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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 Premier Platinum

Receive 75,000 bonus points
Pay a discounted annual fee of $149 for the first year

Offer ends 31 January 2018

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Qantas Money Credit Card Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, enjoy 0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers and a range of platinum card and travel benefits.

  • $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 November 22nd, 2017
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Complimentary Travel Insurance Annual fee Minimum Income Product Description
Qantas Premier Platinum
75,000 bonus points
1
Yes
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
$35,000
Fly faster with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent, receive 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations, plus, included travel insurance.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
75,000 bonus points
1
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
$75,000
Get two complimentary Qantas Lounge invitations per year and unlimited access to Véloce airport lounges around the world.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
75,000 bonus points
2
Yes
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter)
$75,000
Enjoy unlimited access to participating Véloce airport lounges outside of Australia and complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
2
Yes
$395 p.a.
$65,000
Receive two complimentary passes to American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport and a $400 Travel Credit each year.
American Express Platinum Business Card
120,000 bonus points
0
1
Yes
$1,500 p.a.
$75,000
Receive complimentary Virgin Lounge access, American Express Lounge access, and a Priority Pass to access over 800 VIP lounges.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
40,000 bonus points
1.5
Yes
$225 p.a.
$35,000
Includes two complimentary Virgin Australia domestic airport lounge passes each year you hold the card when you meet the spend requirement.
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
0.5
Yes
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
$75,000
Offers s complimentary Priority Pass membership, with two airport lounge visits per year, giving you access to over 850 airport lounges worldwide.
American Express Platinum Card
80,000 bonus points
1
Yes
$1,200 p.a.
$100,000
Enjoy a complimentary Priority Pass membership to access to over 1,100 VIP lounges worldwide, plus a yearly $300 Platinum Travel Credit.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000 bonus points
1.25
Yes
$249 p.a.
$40,000
Receive two Qantas Club Lounge invitations after your first card spend each anniversary year on selected Qantas products and services in Australia.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
60,000 bonus points
1
0
Yes
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
$75,000
Get two complimentary lounge passes for Emirates Lounges in Australia and one complimentary chauffeur-driven service per year.
American Express Velocity Business Card
1
Yes
$249 p.a.
$24,000
Get access to two complimentary single entry passes to the Virgin Australia lounge at selected domestic airports every year.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
55,000 bonus points
1.5
Yes
$450 p.a.
$65,000
Offers two entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport and a complimentary domestic Qantas flight every year.
Bankwest More World Mastercard
115,000 bonus points
2.5
Yes
$270 p.a.
Unlimited complimentary airport lounge visits from LoungeKey. Once enrolled, gain access to more than 800 participating airport lounges.

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How do credit cards with free airport lounge passes work?

woman-chilling-on-an-airportlounge-chairA credit card with an airport lounge pass gives you with complimentary access to exclusive waiting areas at the airport. This means you can relax in style and comfort before your eligible flights, with popular airport lounge features including Wi-Fi, food and beverages, premium seating and even beds and showers in some locations.

Most cards that offer complimentary airport lounge access provide a limited number of passes for each year you have the card, and a few provide lounge passes as an introductory benefit. Depending on the card and the type of lounge pass available, you may be able to invite a guest or provide access to a supplementary cardholder. Usually you will have to meet specific requirements to access this feature, such as spending a certain amount, keeping your account in good standing or requesting the passes directly through your card provider.

Common requirements to get airport lounge access with a credit card

While the requirements you need to meet to get lounge access with a credit card vary based on the provider and the airport lounge, some of the most common conditions include:

  • Valid ticket. Most airport lounges require all guests to have a valid ticket for a flight departing that day.
  • Dress code. Lounges often have specific dress code requirements, such as smart casual dress and no shorts.
  • 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.
  • Spending requirement. Your credit card provider may require you to spend a specific amount of money 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 hen you spend $500 on eligible purchases using the card in the first 3 months.

How to compare credit cards with free airport lounge passes

In order 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. The amount of the annual fee will mainly depend on the type of credit card, its additional features and spending limit. The platinum and black cards that usually offer this feature will have higher fees than your typical credit card. You may get lucky and find one that waives the fee for the first year, making 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 cards value. The purchase rate, cash advance rate and balance transfer rate may all differ in one card, so you will need a pretty good idea of how you plan to use it before you start out 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 Lounge by Virgin 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, then 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.
  • Perks. Airport lounges use various perks to please their first class 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. Look to 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 do complimentary credit card airport lounges look like?

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 specific credit cards:

Virgin Australia Lounges (domestic)

Virgin Australia Lounge  (1)

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  (1)

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 a 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-lounge3

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.

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.
  • Freebies. Enjoy free drinks and snacks while waiting to be called for your flight, in some cases even a glass of wine.
  • 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 a 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 of the airport lounge.
  • 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 of the lounge.

Airport lounge access is just one small part of an entire credit card package. As you are taking into consideration the type and amount of access each card is offering, don’t forget about comparing that information against the other features and benefits that the credit card is offering.

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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12 Responses

  1. 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

  2. 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

    • Staff
      DanielleJuly 17, 2017Staff

      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

  3. 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?

    • Staff
      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

  4. 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.

    • Staff
      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

  5. 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

  6. Default Gravatar
    rosaApril 27, 2016

    I have a Commonwealth MasterCard credit card and want to know if I have free access to priority pass lounges in Rome and Dubai?

    • Staff
      MayApril 27, 2016Staff

      Hi Rosa,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, Commonwealth MasterCard credit card does not come with complimentary access to the airport lounges. The credit cards that give free access to airport lounges are featured above.

      Cheers,
      May

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