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Traveling can be a stressful experience, but having access to airport lounges can make all the difference. Airport lounges offer comfortable seating, complimentary food and drinks, and other amenities that can help you relax and recharge before a flight. Annual membership that grants lounge access can cost hundreds of dollars, but many travel credit cards offer complimentary airport lounge access as a perk.

Whether you prefer a comprehensive lounge network or access to specific airline lounges, there is likely a credit card that can meet your needs. We've rounded up some of the best airport lounge access credit cards to consider:

Card Annual Fee Welcome Bonus Best for Learn More

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

$550 60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after using your card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

Best for Priority Pass Lounges

United Club℠ Infinite Card

$525 80,000United MileagePlus Miles More Info

Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,120 (80,000 United MileagePlus Miles * 0.014 base)

Best for United Club Lounges

The Platinum Card® from American Express

$695 80,000Membership Rewards Points More Info

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership Dollar Equivalent: $1,520 (80,000 Membership Rewards Points * .019 base)

Best for Wide Global Lounge Network

$595 70,000American AAdvantage Miles More Info

Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, enjoy a complimentary Admirals Club® membership (a value of up to $850). Dollar Equivalent: $910 (70,000 American AAdvantage Miles * 0.013 base)

Best for Admirals Club Lounges

$650 60,000Delta SkyMiles More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $660 (60,000 Delta SkyMiles * 0.011 base)

Best for Delta Sky Club Lounges

Note: While lounge access policies vary, all require a same-day boarding pass for admission. Not all travel cards come with unlimited access to airport lounges, but the ones that do often carry high annual fees (which can still be worth paying). Many of these premium credit cards also require a good credit score, so be sure to check that you qualify before applying.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR22.49% - 29.49% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Sign-Up Bonus 60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after using your card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

This card features an annual credit for travel purchases, which can offset the annual fee, plus bonus points when you sign up. You'll also get free access to tons of Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options around the world, along with access to the upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounge network.

Overview

If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months—that’s worth at least $900 in travel-related spending booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and potentially more if you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

Pros

  • An array of premium travel perks including access to Priority Pass lounges
  • Easy-to-use $300 travel credit that helps offset card's annual fee
  • Generous rewards rates for spending

Cons

  • High annual fee may be a deterrent for some
  • Perks are starting to get stale relative to newer competition

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the most popular premium travel cards, thanks to a $300 annual credit, up to 10X points on popular spending categories and Chase travel, and access to Chase Sapphire Lounges and the Priority Pass network. Though the card does come with a steep $550 annual fee, the credits and perks can more than offset the fee.

Why We Like It: The Chase Sapphire Reserve earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards and comes with Priority Pass Select membership. Many premium credit cards offer Priority Pass Select membership, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve is unique in that it includes Priority Pass-affiliated airport restaurants. American Express and Capital One have both removed restaurant access from their Priority Pass membership, making the Chase Sapphire Reserve a stand-out option. 

Lounge Perks:

  • Access to Chase Sapphire lounges
  • Priority Pass Select membership, which includes unlimited access for the cardholder and up to two accompanying guests to 1,300+ VIP lounges. Includes complimentary access to nearly 100 Priority Pass-affiliated airport restaurants worldwide.

Best for: Frequent travelers who want to enjoy premium travel perks and a Priority Pass Select membership that includes restaurant access.

United Club℠ Infinite Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.0/5 How our ratings work
  • APR21.99% - 28.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$525
  • Sign Up Bonus 80,000United MileagePlus Miles More Info

    Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,120 (80,000 United MileagePlus Miles * 0.014 base)

United’s premier card comes with a sizable annual fee, but if you’re a serious United flyer, want lounge access and can use other perks like free checked bags or the TSA PreCheck credit, you could eke a lot of value out of this card. Those who can’t use enough of the perks to offset the high annual fee may be better off with a different card.

Overview

If you love United Airlines, can fly with the airline often and enjoy benefits like airport lounge access free checked bags and quick trips through airport security on busy travel days, then the United Club Infinite Card is made for you. It’s loaded with travel perks such as statement credits and valuable insurance benefits.

Pros

  • You and your eligible travel companions can enjoy complimentary access to United Club locations
  • Up to $100 statement credit for your Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS application
  • Check up to two bags for free

Cons

  • $525 annual fee will only be worth it for United loyalists

The United Club℠ Infinite Card provides access to United Clubs, saving cardholders well over $600 on lounge membership fees. In addition to free checked bags, cardmembers can improve their travel experience with Premier Access services, Premier upgrades on award travel, and IHG One Rewards Platinum elite status. The card earns 4 miles per dollar spent on United purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent on travel and eligible delivery services.

Why We Like It: The United Club Infinite Card offers complimentary access to United Club lounges around the world. This is a great perk for frequent United Airlines flyers who want to enjoy premium lounge amenities at a discounted price since the card’s $525 annual fee is significantly lower than the cost of a United Club membership.

Lounge Perks: Complimentary United Club membership for the primary cardholder, which costs up to $650 annually. Includes complimentary access to over 45 lounges worldwide for the member and up to two additional guests.

Best for: Those who travel frequently through United hub cities.

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APRSee Pay Over Time APR
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Welcome Bonus 80,000Membership Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership Dollar Equivalent: $1,520 (80,000 Membership Rewards Points * .019 base)

Cardholders have access to credits for hotels, digital entertainment, Walmart+, airline fees and more. Those who can use enough credits can offset the hefty annual fee, but otherwise, the value may be out of reach. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Overview

The American Express Platinum Card isn’t a standout when it comes to rewards rates, but if you’re looking for a card that can elevate your travel experience and provide you with solid monthly lifestyle benefits, this one should be on your radar.

Pros

  • An excellent card for premium travel and lifestyle perks
  • Access to American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Priority Pass lounges and more
  • More than $1,500 in statement credits, from hotels, Uber, CLEAR, digital entertainment and more
  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels
  • Automatic Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy hotel programs

Cons

  • Very high annual fee
  • "Use it or lose it" benefits, as statement credits don't roll over
  • Long list of coupon-like perks may be hard to keep track of

The Platinum Card® from American Express is loaded with valuable travel perks that can make up for the hefty $695 annual fee (see rates & fees). In addition to an extensive lounge network, cardmembers get Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and over $1,500 in annual travel credits (including a $200 airline fee credit). Cardholders also earn 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with the airline and American Express Travel, plus 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Why We Like It: The Platinum Card® from American Express offers access to a very large global lounge network. Not only do cardmembers receive access to multiple lounge networks, but also to some of the most premium in the world. 

Lounge Perks:

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership and access to the coveted American Express Centurion Network.
  • Cardmembers can also visit Escape, Plaza Premium lounges, Delta Sky Club and Lufthansa lounges.

Best for: Those looking for a credit card with a comprehensive lounge network.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge

American Airlines Admiral's Club/American Airlines

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, from our partner Citi, comes with lounge benefits and other perks that can make the hefty annual fee worthwhile. The card also earns 10X miles on rental cars and hotels booked through aa.com, 4X miles on American Airlines purchases, and 1X miles on everything else. Cardholders also earn 1 Loyalty Point for every dollar spent, which counts toward elite status with American.

Why We Like It: This card includes American Airlines Admirals Club membership, which is a great perk for those who frequently fly through American Airlines hubs and want to enjoy premium lounge amenities and bonus miles on travel purchases. An individual membership costs up to $850, making the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card's $595 annual fee a relative bargain. 

Lounge Perks:

  • Complimentary American Airlines Admirals Club membership for the primary cardholder and authorized users. Provides complimentary access to Admirals Club lounges worldwide. The guest policy is generous, allowing up to two additional guests per visit with no additional fee. 

Best for: Those who frequently travel through American Airlines hub cities.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta Sky Club Boston

Delta Sky Club/Delta

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card comes packed with useful benefits for Delta flyers, like complimentary seat upgrades, priority boarding, first checked bag free and discounts on in-flight purchases. The priority boarding and free checked bag benefits are valid for up to eight travel companions. The Delta Reserve also earns 3X miles on Delta purchases and 1X on everything else. Cardmembers who renew the card every year receive a round-trip companion certificate applicable up to first class. Though the annual fee can be steep at $650, frequent Delta flyers can extract a lot of value from the card.

Why We Like It: The Delta SkyMiles Reserve offers exclusive access to Delta Sky Club lounges, which are some of the nicest domestic lounges around. Cardmembers can also access the Amex Centurion lounge when flying Delta and paying for the flight with the Delta Reserve card.

Lounge Perks:

  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club access for the primary cardholder. The guest policy for this card is less generous, allowing up to two guests at a discounted rate of $50 per person when traveling on a Delta itinerary.
  • Plus, cardholders receive four annual Sky Club day passes for guests.
  • Starting February 2025, cardholders will receive 15 Sky Club visits per year. Those who spend $75,000 on the card every calendar year will receive unlimited lounge visits.

Best for: Travelers who will primarily fly Delta or visit Delta Sky Clubs.

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How to Choose the Right Credit Card with Lounge Access

When choosing a credit card with lounge access, it's important to take several factors into account:

  • Your travel habits and preferences: If you're not loyal to a single airline, getting a credit card with Priority Pass Select membership can be a great way to access a diverse lounge network. If you're loyal to a single carrier or often travel through their hub cities, it could make sense to get airport lounge access through a co-branded credit card.
  • Total cost: A typical lounge visit can cost around $50. So consider how often you'll visit these lounges and determine whether it's worth the card’s annual fee.
  • Other travel benefits: Most credit cards that offer airport lounge access also provide other premium travel benefits, such as TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee reimbursements and annual travel credits. Be sure to factor these into your calculations when deciding on a card.
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Popular Airport Lounges

showers at Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Club LAX/Delta

Credit cards can offer access to thousands of lounges around the world – some more luxurious than others. To give you a sense of what's out there, here's a list of popular airport lounges that you can access with eligible credit cards:

  • American Express Centurion Lounge, Harry Reid International Airport (LAS): Luxurious airside Centurion Lounge with excellent food options. Accessible to Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders only.
  • Capital One Lounge, Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport (DFW): Offers impressive amenities like cycling and yoga rooms, shower suites, family-friendly spaces, a coffee bar, and vast food selections.
  • Delta Sky Club, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): The Delta Sky Club at LAX Terminal 3 opened last year to much fanfare. As one of the largest SkyClubs in the world, it provides lots of seating, shower rooms, and an outdoor terrace for plane spotting.
  • Turkish Airlines Lounge, Dulles International Airport (IAD): An airside lounge located in Concourse B, offering premium food and drinks in a luxurious setting. Accessible to Priority Pass members.
  • Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, New York (JFK): Trendy lounge featuring a cocktail bar, a la carte dining, and a spa. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is located at JFK's Terminal 4 and is open to Priority Pass Select members.

Is Lounge Access Worth It on a Credit Card?

Complimentary lounge access from a credit card can be worth it for frequent travelers or individuals who value comfort and convenience. Some lounge memberships also include dining credits at select airport restaurants, which can come in handy when airport lounges get crowded.

Infrequent travelers may also enjoy saving money on food and drinks while relaxing before a flight. But if you rarely travel or prefer to bring your own snacks, then lounge access may not be worth it. You may be better off with a general travel credit card or a cash back card instead, depending on what's more valuable to you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Credit cards provide lounge access as a perk to entice frequent travelers. This customer base typically spends above average on travel and credit card issuers want their business.

  • You can't use another person's credit card for access to lounges. Lounge attendants will ask for identification and compare it against the name on the membership. Most lounge memberships do include guest access as long as the member accompanies the guest(s).

  • You can check if your credit card is eligible for lounge access by visiting the "benefits" section under your account, reading the Guide to Benefits for details or speaking with a credit card customer service representative.

  • Not all Mastercards have lounge access. Typically, only premium travel credit cards with the Mastercard logo have lounge access.

AA

Ariana Arghandewal

Ariana Arghandewal is a rewards travel expert and founder of Pointchaser, an online publication dedicated to rewards travel topics. She brings over a decade of experience writing about travel, points, miles and credit cards. Her expertise includes her roles as an editor for distinguished travel and finance publications such as NerdWallet, The Points Guy and FlyerTalk. She has also authored many articles featured in major financial news & travel channels like Forbes, U.S. News Weekly, Business Insider & Fodor’s Travel.