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LoungeBuddy: What is it?

Find the perfect lounge at more than 800 airports worldwide.

LoungeBuddy is an app-based service that lets you buy one-time passes for lounges at airports worldwide. For travelers who buy one or two passes each year, this could be a more cost-effective option than buying costly annual memberships of other services like Priority Pass.

On the downside — you can only use the LoungeBuddy app if you have an American Express credit card and an iOS device. Android users with an Amex card will have to use an Internet browser to access LoungeBuddy, while Mastercard and Visa cardholders will not be able to use this service at all.

How does LoungeBuddy work?

First you need to download the LoungeBuddy app from the App Store, and then link your Amex credit card. Once you’re set, use the app to filter lounges and find amenities you need, or read lounge reviews by other visitors to find a place to rest between flights.

Simplify this process and add your trip within the app. LoungeBuddy will show you all the available lounges on your way. When you find the right one, buy access through the app. What’s cool, you can also see lounges that don’t charge you an entry fee.

LoungeBuddy benefits

There are many reasons LoungeBuddy is worth having. Here are a few:

  • Browse lounges. Find out which lounges you have access to based on your linked credit card. View photos, amenities and read reviews on your LoungeBuddy mobile app to see whether visiting a particular lounge is worth it.
  • Variety of lounges. Choose from more than 2,000 lounges at more than 800 airports worldwide.
  • Share your experience. Share photos and leave reviews to help other LoungeBuddy users find the right lounge.

LoungeBuddy drawbacks

Although the platform provides a convenient way to search and book lounges, there are some drawbacks to consider, such as:

  • You can’t use any credit card. You can only use the LoungeBuddy app with an American Express credit card. Any Amex card would do, even those issued from other banks. Mastercard and Visa cardholders don’t have access to this service because American Express acquired LoungeBuddy in 2019 and they have exclusive access to the platform.
  • You can’t access all Amex lounges. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t give you access to Centurion lounges.
  • Available only for iOS users. The LoungeBuddy app is currently available to download from the App Store. Android users can access the platform via their Internet browser.

LoungeBuddy Locations

Some of the lounges you can access through LoungeBuddy include:

  • Australia. Brisbane Airport, Melbourne Airport and Sydney Airport.
  • Canada. Edmonton International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
  • China. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport and more.
  • Germany. Bremen Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Hamburg Airport, Munich Airport and more.
  • Mexico. General Juan N. Alvarez International Airport, General Mariano Escobedo International Airport and more.
  • The United Kingdom. London Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, London Gatwick Airport, Belfast International Airport and more.
  • The United States. Bradley International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and more.

How much does LoungeBuddy cost?

Downloading the LoungeBuddy app is free, but the price of lounges you book through it depends on the lounges themselves. You can find rates starting at $25 for a day pass or per hour. The average price of most lounges is around $50.

Some American Express credit cards give you complimentary access to select lounges. LoungeBuddy app will show you if there is such a lounge at your airport.

Compare credit cards with LoungeBuddy access

Since you can only use American Express cards to access the lounges via LoungeBuddy, consider applying for an Amex card. Some of the premium options provide complimentary access to select lounges.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Welcome offer Rewards Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on other eligible purchases

Rose Gold is here to stay. Card Members can choose between a Gold or Rose Gold Card.

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months
5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other eligible purchases
100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
40,000 miles after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months.
Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on other eligible purchases
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

If you occasionally travel and you want to find lounges at the airport, the LoungeBuddy platform could be useful. But you’ll need an American Express credit card to pay for the access.

However, other travel cards offer complimentary lounge access, which could save you more money than the LoungeBuddy app if you visit lounges frequently each year.

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