Credit companies often build partnerships with a variety of airlines and independent airport lounge companies to provide you, their client, with varied access to exclusive airport lounges. Some cards give you access to the entire Priority Pass Select or Lounge Key Network of lounges, while others like the United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase extend your benefits within a particular airline through co-branding (think free extra luggage and priority boarding). Some companies go so far as to share benefits with your travel partner, while others require that you pay an additional reduced day pass fee at the door. Most cards do go beyond mere lounge benefits, offering reward points for travel-related purchases, bonus points, and various incentives at particular hotels and rental companies.
If considering a travel-based credit card, be sure to invest the time in navigating the countless cards available. Pay particular attention to the fine print, as additional fees, spending minimums and other loops are often incorporated.
We have looked at the major credit cards offering lounge access and have summarized the Benefits on the following pages:
- American Express Platinum Card
- Diners Club Card
- HSBC Premier Card
- Mastercard Black Card
- Visa Infinite Card
While we love the possibility of perks, the major drawback to this labyrinth of companies and policies is that the annual fees associated with these types of credit cards can become quite high. If you’re a frequent traveller, weigh the pros and cons of the USD 400+ credit card fee with the perks that come with a lounge membership pass. If that number is too high to stomach, you’ll likely be happier with a pre-arranged day pass or pay-at-the-door lounge access.
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