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Credit cards with airport lounge access in Canada

Compare airport lounge programs in Canada and find the best lounge access credit card for your needs.

There are several ways to get cheap or free airport lounge access when you travel. The best way is to get a credit card that gives you a number of free lounge visits per year. Find out more about the benefits of different airport lounge programs in Canada and compare credit cards to find the one that will give you the best airport lounge experience for your needs.

Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard

19.95 % APR

Purchase interest rate

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Tangerine World Mastercard

Apply today and earn 2% cash back in up to three spending categories of your choice. Plus, travel in style with Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.

  • Purchase interest rate: 19.95%
  • Cash advance rate: 19.95%
  • Balance transfer rate: 1.95% for the first 6 months, 19.95% thereafter
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit rating: 680
Apply now
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Compare credit cards with lounge access

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 on everyday purchases within the first 2 months. Until August 16, 2021. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
BMO World Elite Mastercard
30,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 30,000 points and the $150 annual fee waived in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2021
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
90,000 points
Up to 3x points
19.99%
$599
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to a total of 90,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass. New Cardmembers can earn up to $2,900 in value within your first year. Plus, spend at least $10,000 in qualifying net purchases by November 30, 2021 and you’ll earn, step up, or jump start your Aeroplan Elite Status. Apply by October 1, 2021.
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
Up to 10% cash back
1% cash back
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
90,000 points
Up to 3x points
16.99%
$599
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 90,000 Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass. Plus, apply for an American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card by October 1, 2021 and spend at least $10,000 in qualifying net purchases by November 30, 2021 and you’ll earn, step up, or jump start your Aeroplan Elite Status.
The Platinum Card from American Express
80,000 points
Up to 3x points per $1 spent
N/A
$699
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards points. Earn 65,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $6,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Plus, earn 15,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
2,000 Miles
1 Mile for every $12 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Earn a bonus of up to 2,000 AIR MILES. Terms apply. Plus, get the annual fee of $120 waived in the first year.
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard
800 Miles
Up to 3x Air Miles for every $25 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash). Get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to transferred balances.
Business Platinum Card from American Express
75,000 points
1.25 points per $1 spent
N/A
$499
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points in your first three months of Cardmembership.
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
50,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
N/A
$250
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
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What is an airport lounge?

An airport lounge is a designated space in an airport that gives you a place to relax and unwind before your flight. Getting access to airport lounges can be very expensive and is often reserved for those who pay a hefty fee or have a first or business class ticket. That said, you may be able to access an airport lounge for free if you have this perk on your credit card.

Many airport lounges come with free food and drinks (including alcoholic beverages) as well as Wi-Fi and Internet stations. A select few come with extra benefits such as showers, conference rooms for meetings, pre-flight massages, printing stations and a host of other perks. The benefits you get will depend on which lounge you visit and where.

How can I access an airport lounge?

You can access an airport lounge in a number of different ways and each method will cost a different amount:

  1. Purchase a lounge membership. You can buy a membership to bring down the cost of every lounge visit. For example, if you spend $150 on an annual membership, the price of your lounge access might go from $70 per visit down to $20 per visit.
  2. Purchase a day pass. You may be able to purchase a day pass for some lounges for between $50 and $200. This will give you access to everything that members get but you’ll pay a higher price upfront.
  3. Show a business or first class ticket. You’ll usually be able to get into an airline lounge for free if you’re travelling on a first class or business class ticket. You just need to check in with your airline ahead of time to find out the details.
  4. Have a premium credit card with lounge access. Getting a premium credit card with lounge access can give you a free membership to lounge programs such as Priority Pass or LoungeKey, as well as complimentary free lounge visits every year.

Which credit card has the best airport lounge access?

The credit card with the best airport lounge access will depend on how much you want to spend on your annual fee.

How can I access my lounge with a credit card?

You’ll need to follow these steps to access the airport lounge of your choice with a credit card:

  1. Enroll for the lounge access program that’s affiliated with your credit card (or just have your credit card on you for some programs).
  2. Make sure that the name on your card matches the name on your boarding pass when you book travel.
  3. Find out which lounges you’re eligible to enter before visiting the airport if possible.
  4. Visit the lounge in person on your day of travel and show your membership card or credit card to the front desk agent along with your boarding pass.
  5. Use the complimentary visit you get with your credit card or pay the required fee to access the lounge.

Can I use my family’s credit card for lounge access?

You won’t usually be able to use a family credit card to get lounge access in most cases. This is because lounge access is typically reserved for the primary cardholder. The only card that seems to offer lounge passes for supplementary cardholders is the Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card.

That said, you may be able to get access to an airport lounge with some programs if you enter as a guest with the primary cardholder. You’ll just need to check the rules for your program in advance as some programs allow members to enter with guests while others require every person to pay separately or have their own valid entry pass.

Airport lounge programs in Canada

Find out more about the major airport lounge programs in Canada in the table below.

Lounge programNumber of lounges worldwideLounge benefits (varies by location)Fee for extra visits with membership
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge210 worldwideCell-free quiet zone

Free food and drink

Free alcoholic beverages

Newspapers and television

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Showers

Business centres

Between $20 and $36 for guests
Priority Pass Lounges1,300+Free food and drink

Free alcoholic beverages

Airport dining, retail and spa discounts

Massage and sleeping rooms

Streamlined mobile app

US$32 for members

US$32 for guests

The American Express Global Lounge Collection1,300+Free food and drink

Free alcoholic beverages

Newspapers and television

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Varies by lounge
LoungeKey1,000+Free food and drink

Free alcoholic beverages

Newspapers and television

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Airport dining, retail and spa discounts

US$32 for members

US$32 for guests

Lounge access credit cards by provider

You can sign up for a lounge access credit card with several providers. These include big banks, digital banks and private companies.

Big Five banks

The Big Five banks offer the largest selection of lounge access credit cards to choose from.

Credit cardAnnual feeLoungeNumber of free visits
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card$139Priority Pass6 per year
Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card$399Priority Pass10 per year for primary cardholders, plus 4 for supplementary cardholders
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege$399Priority Pass6 per year
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard$119Westjet partner lounges4 per year (if you trade in a flight companion pass)
BMO World Elite Mastercard$150 (waived for the first year)Loungekey4 per year
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard$120 (waived for the first year)Loungekey2 per year
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege$499Priority Pass6 per year
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card$139 (waived for the first year)Priority Pass4 per year
CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card$139 (waived for the first year)Priority Pass4 per year
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card$599 (with annual fee rebate up to $139 if you have a CIBC Smart Plus Account)Maple Leaf Lounge and Priority PassUnlimited access to select Maple Leaf Lounges and 6 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits per year
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card$599Maple Leaf Lounge accessUnlimited access to select Maple Leaf Lounges for primary and supplementary cardholders

Smaller banks

Credit cardAnnual feeLoungeNumber of free visits
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®$149LoungeKey$100 annual travel enhancement credit that can be put towards lounge visits
Rogers World Elite Mastercard$0LoungeKeyNo free visits but discounted access to LoungeKey lounges (only US$32 to enter)

Digital banks

Digital banks tend to stay out of the credit card space for the most part. That said, there are a handful of credit cards offering lounge access with digital banks.

Credit cardAnnual feeLoungeNumber of free visits
Tangerine World Mastercard$0LoungeKeyNo free visits but discounted access to LoungeKey lounges (only US$32 to enter)
Brim World Mastercard$99LoungeKeyNo free visits but discounted access to LoungeKey lounges (only US$32 to enter)
Brim World Elite Mastercard$199 (waived for the first year)LoungeKeyNo free visits but discounted access to LoungeKey lounges (only US$32 to enter)

Other financial institutions

If you tend to shop regularly at the same stores, you might want to check out these loyalty-brand prepaid credit cards.

Credit cardAnnual feeLoungeNumber of free visits
The Platinum Card from American Express$699Amex Global Lounge CollectionUnlimited access to over 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries
American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card$299Priority Pass4 per year
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card$599Maple Leaf Lounge and Priority PassUnlimited access to select Maple Leaf Lounges and discounted access to Priority Pass lounges
Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard$130Desjardins Odyssey Lounge8 per year to the Desjardins Odyssey Montreal lounge (excludes US flights)

Some of the Best Airline lounges in Canadian airports and the cards that get you in

While we’ve picked some of the most popular lounges in airports across Canada, these credit cards can typically get you into hundreds of airport lounges worldwide.

LoungeCredit cardCostCost to access without cardOpen to those without card?
Air France KLM Lounge (Terminal 3)

Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport

Discounted access only. Get a discounted Priority Pass membership for US$65/year and pay $32 per lounge visitN/AYes, but must meet other criteria such as having elite status or premium airline tickets
SkyTeam Lounge (International Terminal)

Vancouver International Airport

Six free visits per year, US$27 thereafterN/AYes, but must meet other criteria such as having elite status or premium airline tickets, or being a Lounge Club or SkyTeam member
Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic-International Terminal)

Edmonton International Airport

Ten free visits per year, US$32 thereafterUS$40 to $64 for two to six hoursYes
Plaza Premium Lounge

Winnipeg J.A. Richardson International Airport

Ten free visits per year, US$32 thereafterUS$40 to $64 for two to six hoursYes
Aspire Lounge

Calgary International Airport

Unlimited accessNot listedYes
Salon VIP Lounge

Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

Unlimited access$35Yes

How to compare airport lounge access credit cards

You can compare a number of features to find the best airport lounge access credit card for you.

  • Monthly or annual fees. Some lounge access cards come with no fees while others will charge high annual fees. Look for the card that will give you the most lounge access for the smallest fee possible.
  • Interest rates. Many lounge access credit cards come with regular interest rates while others charge upwards of 30% on purchases if you don’t pay your balance in full each month. Make sure you check your rates before you sign on for a card.
  • Number of lounge visits. Find out how many visits you’ll get for free with your credit card and make sure this matches up with your travel plans. For many low or no fee cards, you’ll usually need to pay for lounge visits at a discounted rate.
  • Other travel perks. Some lounge access credit cards come with airport perks such as a free companion pass, NEXUS rebates, travel credits, priority boarding and free checked baggage. Find the one that has the best variety of perks you’ll actually use.
  • Return on rewards. You’ll want to make sure that you get a high return on rewards along with a decent amount of lounge access if you’re paying a high annual fee. Most cards come with frequent flyer miles or points (but not cashback).
  • Benefits. The other benefits on offer with a lounge access card can make or break your decision to sign up. Look for a card that offers comprehensive travel insurance (including travel medical) and no foreign transaction fees to get the most bang for your buck.
  • Provider. When deciding on a prepaid credit card, you can choose from many providers. Look for a card with a company you trust and make sure the rewards are tailored to your lifestyle.

How to apply for a lounge access credit card

You can follow these steps to apply for an airport lounge access credit card:

  1. Compare lounge access credit cards. Compare credit cards from a number of providers to find the one with the best mix of rewards and benefits for your needs.
  2. Apply for the card of your choice. Apply for the credit card of your choice by visiting the main site of the provider you’re interested in.
  3. Fill out application details. Fill out personal details such as your full name, address, email and phone number to start your application.
  4. Click submit. Once you’re ready to apply, click submit on your application or call your credit card provider to apply over the phone.
  5. Wait for your card to arrive. When your application is approved, your provider should send your card out in the mail or allow you to pick it up at a branch location.

How to maximize your credit card’s travel rewards

Besides getting airport lounge access, travel credit cards usually come with other discounts on travel you can access once you’ve built up enough points. Consider using these tips to help you maximize your rewards earning potential.

  • Earn the signup bonus. First, choose a credit card that offers a signup bonus. The bigger the bonus, the better. Use your card to pay for everything you possibly can within the bonus qualifying period.
  • Maximize spending in the highest-earning categories. If your travel card offers higher rewards on specific types of purchases, use your card for those purchases as much as possible. For example, if your card pays double points on restaurant purchases, pay for meals with it each time you dine out.
  • Book with the airline directly. You may be used to using Expedia or Orbitz to book your travel at the lowest prices. However, many travel credit cards won’t pay miles on purchases made through online travel sites. Instead, book your flight directly through the airline to earn rewards on your flight purchase.
  • Reach elite status. Miles you earn within an airline’s travel rewards program increase the opportunity to reach elite status. Generally, as your status increases, you’ll earn more miles per flight. “Elite” miles aren’t always redeemable for flights, but they can help you reach a higher rewards status that provides you with additional perks like free first-class upgrades, priority boarding, bonus miles and more.

Bottom line

Airport lounge access credit cards can come in handy when you want to travel in comfort. These cards often come with a high price tag but they typically offer a number of other travel perks and benefits to make up for the high annual fee. Find out more about how lounge access credit cards work and compare cards to find the best fit for your unique personal situation.

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