Credit cards with free airport lounge access

Enjoy access to airport lounges around the world for free with these credit cards. Find out how to get access and compare your card options. We've also included cards that give access for a low entry fee.

Comparison of lounge access cards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 5 of 9
Name Product Finder score Finder score Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rewards earn rate Representative APR Link Incentive Representative example
American Express® Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
31%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £195 per annum
3 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1 point per £1 spent elsewhere
88.8% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
4 complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge visits every year to use at over 1,300 airports globally.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £195 per annum, your representative rate is 88.8% APR (variable).
The Platinum Card® by American Express
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
31.0%
£650 per annum
2 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1 point per £1 spent elsewhere
704.6% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
Complimentary access to over 1,200 airport lounges across more than 130 countries worldwide through Priority Pass, with supplementary cardholder as guest. Access to the new Centurion Lounge, coming soon to Heathrow Terminal 3.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31.0% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £650 per annum, your representative rate is 704.6% APR (variable).
Coutts & Co Silk Credit Card Mastercard
3.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
19.99%
£0
N/A
20% APR (variable)
Membership to LoungeKey, access to over 1100 airport lounges worldwide. Charged at £24 per person per visit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.99% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20% APR (variable).
HSBC Premier Credit Card
3.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
0% for 9 months reverting to 23.9%
£0
1 point per £1 spent
23.9% APR (variable)
Membership to Priority Pass, access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. Charged at £24 per person per visit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 23.9% APR (variable).
Santander World Elite Mastercard
4.4
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
£15 per month
0.5% cashback
49.8% APR (variable)
Membership to LoungeKey, complimentary access to over 1400 airport lounges worldwide.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £15 per month, your representative rate is 49.8% APR (variable).
loading

How do credit cards with free airport lounge passes work?

A credit card which has an airport lounge pass allows you to access exclusive waiting rooms at the airport, where you can relax in comfort before your flights. These lounges typically offer amenities such as Wi-Fi, food and beverages, premium seating, and even beds and showers at select locations.

Most cards that offer complimentary airport lounge access come with a limited number of passes per year, and some may provide lounge passes as an introductory benefit. Depending on the type of pass and the card you have, you may be able to bring a guest or grant access to a supplementary cardholder. However, you must meet specific requirements, such as spending a certain amount, maintaining a good account standing, or requesting the passes directly from your card provider.

Common requirements to get airport lounge access with a credit card

While the requirements you need to meet to get lounge access with a credit card vary based on the provider and the airport lounge, some of the most common conditions include:

  • Spending requirement. You may need to make an eligible purchase or spend a specific amount of money on your credit card each year to be eligible for complimentary airport lounge passes.
  • Programme enrolment. Credit cards that offer airport lounge access through a member-based service such as Priority Pass may require you to enrol in that programme to receive your complimentary passes or access.
  • Valid ticket. Most airport lounges require all guests to have a valid ticket for a flight departing that day.
  • Dress code. Lounges often have dress code requirements, such as smart or smart casual attire and no shorts.

How can I compare cards with free lounge access?

To get the most value from your credit card with free airport lounge access, you will need to compare the features of each option including:

  • Annual fee. Credit cards with complimentary lounge passes are usually platinum or frequent flyer cards with a hefty annual fee. While most rewards cards have an annual fee below £100, for a high-end card the fee can potentially cost you hundreds of pounds each year. Make sure the extra features including the lounge passes, frequent flyer programme and complimentary insurance can justify this cost. You may get lucky and find one that waives the fee for the first year, making it more enticing.
  • Rates. Depending on the way you plan to use the credit card, interest rates can make a big difference in the card’s value. The purchase rate, cash advance rate and balance transfer rate may all differ in one card, so you will need a good idea of how you plan to use it before you start 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. An American Express customer with a platinum card, for example, could have access to around 1,200 airport lounges worldwide across 130 countries, and more than 20 in London alone.
  • The rewards programme or airline provider. Many of the credit cards with airport lounge access are a part of a rewards programme that could be tied to a specific airline. If you favour one airline over another, 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.
  • Lounge perks. Airport lounges use various perks to please their first-class passengers and frequent flyers. This could be as elaborate as massage tables in a garden-like setting – like those in some Qantas First Lounges, or the Wi-Fi access, showers and free wine that is available in Virgin lounges. The credit card you choose will determine the perks you are entitled to when waiting on flights.
  • Other benefits. 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 like loyalty points or air miles.

What are the alternative options?

You don’t necessarily need a credit card to get into a comfy lounge. Many lounges offer access for a flat fee. It’s not a cheap way to do it, but on the other hand it’s easy to rack up expenses over a two- to three-hour wait in departures.

Priority Pass is a scheme that’s open to anybody, and doesn’t depend on your credit card or who you’re flying with. Members simply pay an annual fee to be part of the scheme. If you’re a regular or semi-regular traveller, it’s not a bad idea.

As a member, you can access lounges run by independent operators like Club Aspire Lounge and No1 Lounge, as well as some individual airline lounges. Overall it offers access to more than 1,500 lounges spread across 600 cities in 148 countries. Within the UK, there are 46 lounges in 28 airports across 23 cities – 8 at Heathrow and 3 at Gatwick.

The design and features of airport lounges vary depending on the company or airline that operates them. But if you’ve never set foot in a lounge and want to know what they offer, here are some of the locations you could gain access to with specific credit cards.

British Airways airport lounge
British Airways lounge – London Heathrow

Decorated with crystal chandeliers and classic black and white photographs, the Concorde Room is sadly only available to first-class passengers. The lounge boasts private booths with full waiter service, secluded cabanas equipped with day beds, and an exclusive business suite.

Virgin airport lounge
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse – New York JFK

This luxurious lounge provides guests with a variety of exclusive services including a salon and spa offering complimentary haircuts and mini spa treatments, complimentary made-to-order food and pool tables to pass time with friends or fellow guests.

American Express airport lounge
American Express lounge – Sydney International

When you visit an American Express lounge, you can treat yourself to complimentary dining and snacks which often includes buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also order soft drinks, cocktails, wine, beer and barista-made coffee from the bar.

Priority Pass airport lounge
Priority Pass lounge – Basel-Mulhouse

This award-winning and massive lounge includes a vast glass dome bringing natural light in, and palm trees around an indoor pond. Priority Pass is a subscription-based service that provides members with access to over 800 lounges around the world.

Pros and cons of credit cards with lounge access?

Pros

  • A relaxed environment. As well as making you feel like a rockstar, an exclusive airport lounge takes you out of the chaos that’s typically found in an airport waiting area. Just don’t get so relaxed you miss your flight!
  • Freebies. Enjoy free drinks and tasty snacks while waiting to be called for your flight, and in some cases even a massage!
  • Convenience. With cosy chairs, tables and work stations, you can spend your time wisely by taking advantage of free Wi-Fi to catch up on work. Or not.
  • Other benefits. Since the majority of these cards are part of a rewards programme, your day-to-day spending can earn you points that can later be redeemed against airfares, merchandise and more.

Cons

  • Costs. Realistically, credit cards with airport lounge access tend to be premium products – expect high annual fees and minimum spend requirements.
  • Restrictions. The world of airport lounges is full of partnerships between operators. In some cases, you might be restricted to which amenities are available to you inside the lounge.
  • Accessibility. The brand of lounge that you have free access to won’t have a lounge at every every airport, sadly.
  • Limitations. Complimentary passes are usually offered in pairs. If you’re travelling with your family or a group of friends/colleagues, some of your party could be left out in the cold.

Airport lounge access is just one small part of an entire credit card package. As well as taking into consideration the level of lounge access each card is offering, don’t forget about comparing that information against the other features and benefits that the credit card comes with.

Frequently asked questions about airport lounge access

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

More guides on Finder

Go to site