As the publisher of credit cards at finder.com, Megan is passionate about helping you compare and find the best credit cards for your situation, whether that is earning great rewards or improving your credit score. In her previous position, Megan worked as an assigning editor at Credit Karma, where she focused on editing and publishing educational articles on credit cards. Megan started her career as a writer at a comparison website, so she has a longstanding background in surfacing the best deals and helping people make decisions. In her spare time, Megan likes to hike, camp, surf, and read.
Credit cards with airport lounge access
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardRead more
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™Read more
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™Read more
How to pick a card with airport lounge access
Lounge access is awesome, but you want to make sure you’re picking a well-rounded card that meets all of your needs.
- Lounge availability. How many lounges are included in the card’s network? Does it offer access at your home airport? Make sure what’s offered match where you’re likely to visit.
- Card perks. What other benefits does the card offer that you’ll actually use? High-end cards often come with strong rewards programs and exclusive travel perks.
- Annual fee. Luxury cards often require high annual fees, so make sure you’ll take advantage of perks that make the annual fee worth it.
How do travel rewards credit cards work?
Travel credit cards are a type of rewards card that pays miles on your purchases. Rewards are often expressed as miles per dollar — for example, 1 mile earned for every dollar in purchases. After you accumulate enough miles, you can redeem them to purchase a flight or other travel perks. The number of rewards required for a flight varies by airline, flight, dates and the seat you choose.
Your credit card might earn you a higher number of miles for select purchases — such as airline-specific or travel purchases — and a lower number of miles on all other purchases. Maximize the rewards you get by using your credit card for the purchases that earn the most miles.
How to maximize your travel rewards
The more rewards you earn and the faster you earn them, the sooner you can accumulate enough points to book your free flight. After you’re approved for the travel credit card of your choice, consider the ways you can maximize your rewards.
- 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 highest-earning categories. If your travel card offers stronger 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. You’ll earn airline rewards faster by focusing on categories that earn double and triple miles.
- Book with the airline directly. You may be used to using Expedia or Orbitz to book your travel at the lowest prices. But 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 frequent flyer program increase the opportunity to reach elite status. Generally, as your frequent flyer status increases, you’ll earn more miles per flight. “Elite” miles aren’t always redeemable for flights, but they can help you reach a frequent flyer status that rewards you with additional perks like free first-class upgrades, priority boarding and mileage bonuses — and earn free flights more quickly.