Credit Cards With Airport Lounge Access

Hate sitting around waiting for your plane while travelling? Your credit card might offer free access to an airport lounge.

Many rewards and platinum credit cards offer exceptional benefits that can make them worth considering. Some have high-rate reward programs, complimentary travel insurance, discounts at various stores and more. What you may not know is that one such feature is complimentary access to some of the airport lounges across Australia.  

In this article, Canstar will help you compare and review credit cards in Australia that offer free airport lounge entry. We will also explain how they work and the pros and cons of using such a card.  

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Credit cards with airport lounge access  

As the name suggests, these credit cards are regular rewards or premium credit cards that have the added benefit of supplying the holder with free or discounted access to an airport lounge. While you can simply buy airport lounge access or use your accrued reward points, having this card feature can be a much cheaper way to obtain access to such comforts, potentially saving you up to hundreds of dollars a year.  

These visits to airport lounges usually aren’t unlimited. Most cards tend to offer around two to four complimentary visits per year. You’ll also find most cards that offer airport lounge access will only do so for certain airlines, such as the Qantas Club or Virgin Australia Lounges. 

If you combine this benefit with others, such as complimentary travel insurance and free flights thanks to your rewards program, and you can look forward to travelling in style!  

Pros and cons of credit cards with airport lounge access  

Credit cards that offer airport lounge access aren’t a different type of card – they’re similar to many other rewards and premium cards on the market. This means they come with many of the same pros and cons these cards do, as well as some unique ones.  

These pros and cons are summarised in the table below:

Pros Cons
  • Since they likely come with a reward program, these cards will often offer a string of other benefits
  • You can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year if you travel often and pay off your card in full.
  • You can get free food and drink, such as a nice glass of wine
  • Convenience and comfort. Relax in a comfortable setting with wi-fi and charging ports instead of a cramped airport gate
  • As a premium feature, these cards will often have higher interest rates
  • The card will likely have higher fees than regular credit cards
  • Your family/travelling companions may not be granted access to the lounge with you – check with your card provider
  • Access may not be granted at some airports and only for certain airlines
  • You still might have to pay for certain amenities

Which credit cards offer airport lounge access in Australia?

There are a handful of credit cards in Australia from providers such as American Express, ANZ, Citi, Diners Club and more that offer up to four complimentary airport lounge visits per year. According to Canstar’s database, 35 credit cards – rewards, frequent flyer or premium – offer some level of airport lounge access. That’s about 35% of these types cards on the market.

The table below shows a snapshot of credit cards on Canstar’s database that offer airport lounge access, sorted by provider name (alphabetically). These results are based on a monthly spend of $5,500 on a frequent flyer credit card, and only one product per provider is displayed. To see more cards, click here.

Below is a complete list of cards that offer airport lounge access at the time of writing (14/05/18), sorted by provider name.

Provider

Card name

American Express David Jones Platinum Mship Rews
American Express David Jones Platinum Qantas
American Express Membership Rewards Gateway – Bus Explorer
American Express Mship Rwds Gateway – Explorer
American Express Mship Rwds Premium Ascent- Business
American Express Qantas Business Rewards
American Express Qantas FFly Premium Rewards
American Express Qantas FFly Ultimate Rewards
American Express Velocity FFly Platinum Rewds
ANZ Qantas FFly Black Rewards
ANZ Rewards Black
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Qantas Rewards-Signature
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Rewards-Signature
BankSA Amplify Qantas Rewards-Signature
BankSA Amplify Rewards-Signature
Bankwest More Rewards – World
Citi Emirates Skywards Miles Prog
Citi Prestige Rewards
Citi Qantas Freq Flyer-Signature
Citi Qantas Frequent Flyer-Prestige
Citi Signature Rewards
Diners Club Australia Qantas Frequent Flyer
Diners Club Australia Qantas Frequent Flyer Dual
Diners Club Australia Rewards
Diners Club Australia Rewards – Business Dual
Diners Club Australia Rewards Dual
Diners Club Australia Rewards-Business
G&C Mutual Bank Qantas Frequent Flyer Program
QANTAS Qantas Premier Platinum
St.George Bank Amplify Qantas Rewards-Signature
St.George Bank Amplify Rewards-Signature
Virgin Money Velocity Rewards High Flyer
Westpac Altitude Black Rewards
Westpac Altitude Qantas Black Rewds

For a better look at each of these cards and more, use the Canstar comparison tables for credit cards:

Compare Credit Cards

Airport lounges in Australia

Free access to an airport lounge is the pinnacle of Frequent Flyer rewards. These lounges offer an escape from the frantic, hostile environment of the airport, allowing you to settle into a comfy chair with a wine and some cheese. If you need to charge your phone there are endless power points available, and you can even take a shower if you feel like it.

You’ve no doubt heard of the Qantas Club and Virgin Australia lounge. According to Business Traveller, these are two of the top five airport lounge schemes for Aussie travellers. We’ve included below details of how much a one-year membership costs for each to give you an idea of what you could save with complimentary access if you travel often and pay off your card in full.

  1. Qantas Club – $510
  2. Virgin Australia Lounge – $420, $9,750 for lifetime membership
  3. Priority Pass – $511 for more than 700 lounges worldwide
  4. United Club – $637
  5. American Airlines’ Admirals Club – $641

Requirements to get access to airport lounges

Be aware that even if you do have a membership or free access to a lounge with your credit card, you may not be granted access if you fail to meet certain requirements on the day. Most airport lounges require some or all of the following to be met, so it’s best to be safe:

  • A valid airline ticket for a flight departing that day with the correct airline for that lounge
  • A smart casual dress code at the minimum
  • It must be your name on the card and not someone else’s, meaning you can’t lend it to someone else

There are some cards, such as the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card, that also require you to reach a minimum amount of expenditure on eligible purchases each year before you gain access to a lounge. Make sure you check with your provider before applying for the card as to what the conditions are to utilise this feature.

To have a look at other premium and rewards credit cards that offer similar benefits such as free travel insurance and concierge services, check out your options on the Canstar website:

Compare Credit Cards with Canstar

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