The Best Credit Cards for Airport Lounge Access

The right credit card can make traveling more comfortable.

Chase terrace at the Austin airport

Chase Sapphire

Credit cards are more than just a way to pay for your everyday expenses. These days, they offer lots of benefits that make traveling more comfortable. One of those perks is airport lounge access. Instead of waiting for your next flight in the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal, you can relax in a lounge with comfortable seating, complimentary food and drinks, and even extras like showers or spa treatments. The best part is that you can access many lounges just by having the right credit card in your wallet. Here’s a look at some of the best credit cards that include airport lounge access, so you can decide which one is right for you.

01 of 08

The Platinum Card from American Express

Close up of an Amex platnium card

American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is often cited as the best credit card for airport lounge access. It offers access to more than 1,200 lounges worldwide through the Global Lounge Collection. This group includes the coveted Centurion Lounges, which offer menus curated by local chefs and premium cocktails. Each location is different and can include perks like spa treatments and even a “secret” speakeasy bar.

The Amex Platinum card also comes with access to these lounge networks: International American Express Lounges; Priority Pass; Escape Lounges; Delta Sky Clubs (when flying on Delta Air Lines); Lufthansa lounges (when flying Lufthansa), Plaza Premium Lounges; and Airspace Lounges.

02 of 08

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase terrace at the Austin airport

Chase Sapphire

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card, and it comes with one of the best Priority Pass memberships of any credit card. (Priority Pass is an independent lounge network with more than 1,300 locations worldwide.)

The reason the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has the best Priority Pass membership is that it includes non-lounge experiences — something not offered when you get it through American Express or Capital One credit cards.

The non-lounge experiences include restaurants, sleeping areas, and even spas. Priority Pass restaurant access can be especially valuable. At these locations, the Priority Pass cardholder and one guest each get a $28 credit to use for food and drinks.

Additionally, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get exclusive access to the brand-new Chase Sapphire Terrace at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). This new indoor and outdoor space offers complimentary local beverages, grab-and-go snacks, and even games like shuffleboard.

03 of 08

Capital One Venture X Credit Card

People in the Capital One Lounge in Dallas

Capital One

The Capital One Venture X card comes with access to one of the most exciting new lounge brands in recent years: Capital One Lounges. There is currently only one location at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), but two additional locations, including one at Denver International Airport (DEN) and one at Dulles International Airport (IAD), are due to open in 2023.

The Capital One Lounge in Dallas offers premium perks including gourmet grab-and-go food, dining stations, a full bar, a yoga room, an exercise room with Peloton bikes, and a shower suite.

To round out its airport lounge offerings, the Capital One Venture X card also comes with a Priority Pass membership and access to Plaza Premium Lounges. All lounge access through this card is for the cardholder plus two guests.

04 of 08

Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card

Close up of a Delta Skymiles American Express card

American Express

Many top-tier airline credit cards offer access to airline-branded lounges, and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card is no exception. With this card, you’ll get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs, plus two one-time guest passes so you can bring along your traveling companions. After that, you’ll pay $50 each for up to two guests per visit. Delta Sky Clubs offer complimentary food, drinks, Wi-Fi, flight assistance, and even showers in select locations.

Cardholders also get access to Centurion Lounges when flying on a Delta flight that was booked with the Delta Reserve card. This is the only card other than the Amex Platinum card, Amex Business Platinum card, or Centurion card that grants access to Centurion Lounges.

05 of 08

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

American Airlines fliers will want to look at the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard because it’s the only credit card that comes with an Admirals Club membership. Without the card, an Admirals Club membership costs $650. Even taking into account this card’s $450 annual fee, it’s a definite winner for anyone who values Admirals Club membership.

There are almost 50 Admirals Clubs locations (plus more than 60 partner lounges) that can be accessed with the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. These lounges offer complimentary food and beverages along with business centers and shower suites in select locations.

06 of 08

United Club Infinite Card

Close up of a United Club credit card

United Airlines

The United Club Infinite Card comes with complimentary United Club membership and access to participating Star Alliance partner lounges when flying on United Airlines, a Star Alliance member, or a partner airline.

This membership usually costs $650 per year, so it’s a huge benefit to get it with a credit card. United Clubs offer an escape from crowded airport terminals as well as complimentary snacks, drinks, and high-speed Wi-Fi.

07 of 08

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

A hilton Honors credit card lying on a table with other travel planning materials

American Express

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is packed with benefits, like a $250 airline fee credit, an annual Hilton free night, and even top-tier Hilton Diamond status, which includes free Wi-Fi, executive lounge access, and room upgrades at Hilton hotels. It also comes with lounge access in the form of a Priority Pass membership. 

08 of 08

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Two people holding onto a Marriott Bonvoy Card

American Express

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card is one of the best hotel credit cards available right now. This premium card costs $650 per year, but it comes with an impressive suite of benefits including a $300 dining statement credit, a free Marriott night each year, and a complimentary Priority Pass membership. It also includes Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, which includes bonus points on stays, extended checkout, a welcome amenity, room upgrades, and more.

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