For many travelers, airline lounges are blissful waiting areas that today come with delicious meals, complimentary Wi-Fi and even shower suites. For first- and business-class ticket holders, getting into these VIP lounges is free. For everyone else, access can be more challenging. But like getting the best seat on the plane, you can get into a lounge without spending a dime.
Using your credit card to access an airline lounge
Credit cards are among the best ways to enjoy travel rewards and perks. With excellent credit, you can sign up for cards with amazing miles and points bonuses — including access to airline lounges. These are just a few that offer free lounge access across the United States.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
|This comprehensive card offers holders access to more than 600 lounges in the US and 100 other countries.
Additional benefits: 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Annual fee: $550
|United℠ Explorer Card||Whether you’re traveling within the States or abroad, this card offers holders two one-day passes to any United Club airport lounge in the world.
Annual fee: $95
|Chase Ink® Bold Business Card||With a couple of complimentary lounge visits each year for you and a guest, this business card is a great option when traveling in twos.
Additional benefits: 50,000 points after $5,000 in purchases in the first three months after issue, no foreign-transaction fees and the ability to purchase additional lounge passes at $27 each.
Annual fee: $0
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®||Cardholders get free access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs worldwide.
Additional benefits: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Annual fee: $450
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
|Access Delta Sky Clubs across the United States simply by becoming a cardholder.
Additional benefits: Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months..
Annual fee: $450
Our pick for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
The Best Airline Lounges in the US
Use your credit card or your first- or business-class ticket to access epic airline lounges around the country. Do your research to learn whether you can put these awesome lounges on your next itinerary.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK
One of the best airline lounges in the United States, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK’s Terminal 4 offers guests the ultimate airport experience. This luxurious lounge provides guests with a variety of exclusive services:
- A complimentary made-to-order food and drinks menu of breakfast, tapas, burgers and more.
- An in-house Bumble & Bumble salon and spa offering complimentary haircuts and mini spa treatments using Dr. Hauschka products.
- Pool tables to pass time with friends or fellow guests.
Delta Sky Club at ATL
Located in Concourse B at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, this Delta Sky Club provides travelers with plenty of space and a quiet, relaxing environment. Accommodating up to 500 guests, it offers:
- An impressive wine wall and tastings, with wines selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson.
- A newly enhanced menu designed by award-winning Chef Linton Hopkins.
American Airlines Admirals Club at SFO
Nestled within newly renovated Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport, the Admirals Club is an oasis away from the crowds of this busy airport. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll have an undisturbed view of the taxiways and San Francisco Bay, along with:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi and power points to catch up on work or social media.
- Food and drinks for purchase.
- Shower suites for freshening up before the next leg of your adventure.
Alaska Airlines Board Room
You might think only large airlines attach their names to the best lounges. But the Alaska Airlines’ unique Board Room at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will blow you away with:
- Complimentary food and snacks, along with its famous pancakes.
- Beverages and cocktails, serving everything from a good cup of coffee to stronger libations.
- Productivity tools that include complimentary Wi-Fi, quiet workstations and conference rooms.
Virgin America Loft at LAX
Another popular, chic airline lounge is the Virgin America Loft at LAX. Made for a more mature crowd, this lounge turns away anyone under the age of 12. It offers guests:
- A fully stocked bar in which to unwind after a long flight.
- Made-to-order food, from pizza to cheeseburgers.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
United Club in ORD
Chicago’s often wild weather can result in serious delays for travelers. Where better to spend your time than in the United Club lounge that offers guests:
- Complimentary food and drinks while waiting for your flight.
- Shower suites and a full set of refreshing amenities.
An airport lounge sojourn can make all the difference in lessening the stress of modern-day travel — especially for long stopovers. It’s the best start to getting away.