7 Awesome Credit Cards With Airport Lounge Access

Adding credit cards with lounge access to your wallet can improve your overall flight experience.
Jun 14, 2022

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The coveted airport lounge: A place where the crowds disperse, comfortable seating is available, you don’t have to sit on the floor to charge your device and complimentary snacks and beverages are offered. As you step out of the loud and chaotic halls of an airport terminal, the relative quiet is the first thing that greets you.

Lounge entry comes at a price, but some of the best travel cards offer it as a perk. Here are some cards that can get you into airport club lounges.

Best travel credit cards with lounge access

1. The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express Platinum Credit Card
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With The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you receive access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection®. Terms apply.

You’ll get into more than 1,300 lounges in 130 countries, including the Centurion Lounge, the International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club, Escape Lounges, Plaza Premium and Priority Pass lounges. Enrollment required. Many of these lounges feature a premium bar, snacks, shower suites, power stations, Wi-Fi and large flat-screen TV’s.

Cardholders can bring up to two guests free of charge, though the exact guest policy depends on the lounge.

The annual fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is $695, which equates to about $58 per month for access to free food, drinks and space to work, in addition to the card's other benefits. Terms apply.

Enjoy: The Centurion Lounge at New York’s LaGuardia Airport is located between Concourse B and C. It features fresh seasonal fare created by Chef Cedric Vongerichten, one of Zagat’s top 30 under 30 chefs.

2. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
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For $550 per year, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders receive access to more than 1,300 airport lounges in 500 cities worldwide through Priority Pass Select.

You can bring in two guests at no charge. This Priority Pass Select membership works with third party airport lounges, so you may find a lounge with a spa and another with just snacks. Taking the card’s annual fee into account, it works out to $37.50 per month for access to airport lounges, as well as some restaurants.

Enjoy: Priority Pass has several lounges at London’s Gatwick airport. Club Aspire provides cocktails and Wi-Fi in the North Terminal’s Lounge Pavilion.

3. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card
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Access to American Airlines’ Admirals Club is included for those with a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®. Admirals Club membership can cost up to $650 per year, so the card’s $450 annual fee can be well worth it.

In addition to operating Admirals Club lounges, American partners with more than 60 lounges to expand its network.

Enjoy: Chicago-O'Hare airport features three Admirals Clubs. The club at Concourse H/K in Terminal 3 even offers showers and conference rooms.

4. United Club℠ Infinite Card

Chase United MileagePlus(R) Club Card Credit Card
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Holders of the United Club℠ Infinite Card receive United Club membership, including access to participating Star Alliance lounges around the world. United Club membership can cost up to $650 per year or 85,000 miles. The United Club℠ Infinite Card’s $525 annual fee is a cheaper alternative.

If you do not travel often enough to justify the annual fee in exchange for lounge access, the United℠ Explorer Card has a lower annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95. The card offers two one-time passes every year, which are valued at over $100. Restrictions apply.

Enjoy: Tokyo’s United Club at Satellite 3, Airside, features family rooms for some privacy and quiet when traveling with the kids.

5. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

American Express Delta Reserve Credit Card
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The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a solid lounge-access alternative. Cardholders get complimentary access to both the Delta Sky Club and American Express' Centurion Lounge network. Terms apply.

Enjoy: Some Delta lounges, like the one at LAX, have a Sky Deck. During warmer months, you can relax on an outdoor terrace. With runway views, sunshine and breezes, it’s a chance to feel less cooped up at the airport.

6. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

With the Priority Pass Select membership available through the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you and up to two guests receive free access to over 1,200 airport lounges. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

Hilton Honors members will enjoy more comfortable perks both as flyers and hoteliers with this credit card in their wallet.

7. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
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The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card includes unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at Capital One Lounges, 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges (including select Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses) and at 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges worldwide — all for a much lower annual fee than its competitors. The annual fee is $395.

The card turns also offers plenty of opportunities to earn bonus points, which can be redeemed through Capital One Travel or transferred to 15 different airline or hotel loyalty programs. The sign-up bonus is: 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.

The bottom line

For frequent flyers who make use of airport lounges often, paying a credit card annual fee in exchange for lounge access can be a win. But even if you don't travel every week, the various perks offered by these credit cards can help you get (almost) free flights and hotels. If travel rewards are important to you, picking a rewards card that includes complimentary lounge access can be smart.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet. To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

partner programs

IHG® One Rewards
Get exclusive benefits and earn points faster
World of Hyatt
Enjoy free nights, member rates and more
Alaska Mileage Plan
Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
IHG® Rewards Program

IHG® One Rewards

Wherever you go, however you stay, IHG One Rewards offers rewards for every one.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

Highlights:
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.
Highlights
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt

With the World of Hyatt loyalty program, enjoy a world of rewards designed to revolve around you.

on Hyatt's website

Highlights:
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.
Highlights
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.

on Hyatt's website

logo image

Alaska Mileage Plan

Mileage Plan is Alaska's loyalty program for anyone who loves to travel and is free to join!

on Alaska's website

Highlights:
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend
Highlights
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend

on Alaska's website

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