girl airport lounge

Credit cards with free airport lounge access

Enjoy access to airport lounges around the world for free with your credit card.

Many premium credit cards provide complimentary access to airport lounges, giving you the opportunity to relax between flights and enjoy premium services without paying an entry fee. Depending on the card and the lounge, you may even be able to share your access with a guest or family members travelling with you.

Here, you can compare and apply for credit cards that offer complimentary airport lounge entry. You can also look at the common requirements you need to meet to get airport lounge access with your card, discover popular lounges and consider the pros and cons so you can find the right card for your needs.

Qantas Money Credit Card Offer

Qantas Premier Platinum

Earn 70,000 + 30,000
bonus Qantas Points
Discounted annual fee of $149 for the first year

Offer ends 28 February 2019

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Qantas Money Credit Card Offer

Receive 70,000 bonus Qantas points when you meet the spend criteria and another 30,000 after the first year. Plus, enjoy a reduced first year annual fee and premium travel perks.

  • $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter).
  • 19.99% p.a. on purchases
  • Cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • Minimum income requirement of $35,000 p.a.
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Compare credit cards with free airport lounge access

Rates last updated December 14th, 2018
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent Complimentary Travel Insurance Annual fee Minimum Income Product Description
Qantas Premier Platinum
100,000 bonus points
1
Yes
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Get 70,000 bonus Qantas points when you meet the spend criteria and 30,000 more when you pay the second year's annual fee (100,000 total).
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
0.75
Yes
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 90 days and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
100,000 bonus points
2
Yes
$395 p.a.
$65,000
Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
40,000 bonus points
1.5
Yes
$225 p.a.
$35,000
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle - Qantas
120,000 bonus points
1.25
0.75
Yes
$499 p.a.
$65,000
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature - Online Offer
100,000 bonus points
1.5
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Get 100,000 bonus Amplify Points when you apply online and spend $4,000 within 90 days. Plus, $0 first year annual fee. Ends 17 December 2018.
Westpac Altitude Black - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
0.75
Yes
$300 p.a.
$75,000
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, 2 yearly Qantas Club lounge invitations.
BankSA Amplify Signature - Online Offer
100,000 bonus points
1.5
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 100,000 bonus Amplify Points when you apply online and spend $4,000 within 90 days plus, $0 first year annual fee. Ends 17 December 2018.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle
120,000 bonus points
3
1.25
Yes
$449 p.a.
$65,000
Up to 120,000 bonus Altitude Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
60,000 bonus points
1
Yes
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
$75,000
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles, pay half the annual fee for the first year and indulge in curated local and global experiences.
Citi Signature Qantas Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
0.5
Yes
$248 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($444 p.a. thereafter)
$75,000
Receive 50,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 yearly airport lounge visits and complimentary travel insurance. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
50,000 bonus points
0.5
Yes
$99 p.a.
Earn 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent.
BankSA Amplify Signature - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
0.75
Yes
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 90 days. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee and lounge passes.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
50,000 bonus points
0.5
Yes
$99 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Qantas or Amplify Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent.

Compare up to 4 providers

Top 5* credit cards with free airport lounge access

Compare the airline lounge options and annual fees offered on these five, premium credit cards.

  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card – Offers you two complimentary Qantas Club Lounge invitations every year and unlimited access to Véloce airport lounges worldwide, with an annual fee of $425 p.a.
  • American Express Qantas Ultimate Card – This card offers two Qantas Club Lounge invitations annually (after your first eligible spend) and two entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney and Melbourne airports each year, with a $450 annual fee.
  • Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card – Enjoy a Priority Pass membership with two complimentary lounge visits per year to over 950 lounges worldwide. This card's annual fee is $248 in the first year ($444 p.a. thereafter).
  • American Express Explorer Credit Card – This card offers two complimentary passes to the American Express Lounge in Sydney or Melbourne each year and has a $395 p.a. annual fee.
  • Westpac Altitude Black – This card includes two complimentary Priority Pass lounge passes each year and a $250 p.a. annual fee.

How do credit cards with free airport lounge access work?

woman-chilling-on-an-airportlounge-chair

Most cards that offer complimentary airport lounge access give you a limited number of single-use passes you can use each year you have the card. There are also a few cards that provide lounge access on an ongoing basis through programs such as LoungeKey or loce.

Depending on the card and the type of airport lounge access available, you may be able to invite a guest or get access for a supplementary cardholder. In most cases, you also need to meet a set of requirements to enjoy airport lounge access through your credit card, such as spending a certain amount, keeping your account in good standing or requesting the passes directly through your card provider.

How can I get airport lounge access with a credit card?

The first step is to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for this credit card perk. While these can vary based on the provider and the airport lounge, some of the most common conditions include:

  • Spending requirement. You may need to make an eligible purchase or spend a specific amount of money on your credit card each year to be eligible for complimentary airport lounge passes. For example, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card offers two complimentary Virgin Australia domestic airport lounge passes when you use it to spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Invitation requests. With some credit cards, you may need to contact the bank or provider and request the lounge invitations before they are issued in your name. The invitations will then be emailed or posted to you once you have met this requirement, and any other conditions that may apply to your card.
  • Program enrolment. Credit cards that offer airport lounge access through a member-based service such as Priority Pass may require you to enrol in that program to receive your complimentary passes or access.
  • Valid ticket. Most airport lounges require all guests to have a valid ticket for a flight departing that day.
  • Dress code. Lounges often have dress code requirements, such as smart casual dress and no shorts.

How do I use my card to get lounge access at the airport?

Once you have met the requirements listed by your credit card, you'll be able to access eligible airport lounges by either presenting your invitations or showing your credit card to lounge staff, along with a valid boarding pass. If you want to bring a guest or family members into the lounge, the staff will then advise you of any charges that may apply for your companion/s.

How to compare credit cards with free airport lounge passes

To get the most value from your credit card with free airport lounge access, you will need to compare the features of each option including:

  • Annual fee. Credit cards with complimentary lounge passes are usually platinum or frequent flyer cards with high annual fees. Depending on the card, these can cost hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars per year. Make sure the extra features including the lounge passes, frequent flyer program and complimentary insurance can help justify this cost. You may get lucky and find one that waives the fee for the first year, which could make it more enticing to sign up.
  • Rates. Depending on the way you plan to use the credit card, interest rates will make a big difference in the card's value. The purchase rate, cash advance rate and balance transfer rate may all differ in one card, so you will need a good idea of how you plan to use it before you start making comparisons. For example, if you are using it to earn points towards flights but don’t plan on carrying a balance, look for low purchase rates with extended interest-free days.
  • The number of lounges you can access. This feature is dependent on the airline and network that the card is working with. A Qantas cardholder for example will have access to close to 20 VIP lounges in Australia, while Rex Lounge and Virgin Lounge have three and six respectively. A priority pass membership allows access to approximately 600 airport lounges, and could be the best choice for travellers who always go with the airline that has the lowest price.
  • The rewards program or airline provider. Many of the credit cards with airport lounge access are a part of a rewards program that could be tied with a specific airline. If you favour one airline over another, this is definitely worth considering. Another thing to look for is whether or not your exclusive lounge access is contingent on the number of points you have earned.
  • Lounge perks. Airport lounges use various perks to please their first class passengers and frequent flyers. This could be as elaborate as massage tables in a garden-like setting like in the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney, or Wi-Fi access, showers and free wine available in Virgin Airline Lounges. The credit card you choose will determine the perks you are entitled to when waiting on flights.
  • Other benefits. See what else the card is offering outside of the complimentary access to airport lounges. You could find some that have money-saving balance transfer offers if you are carrying a lot of debt, or bonus rewards points if you are trying for free tickets on your next holiday.

What types of airport lounges can I access with a credit card?

The design and features of airport lounges vary depending on the company or airlines that operate them. But if you've never set foot in a lounge and want to know what they offer, here are some of the locations you could gain access to with an eligible credit card:

Virgin Australia Lounges (domestic)

Virgin Australia Lounge

Virgin Australia has 10 domestic airport lounges in locations including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Each lounge offers unique design elements and services, with popular features including complimentary Wi-Fi, meeting rooms and complimentary food and beverages. Credit cards that offer complimentary access include the American Express Platinum, the American Express Velocity Platinum, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures and the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer. You can also enjoy complimentary access as a Velocity Gold or Platinum member, a business class guest or for a fee of $65 when you have a valid Virgin Australia fare. Note specific lounge terms and conditions apply.

Compare Virgin Australia Velocity credit card features and benefits

Priority Pass Lounges

Europort Skyview Lounge

EuroAirport Skyview Lounge (Basel-Mulhouse Airport) – available with Priority Pass.

Priority Pass is a subscription-based service that provides members with access to over 800 lounges around the world. Depending on the level of membership, you can get unlimited access at no extra cost, a fixed number of free passes per year, or entry for a reduced fee. Credit cards that provide Priority Pass access and/or membership include the Citi Prestige, the Citi Rewards Signature Credit Card, the St.George Amplify Signature and the Westpac Altitude Black. You can also pay for a membership, with fees ranging from US$99 per year to US$399 per year.

Qantas Club Lounge at Sydney Airport

Qantas Lounge

This premium Qantas Lounge at Sydney Airport has a reputation as one of the top lounges in the world. It includes sweeping views of Sydney Airport, a premium restaurant, spa treatments and complimentary business and leisure services. Several credit cards provide complimentary access to the Qantas Lounge when you're booked on an eligible flight, including the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black, the Qantas American Express Premium and the Westpac Altitude Black (when you choose Altitude Qantas Rewards). You can also enjoy complimentary Qantas Lounge access when you have an eligible first class or business class fare with Qantas, Jetstar (Business Max only), if you're a Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold, Platinum or Platinum One member, a Qantas Club member, or have matching status with a partner airline program including Emirates Skywards and oneworld alliance.

American Express Lounges (domestic)

amex lounge

Many high-tier American Express credit cards come with complimentary passes to the American Express lounges. There are currently two Amex lounges, located at the Terminal 1 departures at Sydney International Airport and T2 international terminal at Melbourne Airport. When you visit an American Express lounge, you can treat yourself to complimentary dining and snacks which often includes buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also order soft drink, cocktails, wine, beer and barista-made coffee from the bar. Both of the lounges are well equipped with individual seats, lounges and bench-style tables. However, adequate seating may be harder to find if you're travelling with family or several colleagues. Whether you need to do some work or just want to scroll through your feed, you can look forward to complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and device charging points in both lounges.

Want to know what it's really like to visit an American Express lounge? Check out our review of the Sydney lounge and the Melbourne lounge for more.

Check out the best airport lounges in the world

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What are the pros and cons of a credit card with airport lounge access?

Pros

  • A relaxed environment. An exclusive airport lounge takes you out of the chaos that is typically found in an airport waiting area.
  • Refreshments and meals. Enjoy free drinks and snacks while waiting to be called for your flight, as well as meals and buffet options (depending on your flight time).
  • Convenience. With cozy chairs, tables and work stations, you can spend your time wisely by taking advantage of free Wi-Fi to catch up on work, or your social media status.
  • Other benefits. Since the majority of these cards are part of a rewards program, using them will earn you points that can later be redeemed for airfare, merchandise and more.

Cons

  • Restrictions. In some cases, you might be restricted to which amenities are available to you inside the airport lounge.
  • Card fees. As a result of the benefits and perks that come with these cards, you will find that the annual fees are higher than with regular credit cards.
  • Accessibility. With some of these cards, you will find that the lounge you have free access to is not available at certain airports.
  • Limitations. Complimentary passes are usually offered in pairs. If you are travelling with a large group, you might find that not everyone will be able to wait with you inside the lounge.

Airport lounge access is just one feature you'll get on a credit card. So, as well as looking at the type of lounge access you'll get, make sure you compare the card's other features and costs to decide if it's worth it for you.

Pictures: Shutterstock

Frequently asked questions about airport lounge access

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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22 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KenOctober 16, 2018

    I have a Jetstar platinum card, does this cover travel insurance when trips booked on the card? Specifically, does it cover rental car excess in case of an accident?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynOctober 16, 2018Staff

      Hello Ken,

      Thank you for your comment.

      To be eligible for the complimentary insurance benefits, you must first purchase and pay for the full amount of a Trip using the Jetstar Platinum MasterCard Credit Card Account. Yes, it will cover you if you become legally liable to pay any Collision Excess in respect of loss or damage to a Hire Car during the rental period stipulated in the Vehicle Rental Agreement. They will reimburse you any Collision Excess that you have paid under that Vehicle Rental Agreement(s) up to $5,000. This is with a condition, so it’s best to check the Jetstar Platinum MasterCard Credit Card Insurance PDF found on their website.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  2. Default Gravatar
    WinsSeptember 12, 2018

    Currently I have a Westpac Altitude Black Reward card. I am the primary card holder and my wife is having the supplementary card . Will she get the complementary Priority Pass membership ?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Wins,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Upon checking, the two complimentary airport lounge visits can only be used by the primary cardholder. If you’re travelling with your wife,
      she can join you in the lounge by paying a fee which is US$27 (at the time of this writing). This will be charged directly to your card.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    GopalakrishnanJuly 1, 2018

    Can I use my SBI debit card to access the air port lounge at Kuala Lumpur lon my way to Chennai India?

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiJuly 3, 2018Staff

      Hi Gopalakrishnan,

      Thanks for contacting finder.

      Unfortunately, your SBI debit card doesn’t have access to the KLIA airport.

      Hope this clarifies!

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  4. Default Gravatar
    BarbaraJune 22, 2018

    What is the best credit card in 2018 to maximize your Singapore Airlines points, now that the banks don’t offer Amex Cards any more?

    • Default Gravatar
      AshJune 22, 2018

      Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder!

      You may check this page for the list of Credit Cards that lets you earn points for the Krisflyer Rewards Program. In most of the cards, you will need to convert the rewards points to Velocity Frequent Flyer then transfer to Krisflyer. Before applying to a certain card, you may need to ensure that you have met their eligibility requirements then click on the green “Go to site” button to be redirected to the provider’s site and submit your application.

      It also has a guideline on how you can earn KrisFlyer miles and bonus points for it.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  5. Default Gravatar
    JulieMarch 29, 2018

    Can I take a friend into the Sydney lounge with my AMEX platinum velocity card next month. I have only had it since Jan 2018

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMarch 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Julie!

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder.

      Generally, they do not allow access to the Sydney lounge other than the name on the pass and on the boarding pass. It must usually be the same person.

      As for the AMEX Platinum Velocity card, this card offers two single entry passes to Virgin Australia lounges each year that can be used at selected domestic airports. You’ll also receive two complimentary entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport or Melbourne International Airport per year. For as long as you, the cardholder is present, you can avail of the two entry passes to the lounge. You may want to call Sydney airport lounge to confirm this.

      Please note that we’re a product comparison website. We provide general information on products to assist you in your buying decision process hence we cannot recommend product / service that is rightfully fit for you.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks and Best regards,

      Nikki

  6. Default Gravatar
    RudiNovember 3, 2017

    Can I transfer my points from an CBA MasterCard or American Express card to a new Qantas MasterCard if I change to it?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanNovember 3, 2017

      Hi Rudi,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Are you referring to CommBank Awards points?

      If yes, CommBank Awards points need to be converted to Qantas points first as these points cannot be transferred to non-CommBank Awards Account. Take note that you must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn and redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

      These points usually get to your Qantas Frequent Flyer Account after three days of being redeemed. As soon as it gets there, you may claim those points through Flight Centre to avoid losing them should you cancel the old card.

      You may refer to Terms and Conditions of the Commonwealth Awards Program and/or Qantas Frequent Flyer Programme for more information.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    jamesJuly 16, 2017

    I need a frequent flyer membership as follows
    min. 1 point per $ spent
    Min or no annual fee
    free access to qantas or virgin lounge
    interest rates not a problem

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleJuly 17, 2017

      Hi James,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You may refer to this page for options that may suit your needs. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  8. Default Gravatar
    LeeJune 1, 2017

    I have a NAB Qantas c/c do they offer free lounge access and what is there point per $ spend?

    • finder Customer Care
      RenchJune 1, 2017Staff

      Hi Lee,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.com.au.

      NAB Qantas Plus Credit Card offers complimentary Qantas Frequent Flyer membership; however, it does not offer any complimentary passes to the Qantas Lounge. You may be interested in our complete guide to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Rench

  9. Default Gravatar
    September 21, 2016

    Currently a Velocity Red card member can I upgrade to higher grade to get access to Virgin Lounge when travelling through Melbourne Airport and what is the cost for both my wife and self with our Velocity membership Rad.

    • finder Customer Care
      MaySeptember 22, 2016Staff

      Hi Geoffrey,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Just to confirm, you’ve come through to finder.com.au, not actually Velocity.

      Velocity actually assesses memberships on a daily basis, to determine whether you are eligible for an upgrade to the next level of membership to be able to enjoy a range of membership benefits like access to the airport lounges. Virgin lounge access is actually available for Velocity Platinum or Gold members.

      So as soon as your Velocity status credit and eligible sector balances reach the required number to upgrade, you will automatically be upgraded to the next level at no cost. Eligible Sectors are the minimum amount of Virgin Australia-marketed flights that you need to take in order to upgrade. So the upgrade requirements are:

      Status Credits Required to Upgrade: Silver = 250; Gold = 500; Platinum = 1,000
      Eligible Sectors Required to Upgrade: Silver = 2; Gold = 4; Platinum = 8

      Cheers,
      May

  10. Default Gravatar
    CarolAugust 11, 2016

    Hi, I have an ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Credit Card with my husband as an additional cardholder. Can you please advise if we are eligible for complementary lounge passes. Thank you

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