Credit cards with lounge access

Relax before your next flight in style with a credit card that gives you free airport lounge passes every year.

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Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
N/A
HSBC Rewards Plus
1
19.99% p.a.
$29 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 36 months (with no BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
Qantas Premier Platinum
80,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$225 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, 80 bonus Status Credits on eligible spend and a reduced first-year annual fee.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
150,000
Membership Rewards
2
20.74% p.a.
$395
Get 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a $400 Travel Credit each year.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
100,000
Membership Rewards Gateway
2
3.99% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$149
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
110,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$450
Receive 110,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back on your card when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
120,000
Qantas Business Rewards
1.25
0% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($450 p.a. thereafter)
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Receive 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $0 first-year annual fee when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
120,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$375
120,000 bonus Velocity Points & 120 Velocity Status Credits when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months.
St.George Amplify Signature
200,000
Amplify Rewards
1.5
19.74% p.a.
$279
Up to 200,000 bonus points (100k first year & 100k second year) - worth $900 in gift cards - when you spend $12,000/yr for the first 2 years.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
90,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
19.74% p.a.
$279
Get 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 using your new card within 90 days from approval and 2 Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
American Express Velocity Business Card
120,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1
0% p.a.
$249
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Receive 120,000 bonus Velocity Points and 120 Velocity Status Credits when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months.
American Express Platinum Card
200,000
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
2.25
0% p.a.
$1,450
Up to 200,000 bonus points (150k when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and 50k in year 2). Plus, a $450 Travel Credit per year.
BankSA Amplify Signature
200,000
Amplify Rewards
1.5
19.74% p.a.
$279
Up to 200,000 bonus points (100k first year & 100k second year) - worth $900 in gift cards - when you spend $12,000/yr for the first 2 years.
American Express Cashback Credit Card
N/A
N/A
20.74% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 1% cashback per $1 dollar spent on your everyday purchases. Plus, an additional 5% for the first 3 months (up to $200) and no monthly fees for the first 12 months.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
200,000
Amplify Rewards
1.5
19.74% p.a.
$279
Up to 200,000 bonus points (100k in the 1st year & 100k in the 2nd year) - worth $900 in gift cards - when you spend $12k/year for the first 2 years.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Many premium frequent flyer and rewards credit cards offer free access to airport lounges. This gives you the chance to relax before your flight and enjoy drinks, food, a space to work and other perks. 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's how to get yours.

Compare credit cards with free airport lounge access

Comparison: 4 credit cards with free airport lounge access

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

  • ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card – Offers you two complimentary Qantas Club Lounge invitations every year, with an annual fee of $425.
  • Qantas American Express 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 or Melbourne airport each year, with a $450 annual fee.
  • 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 annual fee.
  • Westpac Altitude Black – This card includes two complimentary Priority Pass lounge passes each year and charges a $250 annual fee.

VIDEO: How to get free airport lounge access with your credit card

How do credit cards with free airport lounge access work?

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 Véloce.

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.
  • 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, you can 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.

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.
Promoted
Up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 20,000 after 12 months). Plus, a $295 first-year annual fee ($395 thereafter) and complimentary insurances.

How to compare credit cards with free airport lounge passes

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. This includes:

  • 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, 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

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 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 Lounges

Qantas Lounge
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 (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. 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.

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 Customer Care
        MaiApril 24, 2019Staff

        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 Customer Care
        JhezOctober 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

      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 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

      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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