Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

Access VIP airport lounges around the world and relax before your next flight in style with your credit card.

The exclusive lounge is an oasis amidst the frenzy for the weary traveller waiting on a flight. If you travel often and long for the comfort those VIP lounges afford, it might be time to switch up your credit card. There are some that offer complimentary entry into these exclusive traveller’s hide-a-ways as one of their benefits, providing you with a place to unwind before your next flight.

Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card

Citi Credit Card Offer

Enjoy two complimentary airport lounge visits per year, overseas travel insurance cover, 50,000 bonus Qantas Points on signup and discounted annual fee in the first year.

  • $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) annual fee
  • 20.99% p.a. on purchases
  • 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.74% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • Minimum Income Requirement of $75,000 p.a.

Compare Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access

Rates last updated December 10th, 2016
Bonus Points Points per $ spent Complimentary Travel Insurance Cover Annual fee Minimum Income
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Receive two complimentary lounge visits to Priority Pass airport lounges and earn up to 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by 30 April 2017 and meet the $2,000 spend requirement.
50,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 1 AMEX: 0 6 months $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) $75,000 Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Enjoy access to two complimentary Qantas Club Lounge invitations every year and unlimited access to participating international airport lounges through Veloce.
75,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 0.75 AMEX: 1.5 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) $75,000 Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
Earn as much as 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy frequent flyer benefits including uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent, complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge invitations.
30,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 0 AMEX: 1 2 months $249 p.a. $40,000 Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Business Card
Get access to two complimentary single entry passes to the Virgin Australia lounge at selected domestic airports every year.
VISA/MC: 0 AMEX: 1 0 months $249 p.a. $24,000 Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Gain access to travel insurance, $300 Platinum Travel Credit every year and access to 900 VIP airport lounges.
100,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 0 AMEX: 1 6 months $1,200 p.a. $100,000 Go to site More info
Emirates Citi World MasterCard
Earn Skywards Miles for every $1 you spend plus get two complimentary lounge passes for Emirates Lounges in Australia.
40,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 1 AMEX: 0 6 months $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter) $75,000 Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
Earn 75,000 Reward Points after your first eligible purchase within the first three months. Up to 3 reward points per dollar spent and unlimited access to airport lounges with complimentary travel insurance.
75,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 1.25 AMEX: 3 6 months $375 p.a. $75,000 Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
VISA/MC: 1 AMEX: 2 0 months $225 p.a. $35,000 Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Receive 100,000 bonus points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent.
100,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 0 AMEX: 1 6 months $1,500 p.a. $75,000 Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 2 months of Card Membership. Also enjoy a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary airline passes per year.
100,000 bonus points 2 0 months $395 p.a. $65,000 Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Black - Exclusive Offer
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases, choose between two reward programs offering Altitude or Qantas Rewards and receive premium cardholder benefits.
100,000 bonus points VISA/MC: 1.25 AMEX: 3 6 months $395 p.a. $75,000 Go to site More info

The best* credit cards with free airport lounge access

Compare your options and see which exclusive airline lounges you could visit with your credit card.

Credit CardAnnual feeAirport Lounge benefits
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card$425 p.a.Two complimentary Qantas Club Lounge invitations every year. Available at Qantas Club and Qantas operated international Business Lounges in over 45 locations worldwide, including Sydney, London, Los Angeles and Dubai.
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card$199 p.a.One priority pass membership with two complimentary lounge visits to over 950 lounges worldwide. These include the Plaza Premium Lounge at Brisbane International Terminal and Reef Lounge in Cairns International Terminal.
American Express Explorer Credit Card$395 p.a.Enjoy two complimentary passes to the American Express Lounge in Sydney each year.
American Express Platinum Credit Card$1,200 p.a.Complimentary access for you and a guest to over 900 VIP Lounges with Priority Pass, plus access to domestic Virgin Australia Lounges, Delta Sky Club Lounges and American Express Lounges.
American Express Qantas Premium CardTwo complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations each year after you make your first eligible spend on Qantas products or services. Available at Qantas Club and Qantas operated international Business Lounges in over 45 locations worldwide, including Sydney, London, Los Angeles and Dubai.
American Express Velocity Business CardYou’ll receive two complimentary single entry passess to the domestic Virgin Australia lounge including Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Mackay, Gold Coast, Darwin, Canberra, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide and Alice Springs.
Emirates Citi World MasterCard and  thereafterYou’ll receive two complimentary lounge passes for Emirates Lounges in Australia including Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit CardYou’ll get unlimited access to airport lounges partnered with with Veloce, including locations such as London, Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card$225 p.a.If you spend $500 on eligible purchases within three months of approval, you’ll receive two single entry Virgin Australia lounge passes each year. These passes can only be used when taking a domestic flight with Virgin Australia in participating lounges at Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Mackay, Gold Coast, Darwin, Canberra, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide and Alice Springs.
American Express Platinum Business Card $1,500 p.a.You’ll receive complimentary access to domestic Virgin Australia lounges for you and a guest in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Mackay, Gold Coast, Darwin, Canberra, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide and Alice Springs. You’ll also receive a Priority Pass, giving you access to 800 VIP Lounges in 100 countries.
Westpac Altitude Black$395 p.a.You can enjoy up to four complimentary airport lounge visits. Two with your rewards program and two at the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport. If you opt to earn Qantas Points, you’ll get access to the Qantas Lounge. Cardholders who select Altitude Rewards will get access to over 950 partnered lounges with the Priority Pass program.

chair

Relax

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Unwind

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How do credit cards with free airport lounge passes work?

A credit card with an airport lounge pass awards you with complimentary access to exclusive airline waiting areas before eligible flights. Depending on the card, these passes are sometimes an annual feature and others are a promotional offer that you may need to meet a spend requirement to access. These airline passes sometimes extend to supplementary cardholders or an additional guest.

In the airline lounge, you can escape the chaos of the public waiting areas and access complimentary WiFi, exclusive food and beverage options, rest and work stations and showering facilities.

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 measure the features of each one and weigh them against each other. A few points to scrutinise that will help narrow down your options include:

  • 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 rates 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 Wifi 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.

Relax at these lounges before your next trip

Virgin Australia Lounge  (1)

Virgin Australia Lounge

American Express Velocity Business Card

The American Express Velocity Business Card will give you two complimentary single entry passes to Virgin Australia lounges each year. There are 11 Virgin Australia lounges available around Australia, and each comes with free WiFi, food and beverages and state-of-the-art entertainment centres. However, given that the American Express Velocity Business Card only gives you two single entry passes to the lounges per year and charges an annual fee of $249, you’d want to make sure the card’s other features were of value to you as well.

American Express Platinum Card

Unlike the Velocity Business Card, the American Express Platinum Card gives cardholders a Priority Pass and unlimited complimentary Virgin lounge access all year round. The Priority Pass opens the doors of more than 600 VIP international lounges to the both the primary and supplementary cardholder. If you fly with Virgin Australia, you can also get access to Virgin Australia lounges plus preferential treatment and upgrades at 650 luxury hotels around the world. But with an annual fee $1,200 and a required minimum income of $100,000 this card is probably most ideal to the jetsetters and big spenders.

Europort Skyview Lounge  (1)

Europort Skyview Lounge - One of the 700 VIP airport lounges with Priority Pass

Westpac Altitude Black

The Westpac Altitude Black card comes with two complimentary Priority Passes, which can be used at hundreds of VIP airport lounges in over 275 cities around the world. If you don’t spend too much time on long international flights throughout the year, this could be a cheaper alternative than some of the more expensive and unlimited access options. The card comes with an annual fee of $395 so the card’s overall features would need to suit your financial needs to get the most bang for your buck.

St.George Amplify Signature

Also available through Bank of Melbourne and BankSA, the St.George Amplify Signature credit card offers cardholders two complimentary Priority Passes each year. If you’re an Amplify Qantas member, you can also receive two bonus Qantas Lounge invitations per year. Geared towards regular jetsetters, the card also boasts 1.5 Amplify Points for every dollar spent at eligible Australian merchants, or 3 points for every dollar spent overseas. This Visa card attracts an annual fee of $279 so as always, you should consider more than the lounge access before committing to the card.

Qantas-lounge3

Qantas Club Premium Lounge at Sydney Airport

ANZ Frequent Flyer Black

In addition to a higher earning rate and access to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, the ANZ Black Frequent Flyer card offers unlimited access to participating lounges worldwide and complimentary Qantas Club passes. There are 25 Qantas Clubs in Australia alone and a number of international and associated lounges located around the world. Unlike some lounge passes, the Qantas Club membership also allows you to bring one guest with you. And let’s face it, pretending to be VIP for a day is only fun if you can bring a friend along. The annual fee is $425, so, again, you’d need to use the card for more than just lounge access for it to be worth your while.

ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card

Not to be mistaken for the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card, the ANZ Rewards Black card also provides its cardholders with airport lounge perks. Similar to its Frequent Flyer counterpart, the Rewards card also comes with exclusive and unlimited access to airport lounges for you and any additional cardholders. However, ANZ Rewards Black cardholders can only access participating airport lounges outside of Australia. With an annual fee of $375 this could be a cheaper option for those after an ANZ card with unlimited lounge access.

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What are the pros and cons?

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 WiFi 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.

Frequently asked questions about airport lounge access

I want to order an additional card for my partner, will they also have access to airport lounges?

With most of these cards, at least one of your additional cardholders will be given the same passes as the primary card holder. Make sure you confirm this before you arrive at the airport to avoid any inconvenience.

How do I use the passes for airport lounge access?

In order to enter, you will need to show your pass along with a boarding pass for the same date.

Can I give my airport lounge pass to a relative or friend to use?

Generally, no. The name on the pass and on the boarding pass must usually be the same.

If I have a Qantas Club lounge pass but am flying with a different airline can I still get into their airport lounge?

No, the boarding pass will have to show that you are flying with Qantas that day if you wish to use your complimentary pass for their airport lounge.

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Marc Terrano

A passionate publisher who loves to tell a story. Learning and teaching personal finance is his main lot at finder.com.au. Talk to him to find out more about home loans.

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6 Responses to Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access

  1. 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
      May | September 22, 2016

      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

  2. Default Gravatar
    Carol | August 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

  3. Default Gravatar
    rosa | April 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
      May | April 27, 2016

      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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