate them in light of your specific travel needs in order to piece together the best possible credit card for your journey.

Here are the benefits of having a travel credit card:

Free Airport Lounge Access

If you have a credit card with lounge access at the airport, you can take it easy while waiting for your flight. The airport is always bustling with activity, as evidenced by the presence of staff, passengers in a rush, youngsters running amok, and the constant blare of announcements that do not concern you.

Whether you are alone for a recreational tour, with your family and friends, or on a business trip, it is always nice to be somewhere where you will know you are stress-free prior to your flight, considering that it is already tiring with all the jet lag. 

Mileage Points

Credit card issuers give out so-called mileage points after you spend. When you use your Credit Card to make eligible American Airlines purchases, miles are automatically added to your account. The number of miles added varies depending on the amount spent in each transaction.

The mileage benefit is a special feature that allows you to earn points for every dollar you spend on your credit card. You can then use these points to redeem travel rewards. You can use your miles to redeem rewards like cash back, or hotel stays at our partner hotels. You can also exchange them for gift cards, airline tickets, and other great items!

Hotel Accommodations

Going to a lot of places also means you need to have places to settle. Especially when you are in a different country, it is given that it is going to be a challenge to find a good place where it is safe and comfortable but cheap.

When you book your stay through the credit card’s website, you’ll get a discount on the price of your room—usually between 5% and 15%. The more expensive the room, the higher percentage of discount you’ll receive.

You’ll usually have to pay for the room during checkout with your credit card, but if you cancel your reservation within 24 hours of making it, there should be no cancellation fee. Some cards offer free hotel accommodations allowing immediate family members that could save you a lot of money. Also, you will be complacent that these hotels are legitimate partners and are good to stay at. 

See Related: Hotel vs Motel vs Inn: What’s the Difference?

Dining and Shopping

Dining and Shopping benefits are the perks credit card companies offer customers in exchange for using their cards.

Dining benefits include things like a free birthday meal or a 25% discount on your bill. These rewards can be redeemed at any restaurant, so you don’t have to make sure you’re using the right card!

Shopping benefits include things like cash back, points toward purchases, or discounts on gas when you use your card at specific stores or gas stations.

Fraud Protection

Fraud protection is designed to protect you from fraud so that you can have peace of mind while using your credit card.

When you see the Fraud Protection screen when using your credit card, you’ll need to enter a verification code that we send you by text message. This gives us an extra layer of security if someone else tries to use your card without permission.

The code will usually be sent right away, but sometimes it can take up to 15 minutes for the code to reach you. If this happens, please wait for the code before continuing with your purchase.

Car Rentals

The Car Rentals benefit of a credit card is that it gives you access to a wide range of cars, many of which are not available to the general public. To use this benefit, simply pick up your rental car and drive away.

When you return the rental car, simply pay for the cost of gas and any other expenses incurred while driving the vehicle. If you choose to use this benefit, make sure that you do not exceed the amount of time that has been allotted by your card company.

If you do so, there may be additional fees associated with using this benefit of accessing rental cars.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know that paying for car rental loss and damage insurance can be pretty expensive. Luckily, many credit cards offer this benefit for free.

With a credit card that offers insurance benefits for the loss and damage of a rental car, you can rest easy knowing that your vehicle is covered should something happen to it. You’ll also be covered if you accidentally damage someone else’s property while driving the rental car.

The coverage typically comes with a deductible amount that the cardholder must pay before any reimbursement occurs. This deductible amount can vary depending on the terms of the policy and which company provides it. The best way to determine your deductible is by reaching out directly to your credit card issuer so they can explain their specific policies in detail.

See Related: What is Travel Insurance? Here is the Definition + Examples

Resort Accommodation

Apart from luxurious hotels, you can also redeem resort accommodations that will be an excellent addition to your itinerary during your travels for free. Especially in some tropical countries, it is always nice to experience the beaches and pools along with their perfect weather.

The Resorts credit card lets you get away in style. It gives you a huge amount of points for every dollar spent, and you can use those points for the things that make your escape complete: flights, hotel stays, dining experiences, and so much more. There’s no limit to the number of points you can accumulate—the sky is truly the limit!

With a Resorts credit card in your pocket, you’ll never have to worry about paying for the things that matter most on your trip. With each purchase made with the card comes more rewards points, which can be redeemed for flights or hotel stays at some of North America’s most luxurious resorts.

Priority Check-In and Boarding

For obvious reasons, it is always nice to have this type of perk when you don’t want to stress yourself during your travels. Airports are always so busy, loud, and chaotic, so having this as a benefit is a big plus when you are traveling a lot, especially if you have kids with you. 

If you have a card with Priority Check-In and Boarding benefits, they’ll scan the barcodes on your boarding pass and credit card when you go through security at the airport. This will tell them that you are eligible for priority check-in and boarding.

Then, instead of standing in line like everyone else, they will direct you to a special lane where TSA agents will help you get scanned as quickly as possible. Once you’ve been cleared by security agents (and have gone through any necessary screening), they’ll let you board your plane before other passengers who haven’t been approved for priority boarding yet—so it’s like having an express lane at the grocery store!

See Related: Best Skyscanner Alternatives to Book Travel

Reduced or Slashes Foreign Transaction Fees

When you are in a different county, transaction fees can occur, and they might be costly – so you may check your credit card issuer to see if there are ways to reduce or completely remove these types of fees. 

Don’t let the name fool you—the Reduced or Slashes Transaction Fees for international purchases benefit of a credit card doesn’t mean you’ll be cutting your travel costs. Instead, it just means that when you use your card to make eligible American Airlines purchases in a foreign currency, you’ll pay less fees than if you used another payment method.

So how does this work? Well, when you use a credit card that offers this benefit and makes a purchase in a foreign currency, you won’t be charged any additional fees for the transaction. That means that even though there will be an exchange rate associated with converting money from one currency to another during the transaction, any extra fees won’t be tacked on top of it.

See Related: What Affects Flight Prices? Influencing Factors

Baggage Insurance

During travels, there are a lot of cases where their items of baggage were lost, mishandled, or stolen. It is a good idea to avail this benefit in order for you to be at ease.

Knowing that you have this type of insurance, you will know that some unexpected misfortunes in your baggage can be covered, especially when you bring important things – losing your luggage could be very stressful and affect your entire journey. 

Baggage insurance also covers your checked baggage if it’s lost or damaged by the airline. And if your luggage is delayed, this benefit can cover expenses like toiletries and clothing while you’re waiting for your bags to appear.

The Price Protection

This feature allows the user to receive a reimbursement for the price difference if they are charged a higher price on an item they recently purchased with their credit card. For example, you see an expensive purse at a designer outlet store and buy it with your card.

Two weeks later, you see the same purse at a Designer Retail store for half of the price and want to return it to get your money back.

With this feature, you will receive an automatic refund for the difference between what you paid and what they currently sell the purse for without having to do anything.

Extended Warranty

This feature offers an additional one-year warranty to the original owner of the product purchased with your credit card, extending it for up to an additional two years past its expiration date.

This means if you use your card to buy a digital camera and it breaks after only six months because of a malfunction, you can have it replaced with the 2-year warranty period applied.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

Unpredictable circumstances will sometimes occur regardless of our efforts. So when worse comes to worst. 

With this policy, if something arises that prevents you from taking a trip that’s already been booked, we’ll refund all of your money (minus a small fee) and give you access to our lounge—a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself while waiting for another chance at adventure!

See Related: How to Maximize the Amex Platinum Travel Credit

Different Types of Credit Cards with Airport Lounge Access

Person Holding Different Credit Cards

There are many different types of credit cards out there, but one of the most unique is one that offers access to airport lounges. These cards are becoming more and more popular as they provide a wide range of benefits for frequent travelers.

The first thing you should know about these cards is that they are not all created equal. Some will offer you access to certain lounges, while others will give you access to a set of lounge networks. Some cards will even provide you with access to multiple networks so that you can choose the best option depending on where you’re traveling to or from.

So, here are the different types of credit cards that offer lounge access.

Travel Credit Cards

Those who frequently fly or take a few business trips throughout the year can benefit from a card with lounge access benefits. For instance, American Express Business Platinum Card and Centurion Lounge cards provide access to over 1,000 lounges around the world.

With these cards, you can access lounges in airports for free and receive discounted rates on their food and drinks.

At some locations, you may even have the opportunity to shower or take a nap in order to feel refreshed just before your flight.

First Class International Flights

For those who are able to fly first class, you may also receive access to airport lounges as part of your ticket. For instance, Etihad Airways has partnered with American Express and other credit cards to provide lounge access to Emirates’ Diamond and Platinum customers.

With this type of card, you will also receive priority check-in and boarding at the airport.

Business Credit Cards

The benefits of airport lounge access are even more remarkable for those who travel for business. For instance, when traveling on business, it is extremely important to arrive at the airport feeling refreshed and relaxed so that you can give your best performance when meeting with clients or negotiating deals.

With cards like The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN, business owners can gain access to hundreds of lounges and enjoy benefits such as complimentary drinks and snacks.

A Credit Card with Free Lounge Access and No Annual Fee

Don’t let the lack of an annual fee keep you from getting lounge access. The right credit card can get you into a club, airport, or other venues where you can enjoy free food, drinks, and more.

The feature of airport lounge access is included in many no annual fee credit cards. These cards do not charge a yearly amount to customers but still provide other great benefits.

See Related: Priority Pass Review: Is It Worth the Price?

What are the Best Travel Credit Cards with Lounge Access?

Credit cards that provide complimentary airport lounge access are a great way to have a break from the airport. But not all credit cards offer this kind of perk, so it’s important to check with your credit card issuers to see if you qualify.

Some common credit cards that do offer lounge access include American Express Platinum Card, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, and Visa Signature Black Card.

But before you start using your credit card for free lounge access, you should call the number on the back of your card and verify that it does, in fact, provide this benefit. You also need to make sure that the airport where you’re going offers a complimentary lounge-access program!

The specific details about how to use your particular card will vary depending on whether or not it provides lounge access. But in general, when you arrive at a participating airport, visit a designated counter and inform them that you want to use your card for complimentary lounge access.

They’ll then swipe your card through an automated kiosk and print out a voucher for one day of complimentary entrance into the airport’s VIP terminal.

Once inside, simply present your voucher at any available entrance and enjoy!

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months

Annual fee: $0

The Amex EveryDay Preferred features a wide range of bonus categories for common household purchases like groceries and gas, and it doesn’t charge a hefty yearly fee. In addition, it allows you to potentially earn more than 1 point per dollar on general spending thanks to a 50% points bonus you gain when you make 30 transactions or more in a billing period.

This card offers many features at no cost to the user, including airport lounge access. This is great for users who do not want to pay a yearly fee but still receive many other benefits.

Amex Platinum Business Platinum Card

Silver Card of American Express Platinum Credit Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 120,000 membership rewards in your first six months of card membership

Annual fee: $695

The American Express Business Platinum Card includes credit for services like airline, uber cash, CLEAR – a biometric ID verification for security, lower fares from their International, Global Entry, or TSA Precheck, hotels and resorts programs that can help you gain points when you avail them, credits for booking from American Travel Express’ The Hotel Collection, Platinum Travel Service, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status, Premium Car Rental Status, and so much more. 

This card also comes with lounge access as well as other perks such as car rental discounts and hotel upgrades. Also included are features like travel insurance, emergency assistance services, and travel credits.

In addition, the standard rewards rate for flights and hotels booked through AmexTravel.com is 5X membership rewards points.

See Related: How To Book Flights With Longer Layovers

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Blue Chase Sapphire Preferred  Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 60,000 after spending $4,000 dollars in your first three months of card membership

Annual fee: $95

Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular credit cards that provide airport lounge access. If you’re a frequent traveler, Chase’s airport lounge access can be worth it for you.

For travel benefits, they cover different types of insurance for trip cancellations, baggage delays, trip delays, and travel and emergency assistance services. Using Chase Sapphire Preferred, cardholders are eligible to visit Priority Pass Lounges based on where they travel.

This means that if you fly internationally or if you have domestic flights in your ticket itinerary, you’ll have the opportunity to use your credit card with Priority Pass Lounges. It doesn’t matter whether your flight departs from an international terminal or not – as long as it’s in your itinerary, then you’re eligible to take advantage of their lounge access.

And that’s not all. Frequent travelers can really make the most of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program, which can help you get even better deals on flights and hotels.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: Spend $4,000 on eligible purchases during the first three months after account opening and receive 60,000 bonus points.

Annual Fee: $550

One of the perks of being a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder is free membership to Priority Pass Select. With a membership, you can visit any of the more than 1,000 lounges in more than 500 different cities around the world.

However, you need to remember that the big three U.S. airlines (American, Delta, and United) all have their lounges, which are not included in Priority Pass Select.

Aside from having access to priority pass lounges, this card can also be used to redeem rewards in travel, dining, and hotel loyalty programs, attain rental car coverage and other reimbursements, and more.

That said, more than $550 in value can be reaped from the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s perks for you to consider this card a good investment. Thanks to the welcome bonus that covers the cost of membership, you won’t have any trouble doing so in your first year.

See Related: Do You Need a Good Credit Score for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

American Express Business Gold Card

Hand Holding a Gold American Express Card i

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 80,000 membership reward points after spending $10,000 in your first three months of card membership

Annual fee: $295

The American Express Business Gold Card is one of the best credit cards with access to lounges in airports. With this card, you’ll have access to over 1,000 lounges in over 700 cities around the world.

But how do you use your Amex Business Gold Card?

If you are a cardholder with Amex Business Gold Cards, then first head to amex.com/lounge, where you’ll be able to find all of the information you need to get into lounges.

You can check out locations and hours and review the different amenities offered at each location before booking your lounge space online or through the mobile app.

See Related: How to Earn Miles Without a Credit Card

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage after spending $5,000 in your first three months of card membership

Annual fee: $450

With the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you can have multiple benefits. You can have access to the Admirals Club with immediate family members of up to two guests. Having this benefit can save you a whopping $650 for the membership.

A few more perks can be redeemed with this card. For travel, you have prioritization when it comes to boarding on American Airlines, airport screening, free checked bag along with your eight friends on the same reservation, and 25% discounts on food and drinks at American Airlines.

For mileage benefits, you can earn miles just by simply purchasing products (tickets are obviously best) from American Airlines or your other weekly or daily necessities. You may also earn 10,000 loyalty points when you have reached $40,000 within the period of your qualifying status year. 

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points if you spend $2000 dollars in your first three months of card membership

Annual fee: $0 in your first year, and then $95 onwards

For Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, there is currently an offer to have your annual free be removed on your first year until October 26, 2022.

To earn points, you only have to book and purchase from hotels and resorts with Hilton, dining out, groceries (in the US), gas, and other eligible purchases.

You may also relish other benefits such as; a weekend night, getting more than 1,200 places of lounge access, slashed foreign transaction fees, car rental loss and damage insurance, global assist hotline, fraud protection, and so much more. You also have common benefits such as shopping, entertainment, and events. 

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 150,000 Hilton Honors points if you spend $4,000 in your first three months of card membership

Annual fee: $450

Just like the above Hilton Honors Card, this Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has almost the same benefits. Yet, this card has a different qualification for gaining bonus points.

With similar mechanics wherein you can gain a bonus from booking hotels and resorts with Hilton, you can also earn accumulated points from select travels and car rentals.

It may not include the same benefit as the groceries and gas from Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, but the points that you can get from dining include takeout and delivery.

There are also perks like $250 airline free credit in a year, $100 property credit, the airport lounge, the slashed foreign transaction fee, and car rental insurance. This card also includes exclusive concierge assistance that can help you with restaurants and tickets for future events that you would like to go to.

See Related:

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $3,000 in your first three months.

Annual fee: $550

With a lot of travel benefits, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card allows you to have hassle-free travel, as well as one of the most relaxing flights you can have.

From the granted access to The Centurion Lounge and Delta Sky Club, this could be one of the cards you should look for when you are looking for something that will provide you with airport lounge access.

With their multiple benefits, just upgrades for your card membership and earning miles from your daily to monthly purchases, this card will help you with miles benefits that could lead to fare discounts or even free flights

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 60,000 bonus miles and 10,00 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $4,000 in your first three months of card membership

Annual fee: $550 

If you’re a frequent Delta flyer and are interested in achieving Medallion elite status as quickly as possible through credit card spending, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card would be a fantastic choice.

Like the benefits from Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card gives you complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge and Escape Lounge. It has a one-time pass in the Delta Sky Club.

Additional benefits like removing transaction fees from international purchases, first checked bag free, priority boarding, and complimentary upgrades. The high annual fee can be reasonable if you use your card correctly by purchasing directly from Delta and other eligible purchases that can earn you credit points. 

United Club Infinite Card

United Club Infinite Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points: 80,000 bonus miles on valid purchases after spending $5,000 in your first three months of card membership

Annual fee: $525

This United Club Infinite Card is the best card for you if you want to travel in a luxurious manner. Here, you can also earn 80,000 bonus miles on valid purchases, as well as access to United Club lounges. You can enjoy multiple benefits that add a deluxe experience to your travel by paying the high annual fee. You can choose multiple mechanics if you want to earn miles that can give you free flights. 

You can earn two to four miles just by spending on inflight perks, dining, and other eligible purchases or miscellaneous spending when you are traveling. This includes fares, car rentals, hotel accommodations, resorts, and so much more. 

With benefits like priority check-ins, seat upgrades, removed foreign transaction fees, complimentary dash pass, and so much more discounts, this card is really worth its price. Additional perks include different types of insurance essential to travel and extended warranty protection. 

See Related: Do You Need a Good Credit Score for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points:  75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in your first three months

Annual fee: $95

Booking your rental cars and hotels via Capital One Travel can easily give you points that you can use to redeem miles on any airline. You may also receive a travel credit of up to $100 and two visits to Capital One Lounges per year – along with their Partner Lounge Network.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card simplifies things by offering 2 points per dollar spent on all transactions instead of the 1 point per dollar offered by other airline-branded credit cards. When you use Capital One Travel to make hotel and vehicle rental reservations, you’ll get 5 miles for every dollar spent and 2 miles per dollar spent on anything else.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points:  75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in your first three months

Annual fee: $395

Applying the same signing-up bonus from Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, this one has a lot more other benefits. 

While it has a high annual fee, you can earn higher points from hotel bookings and car rentals via Capital One Travel and flight booking and other purchases – there are other premium benefits when you reach your first anniversary. 

Aside from that, unlike the airport lounge access for Capital One Venture Rewards Card, your visits from this card are unlimited. While the other can be used if you are an occasional traveler, this one is perfect if you jump from one place to another frequently. 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points:  150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $5,000 in your first three months

Annual fee: $650

In addition to the 150,000 bonus points on your first three months with valid purchases, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers a lot of travel perks that you can use in the future. 

You can also accumulate credit points from hotel booking points with Marriott Bonvoy from your flights, restaurants worldwide, and other purchases. From travel benefits to amazing free nights, the $650 annual can be worth it if you’re a frequent traveler. 

You can enjoy travel benefits like a surcharge for international purchases, a global assist hotline, car rental loss and damage, trip cancellation, and interruption insurance. Plus, you can also get trip delay insurance and Priority Pass Select membership, which will allow you to access more than 1,200 lounges even with economy class flights. 

Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points:  80,000 bonus miles on valid purchases

Annual fee: $89

If you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee, you will receive 80,000 award miles. There will not be any foreign fees for international purchases, so money can be saved while you earn points from your services.

Also, for just $89 a year, you can enjoy special benefits like two complimentary vouchers to the Lufthansa business lounge.

With that, having a Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® has beneficial rewards even with just a minimal annual fee.

See Related: Private Label vs Co Branded Credit Cards: What Is The Difference?

HSBC Elite Credit Card

HSBC Elite Credit Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points:  50,000 rewards bonus that’s worth $750 airfare after spending $4,000 in your first three months

Annual fee: $395

The $395 annual fee on an HSBC Elite credit card may mean that you have to spend a lot to maximize your benefits – but this could also mean that the more you pay, the greater you save. 

Starting with their 50,000 rewards bonus points worth $750 in airfare, to their multiple mechanics for earning points, and removed foreign transaction fees, the annual fee you paid will not go to waste. 

Their travel benefits also include $400 travel credits, unlimited lounge access to more than a thousand LoungeKeys (a lounge network), Mastercard travel rewards, and they also have rewards for miles. This also includes redeemable points that can give you access to parks and sports events, a luxury gift, and so much more. 

UnitedSM Explorer Card

UnitedSM Explorer Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points:  50,000 bonus miles after $3,000 of eligible purchases. 

Annual fee: $0 on your first year, then $95 onwards

After eligible purchases on your first three months as a member, you can receive a 50,000 bonus mile. Like any other travel credit card, you may earn credit points from your hotel bookings, dining, and other eligible purchases with a UnitedSM Explorer Card

They also have a MileagePlus program benefits where you can earn up to 1,000 Premier qualifying points – wherein the MileagePlus miles don’t expire.

In your first year, the annual fee will be waived, and then it will be $95 later on. You can be at ease since this card offers insurance for trip cancellations, interruptions, and more that might affect your travel experience. Lastly, you can have two United Club one-passes every year. 

US Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

US Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Welcome Gift or Bonus Points:  50,000 bonus points worth of travel after spending $4,500 in your first ninety days

Annual fee: $400

If you are for security and luxury, this is a great card for you. You can experience luxury hotels and airport lounges from this card with their 12-month Priority Pass Select access. 

Whenever you are traveling, one of your worries is your home – US Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card can provide you with peaceful travels by monitoring fraudulent activities that might affect you, your home, and emergency evacuation. With their word class service, their Visa Infinite Concierge will also help you with all of your concerns. 

See RelatedHow to Earn Miles Without a Credit Card

The Best Airport Lounges

For a disclaimer, not all airport lounges are the same. Some can have the name brand, but the convenience and comfortability will still depend on your location since some lounges’ amenities can vary as well. 

Delta Sky Club

First, the Delta Sky Club is located in Atlanta. Its vast space of 25,000 square feet makes it seem like you can never experience being too crowded here, unlike the terminal. 

The Delta Sky Club is one of the nicest airport lounges, with an extensive buffet, alcoholic beverages, and comfortable seating where you don’t have to go on a treasure hunt to find an electrical outlet.

Every seat is well-spaced – some chairs are for waiting, and some seats even have round tables that you can use for laptops when you are on a business trip. There is also a pretty fast wi-fi that you can connect to while waiting for your flight. 

American Airlines Admirals Club

Another worth-the-price airport lounge is the American Airlines Admirals Club.  With the available seating, as well as the areas with computers, and charging stations, this lounge is very convenient when you are on a business trip and trying to work between your flights.

This is offered exclusively by American Express – one of the lounges that will give you the coziest experience. 

With 250 available seats in a 13,000 square feet capacity, it can accommodate a great number of visitors, and there are phone booths to take calls when you meet a client.

Unlimited access to food, coffee, and the most comfortable chairs is available here. Different cocktails and drinks can also be ordered in their bar section.

United Polaris Lounge

If you are looking for a fancy lounge, their airport lounge fits you perfectly. With so much space everywhere, you will not even feel it when it is peak hours. 

However, if you are looking for an extensive buffet, this is not a place for you. They don’t have that many selections from their buffet, but you can access their dining room and order something else. 

If you are a business traveler and you are looking for someplace to rest after a working day, this place has a place to nap and take a shower that can help you take the stress off your system. 

See Related: What is Customs at the Airport?

How do I Access my Airport Lounge with a Credit Card?

Aside from paying an annual fee on cards with lounge access when you are a frequent traveler, using your credit card points can be a good way to access the airport lounge. Finding the perfect travel credit card for you will definitely give you this access if you buy the right things, so make sure that you use your card to make other eligible purchases to gain credit points for airport lounges.

Some cards even give free fares and hotel bookings if you reach a certain point. The best way to know more about getting these perks is to understand your needs and do your research to stitch the information together.

Some cards automatically come with airport lounge access though some of them may have an expensive annual fee since it is part of their package.

Which are the Best Credit Cards for Travel and Airport Lounge Access?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Different credit cards offer different lounge access privileges, so it’s important to compare the options and choose the card that best suits your needs.

Earning points to get this access will vary depending on the credit card that you will use. Credit cards may require much more shopping, hotel booking, flights, and car rentals. The points you can accumulate will also vary depending on how you earn them. 

For instance, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card gives 12 points for spending on their hotels and resorts, while 14 points for the same activity from Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. It will always be different for every card.

Some cards only require a lot of shopping or dining, and some credit cards look for miles. So when getting a travel credit card, you have to make sure what type of activity you spend your money on the most for you to gain these points and use them to redeem your perks.

Some of the best credit cards for airport lounge access include the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, The Platinum Card® from American Express (through their Airport Lounge Club), and the United MileagePlus® ClubSM membership.

So, if you’re looking for a credit card that will give you access to airport lounges, be sure to compare these options and choose the one that’s right for you.

Other ways to get Airport Lounge Access

Before jumping into having access to an airport lounge, the number one thing you have to consider is how frequently you are going to use it. Why? Some lounges are expensive and are paid yearly for the membership, so if you are only going to use them once, it could be a waste of money. 

There are a few ways to access a lounge, and below is the list of things you can do to have one. 

Pay for Lounge Membership

There are a lot of airlines that offer airport lounges, but you have to establish which airport you are going to travel with often to make sure that you can maximize to best out of it. Assure that you will not be getting a yearly membership for a certain airline if you are only going to use it once or twice unless you are really willing to spend so much money.

Book a Business or First Class Trip

Given how expensive it is to fly in these classes, you can surely have access to the lounge during your flight. If you are not a frequent explorer who just wants to travel once or twice a year and just wants a comfortable and great experience, this is one of the best choices for you.

Day Pass

The next option for having access to the lounge is buying a day pass. If ever you got into a situation wherein you just had a tiring day and really cannot take the stress and cramped areas in the terminal, this could be one of your options. 

Also, just like booking a business or first-class trip, this is one of the choices that you might want to consider when you are only going to travel once or twice. 

Being in Military Service

If you are in the military, you can also use airport lounges. There are a few requirements, such as traveling in your uniform and bringing your military ID. Some of the airlines that allow these are Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and America Airlines.

See Related: Best Day to Book Flights: Is Tuesday the Cheapest?

How will you know if the airport lounge is worth the expense?

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know how much time and money can be saved by getting access to airport lounges. Airport lounges are a great place to relax before your long flight or take a break from the hustle and bustle of the terminal.

Despite the brand or company of the airport lounge, it will always depend on how much you spend and the location of where you are going, so you always have to research to avoid waste of payment.

That’s why if you are not traveling a lot and will probably not jump from one lounge to another from time to time, only use day passes and make the most out of it.

Need a Ride?

In some cases, the lounge will have a shuttle going back and forth between it and the airport. The price of this ride is not included in your lounge access fee.

In other cases, there might be free shuttles as well as paid ones, so make sure you find out about this important detail before committing to a specific lounge.

Another option is to book a ride back home before you even leave the airport. Just make sure you read all the fine prints of any deal. Some providers might charge extra for airport pickups (with others, it’s included), so do your research.

See RelatedFree Travel and Credit Card Spreadsheet Template

FAQ

Which credit cards offer unlimited lounge access?

Some of the most popular and well-known cards come with airport lounge access perks, including The Platinum Card® from American Express (through their Airport Lounge Club), Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, J.P. Morgan Priority™ Select program, and United MileagePlus® ClubSM membership.

How much does a travel credit card cost?

The only thing you need to pay for when having a credit card is the annual fee.  However, to be able to get perks like airport lounges access, travel points, miles benefits, fare discounts, or free upgrades will only come to you when you spend enough money to accumulate points – so it will be a bit costly if you really want to maximize these things, or experience the cash back. 

Can I get airport lounge access for free?

Yes. To be straightforward, one of the best ways to get access to the lounge for free is by booking a business class or a first-class trip.

These classes will always give you access to the lounge.  Also, some airlines give free access when you have reached a certain number of flights in a year – kind of like a complimentary pass for people who fly a lot with the same airline multiple times. 

How many hours can we stay in the airport lounge?

You can usually spend a few hours in an airport lounge either before or after your flight. Some establishments welcome visitors for longer than the standard 5-hour limit. Time limits are often ignored, though.

Is there a limit on Priority Pass lounge visits?

For Priority Pass lounge visits, the limitations will depend on your membership, but some do not have a high annual fee. For the basic, the $99 annual fee, you will still have to pay $32 per visit; for the $299 annual fee, you can have up to 10 free visits and pay $32 as well. And if you go more than that, the $429 annual fee will give you unlimited access to the Priority Pass lounge per year. 

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