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Credit cards with lounge access

A credit card with lounge access gives you a way to relax in style before your next flight – here's how to get it for free.

Name Bonus points Points per $ spent Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Qantas Premier Platinum
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
80,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$349 first year ($399 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Earn up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, save with a reduced first-year annual fee and 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
60,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
Westpac Altitude Black
Westpac Altitude Rewards
Bonus points
150,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$150 first year ($295 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Earn up to 150,000 bonus Altitude Rewards Points (100k when you spend $6,000 in the first 120 days and 50k in year 2).
St.George Amplify Signature
Amplify Rewards
Bonus points
150,000
Points per $ spent
1.5
Purchase rate p.a.
19.49%
Annual fee
$199 first year ($295 after)
Go to siteMore Info
150,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $675 in gift cards) when you spend $12,000 in the first 12 months. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
Qantas Business Rewards
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75k revenue. Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
Membership Rewards Gateway
Bonus points
75,000
Points per $ spent
2
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$149
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
60,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$375
Go to siteMore Info
Get 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus a return domestic flight each year.
American Express Platinum Card
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
Bonus points
150,000
Points per $ spent
2.25
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$1,450
Go to siteMore Info
Earn 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a $450 Travel Credit each year.
American Express Velocity Business Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$249
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Membership Rewards
Bonus points
50,000
Points per $ spent
2
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$395
Go to siteMore Info
Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
30,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$249
Go to siteMore Info
Get 30,000 bonus Qantas Points and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Platinum Business Card
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
Bonus points
200,000
Points per $ spent
2.25
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$1,750
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 200,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $8,000 in the first 3 months.
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What credit cards offer free lounge access?

Many premium frequent flyer and rewards credit cards offer you access to airport lounges, even if you're not flying in business class. This gives you a way to avoid crowds in the main terminal areas and relax with complimentary drinks, food, work spaces and other perks.

Depending on the credit card and the lounge, you could even bring a guest or family members travelling with you.

Finder's best credit cards with lounge access for 2023

These 3 credit cards have all been recognised in the 2023 Finder Credit Card Awards for their outstanding value from different features. And they all offer airport lounge access.

  • American Express Velocity Platinum Card:
    Offers 2 single-use Virgin Australia lounge passes and 2 complimentary entries to the Centurion Lounge at Sydney or Melbourne international airport each year and was named Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card – Velocity in the Finder Awards for both 2022 and 2023.
  • Bankwest More World Mastercard:
    Named the Best Rewards Credit Card for 2023, the Bankwest More World Mastercard offers 10 complimentary airport lounge passes per year at LoungeKey partner lounges.
  • Qantas Premier Credit Card:
    Offers 2 single-entry complimentary lounge invitations each year, which you can use at domestic Qantas Club lounges or at participating Qantas-operated International Business Lounges. It was also highly commended in Finder's Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card – Qantas category in 2023.

Learn more about the Finder Credit Card Awards 2023, including the methodology for each category.

VIDEO: How your credit card can give you access to airport lounges

How do credit cards with free airport lounge access work?

Most of these credit cards cards offer complimentary, single-use lounge passes that you can use each year.

There are also a few credit cards that offer ongoing lounge access through programs such as LoungeKey or Priority Pass. Sometimes these cards will offer a set number of free entries, then give you the option of paying for individual lounge visits.

How to get free airport lounge access with a credit card

Usually, you need to meet a few requirements to get airport lounge access through your credit card. These vary depending on the provider and the airport lounge, but some of the most common conditions include:

  • Spending requirement. For example, Qantas Club lounge invitations may be offered after you make a Qantas purchase with an eligible credit card.
  • Invitation requests. With some credit cards, you need to request the lounge invitations through your account or by contacting the credit card company.
  • Program enrolment. If you get a credit card with airport lounge access through Priority Pass or another lounge service, you'll typically need to enrol in that program to use the lounge benefit.
  • Valid ticket. You typically need to show your ticket for a flight departing on the same day and from the same airport terminal as the lounge you want to visit.
  • Dress code. Lounges have their own dress codes. Common requirements include smart casual dress and no slip-on shoes.

Credit cards with lounge access for a fee

Some credit cards that offer complimentary airport lounge passes also give you membership to a travel or airport lounge program. This includes Priority Pass, LoungeKey or Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass.

Membership to these programs gives you a way to visit participating lounges, or get other airport benefits, for a fee. So if you had used complimentary lounge passes, for example, and wanted lounge access for another trip, your membership would give you a range of options to choose from. Just keep in mind that the fees are set by the individual lounges or airport venues.

Steps to visit a lounge when you're at the airport

  1. Go to the participating lounge
  2. Present your credit card or single-use lounge passes
  3. Show your boarding pass to confirm your travel
  4. Pay any required fees (e.g. if entry is not complimentary or you have additional guests)

What if I'm travelling with family or friends?

If your credit card gives you single-use lounge passes, you could give them one pass and use the other for yourself. Or, if you have access through a program like LoungeKey, let the lounge staff know you're travelling with someone.

Depending on your access and the lounge, they could give your guest entry for free or for a fee. It does depend on the type of lounge access you have, so check the fine print for your card or contact the provider for exact details.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Calm and convenient space. An airport lounge gives you a way to avoid crowds in the main waiting areas. Most lounges also include comfortable chairs, dining areas and work stations. And some even offer showers.
  • Refreshments and meals. You can get free drinks and food while you're waiting for your flight, as well as entertainment such as Wi-Fi, TV or magazines.
  • Other benefits. Most credit cards with lounge access also offer rewards programs and other benefits such as complimentary insurance.

Cons

  • Restrictions. Depending on the card, you may be limited to visiting specific lounges. For example, domestic lounges or only international lounges that are part of a particular network.
  • Card fees. Credit cards that offer lounge access typically have higher annual fees than more basic cards.
  • Lounge requirements. Lounges have their own dress codes and policies for guests, including additional guests or children. They also have guest capacity limits, which could mean you're not able to visit a lounge if it's already full.
Promoted
Up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by 29 November 2023. Plus, complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge passes.

How to compare credit cards with free airport lounge passes

As well as looking at the type of lounge access you'll get, make sure you compare the card's other features and costs, 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, can justify this cost.
  • Interest rates. These credit cards typically have higher interest rates, making them more expensive if you don't pay off the total balance each month.
  • Rewards and frequent flyer programs. Many of the credit cards with airport lounge access also offer reward or frequent flyer points per $1 on eligible spending. Check how many points you can earn, what you can redeem them for and any sign-up bonus offers. Sometimes you could get enough points to fly overseas.
  • Other features. Look for other features that are important to you. For example, complimentary travel insurance, no foreign transaction fees or an introductory offer. These features can add value, but only if you use them.

When looking for a credit card, make sure you look at everything the card offers and not just lounge access. If this is a benefit you'll use, that's great. But you should make sure the card has perks and features you really need and that the benefits outweigh the fees.

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.

Centurion Lounges

amex lounge
A range of American Express cards offer access to The Centurion Lounges at Sydney and Melbourne international airports, including the American Express Explorer, Qantas American Express Ultimate and American Express Velocity Platinum.

These lounges have a mix of seating – including lounge chairs and bar seats – as well as food, drinks, Wi-Fi and charging points.

Amex lounge access at international airports

American Express has a network of international lounges, as well as partnerships with other lounge networks around the world – including Priority Pass and Plaza Premium. You can get access to this network of over 1,400 airport lounges if you have an American Express Platinum Card, Amex Platinum Business Card or an invitation-only American Express Centurion.

LoungeKey Lounges

A seating area at the Plaza Premium lounge at Melbourne International Airport.

LoungeKey is an airport lounge program offered by credit card providers. If you have an eligible credit card, you'll get access to over 1,300 lounges at airports around the world, regardless of which airline you're flying with or the fare class. As the lounges are independently operated, features do vary but typically include food and drink, seating areas and bathroom facilities.

Credit cards that offer LoungeKey membership in Australia include the HSBC Platinum and Bankwest More World Mastercard. It has also partnered with Mastercard to offer Mastercard Airport Experiences on eligible credit cards.

LoungeKey credit cards and airport lounge program

Priority Pass Lounges

Europort Skyview Lounge

Priority Pass is a membership-based service that gives you access to more than 1,300 lounges and airport experiences 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 offer Priority Pass access and/or membership include the Citi Prestige 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$469 per year.

Qantas Club Lounges

Qantas Lounge

Qantas Club lounges are designed for domestic travellers and offer perks including barista coffee in the morning, bar service in the afternoon and evening, other refreshments and meals, Wi-Fi, family areas and more, although some features vary depending on which lounge you visit.

Several credit cards provide complimentary access to the Qantas Club or Qantas Lounge invitations when you're booked on an eligible flight, including the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black, the Qantas American Express Premium and the Westpac Altitude Black Qantas card.

Virgin Australia Lounges (domestic)

Virgin Australia Lounge
Virgin Australia has domestic airport lounges in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Each lounge offers different seating areas 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 Velocity Platinum and the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer.

Compare Virgin Australia Velocity credit card features and benefits

Pictures: Shutterstock

Frequently asked questions about airport lounge access

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26 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    CTApril 23, 2019

    Have a black credit card and according to some lists, I have access to various lounges. I have been to several of these lounges in countries like NZ, India, Bahrain and Singapore where this card is listed as accepted. In each case, the people in the lounge check their own list, and this black card is not on it. So far it has not been accepted in any country I have visited. How can it be listed but then not accepted. I think it is false advertising for the banks to say one can gain entry to lounges with this card when it is not so. Who actually checks these lists?

      AvatarFinder
      MaiApril 24, 2019Finder

      Hi CT,

      Thank you for contacting Finder.

      Each credit card provider has different terms and conditions as well as lounge accessibility. There are different black card listed on this site and the policy and lounge list may differ from one provider/bank to another.

      I feel sorry that you see that your card can access a specific lounge but as you arrive at your destination country, you cannot enter. I suggest that you check your card’s lounge access terms and conditions to check or maybe try to contact your credit card provider to raise it. They may have a way on how to fix this from their end to ensure that you know what lounge you can access for using your black card.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

    Default Gravatar
    PatrickFebruary 4, 2019

    I have an ANZ Platinum QANTAS FF card. The new customer ANZ offers of bonus points are not available to me. What is the best CC offer currently available to me to maximise
    Points and other benefits?

      Default Gravatar
      AshFebruary 9, 2019

      Hi Patrick,

      Thank you for contacting Finder.

      You may compare a range of Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards where you can earn up to 100,000 bonus points. To receive the bonus points, you must meet the eligibility requirements and spend. Kindly click on the name of the credit card on the table to see the complete criteria for the card itself and the bonus points as well. When you are ready, press the ‘Go to site’ button to apply.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions.

      Cheers,
      Ash

    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?

      AvatarFinder
      JhezelynOctober 16, 2018Finder

      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

    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 ?

      AvatarFinder
      JoshuaSeptember 12, 2018Finder

      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

    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?

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiJuly 3, 2018

      Hi Gopalakrishnan,

      Thanks for contacting finder.

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

      Hope this clarifies!

      Cheers,
      Nikki

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