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6 Credit Cards That Come With Airport Lounge Access

Dec. 16, 2019
Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card
  • United℠ Explorer Card

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our best credit cards page for updated offers.

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 credit cards offer it as a perk. Here are some cards that can get you into airport club lounges:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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.

» Learn more: American Express Platinum review: Luxury isn’t cheap

You’ll get into more than 1,200 lounges in 130 countries, including the Centurion Lounge, the International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club, Escape Lounges, Plaza Premium and Priority Pass lounges. 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 is $550, which equates to a little over $45 per month for access to free food, drinks and space to work. Terms apply.

With The Business Platinum Card® from American Express you will receive a few more rewards outside of the airport lounges for $595 annually, which is around $50 per month. 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.

» Learn more: Baffled by points and miles? Let the 80/20 rule guide you

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

For $550 per year, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders receive access to more than 1,000 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.

» Learn more: Chase Sapphire Reserve review: A first-class premium travel card

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

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.

» Learn more: Citi AAdvantage Executive review: Your key to the club

United Club℠ Infinite Card

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 $0 intro for the first year, then $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.

» Learn more: United Explorer: Richer rewards, perks you’ll actually use

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

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, along with two Delta Sky Club one-time passes. Terms apply.

Enjoy: Delta opened its first Sky Decks in Atlanta and at New York-JFK in 2016. 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.

» Learn more: Delta Reserve Credit Card: $450 annual fee, sky club access

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. Terms apply.

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.

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 2020, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
5 Priority Pass lounges that are worth a visit
5 credit card perks (and freebies) you may not know you have
Find the best travel credit card for you

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